Wood Veneer Wrapping on Compound Curves

Hello, new member here. I downloaded Blender 4 days ago and am trying to learn it quickly. But perhaps I should ask a question before committing more time.

Here’s the problem: For some time I have been pondering a modern way to apply marquetry, pictures made with small pieces of wood veneers, around compound curved objects such as turned bowls, vases, and urns. A globe is a common example, though my woodturnings will not involve such extreme curvature, and a graphic of an “unwrapped” globe is this:

The traditional approach, in use for centuries, is to fit narrow strips of paper to the workpiece surface, draw the image on the covered workpiece, unwrap the pieces physically, cut the marquetry pieces in that pattern, and apply to the final workpiece. I’m guessing Blender affords a more modern approach, with it’s ability to apply an image to a shaped object, then unwrap it and export. This export could be imported into CorelDraw, vectorized, and the pieces cut by laser. At least I think so. For this method to work, the unwrapped Blender UV would have to include the image, such as the continents, on the island or islands.

All I’ve seen so far from unwrapping tutorials are islands in the UV Editor that do not include the image, only the UV Mapping. For example:

Would someone please confirm whether UV Mappings can be exported filled with the properly adjusted image? If so, I’ll continue to research how.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Best, Ted

I think what you need is to use two UV layers, one with the layout like above and another that is simpler, allowing you to paint or clone the image mapped to the UV image you have on the other layer. Main thing is that you are needing the image mapped to be cloned to the UV image from above, and yes it is possible to do so. I would suggest looking up Projection painting on youtube or vimeo, I did one but there are better examples than mine.

Hi Ted_Owen,

I think by your description you would need to bake your UV’s
following unwrapping.

  • map using generated coordinates/sphere
  • mark seams as shown in link below
  • then create a new image of adequate size in UV/Image editor
  • unwrap your sphere
  • then bake (in 2.5x press spacebar and type bake) see other image for result

Image 1: http://www.pasteall.org/pic/14379
Image 2: http://www.pasteall.org/pic/14381
This should give you the result you desire.



Just to be clear, your globe example image is meant to be wrapped around a sphere right?
Why not use spherical mapping?

Thanks for the responses. I’ll learn more about the suggestions and try them, then report back.

Best, Ted

I wanted to report how I made out with the issue. The good news is it can be done in Blender.

First I tried UV Baking, but I couldn’t get the image to maintain integrity. For example, in the globe image of my first post, above, Chicago and other parts of the world were wiped out. But I must recognize that as a newb I may have been using it incorrectly, though I did follow a tutorial.

So I tried Texture Painting and found this wonderful tutorial: http://www.blendercookie.com/2010/10/13/update-projection-painting-in-2-5/. Thank you, David Ward. It does indeed maintain the graphic–Chicagoans will be delighted to learn–but the UV slices are not in the order one would expect, as shown below in my current project, rose-marquetry-on-urn:

Well, I can rearrange the slices in CorelDraw before printing to the laser, so it’s not a big deal. But I can’t help but wonder whether I’ve missed a setting so far. I also can’t help but wonder whether UV Baking would also work, once I know better how to use it.

Anyway, I’m delighted Blender is going to be the answer, or at least an answer. And I’ll keep working on the details. Thanks again for your responses.

Best, Ted

Here is the Texture Paint screen shot. Can you see at the bottom of the urn some of the faces are not painted? Those were extruded from the ones above, after I deleted a few rings too many. Does anyone know how to restore the “paintability” on those faces?

Best, Ted

It may be they are not included in the UV map if they have not been explicitly ‘unwrapped’.

They show in the UV map, just don’t texture paint. Odd. But thanks for the thought.

Best, Ted