Unfolding UVs in Maya: Texturing Azusa

Punk Geisha Azusa – textured

I’ve written about UV unwrapping simple objects before, but here are little ways that Maya can make unwrapping more complicated objects a bit more easier.

Below is the UV of Azusa’s sleeve after I fired off cylindrical mapping and rotated the mapping so that the seam comes at the bottom. As you can see, the UVs aren’t mapped nicely as the checkered pattern is not even.

A quick way to fix this is to hit the third button in the UV Texture Editor. Two boxes “Unfold” and “Relax” appears at the bottom left of the UVs. Left mouse clicking and dragging Unfold to the right moves the UVs and makes the checkered pattern much more even.

For better control, and usually better results, select the UV shell you want to unfold (in this case Azusa’s leg) and go to Polygons –> Unfold [] in the UV Texture Editor.

In the dialog that appears, select Horizontal (or Vertical, depending on the direction you want to unfold it) and click Apply.

The UVs are now spaced out pretty evenly; much better than the previous screenshot when just cylindrical mapping was fired off.

Her UVs around her shoe was a bit of a mess too. But using the same method as above (and using planar mapping for the top of her shoe) gave these results.

Cylindrical mapping was used to create the UVs for the previous two examples. But it can be a bit fidgety to rotate the gizmo to make the seams appear at the right place. Another way of doing this is to fire off Create UVs Based On Camera instead of Cylindrical Mapping. This was done in the front view for Azusa’s skirt so the UV will be clean.

Next, select the edges where you want the seam to be and click on Cut UVs button in the UV Texture Editor.

Select a face to tell Maya where the centre of the UV shell to be when it unfolds, and go to Polygons –> Unfold [] like before.

Using the checkered pattern test, it looks pretty good – just a few manual tweaks and it’ll be done.

So here’s Azusa’s UV map…

…and her texture file. The solid red represents the transparency.

And this is how my punk geisha Azusa that I modeled earlier ended up. Not bad for my first character :)


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