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