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Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya - UV Mapping

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Create a Futuristic Weapon In Maya.
Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya - Finalizing the Model
Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya - Texturing

Hi friends, now I will show you how to unwrap the futuristic gun in this part of the tutorial. We will unwrap all the gun parts one by one. Just like we did in the modeling section, we don’t need to unwrap both sides. We will only unwrap half the model and then delete the other half. After that we’ll copy the mapped part to the opposite side and then combine and merge both together to complete the UVs. Let's learn how!


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Step 1

First of all select a part of the gun that you want to unwrap first and then go to Show>Isolate Select>View Selected.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 2

With Isolate Select, you'll be able to see only that part and no other parts of the model. Hence it will be easy to work on only the isolated part

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 3

Select the side faces first, and then some bottom faces as well.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya
Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 4

Now go to Create UVs > Planner Mapping and click on the options box. It opens the Planner Mapping Options dialog. Set the axis according to your selected faces and click on Apply.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 5

As you can see, a red colored 'T' shape is shown in the figure. When you click on it, the Manipulator will be shown on the screen. In the Manipulator, you can see the Move, Rotate and Scale tools together. Click on anyone of them according to your needs.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 6

Go to Edit UV > UV Texture Editor, and open the UV texture editor.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 7

Now we have to check whether the UVs have opened properly or not. Go to Window> Rendering Editor> Hypershade. And Choose the Checker material from material list.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 8

Then select the gun, and go to the checker material. And Right Click > Assign Texture’s Material to Selection.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 9

As you can see in the figure that all the checkers are stretched horizontally. When you open the UV texture editor, you will find the checker material here too.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 10

If you want to hide the texture in the UV texture editor, then click on the display image on/off button, as you can see in the image below.

Tutorial Creating A Futuristic Weapon In Maya

Step 11

Now let’s see how to set the UVs perfectly. Go to the UV texture editor, Right Click > UV, then drag and select all the UVs.

Step 11 Image
Step 11 Image

Step 12

Scale the UVs horizontally by using the Scale tool. Now you can see, all the checkers are perfectly squared now. The UVs will be applied perfectly if the checkers are square as shown in the image below.

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Step 13

Now I will show you how to set overlapped UVs. Select the overlapped UVs, then go to Tool >Smooth UV Tool.

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Step 14

When you click on the Smooth UV tool you can see two options ‘Unfold’ and ‘Relax’.

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Step 15

Since UVs are overlapped here, we will use the ‘unfold’ option. Select the overlapped UVs and then click on Unfold. You will see now the UVs are being unfolded. Similarly you should use this tool wherever you find overlapping UVs.

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Step 16

If you want the UVs to be straight, then select the UVs and use the four red arrows (up-down-left right) to modify the position of the UVs vertices.

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Step 17

When you click on the Down arrow, you will find the selected UVs become straight
.

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Step 18

Select the faces from the front side and then go to Create UV > Planner Mapping. Set the axis according to the selected faces (x-axis) and click on apply.

Step 18 Image

Step 19

Select the edges from the joints or from where both the UV sets are connected. When you select edges, you can see some other edges are also selected automatically. What does this mean? It means that the edges you had selected will be now connected with these edges which were selected automatically.

Step 19 Image

Step 20

To connect both the UV sets, click on ‘Move and Sew".

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Step 21

When we clicked on ‘Move and sew’, both the UV sets were connected to each other. But they are overlapped. So it is not right.

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Step 22

Press Ctrl+Z to undo. Select all the faces and go to Polygons > Flip (click on the option box). Now the flip UV options are open. Set the direction to horizontally and click on apply. Now the UVs are flipped.

Step 22 Image

Step 23

Select the edges and click on Move and Sew. Both the UV sets are now connected perfectly.

Step 23 Image

Step 24

Now select these faces (selected in the figure below.)

Step 24 Image

Step 25

Go to Create UV > Planner Mapping (click on the option box). Set the Project according to the axis of the faces (z-axis) and apply.

Step 25 Image

Step 26

Open the UV texture editor. Select the UVs one by one and unfold the overlapped UVs by using the smooth UV tool (go to Tool > Smooth UV Tool.)

Step 26 Image

Step 27

Now select the bottom edges and apply planner mapping to them as we did in the previous step. Set ‘Y-axis’ according to the faces axis.

Step 27 Image

Step 28

By using the ‘smooth UV’ tool, unfold the UVs.

Step 28 Image

Step 29

Flip the UVs vertically by using the ‘flip UVs’ option.

Step 29 Image

Step 30

First of all, modify the small UV set according to its bigger UV part.

Step 30 Image

Step 31

Select the joint edges where both the UV sets will be connected.

Step 31 Image

Step 32

Then click on ‘move and sew’. You can now see both the UV sets are connected.

Step 32 Image

Step 33

Do the same thing with all the UV sets. Once done, scale them. You can see the checkers on the model, and these checkers are squared perfectly.

Step 33 Image

Step 34

Now scale the UVs according to their original size.

Step 34 Image

Step 35

Select the back faces of the front part and apply planner mapping (go to Create UV > Planner Mapping).

Step 35 Image

Step 36

Go to the UV texture editor, select the UV and scale it according to the model’s proportions. Look at the checkers, if checkers are properly square it means the UVs are opened properly.

Step 36 Image

Step 37

Now select half the faces on the top and apply planner mapping.

Step 37 Image

Step 38

First delete the half the gun and then select the side and inside faces as I’m showing you in the figure, and then unwrap them.

Step 38 Image

Step 39

So far you have come to know how to unwrap. So unwrap the UV sets one by one and keep connecting them together using ‘move and sew’.

Step 39 Image

And do not forget to unwrap the back faces too.

Step 39 Image

Step 40

Now after unwrapping all the UV sets, go to Edit > Duplicate Special (click on the option box), and make a copy of this half of the gun on the opposite side.

Step 40 Image

Step 41

Select both halves and open the UV texture editor. In the UV texture editor, go to UV mode and select one UV then go to Select > Select Shell. When you click on ‘Select Shell’, the whole UV set is selected.

Step 41 Image

Step 42

Move the UV set upward. You can now see the other half of the gun and it's also unwrapped.

Step 42 Image

Step 43

Select faces and go to Polygon > Flip, and flip the faces vertically.

Step 43 Image

Step 44

Before connecting both UV sets together, we have to combine both halves of the gun and merge the vertices. First get out of isolate mode (go to Show > Isolate select > View selected). Now go to Edit > Combine, and after combining both halves together, turn on the isolate mode again. Go to Modify >Center pivot and bring the ‘pivot’ into the center.

Step 44 Image

Step 45

In the Top view, select the center vertices and merge them (go to Edit Mesh > Merge).

Step 45 Image

Step 46

Sometimes you may face a problem of merging two unwanted vertices together, after using the merge option (see the first figure.) In this case, first of all, press Ctrl+Z to undo and then go to Edit Mesh > Merge (click on the option box) and reduce the threshold. In my case, I'm reducing it to .0010 (see the second figure.)

Step 46 Image
Step 46 Image

Step 47

We have combined the mesh, now we have to connect it in the UV texture editor. Select the joint edges and then click on ‘move and sew’.

Step 47 Image
Step 47 Image

Step 48

So far, you have learned how to unwrap plane surfaces by using planner mapping. Now I will show you how to unwrap a cylindrical shape. First of all we will unwrap the Grenade Launcher pipe. Select the outer faces of the Grenade Launcher pipe, then go to Create UV > Cylindrical Mapping, and apply cylindrical mapping.

Step 48 Image

Step 49

Then click on the red 'T' shaped icon in the viewport. After clicking on the red 'T' shaped icon, it's color is changed from red to yellow.

Step 49 Image

Step 50

Now click on the blue colored circle, which is actually the Scale Tool.

Step 50 Image

Now you can see the complete scaling tool..

Step 50 Image

Step 51

By using the Scale Tool, set the cylindrical frame (that I’m showing with the red arrow.) When you set that frame according to the object, you will see that the Grenade Launcher pipe is properly unwrapped in the UV editor.

Step 51 Image

Step 52

In the UV texture editor, unfold the overlapped UV by using the smooth UV tool (go to Tool>Smooth UV tool.) After that apply the checker texture (Right click >Assign existing material > Checker material.)

Step 52 Image

Step 53

Now select the inner faces of the Grenade Launcher pipe. You can turn on/off the viewport texture by clicking on the button, that I’m showing below with the red arrow.

Step 53 Image

Step 54

Use ‘cylindrical mapping’ and unwrap it. After that connect the inner faces with the outer faces, using ‘move and sew’.

Step 54 Image

Step 55

Now you have learned how to unwrap plane/box surfaces and cylindrical shapes. So now you can unwrap the whole gun with using the same techniques (see next three figures.)

Step 55 Image
Step 55 Image
Step 55 Image

Step 56

One of the most important things is that you must keep all the UVs inside the box. Use the entire space of the box by scaling UVs as you can, but always keep them inside the box.

Step 56 Image

Step 57

Now the unwrapping is done. We will now start texturing in Photoshop. For that we have to create a snapshot of the unwrapped UVs. First of all, get out of UV mode and select the whole gun. In the UV texture editor, go to Polygon > UV snapshot.

Step 57 Image

Step 58

Set the location (where the file will be saved), file name, size x and size y (always keep in the ratio of 512, 1024, 2048 and so on) and the image format. Then click on OK. Your UV snapshot is now saved in image format and ready to be worked on in Photoshop.

Step 58a Image

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