Marking the Seams
Scondary-click on the plane and press Tab to enter edit mode. Click on the Edge select mode button.
Press A on the keyboard to deselect any selected edges.
Hold Shift and then secondary-click on the edges where the wing starts, one by one, to select them all.
Press Ctrl-E to bring out the Edges menu and click on Mark Seams.
You'll notice that the selected edges turns red. The seams are from where the mesh will get unstitched onto a flat UV map.
Select the bottom edges of the wing as shown in the image. Press Ctrl-E and click on Mark Seam.
Select the edge loop form where the tail wing starts. Hold Shift and then right click on the edges to select them. Press Ctrl-E and select Mark Seam.
Select the bottom edge of the wing from all sides. Hold Shift and then right click on the edges. Press Ctrl-E and click on Mark Seams.
Press A to deselect the edges. Select the front edge loop at the engine. You can hold Alt and secondary-click on any of the edge to select the edge loop. Press Ctrl-E and select Mark Seam.
Since the model actually half there is no need to mark the center loop as seam. You can preview the half model by clicking on the eye button to toggle on/off modifier preview in 3D view port.
Press Tab to exit edit mode. Secondary-click on the propeller object to select it.
Press Tab to enter edit mode. Secondary-click on the side edge and mark it seam.
Select the front edge loop (full circle) and mark it as seam. Secondary-click to select and Ctrl-E
to Mark seam.
Press Tab to exit edit mode. Secondary-click on the plane to select it.
UV Mapping the Model
Split the 3D viewport by dragging the corner with primary mouse button.
You'll now have two 3D viewports.
In one of the 3D viewport, click on the Editor type button and select UV/Image editor. The 3D viewport will change to UV editor.
- In 3D viewport, press 3 in the number pad to get into side view.
- With the plane selected, press Tab to enter edit mode.
- Press Ctrl-Tab and select Face select mode.
- Move the mouse over the main body of the plane and press L. This will select the main body mesh which is separated by the seams.
- Press U on the keyboard to bring UV Mapping options.
- Select Project From View. This will unwrap the selected mesh as seen in the , onto the UV Editor.
In the UV Editor, hold Alt and then right click on the out edge of the mesh to select the edge loop.
Press S and then Y to scale it along the Y-axis to loosen it a bit form the rest of the mesh.
Select the individual vertices on the tail and move them away so that they don't over lap on any other vertices or edge. Do not move the inner vertices or edges. Only spread out the outer edge loop.
Similarly secondary-click on the vertices on the front part and then press G to move them away one by one.
In the 3D view port, press 7 on the number pad to get into top view.
Select Face Select mode.
Move the mouse over the wings top part and press L to select the mesh separated by the seam. Check from bottom. Nothing else is should be selected, only the top part of the wings.
In top view, with the wings selected, press U to bring out UV Mapping menu and select Project from View. The wings are now project on to the UV Editor.
Select the outer vertices and edges. Scale and move them away just a little bit so that they are not getting overlapped by other edges. .
In the 3D viewport, press Ctrl-7 to get into bottom view. Move the mouse over the wings and press L to select them one by one. Press U and select Project From View to unwrap them in the UV Editor.
In the UV Editor, press A to select all vertices of the wings and press G to move them away form the grid. I did this because the UV mesh of all mesh will land here and would overlap each other. So to avoid this move them from the default position.
In the 3D viewport, press A to deselect any selected face. Move the mouse over the front part and press L to select it. Press U and select Project From View to unwrap the selection onto the UV Editor.
Select the outer edge and scale it. Move the selected loop to the side so that it becomes parallel to the inner loop. Press A to select all vertices and the G to move it away from the main grid.
Press Tab to exit edit mode. Right click on the plane to select it and then press Tab to enter edit mode. Press A to select all edges. You will see the UVs in the UV Editor might be jumbled up or overlapping each other.
Arrange all the island groups such that it fits neatly inside the grid. Keep some space for the propeller UVs. The commands in the UV Editor are same as in 3D viewport:
- Hover over any group and press L to select the group
- Select any vertex or vertices of the group and press Ctrl+L to select the whole group with connecting vertices.
- Hold Shift for multiple select.
- A to deselect / Select all.
- W to bring out the weld/Align menu
- Right click to select any edge / vertices
Here are other editing commands for the UV editor, though they are same as in 3D view.
- G to move
- R to Rotate
- S to scale
- Zoom in/Zoom out - Mouse wheel.
- Pan = Shift-Middle mouse button and drag.
To maximize the UV Editor, move the mouse over the UV Editor and press Ctrl-Up Arrow. Press Ctrl-Up arrow to toggle back.
Press Tab to exit edit mode. Secondary-click on the propeller to select it and press Tab to enter edit mode.
Press A to select all vertices. Press U to bring the UV Mapping menu and select Unwrap this time. You don't need it to get projected from view.
Move the UVs so that they have some space in between. Select the blade which is facing the opposite direction and rotate it 180 degrees.
Press R and then type 180 to rotate the selection 180 degrees. Adjust the edge loop of the front part as well as shown in the image.
Press A to select all vertices and then press S to scale it down. Press G to move them away from the grid.
Press Tab to exit edit mode. Secondary-click on the plane to select it. Click on the modifiers button in the properties window. Press the Apply button in the Mirror modifier. This will generate the opposite side of the mesh.
Hold Shift and secondary-click on the propeller and then the plane. Press Ctrl-J to join them.
Press Tab to enter edit mode. In the 3D view, press A to select all vertices, so that UV maps of the whole mesh appear in the UV Editor.
Move and adjust the propeller UVs inside the grid.
Press A to deselect the vertices, move the mouse over any of the UV island and press L to select it and G to move.
To see more commands and shortcuts, go to step 11.
When done, Click on the UVs menu and select Export UV Layout. This will be the guidelines to paint textures in the painting program.
Select the PNG Format and decrease the Fill Opacity to 0.00. I kept the default size of 1024x1024 pixels.
Now we will bake the Ambient Occlusion data onto the image. This will add shadow information to a new image, which will be helpful while painting texture in paint program.
In the UV Editor, press New button to create a new image onto which you will bake the AO data.
I changed the size to 1024x1024 pixels. Press OK.
A new image is added in the UV Editor.
In the 3D view, press A to select all vertices and then press W to bring the Specials menu. Select Shade smooth. This will give smooth look to the model.
- Press A to deselect the vertices.
- Select only the propeller blades and center.
- Move the mouse over the mesh of the propeller and press L to select each blade and the center part.
- Press 3 in the number pad to get into side view.
- Move the selection away from the plane temporarily so that their shadow does not appear on the plane, while baking the AO data.
- Press Tab to exit edit mode.
Click on the World settings button in the properties window. In the Gather panel, increase the Samples to 15. Higher value will give smooth and noiseless results.
- Click on the Render settings button in the properties window.
- In the Bake panel, Select Ambient Occlusion in the Bake Mode.
- Tick the Normalized checkbox.
- Set Margin to 12 or 16 pixels.
Press the Bake button. After few seconds the image will be updated. In the 3D View, press Alt-Z to view the model with textured applied. Use Alt-Z again to toggle back to shaded view.
In the UV Editor, click on the Image menu and select Save As Image to save the image.
In the Save As Image panel, select PNG file format. Choose RGBA to save transparent image without black background.
Type in the name for the file and press the Save button.
Texturing and Painting
Open the image with Baked AO data, in your favorite image editor. You can use Gimp or Photoshop.
In a new layer on top, put the UV Layout you exported.
Create a new layer in between the Wire and AO layer. This will be the layer on which you can paint the texture. You can create more layers for painting but keep them between the Wire and AO Layers.
Paint the texture with the wire-frame as guidelines.
Add another layer and draw the detail lines. Paste the logos/symbols in their own layer.
Set the paint layer to Multiply or hard light or overlay. You will notice the AO layer will give a nice shadow effect. You can adjust the levels/contrast of the AO layer to decrease the intensity of shades.
Save the image in .psd format. Turn off the layer visibility for the UV wire layer and export it to .png or jpeg format.
In 3D viewport (in Blender) and in the edit mode, select all vertices of the plane by pressing A key. Open your exported PNG image, in the UV Editor.
If you don't see the texture on the model in the 3D view, Press Alt-Z to enable Texture View Mode.
With the plane selected, click on the Materials button in the properties window and click on the New button to assign a new material.
Rename the material. In the shading panel, check the Shadeless Tickbox. Since I have baked the Ambient Occlusion data onto the texture, I can set the material to be shadeless.
Uncheck it if you want to have dynamic light and shades onto the object. You can also turn off the AO layer while painting texture in Photoshop or Gimp and export only the colour map.
Click on the Texture button in the properties window. Press the New button. Rename the texture to whatever you want. In the Image panel, open and browse for the texture image.
In the Mapping panel, make sure to select UV for Coordinates.
Turn off the visibility of the painted layer. Add another layer and create paint with different colour scheme. Export the image with different name in jpg or png format.
In Blender, ensure you are in object mode. Press Tab to exit edit mode. Secondary-click on the plane to select it. Press Shift-D to make a duplicate. Move the mouse and primary-click to confirm.
Press Tab to enter edit mode. In the UV Editor, click on the Image menu and Open the new exported image.
With the new duplicated plane selected, press the Materials button in the properties window. Click on the number against the name of the material to make it a duplicate for the new model. Rename the material.
Click on the texture button in the properties window. Click on the number button to make a new copy of the texture for this new model.
Rename the texture. In the Image panel, browse for the new image.
The aeroplane set is now ready for the game.