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  1. #1
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    Default HELP! UV Mapping - Point me in the right direction (Maya)

    HERE'S WHERE IM AT RIGHT NOW
    I'm trying to learn UV Mapping for game development (and in general, though ive got the basics down)... I hear it's called "Skinning".
    My current understanding is rather limited... "Unwrap, screenshot to photoshop, paint, import into UDK with model"

    So, I have multiple books (physical) and a handful of video tutorials, including a course from Digital Tutors regarding UV Mapping.

    Problem is... I run into a wall every single time...
    A quarter of the way in, I find out the tutorial is outdated, isn't advanced enough, or just doesn't cover what I need covered.
    And it's getting harder and harder to put my faith in tutorials/courses, knowing that the odds are so heavily-against me.

    So, instead of wasting what I know will be days, looking for what I need, can anyone point me in the direction of a solid UV Mapping tutorial? Preferably one geared towards Maya (considering Im not wanting to switch programs)

    After about 5 months of Maya (and 3d modeling) this has been the only real bump in the road, and is the last obstacle I need to overcome before erecting my own full-fledged cities in UDK. Please help! It will save a panda.
    Last edited by lunatorra; 04-21-2012 at 11:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    I 'll look at redgirl from simply maya3com...THats how I learned...This is something I did on youtube...might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZWT8t2zBvU

    But an easier way will be to get the program: Roadkill.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelt'ar View Post
    I 'll look at redgirl from simply maya3com...THats how I learned...This is something I did on youtube...might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZWT8t2zBvU

    But an easier way will be to get the program: Roadkill.
    Thanks Kelt'ar. Was getting worried I wouldn't get any responses lol.
    Ok, I've heard of this Roadkill program. A person with little or no previous mapping experience can utilize it?
    If so, that definitely seems like a good idea.

    Thanks again! I'll watch the video you sent.

    *edit* Oh shnap, you made this.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunatorra View Post
    HERE'S WHERE IM AT RIGHT NOW
    I'm trying to learn UV Mapping for game development (and in general, though ive got the basics down)... I hear it's called "Skinning".
    My current understanding is rather limited... "Unwrap, screenshot to photoshop, paint, import into UDK with model"

    So, I have multiple books (physical) and a handful of video tutorials, including a course from Digital Tutors regarding UV Mapping.

    Problem is... I run into a wall every single time...
    A quarter of the way in, I find out the tutorial is outdated, isn't advanced enough, or just doesn't cover what I need covered.
    And it's getting harder and harder to put my faith in tutorials/courses, knowing that the odds are so heavily-against me.

    So, instead of wasting what I know will be days, looking for what I need, can anyone point me in the direction of a solid UV Mapping tutorial? Preferably one geared towards Maya (considering Im not wanting to switch programs)

    After about 5 months of Maya (and 3d modeling) this has been the only real bump in the road, and is the last obstacle I need to overcome before erecting my own full-fledged cities in UDK. Please help! It will save a panda.
    One of your problems is that you're trying to learn from Digital Tutors; they're training products are laughable. Check out Eat3D or Gnomon; real professionals, not amateurs, i.e. Digital Tutors.
    Maya is traditionally hard to map with, not because of difficulty, but because it lacks efficient UV mapping tools without the aid of plugins. At our studio, we use UV Layout/Headus. Once of the best unwrapping tools in the industry; works fantastic for organic and inorganic meshes. ZBrush is also great for UV mapping; literally uv unwraps complex meshes in one button push. If you're trying to learn game development, first thing you need to learn is that everyone works in mixed pipeline environments- no one uses one program for everything. As a games artist working professionally, you need to be able to jump from one software to another easily. If you currently only have access to Maya, try getting hold of some training from Gnomon or Eat3D and you'll get UV mapping easily.

    To be honest, UV mapping is one of the most annoying things in the games pipe- but you just have to do it. To be honest, it's not that bad to understand it; just take your model in Maya, use a projection (I would start with a box/cubic projection and then go in the Texture Editor window and start stitching shells together in a way that makes sense, prevents nasty UV seams, and is easier to understand and paint in Photoshop). If you ask me what I would do; I would tell you to not UV map in Maya in the first place; use a piece of software that was design specifically for UV mapping.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jak_carver View Post
    One of your problems is that you're trying to learn from Digital Tutors; they're training products are laughable. Check out Eat3D or Gnomon; real professionals, not amateurs, i.e. Digital Tutors.
    Maya is traditionally hard to map with, not because of difficulty, but because it lacks efficient UV mapping tools without the aid of plugins. At our studio, we use UV Layout/Headus. Once of the best unwrapping tools in the industry; works fantastic for organic and inorganic meshes. ZBrush is also great for UV mapping; literally uv unwraps complex meshes in one button push. If you're trying to learn game development, first thing you need to learn is that everyone works in mixed pipeline environments- no one uses one program for everything. As a games artist working professionally, you need to be able to jump from one software to another easily. If you currently only have access to Maya, try getting hold of some training from Gnomon or Eat3D and you'll get UV mapping easily.

    To be honest, UV mapping is one of the most annoying things in the games pipe- but you just have to do it. To be honest, it's not that bad to understand it; just take your model in Maya, use a projection (I would start with a box/cubic projection and then go in the Texture Editor window and start stitching shells together in a way that makes sense, prevents nasty UV seams, and is easier to understand and paint in Photoshop). If you ask me what I would do; I would tell you to not UV map in Maya in the first place; use a piece of software that was design specifically for UV mapping.
    Thank you for this! Tons of good insight.

    So, Zbrush would definitely be good for uv unwrapping? That sorta sounds too easy, lol. I just import an FBX into Zbrush and press a button? Like, literally?
    If so, that sounds like my kind of solution =P - I'll have to look into it.

    I'm guessing "Headus" isn't as simple?

    Funny thing though. The course I mentioned is actually from Gnomon lol. Had the two sites confused for a moment.
    Main issue seems to be that the course is outdated, but that artist doesn't explain things too comprehensively either. Was hard for me to follow and felt like steps were being left out.
    I don't doubt that he's a professional, but it seems that most people, overall, don't do video tutorials very well.

    http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/sto...UV-Mapping-101

    Actually, now that I look at it, almost all the Maya tutorials on Gnomon are pretty dated, overall. After the first page of courses, videos show artists using Maya 2009! The MAX tutorials seem to be a bit better, though.

    I would take another look at Digital Tutors, lol. I think they may have changed a lot since you last visited. They've got a huge variety of stuff now, and I cant imagine it all being completely useless.

    http://www.digitaltutors.com/trainin.../all-tutorials

    Anyway, thanks again! I'm going to look into unwrapping in Zbrush straight away. Glad I utilized the forums ^_^

  6. #6
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    Problem with Digital Tutors is that they're not production artists- it's mainly people who learned some 3D art in their free time and then think they can teach it.

    Anyways, in Zbrush, use UVMaster- it's a built in UV mapping tool. You simple click on unwrap, and boom- done. Theres some tools that let you choose where you want the UV seams to be for more control, but overall you can just hit the unwrap button and be done with it.

    Forgot to mention to you, you may want to download the Maya Bonus Tools available on the Area website from Autodesk. They include some useful UV mapping tools not normally available in Maya, including a pelt mapping tool- it's not the best, but definitely better than any of the default Maya mapping tools.

    Headus is not hard to use. It has a bunch of shortcut keys you have to memorize, but basically the workflow is: import your object as .OBJ, select edges of the mesh you want to be seams, unwrap it, tweak if necessary (usually not), and you're done! It's an invaluable tool for us at the studio. Not too expensive either. Considering all the time and headache it saves you, totally worth just about any price really.
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  7. #7
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    Hello.
    Well you have the advice from a pro CG artist already but I want join too, in the past I used to think why maya can't have an easy and efficient tool to unwrap? the answer is it does but I didn't knew about it, is as easy and quick as UVlayout and you can get the hang of it in about..... 30SECONDS!. Check the pic.



    make your UV islands, then select 1 shell (select 1 Uv go to select/select shell), press the button in the red circle, then click and drag to the right the unfold option(bottom left of the Uv island) and voila..... now you have master the tool. As a maya user/student I find that buttom so efficient I haven't use Uv layout in a few weeks, well thats for hard surface atleast I don't know anything about organic modeling but next week I'll start with Zbrush and will check out the UVmaster Jack told you about.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by juguefre; 04-24-2012 at 01:51 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by juguefre View Post
    Hello.
    I'll star with Zbrush and will check out the 1 button magic Jack told you about.
    It's called UVMaster
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  9. #9
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    Problem with plug-in's that I've used is that they either don't keep up with the new versions of Maya or doesn't get updated at all. Forcing me to revert to default Maya tools. And they aren't bad. Just need to get used to them. The tools I keep on my UV mapping shelf are as follows.

    Separate
    Extract
    Detach component
    UV Texture Editor
    Combine
    Merge
    Cylindrical Mapping
    Automatic Mapping

    And I have hotkey for select shells inside UV Texture Editor as I use it very often.

    Basic workflow is that I physically break up the model into easily projected (xyz) or cylindrical mappable shapes. I keep Planar mapping as tear off. Either project or cylindrical map the pieces, Layout the shells, combine and merge, then merge any UV shells if necessary either by using Move and Sew UV Edges or manually positioning the shells. I occasionally use Relax and Unfold.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jak_carver View Post
    It's called UVMaster
    Fixed......

  11. #11
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    Hopefully this will help...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnqyL...6&feature=plcp

    I am using 2012 mostly now, but it's the same tools.
    What is a UV map? Well.. think of it as gift wrapping a 3D model - you need a 2D wrapping paper. Once you have UV's you can paint the paper. Once you understand the concept UVs become unintimidating (only merely tedious sometimes).
    Painting the model - paint on the model first - in Maya, or better, in Mudbox or similar. You'll want to export an obj of the model for external programs - avoid the FBX sharing dance for now.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by taz1004 View Post
    Problem with plug-in's that I've used is that they either don't keep up with the new versions of Maya or doesn't get updated at all. Forcing me to revert to default Maya tools. And they aren't bad. Just need to get used to them. The tools I keep on my UV mapping shelf are as follows.

    Separate
    Extract
    Detach component
    UV Texture Editor
    Combine
    Merge
    Cylindrical Mapping
    Automatic Mapping

    And I have hotkey for select shells inside UV Texture Editor as I use it very often.

    Basic workflow is that I physically break up the model into easily projected (xyz) or cylindrical mappable shapes. I keep Planar mapping as tear off. Either project or cylindrical map the pieces, Layout the shells, combine and merge, then merge any UV shells if necessary either by using Move and Sew UV Edges or manually positioning the shells. I occasionally use Relax and Unfold.
    This...

    Also I have hotkeyed split UV move and sew and convert selection to uv's. Once you learn the built in gesture movements for the UV editor you can do things 3 - 4 x quicker than any other package I know for Uv'ing efficiently and quickly.


 

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