GRAW Complex UV mapping with 3dsmax
By: Element11
Published : 17 November 2006


Through your travels in max you may come across objects that are difficult to texture. These times may require careful manipulation of the UVW Mapping modifier. This tutorial covers more advanced methods of manipulation of the UVW Mapping modifier. This tutorial can be used to effectively and quicky texture irregular shapes.

Complex UV mapping

By: element11

Through your travels in max you may come across objects that are difficult to texture. These times may require careful manipulation of the UVW Mapping modifier. This tutorial covers more advanced methods of manipulation of the UVW Mapping modifier. This tutorial can be used to effectively and quicky texture irregular shapes.

What youll need

  • 3ds Max with a model ready to texture.
  • My example model and textures if you'd like to follow along with this tutorial.

    First, im assuming you have a model ready to texture. I certainly do. This is a roadway dug into a hill. This type of landscape could present problems with users who are unfamiliar with the mapping modifiers. First off, collapse all meshes to editable poly. I have detached this mesh into 3 parts labelled below. 1 is the top part of the hill, 2 is the road, and 3 is a hill coming off the road. The textures are as follows. "A" is a horazontal and vertically tiling grass texture, "B" is a vertically tiling road texture with grass patches on the left and right, and "C" is an alpha chanelled fence.

    Now go to modifiers > UV Coords > UVW Map

    The default mapping parameter is "Planar" This setting you set to whatever best represents the shape your texturing. Planar will do fine for this part. (Actually this tutorial outlines how to use the planar setting to texture "Non- Planar" Objects) To make sure the texture will be applied on the right side, use the "Alignment" circular buttons. For me, "Z" is the right setting. (Make sure the orange box surrounds the object) Make sure the right alignment setting is selected and click the fit box. The opbject should be surrounded by an orange box.

    (Above image with (1,1) U,V tiling) Well, Im not gonna lie, that looks horrible, and will look 10 times worse in game. So we will tile the texture to make it look more realistic.

    Your UVW mapping modifier should already be selected. Under the "Mapping" setting (with the circle buttons) There are length width and height settings, and U V and W tiling settings. We are going to play with these settings to make the texture look even. They are set at 1 by default. The U tile tiles the texture 1 way and the V tiles it the other way. We arent concerned with the W tile so leave that alone. Use the arrows to raise the tiling in the U and V settings. A U tile of 1.3 and a V of 3.92 will do just fine for me as you can see with the render below. Also, you can use the flip checkboxes to flip the texture. Very useful in some cases.

    That should dp it for the first object. Lets move on to the road. Select the roadway, apply the road texture in the same way we applied the first texture, and apply a UVW map modifier. Uggh what a mess. It dosent look like a road at all. Lets get on that shall we? First of all for simplicity sake lets hide the other untextured hill. Select it, right click and select hide selected.

    Now we are going to collapse the modifier stack by right clicking and selecting convert to editable poly. The UVW mappiung modifier should be gone, but the texture should not have changed. Now go to the polygon sub object mode in editable poly, and select the first face in the road.

    Without unselecting the poly and while in sub object mode, (in otherwords dont exit editable poly polygon mode) Apply a UVW map modifier. By applying a UVW this way you apply the mapping modifier to one single face without detaching any faces. Nifty isnt it? Notice only the face we had selected has changed the textureing.

    Now click once on the UVW Mapping modifier in the stack, and "UVW mapping" should turn yellow, (mine didnt just because of the skin im using on my 3ds max) and the orange box should turn yellow as well. This is called "Gizmo" mode, and this allows you to change the angle the texture is applied to an object. Our goal is to get the yellow box to fit the one poly we have selected perfectly. Use the rotate tool to get it in the right spot. In the UVW modifier under alignment, use the button "fit" to wrap the Yellow box (gizmo) around the polygon. Take the "angle snap toggle" (the magnet with the 2 arrows on the top toolbar) off to get an accurate rotate.

    In the above picture (top view) it is still off, but it will take 2 or more tries to get it good. So just rotate the gizmo again until the lines of the edge of the face, and the gizmo, are paralell. Try to get it as accurate as possible. The pic below is a good example of acceptable mapping.

    Now back to perspective viewport, and click the UVW modifier again to exit gizmo mode. You can see that it looks decent now (that face anyway). Now play with the UV tiling so it dosent look stretched. I used a V setting of around 3.

    Now right click and select convert to editable poly. The UVW mapping modifier should be gone, and the face we just textured should have a nice road texture on it. Now once we do this we cannot adjust any of the settings without beginning again, so its important to get it the way you like. Now to do the rest, select the next face in polygon mode, and apply a UVW map to it. Repeat the above settings till you get to the end. It will end up like this. If you screw up on one of the faces, just collapse the stack and UV map it again.

    Its a good idea to be careful when tiling the texture. You want to tile the texture so you cant see any visible seams. Also the included road texture has grass on the edges to blend into grass nicely. The grass on the side of the road tex should somewhat line up with the grass texture on the hill so it blends nicely. If you dont, people will be able to tell where the road texture starts and the grass ends. That is just bad mapping, and its easy to avoid. Either adjust the roads or the grass on the hill (the latter is probly easier).

    OK, lets finish this off. Right click > unhide all. Magic! The other hill is back! Just when you thought we were done.

    Apply the grass texture, and a UVW map. Planer settings look okay, but on the steep hill it looks slightly stretched.

    Click the modifier to enter gizmo mode, and rotate slightly on the y (green) axis. This puts slightly more texture onto the steep hill. Play with the UV tiling, and try to get the grass to match the grass edges on the road, as well as the top hill.

    And there you go!

     

     

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and I hope you found it useful. You can email me at daniel_lapp14@hotmail.com  or PM me at ghostrecon.net forums as element11. If you haven't signed up for the forums you should, as they're the best place for help.

 


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