Download: UV Mapping in Autodesk Maya 2015

By Michael Swartz


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Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Duration: This is an in-depth 1hr 46 minute training video.

In this tutorial we’ll be taking a close look at UV mapping for polygonal geometry which is required for assigning 2D textures to 3D models. We’ll look at a range of geometry types from primitives to organic surfaces such as a human head. We’ll also take a look at some of the new UV mapping tools in Maya 2015 and how they can help us obtain the holy grail of UV mapping: Fewer pieces, less distortion.


- What are UV's?
- Basic Planar Projections: Best plane. Which direction to project from? “Keep image width/height ratio.” Multiple UV Sets (UV Set Editor).
- Editing Projections
- Cylindrical projections.
- Spherical projections and Equirectangular (spherical) maps.
- Automatic Mapping — pros and cons. Fewer pieces vs. less distortion.
- New 2015 UV mapping features.

Editing UV’s in the UV Texture Editor Window:

- Making UV selections: Select individual UVs in 3D viewport or in UTE.
- Convert selection to UV’s.
- Selecting Shells.
- Move, Rotate, Scale.
- Snap UV’s (grid, rows, etc.)
- Flip reversed UV’s.
- Cutting Edges, Sewing Edges, Move and Sew, etc.

Unwrapping UV’s, aka “Pelt-mapping”:

- Unwrap/Unfold: New Unfold3D tool — is a plugin that must be loaded in the plugins first.
- UV Smudge and lattice tools for fine-tuning.
- Smooth UV tool (Unfold and Relax).

Layout and Optimizing UV’s:

- Normalizing (Uniformly and Preserve Aspect Ratio)
- UV Snapshot: Export UV template for Photoshop.
- What resolution should the UV snapshot or UV texture map be? How to calculate this?

Painting UV's:

- Get set-up for painting UV maps inside of Photoshop.
- Tips for adding realism and using Layer styles to quickly add detail and variety to shapes and colors.
- Use filters like Motion Blur to add dirt and grime to surfaces.