UV Mapping software
What program do you use to do uv mapping ¿?.
I´m a little noob doing uv mapping and i want know what software its better to do this.
I just use 3dsMax's unwrap system. Yeah its not the easiest to use but you have alot of control over the UV map. Doing a Youtube search for 3dsmax unwrap tutorials help explain alot of stuff.
For organics and characters, I will use Roadkill UV, the standalone version. It's a little harder to find since they updated it a long time ago to integrate with Maya, and I think he never updated it since then. But if you can find the free standalone version, it works nicely and has never let me down.
For hard surfaces, I just use Maya's integrated UV tools. Pelt mapping(like that found in Roadkill UV) produces strange results for hard surface objects. In Maya, I mostly use a combination of Cylindrical and fixed camera projections.
There are also several other ways to do it. 3D Coat does unwraps I believe, and Zbrush 4R2 and above come with the plugin installed for UV Master.
RoadKill maya plugin is the best i found. simple and fast
Currently I just use the uv tools in Blender 2.5 it's got a good pelt mapper and some of it's aligment tools are pretty handy.
Roadkill is free and extremely easy to use. It covers LCSM and ABF pelting. Roadkill doesn't produce unwraps with the least distortion by default. It takes a little relaxing and nudging to balance each island out. Roadkill doesn't offer automatic island packing like the commercial apps. For mid-density meshes, Roadkill is still a great option if you don't want to spend any money.
Unfold3D looks a lot like Roadkill, but with a high quality spit shine polish. It handles big meshes fairly well. It also offers pretty good automatic packing. Each UV island is automatically unwrapped with fairly little distortion, but there other methods of relaxation available. The unwrap procedure is pretty much the same as Roadkill. Pick edge. Cut or Weld. Unwrap. Unfold3D's big weakness is crappy mouse controls. They do the job once you're used to them, but they're counter-intuitive when you first start out.
headus UVLayout is a great unwrapper and produces slightly less distortion than Unfold3D. There are a bunch of options hidden under each rollout. If you can't get a decent wrap for UVLayout then you'll never get one anywhere. There's noticeably more lag on larger meshes compared to Unfold3D and the GUI looks like a DOS holdover. However, many Maya users swear by it for its depth and complexity. Unwrapping is straight and to the point once you get into a cut, drop, and flatten rhythm.
ZBrush is ZBrush. It never does anything like a normal program. UV Master requires you to paint out areas of importance and density. It's easy enough to use, but comes with a major drawback. Like 3D-Coat's Autotopo, it's a guided process. You give it suggestions concerning what you want, but ZBrush is the one making all of the decisions in the end. You'll always get better results by manually unwrapping in a 3rd party app since you can control your unwraps down the last vertex of the last island. The only real plus for UV Master is that it's free if you're already a ZB user. It's good for quick jobs, but not for high precision unwraps.
At almost $1k BodyPaint3D is the most expensive option for your UV needs. However, as Cinema4D's low end base package, BP does a lot more than just UV unwrapping - including modeling, animation, and 3D Paint. You pay more, but you also get more. BodyPaint's UV workflow is very similar to every other app here. Pick and set your cut edges, drop to a flat projection, & relax. BP offers two pelting modes, LCSM and ABF. Each offers a different degree of native distortion and unwraps just a little differently.
Since Bodypaint is a component of a larger app that means that it also handles hard surface UV unwraps just as easily. All of the standard projections are there. Bodypaint's real weaknesses are that minimizing distortion and packing islands are a manual tweaking affair. If I were paying $1k for the UV mapping alone then I'd be pissed and think that I overpaid. Because Bodypaint is part of a bigger package that does a lot more, it's only a minor inconvenience.
Coming in at as low as $100, 3D-Coat does a whole for the price. You get unwrapping, voxel sculpting, 3d paint, and retopology. Ironically, even though sculpting is its primary function its also its weakest. 3DC is a pretty weak sculpting app if you're already heavily invested in either Mudbox or ZBrush. There are too many quirks for it to compete in that arena. For retopology, you can do a whole lot worse than 3D-Coat. It offers a wealth of remeshing functionality that even TopoGun is still missing.
3DC's UV unwrapping component is surprising good. You get the options of LCSM and ABF pelting. You also get a variety of packing methods in addition to the automatic one. 3DC also unwraps in near real-time. The mouse controls are straight forward and the unwrapping procedure is exactly the same as in the other programs. 3D-Coat also has loop selection that respects the boundaries set by neighboring loops. No accidentally selecting unwanted edges in a loop. 3DC doesn't automatically produce totally distortion free unwraps so you will have to relax out those areas of high density. Other than that, 3D-Coat does a lot of what you'd expect from dedicated apps like UVLayout and Unfold3D. Strong with organic stuff. Less so with hard surface work.
Licensing of these apps might be an issue of concern for some of you guys.
Apps like headus UVLayout lock themselves to your ethernet ID. That means, when you have to replace your PC, you'll also probably have to request a new unlock code for your license file. If headus were to theoretically go out of business tomorrow and your PC died, UVLayout is effectively dead too. No getting an unlock code from a defunct company.
ZBrush uses online activation. If you're not already using ZBrush (or Adobe or Autodesk's products) then that might be an annoyance you're not used to. Activation is like borrowing a book from the library. You check out the license from the server when you install and check it back in when you uninstall. You have to do this every time you move the app or nuke your PC. The downsides are obvious. If your PC dies then you have to request manual deactivation from Pixologic support. And, like the headus example, if Pixologic goes out of business and your PC dies.... bye bye ZBrush. Can't activate online if pixologic stops doing business.
3D-Coat checks online, but online activation isn't necessary. It will occasionally check to see that you're not running multiple copies at once, but Pilgway doesn't require you to have an internet connection for the product to install or work. 3DC isn't locked to your ethernet or machine IDs either. It's a no muss no fuss licensing system.
Bodypaint is serial based only. No online activation. No licensing server. No checking to see if multiple copies are running. For commercial software, BP is about as close as you can get to copy protection free.
Roadkill? Free like beer. Not a lick of copy protection. It'll work as long as the OS and hardware will support it.
The free standalone pops up in Google very easily. Search out "roadkill uv" and it's the very first result.
Originally Posted by Mrpearlzildjian
Afaik, Francis O'Brien stopped updating the Maya version at v2010. Pirates ripped it at almost day one. O'Brien threw his hands up and stopped updating Roadkill altogether. No way to make money when people are making your plugin available for free. According the time stamps inside the zip file, the standalone was last updated 12/13/2006. It still does the job though.
Maya Bonus Tools actually comes with a fairly capable UV unwrapping tool now. I would certainly recommend it over Roadkill. There is also Ninja UV for Maya, haven't tried it myself, but the demonstration videos show off some very useful tools. Headus UVlayout is also great and is highly regarded for its interactive flattening tools to fix UV texture stretching.
No matter what method I use though, I much prefer to define the seams in Maya. Just easier to navigate and select loops with. I generally unwrap with Bonus Tools, then throw it into Zbrush which seems to do a decent enough job optimizing the texture stretching. Finally do some cleanup in Maya.
Yeah, I've had the standalone on my computer since 07'. I remember he initially released it free, then when he integrated it with Maya as a plugin, he started charging. I think that threw some people off, and maybe he just couldn't handle a lot of the complaints, who knows why he stopped...
Originally Posted by NullifyTheNight
Either way, I've never had a problem with it, because it's such a simple program. I've used it on every character since I started. I occasionally use it on very simple hard surface objects(like crates), since it doesn't seem to have a problem handling those.. however, more complex ones(like my sniper rifle on my portfolio) don't come out so well with the pelt mapping algorithm. Such is life. :lucky:
I use Roadkill, I used 3DS Max Unwrapping tools in the past but once I found Roadkill I couldn't go back, it's simple to use, and does a lot of things easily that Max was always troublesome for me.
For Maya I use Renderheads UV AutoRatio Pro and standard Maya tools. In 3S Max I use standard and TexTools.
Max's built in UVUnwrap. I've not found anything else that really suits me. I mostly work with elements, polys and edges in that order. Most other tools seem to only really consider verts.
It's buggy as hell since 2009, but I'm trying my hardest to get it fixed. I reported about 30 bugs in total. One at least has been fixed. So that's something.
There's a load of scripts to map various things, but I find I use fewer of those as some of the most important things have been integrated over the last few versions.
I use XSI or Zbrush's UV Master. Sometimes both. Depends on situation. Previously, I used 3dsmax.
Thanks so much for all .