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An In-Depth Look at UVW Mapping an Object

By Waylon Brinck
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Date Added: 22nd June 2009
Software used:
3ds Max

The Basics

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In this tutorial I'll be working with a space ship I recently modeled. It's a fairly complicated object mapping-wise - it has lots of curved surfaces mixed in with a lot of chamfered edges and beveled segments, and they're all going to require a different method for mapping. I'm going to assume that you have your own model that needs UVW-mapping coordinates, though hopefully it isn't as complicated as this. (As a note, don't be fazed by the fact that this ship has multiple smoothing groups and materials set up. None of this should affect the UVW-mapping process.)

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Before we begin, I'm going to go over a few basics, and mention a few shortcuts. First, three hotkeys you'll find immensely useful are F2, F3, and F4. F2, when pressed, toggles "Shade Selected Faces" mode - essentially, when this mode is on, selected faces will appear in bright red. F3 toggles wireframe/shaded mode, and F4 toggles "Edged Faces" mode. All are very useful throughout the modeling process, but especially when doing UVW-mapping.

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If you haven't already, select your object, and add an "Unwrap UVW" modifier.

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Last on our list of basics... Clicking on the "Unwrap UVW" modifier in the modifier stack will go to the "Select Face" sub-object level. This means you can click on your object, in the viewport, to select the faces you want to work on. And... I hope you know this already, but you can ctrl-click to add more faces to the selction set, and alt-click to remove faces.





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