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Perfect UVs by Pelt Mapping in 3ds Max

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Date Added: 6th January 2010
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Now to indicate the distorted areas, go to the Face sub object level and from the Select menu, click "Select Inverted Faces" and then the "Select Overlapped Faces" option. Each time, depending on the complexity of the mesh, you may see areas shown in red. They are distorted areas and need to be fixed (Fig.07).

Fig. 07

To fix the overlapping areas, open up the Relax Tool dialog box again. From the drop down menu, select "Relax By Centers" - its function is to remove any overlapping. Use it carefully to remove the overlapping areas and then use the "Relax By Face Angles" option again to resolve the stretching effect that will appear, this time with a low Iteration and Amount value, something around 14 and 0.1. Remember that the Pelt Mapping method is somewhat depend on your ability to use relax tools to solve distortion and give you qualified results.

Finally, to resolve any inverted faces, you have to use the "Relax By Edge Angles" option. Always use low numbers for Iterations and Amount values and repeatedly click the "Apply" button to resolve problem areas. I'd advise you to add a Checker map to your mesh so that you can discover and inspect any distorted areas.

If there is any distortion remaining that can't be fixed by relaxation, then use the Move tool to manually move vertices and fix the distortion. If you fill some parts like ears and horns, which can't be flattened and fixed anyway, then select the edges of their margins and click "Break" from the Tools menu to part them from the mesh. Make a suitable seam, if needed, by selecting edges and then using "Break". Then use the Relax tool to resolve their distortions too.

If you have a complex UV set, then you may use Tools >Pack UVs. The dialog to easily packing UVs can be seen in Fig.08

Fig. 08

Select the "Recursive Packing" option from the drop down menu, which is more accurate, and set the Spacing value as needed (this is the spacing between clusters). Check "Rotate Clusters" and "Fill Holes" on. Click OK and then hold on until it works out. If you don't like the result then you can try the layout manually (Fig.09).

Fig. 09

Finally you should have a perfect UV set! Take a look at my head mesh, with fine-tuned UV mapping only using the pelt method (Fig.10)


To render the UV set for further texturing stages navigate to Tools > Render UVW Template and in the dialog box that appear, set a dimension for the image that is going to be rendered and then click the "Render UVW Template" button.

As you saw, the UVW Unwrap Pelt Mapping method is a great tool to easily, quickly and perfectly create UVs. Plus that there is no need to export and import things in and out of 3ds Max because everything happens inside the software. With Pelt Mapping you can also map inorganic objects in the same way as well, like cars, weapons, planes, even buildings and so on.

I hope this tutorial helps! If you have any questions, you can contact me at:

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