Maya Tutorial丨Practical UV Techniques

Maya Tutorial丨Practical UV Techniques

In this article, we join forces with Fox Renderfarm, the top cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the industry, to bring you an in-depth exploration of Maya's powerful UV unwrapping and UV layout planning features. Prepare to unlock new realms of efficiency as we unveil techniques that will streamline your 3D modeling workflow, empowering you to harness the full potential of UV mapping in your creative endeavors.

1. UV Editor

The UV Editor can be used to view UV maps of polygons, NURBS, and subdivision surfaces in a 2D view, allowing for interactive editing. You can open it from the Modeling menu window > UV > UV Editor.

UV Editor 1

UV Editor 2

In the UV Editor, you can access all the major UV functions through the editor's menu, toolbar, or UV toolkit. This time, it's not just about introducing UV editor commands but also sharing some more commonly used practical commands and methods based on experience.

2. UV Toolbar

Including the UV Editor and viewport.

UV Toolbar

Shell borders

In the toolbar, the command on the left is 'Texture borders,' which we often use to check if the borders are aligned properly on the model. 'Shell borders' is similar but emphasizes the display with colors. Sometimes, using just 'Texture borders' can be challenging to quickly visualize the correct positions, especially when UVs are densely packed within a tile.

Shell borders

Display Images

After enabling 'Display Images,' if you want to view the different textures assigned to this material, you can click on the adjacent dropdown arrow. A dropdown menu will appear where you can switch between whether you want to see the normal map displayed on the UVs or the base color map (as shown in the figure). Any other added textures can also be displayed.

Display Images 1

Display Images 2

UV Toolkit

By default, the UV Toolkit is displayed on the right side of the UV Editor.

Drag

In the UV Toolkit, when you switch to the 'UV Shell' display mode, the default selection method is 'Pick/Marquee,' which allows you to select by clicking or dragging a marquee selection box. When you switch to 'Drag,' you can select by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the mouse cursor.

Drag

Topology

In the UV Toolkit, clicking on 'Topology' from the 'Symmetry' dropdown menu allows you to select one side of the UV while simultaneously selecting the other side. This feature is very useful when organizing or correcting UVs for biological models. This functionality is synchronized with the Symmetry feature in the Modeling Toolkit.

Topology 1

(The two blue symmetrical lines are shown in the following image)

Topology 2

Selection Constraint

The options in the dropdown menu include:

Back-facing/Front-facing, Geometry Borders, Texture Borders, UV Edge Loop, UV Edge Ring, and UV Shell. These limited selections will be very helpful when unwrapping and organizing UVs, eliminating the need to manually select each edge or ring.

Selection Constraint

When the 'Shaded' display mode is activated, red represents the back-facing, and blue represents the front-facing. When 'Back_Facing' is activated, only the red parts can be selected, and when 'Front_Facing' is activated, only the blue parts can be selected.

Back_Facing

Geometry Borders (Only the edges of the model itself can be selected)

Geometry Borders

Texture Borders refer to the borders of the texture, which are all manually cut edges, i.e., edges used as UV seams.

Texture Borders

UV Edge Loop is a continuous loop edge.

UV Edge Loop

UV Edge Ring is a ring-shaped loop edge.

UV Edge Ring

UV shell refers to each individual UV split.

UV shell

Select By Type

Back-facing, Front-Facing, Overlapping, Non-Overlapping, Texture Borders, Unmapped. Among these, the ones commonly used are Overlapping, Back-Facing, and Unmapped. These are typically used to check for overlapping UVs, backfaces, and models that were forgotten to be unwrapped.

Select By Type

Transform

When you want to move UVs from one quadrant to another, you typically set the Move value to 1. Alternatively, you can set it to 0.1 (a decimal value) to move by one small grid. You can click on the arrows (up, down, left, right) to move, or hold the Alt key while pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard. Once you've planned how to categorize materials for each quadrant or row of quadrants, you can use this command to move them to the respective categories in other quadrants.

Transform

Texel Density

This tool is very useful and practical. When you want to ensure that every UV split has the same texture display size, you can select a primary UV, click "Get" to obtain the current texel density (a numerical value), and then single-select or multi-select other UVs and click "Set". This will apply the texel density value to the other UV shells. As a result, all UV shells will have a consistent texture grid size display. The texel density value is determined based on the "Map Size" below, such as preset values like 512, 1024, 2048, and so on.

Texel Density

Tile Labels

Activating "Tile Labels" will display the specific numbers of each tile, making it convenient to manage UDIMs.

Tile Labels

Straighten UVs

Under the "Unfold" command menu, it's advisable to use "Straighten UVs" for some tubular models. This straightens the UVs, making it easier to add textures during the texture painting stage. If the UVs have curvature, adding straight textures can be cumbersome.

Straighten UVs

Distribute

When dealing with models with completely repeated arrangements, under "Arrange and Layout," you can use "Distribute." Click on the symbols for up, down, left, or right, and set a value (based on the UV grid distance) to quickly and neatly arrange the selected model's UVs.

Distribute

Stack Shells

Sometimes you only need to apply one texture to repeated models. You can achieve this by using "Stack Shells," which overlap all identical UV shells together.

Stack Shells

UDIM

When using UDIMs, if you have the same model, such as identical pieces of wood (or left and right hands), you can arrange them as shown in the image below. This ensures that the UVs in both quadrants are in the same position and size. This way, when painting textures in Mari, you can directly copy and paste.

UDIM

Above is the sharing of some practical and useful UV techniques. If you want to speed up rendering, why not use Fox Renderfarm's cloud rendering service for acceleration? Currently, Fox Renderfarm also offers a $25 free trial coupon.

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Learn How to Make a Henry Cavill Superman in 3D
Learn How to Make a Henry Cavill Superman in 3D
If you're a 3D learner and love the Superman movie, it's time to make a 3D Superman just for you. Now, follow the industry's best cloud rendering service provider and render farm, Fox Renderfarm, to see how CG artist H cheng made his Superman.Final results of 3D Henry Cavill Superman:The tools used in making 3D Henry Cavill superman are as follows:High-poly: ZBrush, Marvelous DesignerTopology: Wrap4D, MayaMapping: Mari, Substance PainterHair: XGenRendering: Arnold/UECollection of MaterialsBefore we start, we need to decide the theme and collect the required reference material. I chose Henry Cavill as Superman model for this project. 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To create realistic clothing patterns, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of garment cutting theory, especially for formal or workwear attire. Details such as waist openings or cuff offsets can affect the final result of fabric simulation. For unique designs, we can refer to existing paper patterns as references.Of course, when working on the Superman costume, I didn't follow such strict procedures. Since it is a form-fitting suit, I directly created the base mesh in ZBrush and imported it into Marvelous Designer for fabric simulation and folding. Marvelous Designer can quickly assist us in achieving small wrinkle formations around muscle compressions and structural transitions. It is very convenient to use in this regard.The process of creating textures for clothing is relatively simple. I directly imported the model into Substance Painter and used a tiled texture as the fabric pattern for the garment. 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When working on the guide hairs, we need to pay attention to the hierarchy and even distribution of the guides. We can also utilize masking painting and the addition of modifier nodes to achieve different hair descriptions and styles.Above is the main process of making the 3D version of Henry Cavill Superman. The next steps are material rendering and connecting each part, which will not be explained in this article. We hope this article is helpful to you.Source: H cheng
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2023-07-13
How To Rebuild Avatar With Arnold For Maya
How To Rebuild Avatar With Arnold For Maya
In 2009, a sci-fi film Avatar swept the world. This film won a lot of honors, but as a CG enthusiast, the greater fun is still exploring the production process of this film. In Avatar, many characters and scenes are made using Maya. As the leading cloud rendering services provider and render farm, Fox Renderfarm will introduce the Avatar as a case by Arnold and Maya to introduce the software.Part 1. Collection of materialsMaterial collection is an important step, and the more time you spend collecting material, the less late errors will be. When making the Avatar model, I used the web to collect a lot of real material and video reference. You can add some of your own understanding during the production process. You can also try different brush strokes when post-production in ZBrush, and finally unify the whole character. Here are some of the materials I collected. Part 2. 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The lighting test of the advanced model (the model without the map) pays attention to the contrast of the cool and warm of the light.The three-point lighting is generally the primary light source auxiliary light and contour light, pay attention to the contrast between the main light source and the contour light. There is also an application with skydemo light to simulate the surrounding environment.Setting of the shader ball: In order to better express its texture and skin characteristics, we will use the corresponding skin material.The first step: Since the texture has been drawn before, the respective skin layers whose inherent color is blue are also adjusted according to the inherent color. Connect all the textures to the corresponding properties of the shader and adjust the parameters.Here, five textures are connected to the skin's three-layer highlight and normal map. 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In this article, Fox Renderfarm, the industry's leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm, will bring you a Maya tutorial about how to create snow material in Maya.Step 1. Create an aistandsurface material.Step 2. Add two parallel lights and render.Step 3. Connect a displacementShader.Step 4. Connect a Fractal node to the displacementShader and give Displacement a value (here 0.2).Step 5. Find subdivision, and change Type to catclark. Set Iterations a bit larger (4 here).Step 6. Adjust the Amplitude, Ratio and Frequency Ratio parameters on the Fractal property appropriately to match the effect of Displacement.In the first layer of Fractal, we mainly handle the large undulating silhouette of the snowball.Step 7. Add aiMixShader, and also raise Roughness.Step 8. Connect the first layer Fractal node to the input interface Shader1 on the aiMixShader and change the blend mode to Add.Step 9. Create a second Fractal node to connect to the aiMixShader input interface Shader2 and adjust the parameters. Create details of the grain undulations on the snow surface through the second Fractal layer.Step 10. Go back to the aiStandardSurface material sphere, adjust the IOR to 1.330 and turn on Substance.Step 11. Add HDR and render for testing.Step 12. On the surface of the snow there should also be some tiny dots of high-gloss crystals, which can be created using Coat.Step 13. Adjust the angle of the parallel light and set the Intensity to 6. Gives highlights to the edges of the sphere. Make the whole sphere more three-dimensional (highlights, shadows and reflections) and translucent (subsurface scattering).Step 14. Improve the render quality and make the final render.Author: Ji Wei
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2023-04-06
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