Tuesday, April 16, 2013
My next project is modeling a female character. The book wanted me to start by modeling the basic shape in Maya. Since I've done a fair amount of modeling in Maya already, I skipped that step and used the model provided by the book. I will be eventually painting the character so I have to make sure the model has a good unfolded map. I could do this in Maya as well but the book directed me to another small yet powerful program made just for unfolding maps. Above is a screenshot of what the program looks like along with the base model I'm starting out with.
If you remember from awhile ago, to unfold models I first need to cut them apart. What's nice is that this programs visually cuts the model apart so you can see how you're chopping it up and any possible mistakes you made.
Here are all the cut up pieces ready to be unfolded. Below you can see all the parts unfolded and arranged to form the map. Ideally I would want all the pieces to take up as much space as possible so none of the map gets wasted, however the book said I didn't need to worry about that. You can see that some of the faces have a red or blue tinge to them. Another cool thing at this program is that it tells you areas that are too compressed or stretched out after they've become unfolded. That's indicated by red and blue and how intense the color represents how badly stretched or compressed it is. So I can move around some of the points on the map to lessen the color intensity and get a nice even map for future texture painting. This model is pretty simple so I probably didn't need to use this program, however I image it will be useful for future projects.