Table of Contents

Basics: UV Mapping Guidelines (WIP)

This page is a WIP. There are likely to be incomplete and or missing steps while the page is being built.

Summary

In this article, rather than provide a step by step tutorial for a specific model, we discuss some basic guidelines and suggestions for creating “good” UV maps.

This article requires functionality that is not provided directly within in DAZ Studio 4.x. It requires additional tools, such as Carrara or Hexagon, that allow you to create and assign UV coordinates to your 3D model. There are also several 3rd party tools that can perform this task. We assume, for this article, that you at least have a basic understanding of UV coordinate space and creating discontinuous edges (aka “UV seams”) on the model.

Process Overview

Foundation

UV mapping describes how the surface of a three dimensional model is unwrapped into a two dimensional space. We use this unwrapping to flatten an object out so that we can paint texture maps in 2D applications, which are then wrapped back around the 3D model.

You can create the UV map at any time, but it is easiest if you do it before you bring your model into DAZ Studio.

Guidelines and Suggestions

Listed below is a mix of rules and suggestions to follow when creating UV's.

Map Each Surface

Seam Placement

Control UV Stretching

Overlap of UV's

Optimize the UV Space

Arrange UVs in the UV space so they are optimized as much as possible. You do not want to leave large spaces between objects if it can be avoided. Maximizing the space and layout helps keep the resolution of the texture map high and clean.

This image shows where we chose to place UV seams on the shirt and how it unwraps in UV space. We could also choose to split off the modeled details around the arms, neck and waist.

Test

Once you have created the UVs, it is time to test and see whether or not they work well. To test, we suggest you apply a tiling texture to the surfaces and see what happens. You can use this texture for testing.

Here is the result of applying the texture to the shirt. Overall, it looks pretty good. Not much distortion, the tiles are generally the same size over the entire surface.

At this point it is important to take a closer look and see if there are any issues and make appropriate adjustments by hand. After you are happy with the UVs, it is on to the next step!

Wrap-Up

The creation of UVs for your model's surface is very important. Products with accurate and carefully placed seams, as well as attention to UV space and resolution, will make for a much higher quality product. Take your time in creating the UVs for optimum results.

Next Steps

The next sequential step to follow is to create the initial rigging for the figure, using the Transfer Utility. Continue on to the Basics: Initial Rigging with the Transfer Utility (WIP) article to get started.