3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria ReƱdon

Creating simple UVW mapping


3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

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Video: Creating simple UVW mapping

So we looked at how to create materials that use bitmaps and how to track assets properly. What we need to do here now is to control the placement and size of images on a surface. And that can be done through the Coordinates rollout on a bitmap, so if you're not looking at the Bitmap Coordinates you might need to go down into -- in this case the Diffuse Color, and here I've got the Coordinates rollout. So I can change the tiling across this surface. I can say, Oh, well, give me 10 tiles in one direction instead of just one.
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  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
    2. Prerequisites
      1m 18s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 7m 33s
    1. Using the Custom UI and Defaults Switcher
      1m 35s
    2. Setting local file paths to relative
      1m 27s
    3. Using project folders
      4m 31s
  3. 36m 35s
    1. Getting familiar with the interface
      4m 5s
    2. Touring the command panels
      1m 44s
    3. Creating primitives
      3m 5s
    4. Navigating the viewports
      3m 57s
    5. Using hotkeys
      3m 18s
    6. Choosing shading modes
      3m 6s
    7. Configuring the viewports
      3m 29s
    8. Transforming objects
      4m 32s
    9. Using the toolbars
      3m 33s
    10. Using the Modify panel
      5m 46s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. Surveying different modeling methods
      5m 18s
    2. Setting units
      5m 8s
    3. Setting home grid dimensions
      3m 37s
    4. Understanding the Level of Detail utility
      3m 34s
    5. Working with the Modifier Stack
      3m 51s
    6. Understanding dependencies
      5m 9s
    7. Collapsing the Modifier Stack
      4m 53s
    8. Working with sub-objects
      4m 41s
  5. 18m 32s
    1. Creating shapes
      5m 17s
    2. Creating lines
      2m 56s
    3. Converting a shape to an editable spline
      2m 20s
    4. Transforming editable spline sub-objects
      4m 20s
    5. Using different types of vertices
      3m 39s
  6. 35m 30s
    1. Lofting a vase
      3m 59s
    2. Setting loft parameters
      3m 49s
    3. Editing the path and shapes
      5m 18s
    4. Manipulating loft sub-objects
      3m 55s
    5. Adding a scale deformation
      5m 47s
    6. Adding a shell modifier
      3m 50s
    7. Smoothing polygon edges
      8m 52s
  7. 26m 20s
    1. Setting up the project and scene layout
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a backdrop profile line
      1m 19s
    3. Using Editable Spline Fillet
      1m 24s
    4. Extruding shapes
      2m 36s
    5. Creating text
      1m 21s
    6. Applying a bevel modifier
      3m 57s
    7. Choosing bevel parameters
      2m 33s
    8. Using Display All Triangle Edges
      1m 56s
    9. Adjusting spline interpolation
      2m 22s
    10. Deforming beveled objects
      1m 17s
    11. Exporting paths from Adobe Illustrator
      2m 39s
    12. Importing Illustrator paths to 3ds Max
      2m 22s
  8. 55m 55s
    1. Setting up the scene
      2m 8s
    2. Creating chamfer boxes
      4m 44s
    3. Smoothing edges
      1m 16s
    4. Using the Array tool
      5m 31s
    5. Grouping objects
      10m 18s
    6. Modeling lines
      11m 17s
    7. Using the Sweep Modifier
      3m 0s
    8. Soft-selecting sub-objects with Volume Select
      5m 40s
    9. Removing polygons with Delete Mesh
      2m 37s
    10. Clearing a sub-object selection with Mesh Select
      3m 37s
    11. Adding randomness with the Noise Modifier
      5m 47s
  9. 33m 2s
    1. Understanding subdivision surfaces
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a box and converting to editable poly format
      3m 54s
    3. Using the Symmetry Modifier
      1m 44s
    4. Working with TurboSmooth
      3m 3s
    5. Extruding polygons
      1m 54s
    6. Editing edge loops
      8m 15s
    7. Shaping the model
      4m 57s
    8. Baking subdivisions
      3m 45s
    9. Optimizing polygon Level of Detail
      2m 44s
  10. 38m 45s
    1. Understanding the graphite tools within Editable Poly
      2m 40s
    2. Using the Graphite Ribbon interface
      3m 26s
    3. Using traditional editable poly tools within Graphite
      11m 30s
    4. Adjusting detail with Remove and Cut
      4m 44s
    5. Using SwitfLoop
      2m 46s
    6. Constraining sub-object transforms
      2m 23s
    7. Attaching polygon meshes to a single object
      5m 33s
    8. Bridging parts of a mesh
      5m 43s
  11. 25m 24s
    1. Understanding NURBS
      2m 35s
    2. Creating NURBS curves
      7m 27s
    3. Creating a U-loft surface
      5m 52s
    4. Editing curves and surfaces
      3m 9s
    5. Setting surface approximation
      6m 21s
  12. 1h 0m
    1. Using the Material Editor
      7m 8s
    2. Choosing a material type
      3m 3s
    3. Choosing a shader type
      2m 12s
    4. Adjusting specular parameters
      3m 6s
    5. Setting opacity
      3m 5s
    6. Understanding procedural Maps and bitmaps
      4m 11s
    7. Using bitmaps
      5m 21s
    8. Navigating shader trees
      2m 27s
    9. Tracking scene assets
      4m 40s
    10. Creating simple UVW mapping
      7m 52s
    11. Adding reflections with a Raytrace map
      4m 32s
    12. Creating an environment
      5m 27s
    13. Mapping a bump channel
      7m 13s
  13. 27m 4s
    1. Creating cameras
      4m 1s
    2. Understanding target and free cameras
      4m 39s
    3. Using Camera Pan, Truck, and Dolly
      4m 8s
    4. Adjusting the field of view
      4m 59s
    5. Understanding aspect ratio
      2m 6s
    6. Showing safe frames
      3m 12s
    7. Choosing render output size
      3m 59s
  14. 43m 36s
    1. Understanding CG lighting
      5m 56s
    2. Understanding standard and photometric lights
      1m 48s
    3. Creating a target spotlight
      2m 3s
    4. Enabling viewport hardware shading
      2m 10s
    5. Previewing renderings with ActiveShade
      3m 6s
    6. Adjusting intensity and color
      2m 27s
    7. Controlling contrast and highlights
      2m 52s
    8. Setting spotlight hotspot and falloff radius
      4m 59s
    9. Choosing a shadow type
      3m 56s
    10. Optimizing shadow maps
      5m 46s
    11. Using area shadows
      3m 57s
    12. Creating omni lights
      4m 36s
  15. 43m 33s
    1. Understanding keyframes
      1m 41s
    2. Setting time configuration
      3m 48s
    3. Choosing set key filters
      1m 27s
    4. Using Set Key mode
      2m 39s
    5. Editing keyframes in the Timeline
      2m 43s
    6. Using Auto Key mode
      5m 44s
    7. Creating animation in passes
      2m 40s
    8. Animating modifier parameters
      3m 53s
    9. Working in the dope sheet
      7m 47s
    10. Editing function curves
      5m 28s
    11. Looping animation
      5m 43s
  16. 43m 54s
    1. Understanding hierarchies
      3m 16s
    2. Understanding reference coordinate systems
      5m 51s
    3. Editing pivot points
      4m 40s
    4. Linking objects
      3m 20s
    5. Using the Schematic view
      1m 59s
    6. Preventing problems with scale
      7m 50s
    7. Animating a hierarchy
      10m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning the animation
      6m 47s
  17. 20m 53s
    1. Understanding controllers
      3m 55s
    2. Applying path constraints
      4m 55s
    3. Assigning a link constraint
      2m 27s
    4. Using the Motion panel
      2m 48s
    5. Animating constrained objects
      6m 48s
  18. 28m 29s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 24s
    2. Emitting particles from an object with PArray
      2m 18s
    3. Adjusting particle parameters
      5m 33s
    4. Binding particles to a gravitational force
      2m 51s
    5. Colliding particles with a POmniFlector
      6m 4s
    6. Creating a particle material
      3m 23s
    7. Mapping opacity with a gradient
      2m 1s
    8. Assigning a material ID G-Buffer channel
    9. Creating a lens effect glow
      3m 9s
  19. 18m 50s
    1. Understanding image sequences
      5m 40s
    2. Setting render options
      7m 53s
    3. Compressing an image sequence to a movie
      5m 17s
  20. 27s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
10h 4m Beginner May 26, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the 3ds Max interface
  • Creating shapes and splines
  • Modeling Loft objects
  • Creating motion graphics
  • Modeling with polygons and subdivisions
  • Modeling with NURBS
  • Shading objects with materials and maps
  • Setting up camera and scene layout
  • Lighting basic scenes
  • Animating objects with keyframes
  • Editing keyframes in the Curve Editor
  • Constructing and animating hierarchies
  • Using animation Constraints
  • Animating particle systems
  • Rendering animations to disk
3D + Animation
3ds Max
Aaron F. Ross

Creating simple UVW mapping

So we looked at how to create materials that use bitmaps and how to track assets properly. What we need to do here now is to control the placement and size of images on a surface. And that can be done through the Coordinates rollout on a bitmap, so if you're not looking at the Bitmap Coordinates you might need to go down into -- in this case the Diffuse Color, and here I've got the Coordinates rollout. So I can change the tiling across this surface. I can say, Oh, well, give me 10 tiles in one direction instead of just one.

And so now you see it's stretching quite a lot. I could set that to 2 and 2, so now I am getting four repeats of this across the surface. That's fine as far as that goes, but that's going to affect all objects that have this material, and usually what you want to do is control the placement of a material or a map for each object individually and separately. So I am going to set my Tiling values back to 1 and 1, and I'm going to introduce you to the UVW Map Modifier. But before I do that, I do want to mention that if you go into the Extrude Modifier, you will see that there is a switch here that says Generate Mapping Coordinates, and that's on by default.

And what that does is it creates a nice, smooth UV space across this object. So the UV space or the UV Coordinates referred to the space of the image itself. So the U dimension is usually the width of the image and the V dimension is the height, and that's not the same as XYZ, by the way, because imagine a texture is a piece of paper with some picture on it. You can fold that paper, and you can crumple it up, and so it will take up less space in XYZ 3D space, but the image will still be the same size on the paper.

So that's how UV Mapping kind of works. So Extrude and many of the other primitives and modifiers, such as loft, have UV Mapping generated from within the Modifier. And so that's actually serving us very well here. What I'd like to do is show you how to use the UVW Map Modifier, so I am going to go up to the top level of my stack here, and add a UVW Map Modifier, not UV Mapping Add, not UVW Mapping Clear or Xform or Unwrap or any of that, just a straight up UVW map.

And when I add this I see an orange gizmo that indicates the position of the map and how it's projecting onto the surface. And by default, this is a planar map, so it's just flat. If I want this to project onto the surface properly I'll need to rotate the gizmo. Now I can also go down to these options here, and I can choose an alignment, so I can align it to the Y axis or the X axis, so that's an easy way to do this. But I could also rotate it. Just to illustrate I'll minimize the Material Editor, I've got Angle Snaps turned on, I want to go into select the Gizmo mode, there we go, and I'm rotating just the gizmo, not the object.

So you see this is causing the material and the map to stretch across the surface. So I am just going to restore that back to where it was. And I'll exit out of Gizmo mode. I've also got the ability to change the size by entering values here into Length and Width, and that's preferable to scaling the gizmo, because these values are absolute. If I start scaling the gizmo it's maybe more intuitive in the view, but then these numbers no longer have any relevance.

So I won't scale this, but I'll just type in values, Length of 20. Let's make it 20 feet. 20 feet, the Width of 20 feet as well, and now I've got a perfectly square mapping gizmo. Go back into Gizmo Sub-object mode and move that around to change the placement. You'll notice also that we're getting stretching down here, because what's happening is the mapping is applied orthogonally, or at right angles to this plane, and so here this surface is also at right angles to this plane.

So if you can imagine a pixel on the bottom of my image being projected onto this surface, and it's just stretching across that surface. So if I wanted to get rid of that I would have to actually rotate this, and there are other ways I could do this, I could use Unwrapping as well, but I could rotate this down and try to minimize that stretching. And that's okay as far as that goes. In fact, in this case to get cleaner UV Mapping it's actually better for me to use the implicit mapping that's generated from the Extrude Modifier.

So although I'm using this to illustrate to you how to apply UV Mapping manually, in this case it's actually going to give me better results if I use the Automatic method. So I am actually going to delete that UVW Mapping, and I'll go back down to the Extrude Modifier. You see I've got Generate Mapping Coordinates turned on. One last thing though is if I want to change the size here, I can do it through the Material Editor in a couple of different ways. Open that Material Editor back up again, and I've got those coordinates visible.

And one really nice thing about 3ds Max is the ability to enter real-world scale values for maps, so I could say I want this map to be exactly 10 feet X 10 feet, or what have you. In order to make that happen, I need to enable real-world in both the material and in the object. So whether I'm dealing with UV Coordinates generated by the Extrude Modifier, or by the UVW Modifier, or through any other method, I have the ability to enable real-world map size in the object, and also real-world scale in the material, and then I could enter in a size here.

So I can say give me 10 feet, Tab and then 10 feet and Tab, and don't be confused by the fact that you're seeing 9 feet 12 inches here. That's just a quirk of the program. It's actually 10 feet exactly, but for whatever reason is displaying out 9' 12". In any event, any particular tile on here is exactly 10 feet in size, and it's correctly flowing across the surface, and it's not stretching or doing anything strange.

So in this case this is actually my optimal method for setting UVs is to use the implicit UVs that are generated from the Extrude Modifier, turning on real-world map size in the object and in the material and entering the size here, so I could say let's make it 25' X 25'. I can additionally offset the position here. I have to drag and then release, and you can see it move.

So if I wanted to position it differently I could type in a value or adjust those spinners to make it move. So that's a basic introduction to UV Mapping in 3ds Max. It's a very deep subject, and if you are doing character modeling then you need to spend a lot more time on getting those maps lined up and unwrapping the character mash and all sorts of stuff. This is just a basic introduction to how it works in a simple scenario for motion graphics.

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