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Modeling a Character in 3ds Max
Illustration by John Hersey

Using Peel to flatten the UVW maps


From:

Modeling a Character in 3ds Max

with Ryan Kittleson

Video: Using Peel to flatten the UVW maps

3ds Max's Peel tools are great leap forward over the older methods of creating UVW maps. It's much faster and easier to use, especially for character models. I will show you how to use it, along with some UV editing tools, to get really clean and efficient UV maps. Now that we've got all of the seams cut on our Hank model, we can click on the Quick Peel button. So we will select Hank here. We've got Unwrap UVW open, and Quick Peel is this little icon with the lightning bolt. And just click on that. The Peel tool has popped open the UV Editor to show us the result.
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  1. 7m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. What you need to know before watching this course
      52s
    3. Overview of the design process
      3m 26s
    4. Using the exercise files
      2m 16s
  2. 40m 7s
    1. Extruding edges and faces
      7m 42s
    2. Using Paint Deform
      8m 58s
    3. Working symmetrically
      5m 32s
    4. Using TurboSmooth
      4m 39s
    5. Setting up the image planes
      8m 28s
    6. Exploring edge flow
      4m 48s
  3. 1h 15m
    1. Creating the basic facial structure
      5m 26s
    2. Creating the basic facial features
      8m 51s
    3. Making the head and neck
      7m 55s
    4. Refining the mouth
      11m 24s
    5. Shaping the eyes
      10m 53s
    6. Building the nose
      6m 45s
    7. Crafting the ears
      6m 9s
    8. Making the teeth and gums
      10m 4s
    9. Modeling the tongue and eyebrows
      7m 43s
  4. 44m 38s
    1. Modeling the upper body
      9m 45s
    2. Building the hips, legs, and feet
      5m 8s
    3. Constructing the palm and thumb
      7m 14s
    4. Making fingers and finishing the hand
      7m 53s
    5. Fleshing out the body
      9m 22s
    6. Attaching body parts with different numbers of edges
      5m 16s
  5. 13m 39s
    1. Drawing the NURBS curves for hair
      4m 11s
    2. Sweeping the NURBS curves into polygon objects
      3m 32s
    3. Sculpting the polygon hair clumps
      5m 56s
  6. 49m 54s
    1. Modeling the pants
      7m 16s
    2. Making wrinkles in the pants
      9m 0s
    3. Modeling the belt
      5m 30s
    4. Making the belt loops
      6m 35s
    5. Creating the shirt
      9m 33s
    6. Making the shoes
      12m 0s
  7. 12m 7s
    1. Putting on the finishing touches
      6m 7s
    2. Thinking about artistic appeal
      3m 59s
    3. Recapping the most important concepts
      2m 1s
  8. 27m 24s
    1. Understanding UVW maps and seams
      6m 28s
    2. Using Peel to flatten the UVW maps
      3m 50s
    3. Dealing with UVW maps across multiple objects
      10m 5s
    4. Refining the UVW layout
      7m 1s
  9. 51s
    1. What's next
      51s

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Modeling a Character in 3ds Max
4h 31m Intermediate Aug 30, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Modeling a Character in 3ds Max with Ryan Kittleson covers the process of designing and building a 3D human character that can be used for feature film, broadcast, and games. The course begins with an overview of the 3ds Max tools and techniques used in character modeling, and how human anatomy is represented using 3D geometry. Once this foundation is in place, the rest of the course goes step by step through the actual process used to model a simple human character from the ground up, including facial features, musculature, and details such as hair and clothing.

Topics include:
  • Extruding edges and faces
  • Working symmetrically
  • Setting up the image planes
  • Creating the basic facial structure and features
  • Modeling and fleshing out the body
  • Creating the hair with extruded NURBS curves
  • Modeling clothes
  • Putting on finishing touches
  • Understanding UVW maps and seams
  • Dealing with UVW maps across multiple objects
Subjects:
3D + Animation Modeling Character Animation
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Ryan Kittleson

Using Peel to flatten the UVW maps

3ds Max's Peel tools are great leap forward over the older methods of creating UVW maps. It's much faster and easier to use, especially for character models. I will show you how to use it, along with some UV editing tools, to get really clean and efficient UV maps. Now that we've got all of the seams cut on our Hank model, we can click on the Quick Peel button. So we will select Hank here. We've got Unwrap UVW open, and Quick Peel is this little icon with the lightning bolt. And just click on that. The Peel tool has popped open the UV Editor to show us the result.

There is lots of buttons here, but only a few that we really need to work with. Peel has flattened out the model and broken it up into different sections based on where we cut the seams. Right now some of the sections are overlapping each other. The UV Editor has a quick way to space them all out more neatly. Go down to the Arrange Element section of this palette and click the button Pack Normalize. Basically, this button is going to position and size all of these sections, or UV Elements as Max calls them, so that they don't overlap and so that they have a size that is proportional to the size of the geometry that they represent.

In the UV Editor we can select individual vertices, edges, and polygons to move, rotate, or scale them. For now I just want to deal with entire elements as a whole. So let's move this a little bit so we can see all of the buttons. Down here is a button called Select By Element UV Toggle. Let's turn this on. Now when we click in the editor it's going to select entire elements, rather than individual vertices or edges. Peel and Pack Normalize have done a pretty good job of laying out the UVs, but we can manually make it even better.

You can see that there is a good chunk of space in our texture that's not being used--all of this space around each element. Let's move, rotate, and scale to get the elements using the space better. I like to get the biggest piece first and then work my way down to the smallest elements, so I am going to hit R to go into Scale mode and I am just going to scale this up so that we can fill the space little bit better. If we hold down Ctrl while you're scaling, it'll scale proportionally so it doesn't stretch it out in an extra dimension up or down. And I will just hit W to go into Move mode and we will just make sure this fits nicely inside this texture space.

I actually enjoy this part of the process a lot. It's like playing Tetris or packing a suitcase. Okay, maybe it's not that much fun. Either way it can take some experimenting and rearranging to get the most out of the UV space. Let's see, this one is a little bit smaller than the head. I will get these two out of the way. And let's move the head and see if we can fill in the space with it. Using the space efficiently is important, especially for real-time 3D applications like games.

That's because every pixel of your textures takes a precious memory, and that should be contributing to the look of the character. Every bit of space that's wasted is just dead weight. Let me arrange these a little bit more. You can scale some of them up a little bit, but you probably don't want to scale them too much, because then some parts of the texture will have more space than others. There's one thing to keep in mind is that you don't want these different elements to be overlapping each other, and you also don't want to have them go over the edge.

This is good enough for now. In the next movie I will show you how to fine-tune things and fix issues in specific parts of the elements. Laying out the UVW maps is something that almost always needs to be done on any model in 3D. If it's going to be textured, rigs, or animated, chances are that you as the modeler are going to have to create these layouts before passing the model any further down the animation pipeline. A good layout goes a long way towards making a model look its best.

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