Blender Essential Training
Illustration by Maria ReƱdon

Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7)


Blender Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7)

Now, let's use the UV image editor to precisely align a bitmap to an object. Now, I'm using Blender 2.7 for this, because the way it unwraps objects is a little bit different. So we're going to use that, just to be current. Now we already touched on the UV image editor just a little bit when we took a bitmap image and showed it in the viewport. But we can also use that editor to actually align the image to an object. So let's go ahead and start with this simple box.
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  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Downloading Blender
    4. Notes on Blender 2.7
      2m 8s
    5. Using Blender on a Mac
    6. Using Blender on a laptop
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 49m 20s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode (Updated for 2.7)
      5m 3s
    6. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    7. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    8. Extrusions
      5m 19s
    9. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    10. Subdividing meshes
      5m 13s
  5. 50m 32s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 49s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 37s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 3s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 8s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      7m 53s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 38s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7)
      7m 43s
    4. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    5. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    6. UV mapping a character (Updated for 2.7)
      6m 35s
    7. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    9. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    10. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    11. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 40m 1s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 3s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 25s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Blender Essential Training
7h 47m Beginner Dec 21, 2011 Updated Aug 13, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course provides an overview of modeling, animating, and rendering 3D graphics in the open-source software Blender 2.6. Beginning with a tour of the Blender interface, author George Maestri shows how to create and edit basic objects, work with modifiers and subdivision surfaces, and apply materials and textures. The course also demonstrates lighting 3D scenes, setting up and using cameras, animating objects, and assembling basic character rigs.

Topics include:
  • Navigating in 3D space
  • Selecting, rotating, and scaling objects
  • Using Snap to move objects precisely
  • Creating mesh primitives and extrusions
  • Subdividing meshes
  • Creating a simple creature
  • Joining mesh objects and stitching vertices
  • Organizing a scene with layers, groups, and hierarchies
  • Assigning glossy and reflective materials to objects
  • Creating bump maps
  • Creating sky and ambient light
  • Understanding ambient occlusion
  • Adding motion blur and depth of field
  • Editing animation in the Graph Editor
  • Building and animating a simple character
3D + Animation
George Maestri

Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7)

Now, let's use the UV image editor to precisely align a bitmap to an object. Now, I'm using Blender 2.7 for this, because the way it unwraps objects is a little bit different. So we're going to use that, just to be current. Now we already touched on the UV image editor just a little bit when we took a bitmap image and showed it in the viewport. But we can also use that editor to actually align the image to an object. So let's go ahead and start with this simple box.

Now this has no materials on it so let's add some, I'm going to go into my materials panel, hit new and just create a new blank material, we don't need to name it. And then we need to add a texture so your going to go into texture panel, again hit new and we're going to add an image or a movie. And scroll down. Click Open. And the image we're looking for is called CardboardBox.jpg. Open that up, and you'll see it's a cardboard box. Hit F12 to render.

Now, if you're on a Mac, you may need to use the pull-down menu. You'll see that this image kind of goes on the box, but not really. I mean it's not even close to what we want in terms of image mapping. Well we can change one thing just be changing the way that it generates the map. So our mapping coordinates right default are called generated, which means the object itself generates the coordinates. But want we to control that. So we're going to change that to UV. And when I do that and hit another render, you'll see that at least I'm getting one image on every face.

So I've made some progress, but we needed to go a lot further. We're going to use the UV image editor to control how this image maps to the object. So I'm going to give myself some room here. I'm going to close off this tab. And in order to see the UV image editor. I'm actually going to create a separate window here. So, I'm going to click up here in the top corner, drag it out, and then change this window to UV Image Editor. Now, right now, it's going to show my rendered image.

But we can change that. So, we can go Image > Open Image. And we're going to choose that same image, CardboardBox.jpg. So there's my box. Now I need to get this unwrapped and onto here. Now, notice this image is basically just a cardboard box that has been unfolded. So it's basically just flat panels that are all on the same image. So all we have to do is unfold this box to match this. We do that by creating what are called seams.

So if I take my object. Make sure I'm in edit mode. And then hit Ctrl+Tab to go into edge mode. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to select the edges, that are going to match the open edges of this box. So if you see the ones here in the middle. Those will be closed edges. Those will be connected, but the ones along the outside edge, those are the open ones. So I need to define those edges. So I'm going to go over on to this side of the box and Shift+select a couple of edges.

So basically, this is the open panel. So I think about it as this side here. And once I've got those selected, I can go Mesh > Edges > Mark Seam. Now, if you notice, these seams highlight in red. That tells me that they're seams. We can do the same on the other side. So, I'm going to select this one. Shift+select this and this. And again, mesh edges. Mark seam.

Now, we've got one more, which is that open bottom there. And so, actually, this one is along the bottom. So I need to select this one here. Go Mesh. Edges > Mark Seam. So, now that I have all of this marked, I've got a complete path around the box. So, that's really what you're looking for here. So, my path starts here, wraps around the side along the bottom, up along the back, and back along the top. So, now that I have that, I can select everything in the box, hit the A key.

And now we're going to unwrap this. So go Mesh,> UV Unwrap, and then Unwrap. Now what happens is, is it unwraps along those seams. So if I put this into texture mode, you'll see that well, hey, I've got this. This is pretty close, actually so now all I have to do is move this shell. To match this. Now, we can do this using our standard move and translation tool. So if I hit G for grab, I can move all of these vertices to match.

Now, if I want, I can move a vertice at a time. I can move an edge or a face at a time. Now, if I move this over here, you'll see that I've got a selection set here. It allows me to go vertices, edges, faces. Or if I do Ctrl+Tab in here, you'll see I have vertex face. And then I also have another one called island, which means that if you have multiple islands of UVs, you can use that as well. We're not really doing that here. Well, what I can do is I can either hit that button or hit Ctrl +Tab.

And let's say I select Vertices here. So I can select this vertex here, and move it. Or let's select this one here. And then again, using our Grab key. You can see how when I move this, it changes the mapping. Now, I can do the same for edges. So if I want to, I could select this edge here. And again move it. Or I could do it with faces. So if wanted to slide this face here, and again move it, I can move it. Or I can select multiple faces just by doing Shift + Select.

This is exactly the same keystrokes and selecting the objects in edit mode. Now, the reason we do this is so that we can align these UVs to the object. Now, I've been using the Grab tool. But we can also use rotate and scale if we want. But let's go ahead and move these to align them to the object. So I'm going to zoom in here. A little bit. I'm going to select Vertex. going to select this one, and shift select this one, and then use the Grab key.

And if I want I can use X or Y so GX will constrain it to X. GY will constrain it to Y. And that's great if you're really close and you just need to tweak it vertically or horizontally. So again, if I select this one or this one, I can do Grab, which allows me to move it in any direction. Or if I do GY, it just allows me to push it up or down. So I could probably also select these vertices here. Seems like I'm using a lot of Y translation here, but I'm going to go GY.

And there we go. And then, this last one here. Now once I've got this, I should be able to see my box. And of course, I can affect this any way I want. Now this is just a really simple example, but it does show you the power of UV Unwrapping. This is used a lot in mapping characters. Or any other complex object to a simple Bitmap. So go ahead and play with this and maybe even do it for your own objects, and get used to the process. Because it's a very powerful and important tool to know in Blender.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Blender Essential Training .

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Q: This course was updated on 8/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added a single movie on unwrapping objects, a technique that works differently in Blender 2.7. The rest of the instructions in the course work equally well with Blender 2.6 and Blender 2.7.
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