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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.
In addition to unwrapping objects by defining scenes, we can also create projection mapping, which basically projects a sphere or a cylinder or a cube onto our object to get some rough mapping that we can later tweak. So let's take a look at how to do that. I've got a basic cylinder here, which is basically just a soup can, so let's go ahead and just select that and apply a texture to it. So I am going to go into my Texture panel here, create a new texture, scroll down to Type, select Image or Movie, open the image, and in this case we are going to open up SoupLabel, and you could see that's a very simple label of soup.
And then for Coordinates, again we want to make sure that we're on UV Coordinates. So let's do a quick test render. And that is not anywhere near what we want, so let's go ahead and start mapping this. So I need to go into a UV editing mode, so let's just go ahead and use the default UV editing layout here. So I've got my can, and let's turn that onto Textured so we can see what's going on. And now let's go ahead and see what the mapping is. So I am going to tab into Edit mode, hit Ctrl+Tab to make sure I am in Face mode, and make sure all my faces are selected. And then under Image, here in the UV Editor, I am going to go ahead and open that SoupLabel image.
So as you could see, we've just mapped a face at a time to the image. So each face has that image mapped entirely, which is kind of what we had with the box before. But let's go ahead and use projection mapping to get our image a little bit closer. So I am going to go ahead and scale this down, so we can see our UV Image Editor and open this up just a little bit. Now I have all of the faces selected. So under Mesh, we have UV Unwrap. Now we previously did Unwrap, but we have a number of additional options here.
One is called Smart UV Project, and what that does is it takes the object and it projects a cube onto the object and it tries to find everything that connects. And in some instances, this can be a great place to start, but I think we can actually do better. So under Mesh again, we have UV Unwrap. We also have some additional ones, such as Follow Active Quads. But the most commonly used ones are these three here.
One is called Cube Projection, so basically it surrounds the object with a cube and finds the closest faces to that cube. Cylinder Projection which seems oddly appropriate to this object here, or Sphere Projection which projects from a spherical projection. So in this case, let's go ahead and use Cylinder Projection. What that does is it creates a projection, and it doesn't actually look quite right here. But under Cylinder Projection, if we scroll down to this tab here, we've got a number of options here.
One is, do we want to view this on the equator, on the poles, or align it to the object which is basically what we want to do, and then how do we want to align it? Do we want to align it to Polar XY or Polar ZX? And then also, what's the radius of the object, and do we want to clip this to bounds or do we want to scale it to bounds? And when I scale to bounds, what it does is it scales the edges of that to the edges of my bitmaps, so pretty much aligns it very, very closely.
So once I click off of that, then I can go in and start editing. Now if you'll notice here, I've got the soup label pretty much aligned. That's because these thin narrow faces are aligned. But the tops and the bottoms aren't quite right, and that's because, again, it's cylinder-projecting this, so it's not doing the top and bottom properly because those don't need to be cylinder projected.
They need to be planar projected, or they need to be flat. So we can change that very easily. All we have to do is select those faces. So I am going to go ahead and deselect this and then just do a Ctrl+Lasso here, left-clicking, to select the top of my object. And now I can again just take this part of the object and do another type of unwrap. So in this case I am going to do UV Unwrap.
Let's try Smart UV Project, which basically does just a smart way projecting that, and we are going to hit OK. And yes, that does work, and because those were the only ones selected, it projected those. And you can see how it just made it snap to the edges of that border, but we can actually scale that pretty easily. So what I am going to do here is select either those faces or here we can actually select the whole object, because it's disconnected. And I am just going to go ahead and right-click on this, and then just hit Scale to scale this down and then G to move it. And I am just going to move it over part of that red area.
So now if we select everything, you see that these faces are cylinder projected whereas this one is pretty much planar projected. So as you can see we can take different parts of the object and use different types of unwrapping techniques to fine-tune each part of the object to the best mapping technique that we have.
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