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Game Character Creation in Maya
Illustration by John Hersey
Watching:

UV mapping overview


From:

Game Character Creation in Maya

with Chris Reilly

Video: UV mapping overview

UV Mapping allows you to add colors and textures to your character by wrapping flat images on to your model's geometry. UVs are components that represent the local texture space of each polygon face. So in addition to edges and vertices, your polygonal geometry also has UV coordinates. UVs look very similar to vertices. But instead of controlling the location of geometry and space, UVs control the way a texture, image, or pattern is mapped onto each face. So in the example file here I have two cubes that are identical in size.
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      39s
    2. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 9s
    3. Understanding game asset creation
      1m 21s
    4. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 35s
    1. Setting up scene folders (Maya and Unity)
      3m 58s
    2. Optimizing geometry
      3m 14s
    3. Using symmetry
      4m 8s
    4. Extruding geometry
      4m 19s
    5. Sculpting geometry
      4m 1s
    6. Importing reference sketches
      5m 55s
  3. 37m 14s
    1. Modeling the head and nose
      5m 34s
    2. Creating the mouth
      4m 28s
    3. Crafting the eyes
      5m 11s
    4. Building the body and a wing
      10m 11s
    5. Forming the limbs
      8m 5s
    6. Adding finishing touches
      3m 45s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. UV mapping overview
      2m 43s
    2. UV mapping the body parts
      9m 18s
    3. UV mapping the face
      7m 40s
    4. UV mapping wrap-up
      3m 44s
    5. Mirroring
      4m 57s
    6. Texturing
      2m 46s
    7. Normal mapping
      5m 3s
  5. 46m 21s
    1. Setting up the skeleton
      5m 19s
    2. Building the spine
      3m 39s
    3. Finishing the skeleton
      4m 32s
    4. Rigging the legs and feet
      8m 35s
    5. Rigging the torso
      3m 49s
    6. Rigging the arms and hands
      3m 35s
    7. Rigging the face and head
      5m 9s
    8. Rigging wrap-up
      2m 27s
    9. Skin binding and weight painting
      5m 26s
    10. Animating in Maya
      3m 50s
  6. 29m 9s
    1. Exploring the Unity interface
      3m 3s
    2. Importing character and animations into Unity
      5m 50s
    3. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person character controller
      7m 14s
    4. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person camera controller
      4m 4s
    5. Making read/write animations using UnityScript Editor
      4m 8s
    6. Controlling scripts with animation events
      4m 50s
  7. 19s
    1. Additional resources
      19s

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Game Character Creation in Maya
2h 58m Intermediate Sep 15, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Get a thorough overview of techniques for creating characters for video games or real-time rendered applications. Author Chris Reilly covers low-poly modeling, texturing and animation, using 3D model and texture assets created in Maya and Adobe Photoshop. The course also includes an overview of Unity 3, including importing characters and making interactive animations with the Script Editor.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing, extruding, and sculpting geometry
  • Modeling a character's head and body
  • UV-mapping the head and body
  • Mirroring and texturing
  • Setting up the skeleton
  • Rigging the head and body
  • Skin binding & weight painting
  • Controlling animation with scripts in Unity
Subjects:
3D + Animation Modeling Character Animation Game Design
Software:
Maya
Author:
Chris Reilly

UV mapping overview

UV Mapping allows you to add colors and textures to your character by wrapping flat images on to your model's geometry. UVs are components that represent the local texture space of each polygon face. So in addition to edges and vertices, your polygonal geometry also has UV coordinates. UVs look very similar to vertices. But instead of controlling the location of geometry and space, UVs control the way a texture, image, or pattern is mapped onto each face. So in the example file here I have two cubes that are identical in size.

But you can see they are textured pretty differently. So the cube on the left has a nice checker pattern where the squares are very even. The cube on the right has a checker pattern where the squares are very distorted. There is some stretching here that's looking a little funky. So let's take a look at the UV maps of each one of these cubes. I am just going to select a cube on the left and bring up the UV Texture Editor. That's under the Window menu. Here, I can get a look at the UV map of this cube.

So let's say that we wanted to apply a texture to this cube that was on a checkerboard. Well, it would be a process pretty similar to drawing on an unfolded cardboard box. So you can see each face of the cube here is laid out flat in the UV Texture Editor. So this UV map would be very nice and very easy to work with, because we could very easily draw, let's say we wanted something in the top-left corner on one of the faces, we can just draw it on a flat image. That would map pretty reliably to a corner of the face that it corresponded to on the 3D geometry.

Let's take a look at the cube on the right. So this UV map is looking pretty funky, so you can see things are stretched. It's not as regular as a UV map of the cube on the left and if we were to try to texture this cube using this UV map, there would be a lot of problems. You would get a lot of unexpected distortion. So let's go ahead and look at a couple of quick edits we can do to minimize some of that distortion. So in the UV Texture Editor, I am just holding down my right-mouse button and I am going to select UV. Let's look at this one. Just like vertices, you can move UVs around using the Move tool.

You can see as I drag this, in the Perspective window that texture is already changing. So I am already just with that one little move I am getting a lot less distortion. So the overall goal when you're UV mapping a piece of geometry is to minimize the amount of distortion that you get going from a flat texture, mapping it onto the 3D geometry. Obviously when you are dealing with a video game character, your geometry is going to be much more complicated than just a simple cube. So it's pretty unlikely that you will completely eliminate all stretching and distortion in your UV maps, but the overall goal should be to minimize stretching and distortion or to move it to a place on your character that's less visible.

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