Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Auto-generated UVs, part of 3ds Max 2018: Mastering UVW Mapping.
- [Instructor] One method available for applying UVW mapping coordinates in 3ds Max is the automatic generation of mapping coordinates at the time of an object creation. In fact, as well as taking a look at just where in 3ds Max these options can be found and used, we will also consider whether or not these auto generated mapping coordinates are a good or a bad thing. Now, whilst I could give you a long list of objects in 3ds Max that are capable of automatically generating mapping coordinates, it would be much easier on all of us if I simply say that the majority of objects created from both the geometry and shape sections of the Create tab have this functionality built in, so the standard and extended primitives, the patch grids and even the window and stair objects.
If I just select the pipe geometry here on our mesh which is in fact a simple spline object, you will notice that we have an apply mapping checkbox displayed in the command panel and it isn't just primitive or template geometry that make use of this feature. Modeling or construction operations such as lofts and leads also make use of this autogenerate option. Each unique object of course auto generates coordinates that are unique to itself and so theoretically make it possible to jump straight into the material or texturing phase without any delay.
The question we need to answer though is are automatically generated mapping coordinates a good or bad thing to use? In other words, do they work? Well, the honest answer would have to be that depends. For instance, let's hit the M key to bring up the material editor and come to our UVW test map material. If we then make sure that the display material and viewport feature is on for our test material, we can make sure that we still have our pipe object selected and apply the material to it.
In the surface parameters rollout in the command panel we see that we have a checkbox to apply mapping and if we put a check in that option, we see that we do indeed get some kind of display from the material meaning we clearly have some form of UVW mapping now being applied. To clean things up a little, we might need to adjust the number of times that the texture repeats along the length and width of the geometry. So, once I adjust the tiling on the mapping by leaving the length repeat value at one and setting the width repeat to 0.15 we see that we get very quickly a pretty good mapping result on what could be a fairly complex surface object especially if we created this using lofts or leads that have more complex shapes to them.
However, if I just hit the C key again and then select the Create Camera view, we can demonstrate why automatic mapping can in some situations be a bad thing. To do that, let's hide our roll back layer and then unhide our create layer and then select one of the cube geometry sets. Now, here we see that our crate material has already been applied and so, in its parameters let's make sure that the generate mapping coordinates option is checked. Now, you may at this point think that I'm going a little crazy as I'm supposed to be showing that this a bad example but clearly so far things are looking pretty good on the UVW side.
Everything is mapped nicely, we have no stretching of the map showing up in the viewport but let's see what happens if I suddenly decide that I want to use some of 3ds Max's other texturing tools to add a bit of unique detail to the texture on this object, maybe using something like viewport canvas. To do that we need to come to the Tools menu and select the Viewport Canvas option from the list as I want to hand paint my unique detail and will need to click the Pick Map button for the paint on options. From the fly out, we can select the base color channel and then the base color map.
Now, don't worry if the material goes a little strange looking as what we want to do now is add a new layer in the layer dialog, select white from the color swatch and then go ahead and paint. Hopefully you can see the problem we're running into straightaway. Well, paint strokes rather than adding unique detail are in fact being applied to all of the faces on the box geometry. Now, this is happening because although the automated mapping system does generate unique mapping coordinates for each of the six faces of the cube, the planar maps that it produces are actually all stacked or layered in the same zero to one UV space meaning any maps our unique detail that we apply to one, gets applied to all which granted can be fine in certain circumstances but not so good in others and not all of the automatic mapping options suffer from this same drawback but each of them do suffer from at least one slight drawback or another.
Whenever this is the case then, or indeed, whenever we are working with geometry that just doesn't have the ability to autogenerate mapping, we'll need to make use of an alternative method for applying our coordinates to the surface which is why in our next video we're going to be taking a look at 3ds Max's UVW mapping modifier.
Instructor Joel Bradley explains what UVWs are, how they affect textures, and why they are needed. He also reviews the different mapping spaces that are available and how procedural maps are used in texturing. Then he progresses to the hands-on portion of the course, starting with mapping simple shapes and models with the UVW modifier. He also reviews advanced topics, such as unwrapping and editing UVs with the UVW Editor. Finally, he introduces blended box mapping, for when you need to get a model ready for texturing quickly.
- UVW coordinates
- UV space
- Working with the UVW Map modifier and UVW gizmo
- World space vs. object space
- Peel mapping and pelt mapping
- Reshaping UV elements
- Smoothing and relaxing UVs
- Rendering UV layouts
- Blending seams with the Blended Box Map