Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the pelt mapping controls, part of 3ds Max 2018: Mastering UVW Mapping.
- [Instructor] Up to this point in our look at Max's pelt mapping tools, we have crafted a peel seam for our robot head, made use of the pelt button found in the Peel rollout, and also touched briefly on how the pelt gizmo, our stretcher and spring controls found in pelt map dialog work. What we want to do now is go ahead and see what kind of mapping result can be produced as we make use of the pelt mapping tool. Well, perhaps the first thing we'll want to do here is check that we are happy with the size of our stretcher object.
If not, now is the time to go ahead and adjust that. Once done, we can start to work with some of the parameters found in the pelt map dialog. For instance, we can go ahead and set the damping parameter here to a value of 0.2 which will add just a little bit of lag to the pull strength which we're going to leave set at its default value of 0.1. In fact, we can leave the rest of the options in the spring section just as they are and instead take a look at the simulation samples control. This value controls the number of samples used for each of the seam points that we have.
Setting this to higher values produces a greater pull effect once we start the pelt operation. The usable range is one to 50 with the default of five again being a good general use setting. Obviously, if we do find ourselves running into issues with the pelt operation, we may want to increase this in fairly small increments until we get something that works. That having been said, if we do find ourselves running into problems, it may be a good idea to back up a little and check that we haven't inadvertently created any problematic seams for ourselves.
One thing we definitely don't want to do is create a seam that in any way leaves areas of the mesh folded in on themselves which is why we added the seam at the bottom of our receiver. If you want to see the bad result that can happen, just remove that seam and perform the pelt mapping operation. Back in the UV editor then, with our simulation samples set at 10, let's click the Start Pelt button and see what we get. Well, the first thing we will notice is that even when using a low pull strength such as the default of 0.1, things are over and done with pretty quickly.
Now, we can of course stop a simulation at any point, although once Max has finished with its sampling, it will shut everything down by itself. The result is a little difficult to see as the pelt mapping has made this very small part of the robot fill and then exceed the zero to one space in our map which we will fix in a moment or two but one thing we will always want to do is get up close our mapping mesh and do a manual check making sure that there are no overlaps that can and will cause problems come texture and render time.
Once we are happy, we can go ahead and hit the Commit button on the dialog which will leave us with a finished set of pelt mapped UVs. Let's quickly run through the same steps for the rest of the robot receiver. So, poly selection, expand, pelt, and then commit. If we take a look in our viewport then, we can see that this has done a pretty decent first pass on our mesh.
I say first pass because once done, we should start to look carefully and critically at what we have done looking for areas where either stretching or squeezing of the UV test map is going on. Of course, there are a couple of fairly simple steps that we can take in order to improve matters here. For instance, in the UV editor with our polygons selected, we can come to the tools menu and choose the relax option. In the dialog that pops up, let's set the amount to one and from the dropdown choose the relax by polygon angles option.
If I then go ahead and start the relax operation, we see the selected polygons in the view do just that. Notice we don't need to run this operation for long, we can click stop and then to finish. We will then want to perform the same relax on our other UV island. After which we can select all of our UVs, pack them into the zero to one space that they are currently sitting outside of and then rotate any if needed.
Back in the viewport, if we press F4, we can see that things look much cleaner and tidier with the mapping now maintaining a very constant size across the whole mesh. Of course things are not perfect. We can clearly see one or two small imperfections here and there that could perhaps be smoothed out using the tweak in view tool. All in all though, given the speed at which this work has been done, which will only get faster as we become more familiar with both the tool set and the workflow, what we've produced here, it is a pretty decent final result.
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