Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video What are UVW coordinates?, part of 3ds Max 2018: Mastering UVW Mapping.
- [Instructor] If it is that we are new to the world of 3D content creation in general, there are two camps that we might fall into while watching this texture training course. Firstly, we may have mastered max modeling tools and so want to texture our newly created asset. Or it maybe that we want to become a texture artist and so we need to know how UVWs relate to and are used in that context. Well, no matter which category we fall into, before we learn how to use 3D S Max's UV mapping tools, we first need to know what is meant by the terms UVW or UV mapping coordinates.
Well, simply put UVW coordinates are one way of tackling a very tricky problem in 3D asset creation. Namely, how to take the information contained inside one of 3D S Max's map types, be that a masterized map image or mathematically generated procedural map and then apply that detail to the surface of a 3D object in our scene. To be able to perform this type of operation in a predictable and production usable manor, the application needs a system that can tell it's various render engines where on a geometric surface visual information found in the texture map ought to be placed.
And going beyond that, the system would also need to be editable, meaning the user inputting or applying the texture map should be able to make some artistic choices regarding how that visual information gets displayed on the surface. Enter the UVW mapping system, now probably the first thing we will want to know is just what the letters U, V, and W actually refer to. Well these are just a way to indicate the position and orientation of a map once it has been applied to a geometric surface.
Just as we us the X, Y, and Zed or Z coordinate system to describe an object's position and orientation in 3D space Now I'm sure you would agree that things could quickly get confusing if the letters X, Y and Zed were used for both texture and object coordinates. Therefore, we have different letters to essentially represent the same thing, although in the case of U, V, and W we are specifying texture coordinates. So, why those particular letters? Quite simply, because they precede X, Y, Zed or Z in the alphabet, U, V, W coordinates also need to be differentiated from the catenating system because although they do in a manner indicate direction, as do the X, Y, and Zed coordinates, they work in relation to the length and width of the map type being applied, regardless of the orientation in 3D space, of the geometry to which the map is attached.
One thing we do need to be clear on is that in order to have U, V, W coordinates applied a geometric object does not have to be unwrapped or flattened, the unwrapped system is simply one of the ways in 3D S Max that mapping of UVW coordinates can be accomplished. With one set of concepts firmly in mind then, lets move on to our next video where we will take a look at just what UVW space is, how it works and how it is represented and manipulated inside 3D S Max.
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