Cinema 4D to Element 3D Workflow: Continue UV Setup of more complex objects (propellers)

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Instructor Vic Garcia

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  • Duration: 10:07
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UV mapping of a complex piece of geometry.

Continue the UV process on a more complex piece of geometry. You will utilize the UV Polygons tool along with mindfully using the Relax UV tool to create a nicely laid out, stretch free UV map for the propellers.



In this lesson we'll continue the UV mapping process on a more complex piece of geometry. We'll keep working with the UV mapping tools to lay out UVs for the propellers. Okay so here's where we left off in the last lesson. This lesson we're going to focus on the propellers. We're only going to UV map one of the propellers and that's because we're going to only import one into Element 3D and then duplicate the rest of the propellers off of that one. So, going to hide everything except for the propeller, I'm going to go ahead and go into our objects tab, click on camera swivel, and Shift+Click all the way down to propeller.1 I'm going to hold down Ctrl+Shift and Alt while I click on the traffic lights. Click and drag to hide everything. And first thing we need to do is add a material for the propeller, so let's go ahead and go to materials, and create new material, and let's call this, under the basic tab here, let's call this "propeller." Let's assign this to the blades. Let's jump back into objects, and let's make sure that we have our propeller selected. Now we need a UVW tag to access the UVs, so let's click on this texture tag and go up to tags, bring this out and click on generate UVW coordinates, and now we have our UV polygons. So let's come up with a game plan for this. So as you can see, the blades themselves are attached to the cylindrical piece. So we need to UV map this where we have separate UVs for each one of the blades on the sides, and a separate one for the cylindrical object. So those are called islands. So we'll have three different UV islands. And let me bring up the doodle paint tool. So type that in again, click on that. What I'm going to do is I'm going to slice this open kind of like it were a fish. We're going to fillet it open, and so we're going to grab the edges around this area here, all the way to this corner. Then I'm going to pin down some points on the back, so here, here, and here. And then once we hit the relax UV tool, we're going to open this up, this top section of UVs this way, and then the bottom section this way. All right, and then we'll have a nice flat UV map for the blades. We're going to do this exact same thing for the other side, the other propeller. So that's what we're going to do. So let me go ahead and delete the doodle paint object. Let's go to edges, make sure that propeller is selected, and let's select some edges. Let's go in and go ahead and double click on this edge, It's going to select the edges all the way around the blade. I don't need all of those, but let me go ahead and get these here in the front. I'm going to Shift+Click to add to selection- this one, this edge, and this one, up to where it meets, this corner here where it meets the cylindrical area. Then I'm going to deselect the back side of these edges, so I'm going to grab my rectangle marquee tool here and Ctrl+Click to deselect all these edges on the back side, right up to this corner. Then I'm going to repeat the process on the other side. Going to Shift+Click with the move tool, these edges here. And then again Shift+Click all the way to this corner, and then with the rectangle selection tool, go ahead and deselect this back side all the way to that corner. All right and then I'm going to go ahead and jump to our points tools, and I'm going to grab this point here to pin down, and Shift+Click on this point, and this one here at the base. And same thing on the other side, going to click on this point and Shift+Click on that point there and here at the base also. Use those to pin down. All right, so before we do any relaxing to open this up, we need to tell Cinema which UV polygons we want to open up. So, let's go back to UV polygons, and as you can see they're all selected right now. We don't want this center section selected. That's going to be a separate island. So I'm going to use the live selection tool, and middle mouse, and click and drag to the right to increase the brush size. Make sure that your option that only visible elements is deselected, that way we can select everything, all the back side polygons too. So I'm going to Ctrl+click and drag to deselect the cylindrical region. This one too, and then here at the bottom. Deselect these polys here. Just like that. All right that looks pretty good. They're all deselected except for the blades themselves. Here with that done... In the perspective view I'm going to go ahead and just rotate around a bit, tumble around till we get something like this. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to run a simple frontal projection. Our UVs are so small I can't really see them right now, so I just want to see them. You don't really have to run a frontal projection but just so that we can get a better view of what we're going to do here. Just run this. Now we can see our polygons. And let me grab our checkerboard texture from our top shell. So double click on the texture tag, go under color, and copy the texture. And I'm going to go to the propeller, move this up a bit, and paste it in here, our checkerboard. So you can see, this is what it looks like right now. It looks pretty good and that's because it's a frontal projection from the top. But the sides, if we were to leave it like this we'll get some stretching along the sides. We don't want that. So once we have this selected, let's go back to relax UV now, and we have our point selection that we're going to use to pin down, we have our edges, and now we have our UV polygons selected that we want to relax. We can go ahead and press apply. And now you can see that they opened up. So that looks really nice. So what about the middle section? So lets press U and I to invert the selection, and this one's pretty easy. Let's go back to projection, and let's run a cylindrical projection or cylinder projection for this. And this is what we get. If we move closer you'll see that they don't look right, they're rectangular. So we can go up here to our scale tool, hold down and go to non-uniform scale, and we can scale this manually for now, until we get some nice squares for our UVs. And at this point, that looks pretty good except for the fact that they're not proportional to the blades as far as UVs are concerned, these are a lot larger. We need to scale those down. Easiest way to do that is to use the optimal mapping. So let's go to this tab, and let's make sure for settings to turn on or set realign to be on, and this will just make sure that our UVs will, once we run this command Cinema's going to put them in the right place and will realign them accordingly so they're proportional to one another. Preserve orientation, make sure that that's check on, that way our UVs do not rotate when we run this command, and then make sure equalize island size is on, that way all the islands get scaled proportional to one another. So let's make sure that all the islands are selected, so Ctrl+A, and then run the command. As you can see, Cinema did a great job in scaling these and now they're proportional to one another. All right one last thing we can do, I'm pretty happy with this result, is to run another relax. This time make sure that pinpoint selection is turned off and cut selected edges is turned off, and when we run this again, since nothing is pinned down, when we run the relax again it's going to help the UVs relax a little bit more and curve in the natural shape of the mesh, the way we modeled them, so let's just run and see what happens. Zoom in a little closer. Press apply. There we go. So as you can see, this isn't straight as is was before...let me undo that. It curves a little bit, it goes along better with the mesh. That looks a lot better. And there will not be any stretching on this at all. All right we'll deselect it, let's run fit UV to canvas. That still looks good. Everything's inside the zero to one space, I'm happy with that. At this point, let me go ahead and show you the final UVs for the camera and the legs. Here's the UVs for those, and basically I just selected edges down the middle and separated them into islands, so there's our UVs for those, and then we have the camera. Select the camera case. You'll see for the case I just cut along the edges on corners, and minus this section here where you can insert some sort of SD card. I left that alone and just mapped that separately. That has its own island here. So that's the UVs. So I'm pretty happy with the result. Once I tested this, it looked really nice with textures and all. So UV mapping can often be challenging but with the right work flow, you can easily create stretch free, well laid out UVs in a few minutes. In the next lesson, we'll start texturing.
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