Cinema 4D to Element 3D Workflow: Create UV’s for pre-existing drone model

Photo of Vic Garcia

Instructor Vic Garcia

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  • Duration: 13:38
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UV map Top and Bottom Shells to prep them for texturing.

In this tutorial you will use UV edit’s UV Mapping tools to create some well laid out UV maps for texturing.



In this lesson we'll use BodyPaint's UV edit to create UVs for the body section of the drone. We'll work with UV Edit's, UV mapping tools to get the proper UV setup for texturing. Okay so here is a drone that we're going to be using. I went ahead and grouped these components into respective groups that way it's a lot easier for us to navigate. I also created some materials for most of the components. The ones that are grayed out here, these do not have any materials. So in this lesson we're going to be working on UV mapping the bottom and top shell. Let's start off by assigning some materials to these. So let's go ahead and go down to the material manager, double click here in an empty area. It's going to create a new material, and let's go ahead and select that material by double clicking. And let's call this "top_shell." Right, let's move this to the side and let's click and drag this onto the top shell. Let's create another material. Let's double click again. And let's go and name this "bottom_shell." Let's click and drag this on top of the bottom shell. Okay let's close the material editor down and let's go and jump into UV edit. We go to layout and go down to the drop down menu. I'm going to be using BPUV edit_rec which is my personal recording layout. You can go ahead and just use BPUV edit. L et's go and click on that. And here is UV edit. So we're going to be spending the majority of our time in the series for Cinema 4D in this layout, so let's get familiar with it. Up here on top we have our model selection. We also have our polygons component selection mode our edges and our points and here to the left. We have our tools to access our UV mapping. Okay so we have our UV polygons and UV points. Okay so we're going to be pretty much using these two quite a bit. So let's click on UV polygons and let's click on the top shell. So we go here to our UV texture panel, see that there's something showing up here, these are UVs but there's no way to access them yet. And that's because we're missing our UVW texture tag. So when we created the material and applied it to the top and bottom shell they weren't assigned. So we need to create these or generate them. So the way to do this by selecting the tags, I'm going to select the top and bottom texture tags and let's go up to tags...let me pull this menu out. And let's click on generate UVW coordinates. It's going to give us these tags now that will allow us to select our UVs. So let's go ahead and just select the top shell and the top texture tag. And now if we press Ctrl+A, or Cmd+A on the Mac, we have access to the UV map. Okay so this UV's a UV map but it doesn't look it. So basically what you want with a UV map you want it to look like the actual mesh and this looks nothing like it. So let's go down to UV mapping and projection. We have these options to map our UVs. Typically I stick with using frontal or flat right. If we were to use frontal right now if I put in this angle you see that we get what we see in our viewport all right. We use flat we're going to get something totally different, sphere, cylinder. They don't look it. So frontal...or this is very nice we can just project from an orthographic view like the top view. So let's switch to the top view press F2 and then press S to frame selection. And now if we click on frontal get exactly what you see here from the top view and this is what you want. Now a couple issues here is that first of all this UV map should never stick outside this zero to one texture space, all right. We want to maintain or stick to having our UVs inside that zero to one space. If they kind of stick outside that region you're going to get some tiling some really bad results when it comes to painting, so you don't want to do that. Also you want to utilize the entire zero to one space because that's just wasted space when it comes to texturing. You want to take advantage of the entire space so you have the best resolution when texturing. All right. So easy way to do that to scale it up and keep it inside the region is by clicking on this little icon here which is fit UV to canvas and that does exactly what we want it to do. It scales it up and it puts it inside the region. So let's go back to the perspective viewport. Press F1 and we see the same thing. So how do we know if our UVs look good if they're not stretching? We do that by using a checkerboard texture. Some people use a color checkerboard texture I just use a basic black and white one. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to click on the texture tag for the top shell. Double click on that, go down to the color channel here and go to texture. Go to surfaces and select checkerboard. Let's click inside that and increase our frequency to around 25. It's going to tile that checkerboard map. So from the top as you can see, perfect squares means there's no stretching. And because we projected from the top, there's not going to be stretching around this area, but on the sides there is going to be stretching because we projected from the top. So you got some pretty bad stretching in some areas. So if we wanted to fix that we can easily do that by going to the relax UV tools. So what happens if we just try to relax this? So let's press apply. You see that it does a good job, but if we look at the UV map over here kind of warped this a little bit. We want these four corners to look the same. This one's kind of shrunk down a bit. It relaxed it too much. So we can pin some points to help Cinema 4D to tell it to, you know what, this area here doesn't need to be relaxed we can use this area to pin it down. That way the rest of the mesh can relax. We're going to pin the corners down so let's undo that relax we just did. And let's jump and use our points tool. Let's press U and L to select loop selection tool. Make sure that select boundary loop is checked. Let's come into one of the corners and let's click on a loop point loop. Let's go to the next corner and hold down shift to add to the selection and select the loop of points. Let's do the same to the next corner. Come in a little closer. Hold down shift+click and let's do the last corner shift+click. We have our points selected to pin down. And now let's deselect cut selected edges and with point selection or pinpoint selection selected now on, it's going to pin these areas down. And let's press apply for our relaxing algorithm and see what happens. So now the stretching is gone. And our UV map looks really nice. Now when we did that it did go outside the zero to one space. So we can just select our UVs and click on UV polygons, select them all Ctrl+A. And then we can use our scale tool just to scale that down a bit. All right so now let's go ahead and UV map the bottom shell. It's pretty similar, we're going to take the same steps. You'll notice that this one's a little different. There's a extrusion here in the back. This is going to cause some stretching issues. So let's take a look at that. Let's go ahead and select the bottom shell. Let's press F2 to go to the top view. And I'm going to press Ctrl+A. I'm going to go down to projection and select frontal. And now we can go ahead and click our fit UV to canvas. So let's go back to their perspective view press F1, and let's click on the texture tag for the top shell. Let's copy the texture, the checkerboard texture, that we made. Right click and copy and let's paste that on the bottom texture slot. Let's paste. That'll paste that texture there. As you can see, there is some major stretching going on here along that extrusion here on the back. So how do we get rid of that? We're going to help Cinema 4D by cutting some edges. That way we can give the UV some breathing room, let them stretch out a little bit. So let me pull back here a little bit. Let me turn off the texture. I'm going to press N+Q turn the texture off. We press shift+C to bring up the commander. I'm going to use the good old Doodle paint tool to draw something real quick. All right, let me size down this tool. What I'm going to do is I'm going to cut around this area here. I'm going to come back up here and around I'm going to stop here. So I'm going to do it to both sides, cut around here too. So I want this to open up kind of like a box would. Want this to open up this way, create some flaps. That way we help Cinema 4D relax this UV, the mesh itself or the UV map and give it some breathing room and that's going to get rid of that stretching right. So let's try that. I'm going to get rid of the Doodle paint tool. And let's go to edges. And let's make sure that the bottom is selected. I'm going to start off here, make our selection. So I'm going to press U and M to bring up our path selection tool, and I'm going to click on add to selection that way I don't have to press shift if I want to keep clicking different edges. So I'm going ahead and start making the selection. I'm going to work my way around this area here and work my way back up and build that flap. Control+click to get rid of this selection here because I want to come straight down this way. And then work my way around stop there. Okay so let's do the same thing on this side. Going to come around this loop and work my way around again. Start off down here just like I did on the other side, which is right here. Let's meet this edge up here. And then I'm going to work my way around and I believe I stop right there. Looks pretty good right that's the same. Okay so that's our edge selection that we're going to use to cut. And now we also need to pin down some points here. So let's select or points and grab our live selection tool. And let's just select some points around the four corners. We know there's no stretching here because we projected from the top. So I'm going to shift+click on this side here. Select a few points here on this corner too and on this corner. So we have our points to pin down we have our edges to cut. And let's go back to UV polygons and let's go back to relax UV. Make sure that cut selected edges is turned on and pinpoint selection is turned on as well. And let's turn on our texture. Press N+Q. Let's bring that back up and see what happens when we apply our relax to this. So right now it's stretched out. Let's try apply LSCN, relax. So we applied that and this kind of looks all right. These UVs here are a little large. So let's try a different algorithm. From what I know is that LSCM...this algorithm is pretty good on non-organic objects. So our shape is kind of organic, it's in between. The ABF this one is a lot better for organic objects So let's try this one out. Let me undo and let's relax and see what happens. All right, that looks a lot better. So you can tell it's different, it relaxed it a lot more, and the squares look a lot better. And around the edges there's no more stretching so I'm pretty happy with that result. I'm going to flip this back around. All right. We're going to get rid of this checkerboard map in a later lesson, for now we'll leave it alone. By taking advantage of UV edit's toolset, we can create well laid out UVs for texturing. In the next lesson we'll continue the UV mapping process on a slightly more complex object.
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