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Guest Mauler

3 - advanced Texturing a Low Resolution Character mesh - Author: Madtone / Laubi

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Guest Mauler

UVW Mapping

This Tutorial is splitted into a 3dsMax part by MadTone and a RenX part by Läubi


  UVW Mapping/UnWrap Tutorial by MadTone:

Mapping a Low Resolution Character mesh.

A brief summary of the steps

  1. Editable Mesh - Select sets of polygons and 
    assign an ID number to each set.& 
  2. Apply a Mesh Select modifier, use it at 
    Sub-Object level to select Polygons by their ID number. Do not turn 
    Sub-Object off.& 
  3. Apply a UVW Map modifier to the set of Polygons - Planar Map only. 
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 (apply new Mesh Select, do not try 
    to use the previous one). 
  5. Apply a Mesh Select modifier. Do not turn 
    Sub-Object on. 
  6. Apply Unwrap UVW modifier. 
  7. Edit (in UVW Unwrap) select one set of face ID`s at a time and layout the 
    poly`s so that they are separate from each other. 
  8. Show all ID`s 
  9. Take a screengrab of the UVW Unwrap Edit window. 
  10. Paint on the screengrab and save as a .jpg, .tif, or .tga.& 
  11. From the Asset Manager, drag and drop the saved 
    painting to the mesh model.& 

Assigning the Polygon ID numbers

Imagine that your mesh was layed out flat, that`s what the UVW Unwrap modifier 
does. This tutorial will illustrate how to texture the head mesh shown in the 
following picture :


  1. Select the front of the head at Sub-Object Polygon level. Press F2 to shade the selected 
    faces in red.

  2. Type in number 1 in the Material ID and press enter. Doing this will assign 
    the number 1 to the selected polygons.

  3. Select another set of polygons.

  4. Continue selecting polygons and assigning ID numbers. 

Color Coding the Model

Apply a Multi-Sub Object material to the mesh so that you 
can see if all of the ID numbers are assigned correctly. This material is not 
used with the final texture, so this is just a temporary material to check where 
the ID`s are. Make sure that you turn Sub-Object off from the Modify command 
panel before you do this.

  1. Turn Sub-Object off in the Modify command panel.& 
  2. Open the Material Editor.& 
  3. Click the Standard button and choose Multi/Sub-Object 
    from the list.& 
  4. Choose Keep or Discard the original material. It 
    doesn`t matter which, you haven`t changed it.& 
  5. Drag and drop the Sample Sphere on to the mesh.& 
  6. Change the color panels at the right of the 
    Multi/Sub-Object material. You should see parts of the mesh changing 
  7. Look at your model. If any of the colors are in the wrong place, go back 
    to Editable Mesh Sub-Object level and assign those ID`s to the correct 


In Editable Mesh at the Polygon level, click a Polygon and the ID number of 
that polygon will show up in the Material ID panel.


Mapping a mesh `pins` vertices of the mesh to positions on 
a picture. This is similar to a dressmaker laying out a pattern onto fabric. In 
this sequence, you select parts of the mesh and apply mapping to each of the 

Do the following for each set of ID numbers that you 
assigned to the model.&

  1. Turn off Sub-Object for the Editable Mesh. 
  2. Apply the Mesh Select Modifier. 
  3. Turn on Sub-Object and choose Polygon level. 
  4. Click the Select by ID button, polygons with the number that is in the ID 
    panel will become selected. 
  5. Don`t turn Sub-Object off. 
  6. Apply a UVW Map modifier. Use Planar, you may need to rotate and re-size the 
    UVW Map Gizmo. 

Examples :

image-50-LPP150.JPG image-50-LPP160.JPG


UVW Unwrap

  1. Apply a Mesh Select modifier but don`t turn 
    Sub-Object level on. Do this to return the selection level back to Object 
    level. (if you look at the last UVW Map in the white panel it has a star 
    next to the name. The star shows that the modifier has been applied to a sub 
    part of the mesh.& 
  2. Apply the Unwrap UVW Modifier. 
  3. Click the Edit button, then open the Face ID 
    drop down list at the bottom of the dialog. 
  4. Choose just one number to display the faces with that 
    ID number. The name 
    Faces might be confusing, these are actually the Polygon ID numbers that you 
    assigned at the beginning of this tutorial. So what you are doing is displaying 
    only one set of ID numbers at a time.

  5. This screenshot of Polygon ID numbers shows a problem with some extra 
    vertices at the right of the picture. These are faces that weren`t assigned the 
    correct number. You will need to find out which number the extra vertices should 
    be assigned to, re-assign them and re-map them. Then, you must re-map Polygons 
    number 1 to fix the map. 
  6. The above picture is what Polygon ID`s number 1 (on our model) looks 
    Scale and Arrange the Sets of faces 

Screengrab the UVW-Map and Assign the Skin

The next step is do a screengrab and to paint on the grab. Make this dialog 
as big as possible. Make a screengrab of this dialog by pressing the PrtScn 
button on your keyboard. Alternatively, go to www.techsmith.com 
and download the evaluation version of Snagit, a really good screen/window 
dialog capture program.

You should be able to see which set of polygons are where on your model. If 
you can, then you can paint on the polygons.

  1. Crop the picture so that the dark gray rectangle is the edge of the 

  2. Save the picture in your favorite format. Good formats 
    include .jpg, .tif, and .tga.
  3. The next step is simple but important. 
    Open the Asset Manager and find the picture that you painted. Click and 
    drag the picture onto the model. The result should show the picture fits 
    perfectly according to the mapping and Polygon ID`s that you set. 



It is recommended, but not essential that you collapse 
your object back to an Editable Mesh. It is recommended because most game 
engines require the UVW Mapping to be built in to the object. Not many game 
engines will understand the Mesh Select and UVW Mapping if you leave it on an 
object. The object will retain the mapping that you applied.&

To collapse the object click Edit Stack in the 
 command panel, then choose the Collapse All option.

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