A.L.F.R.E.D. - UV Mapping

This probably isn't the most exciting post you will read, but it is a fundamental part of 3D modeling. This week we had the assignment of creating UV maps for our robots. UV mapping is essentially how textures are applied to an object to make it look real and not the default grey plastic. It is a time-consuming and tedious process, but it pays off in the end.

Essentially, when creating a UV map, you unfold your model in a separate editor that defines the UV coordinates, or where on your 3D model, the 2D texture will be applied. To start off, I used a checkerboard pattern so I could tell whether or not the texture was being distorted as it was applied to the model. It is important to unwrap the model and make sure it is proportional, otherwise things look funny. Take, for example, the unwrapped version of ALFRED's jaw:
Now, try doing that for every piece on his body! Luckily, I had the good fortune of having lots of parts the same and could copy one UV map to another part. There are actually programs that will unwrap your mesh for you, which is especially handy for organic meshes. I suppose it's one of those things that you have to learn the basics of and learn to appreciate it.

He's all ready! Next step is to add textures.

No comments: