UVW Unwrapping in 3ds Max

I have received a few requests about making a video that will cover UV Mapping as well as a few others asking for a video on making a low poly model and then transferring the details from a high poly to the low poly model (Bake down the textures). Well this post should be the answer to the first request, and a base for the second one as you need to know UVW unwrapping if you ever want to do get into low poly models and baking (most notably for gaming). And lets see how this goes.

So you made your first 3D model that is not a primitive geometry, and now you want to add a texture to it. What happens now though is that once you apply the texture to it, it simply doesn’t look anything like the texture, either that or you are getting a flat color. Well the reason for this is that when you have a model that is simply more complex than the standard primitives, you need to UVW Unwrap that model.

So how do i UVW unwrap a model?
Well the first thing you need to understand is what is UVW Unwrapping? The definition of unwrapping is the process in which you are telling your software how to apply a 2D image (texture) to a 3D model. So in order to be able to make that transition from a 2D plane to a 3D model we have our UVW Unwrap modifier in 3ds Max. If you want to get a better idea on how the logic behind unwrapping works simply think about wrapping a present. At the moment of writing this article is before Christmas and New Year so it would be easy to think about it in this manner. Let’s say that you have bought a friend or a family member a a sculpture or a toy of some sort and you want to wrap it in a nice festive wrapping paper. The thing is that you don’t want to box it, but instead you want to wrap the paper around the gift without making the paper look all squished and garbled up. In order to keep the paper on top of your present all nice and festive, you will need to cut it up in smaller pieces, and then glue or tape them all back together. Well this is EXACTLY what UVW mapping is doing, it’s taking the wrapping paper, cutting it into small manageable pieces and then putting it all back together. So that’s the general idea behind it, so now lets jump in and see the technical approach to it in 3ds Max.

In the first video we will cover the basics of unwrapping, as well as get our feet wet with unwrapping a Box a 3D Rectangle and a Cylinder. By unwrapping these few simple models we will see how to work with the UVW Unwrap modifier and how the Unfold and Flatten mapping works. I won’t keep explaining much more as you will be able to see all about it in the actual video here.

In the second part of the video we jump over to unwrapping a Cone and a Torus (Fancy word for a Doughnut). With the help of these two models we will learn more about Stitching and Breaking of UV islands as well as Pelt Mapping. So again i leave you with the video so you can see it for yourself.

And the third part of the Unwrapping series will cover unwrapping a Sphere, Geo Sphere and a modified Teapot. With the help of the Sphere and the Geo Sphere we will learn more about the Quick Peel option and the Point to Point seams cutting. And the modified teapot is there so that we can try and use everything we saw in these videos and get the teapot unwrapped.

So with that we more or less round up the basics of the UVW unwrapping. Now just to make it clear this is not all there is to say about UVW unwrapping, not even by a long shot, but it is enough to know to have a base on which you can continue to build upon.

Before i forget and finish up with this post, if you want to use the texture i used or some other UV Checker texture you can get them for free from Google, but if you don’t know how to get them (I really see no reason as to why not, but hey …) then simply follow this link straight to a Google Search.

And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos, then help spread the word and like and share the video on YouTube and Facebook.

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  1. Thanks, im gonna watch these videos later 🙂

  2. awesome.. one of best uv tutorial i have seen. really

  3. Fantastic job Sir, Complex topic has been explained very simply yet very effectively.

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