3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Tutorials & Resources For Modellers & Skinners

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Runecrafter
Posts: 148
Joined: 30 Oct 2005, 00:23

3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Post by Runecrafter » 23 May 2007, 18:24

Greetings Friends.
Welcome to my 3DS Max UV mapping tutorial.


In this tutorial I will show you how to:
  • UV map a multi-object model.
    Create a hierarchy for your unit.
    Move the object's origin (pivot points).
    Export the fully working UV mapped model into Upspring.
To start this tutorial you will require:
  • A 3D modeling program (i.e. Rhino, Wings 3D, or 3DS Max).
    3DS Max (for this tutorial I will be using 3DS Max 7).
    Texporter a UV plugin for 3DS Max.
    .S3O Plugin for 3DS Max (this is for exporting .S3O files from 3DS Max).
    Upspring an app for making .S3O units for TASpring.


Lets Get Started
  • First, make your model in your favorite 3d modeling program.
    Make sure that each object is joined as it's own solid mesh before you export it.
    Now export each object that makes up your model as a .3ds
    Start up 3DS Max.
    Import each object that makes up your model into 3DS Max.
For this tutorial I have made a very basic tank model.
Image
  • Now click on the Select Object button
    then select your base object
    click on the Modify tab
    then click on Attach List
Image
  • This will open the Attach List window.
    In this window you will see the other objects you do not have selected.
    Click on the All button.
    Now click Attach.
    This will turn all the objects that make up your model into one object that is ready for UV mapping.
Image
  • Now with your model selected click on the Polygon button.
    Make sure there is not a check in the box to the left of Ignore Backfacing.
    Now once again select your entire model.
Image
  • Now go to Modifiers / UV Coordinates / UVW Map
Image
  • Now go to Modifiers / UV Coordinates / Unwrap UVW
Image
  • Now open up the Material Editor with the M key.
    Click and apply a default material by dragging it to your model.
Image
  • Now click on the Edit... button, this will open up the UV Editor window.
    In this window all the faces that make up your model are flattened out. This way you can make an image that will become the texture for your model.
Image
  • Now go to Mapping / Normal Mapping...
    This will open a window that will let you choose how to unfold your model.
Image
  • In this new window select Box Mapping, then click OK.
    This will unfold your model as seen from all 6 sides.
Image
  • At this point you want to take the time to move around faces so that they are not overlapping. In some cases it is ok to overlap faces (i.e. if the faces share the same texture).
    Down at the bottom of the Edit UVWs window where it says "ALL IDs" is a drop down menu that allows you to edit the faces of one object at a time.
    Make sure to use as much of the space provided as you can, and when you scale the faces, scale all of them at the same time to avoid stretching.
    Close the Edit UVWs window when you are done.
Image
  • With your model still selected, right click on Unwrap UVW and click on Collapse All.
    If a warning window appears just click Yes.
Image
  • Now click on the Utilities tab.
    Click on Texporter (if you don't see it there click on More... located near the top of the Utilities tab, if you installed it properly it will be located there).
    Now choose your image size.
    Make sure that the boxes to the left of Edges, Backface Cull, and Mark Overlaps are not checked (if they are just uncheck them).
    Now click on Pick Object, then click on your model.
Image
  • A new window should open up with your UV map image on it.
    Save this image, then close the window.
    Later you can edit this image in your favorite 2D art program (this will be you model's texture).
Image
  • Now it is time to apply the new texture image we just made to our model.
    Now open up the Material Editor with the M key.
    Select an unused texture.
    Go down to Diffuse Map and click on None, this will open the Material/Map Browser window.
    In the Material/Map Browser window double click on Bitmap.
    Find the new texture image we just made and open it.
Image
  • Now just click and drag the new texture onto your model.
    If the texture is not showing up just click on the "Show Map In Viewport" button.
Image
  • Now it is time to turn your UV mapped model back into separate objects.
    Click on the Modify tab.
    Click on Polygon.
    Select the part of the model you wish to turn back into a separate object (you can hold down Ctrl to add to your selection or Alt to subtract from your selection).
    Now click Detach (this will open the Detach window).
Image
  • In the Detach window rename the object then click OK.
    Repeat this process for each object.
Image
  • Now press the H key to open the Select Objects window.
    Here you can see a list of all the objects you have.
    Some times you might have a stray vertex left over from the joined model that will appear in the Select Objects window as an object (if you do, do not worry).
    If you see any objects that do not belong you can select and delete them(it should not harm your model in any way).
Image
  • Now it is time to adjust the objects Origin Points (called Pivot Points in 3DS Max).
    If you select the Rotate or Move button you can see where the selected objects Pivot Point is located.
    To move the Pivot Point click on the Hierarchy tab.
    Click Pivot.
    Then click on Affect Pivot Only.
Image
  • Now click on the Move button.
    At the bottom of the screen is a section where you can adjust the selected object's world coordinates.
    When you are done adjusting the pivot points for each object click on the Affect Pivot Only button again to turn it off.
Image
  • Now it is time to put the model's Hierarchy together.
    Click on the Link button.
Image
  • Now I click on the turret to select it.
    Then I click on the turret again and drag the cursor to the base and release the mouse button.
    The turret is now the child object to the base witch is now the parent object to the turret.
    Any movement the base makes the turret will follow, but if the turret moves the base will not move.
    This is a child parent relationship also known as a hierarchy.
    Now repeat this process for each object in your model (i.e. the turret is a child to the base, the sleeve is a child to the turret, the barrel is a child to the sleeve).
Image
  • Now press the H key, this will bring up the Select Objects window.
    As you can see our model now has a hierarchy.
    Now close this window.
Image
  • Go to File / Export.
    Give your model a name and select .S3O as the file type.
    Click Save.
    The S3O Export window will open.
    In this window select the base object of your model and click OK.
    You now have a 3DS Max UV mapped .S3O model.
    You can now close 3DS Max. :!: :shock: :!:
Image
  • Start up Upspring.
    Load your new model.
    3DS Max works on a different axis then Upspring so you will need to make an adjustment.
    Click on the Objects tab.
    Select the base object.
    In the X Rotation box type in -90
    Click on Apply Transform.
Image
  • Click on the Mapping tab.
    Under Texture 1 click on the Browse button and load your new texture.

    Congratulations ! ! !
Image

I hope this tutorial has been helpful and informative.
Enjoy 8)
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Boirunner
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Post by Boirunner » 23 May 2007, 21:54

I wish to be the first to say this is awesome and thank you for doing it! 8)
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OOmiz
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Post by OOmiz » 24 May 2007, 00:20

Absolutely brilliant!
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SwiftSpear
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Post by SwiftSpear » 24 May 2007, 02:17

Very good sir.
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pintle
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Post by pintle » 24 May 2007, 16:33

STICKY
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1v0ry_k1ng
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Post by 1v0ry_k1ng » 24 May 2007, 17:48

awesome
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Zenka
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Post by Zenka » 24 May 2007, 18:04

great succes!
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Sheekel
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Post by Sheekel » 25 May 2007, 20:57

Hmmm, for some reason I cant select "Normal Mapping" in the Edit UVWs window...I actually cant select any of those options. They aren't highlighted or selectable when I mouse over them...
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LBPB
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Post by LBPB » 25 May 2007, 21:28

Oh my god !!!


I was wandering around for ages, wishing for a such tutorial.

You ve my eternal gratitude :-)
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Runecrafter
Posts: 148
Joined: 30 Oct 2005, 00:23

Post by Runecrafter » 26 May 2007, 00:48

Sheekel wrote:Hmmm, for some reason I cant select "Normal Mapping" in the Edit UVWs window...I actually cant select any of those options. They aren't highlighted or selectable when I mouse over them...
Well Sheekel I have tried over and over again to reproduce the problem you are having with no success. I'm not sure what is causing you to not be able to access that area of the UVWs window.

My only suggestion is to try a new model (keep it very basic) and see if you are successful with that one. If the new model works then most likely the problem lies in your old model for one reason or another, and if this does not fix it then you at least ruled out the model as the cause.

Sorry I could not be of anymore help. :|
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Sheekel
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Post by Sheekel » 26 May 2007, 03:23

I tried that, I even tried using a basic cube.

Reinstall! :lol:
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LathanStanley
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Post by LathanStanley » 28 May 2007, 15:21

Sheekel wrote:Hmmm, for some reason I cant select "Normal Mapping" in the Edit UVWs window...I actually cant select any of those options. They aren't highlighted or selectable when I mouse over them...
if you are in vertex mode, line mode, or hve no objects selected, you cannot normal map them...

you HAVE to be in the FACE SELECTION mode, and have ALL THE FACES YOU WANT TO MAP SELECTED. :wink:

(bold for quick reading...)
(I need to finish the advanced tutorial I was gonna do, there are soooo many more tricks you can do with that UV editor. Ctrl-W, Ctrl-S, and Ctrl-B are your friends :-) )
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Runecrafter
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Joined: 30 Oct 2005, 00:23

Post by Runecrafter » 28 May 2007, 15:50

Aye there are lots of tricks to UV mapping that I did not cover in this tutorial.
This tutorial's main focus is on getting a working model into Upspring using 3DS Max, not advanced UV mapping.

Lathan's advanced tutorial I'm sure will cover all the things I choose not to go into (i.e. such as advanced UV mapping, texturing, modeling etc.).

Not that I'm trying to speak for you Lathan. :wink:
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domiciliphile
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Joined: 20 May 2008, 23:10

Re: 3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Post by domiciliphile » 20 May 2008, 23:18

LathanStanley wrote:
Sheekel wrote:Hmmm, for some reason I cant select "Normal Mapping" in the Edit UVWs window...I actually cant select any of those options. They aren't highlighted or selectable when I mouse over them...
if you are in vertex mode, line mode, or hve no objects selected, you cannot normal map them...

you HAVE to be in the FACE SELECTION mode, and have ALL THE FACES YOU WANT TO MAP SELECTED. :wink:
Hi. I found another forum post that addresses this problem (from
http://forums.halomods.com/viewtopic.php?t=46160 ):
mr_penguin
Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:55 pm
I just got 3ds max 9 and ... Also Ive noticed a few times I couldn't select normal mapping, to fix that you need to select the whole object in the UVWs window and goto select and then click "convert vertex to face"
This will also open up the Selection Parameters options within the Unwrap UVW Modifier.
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maestro
Posts: 352
Joined: 08 Jun 2005, 11:10

Re: 3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Post by maestro » 05 Jun 2008, 11:09

hello, main problem for me is smoothing... all smoothing group totally messed once they are in upspring :roll:
do anyone know how to solve this.... :?: please//


ps :
If some genius make internal smoothing function in upspring ill be very glad....
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Argh
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Re: 3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Post by Argh » 05 Jun 2008, 11:38

If some genius make internal smoothing function in upspring ill be very glad....
Um, JC fixed that ages ago. There is a function that allows you to weld / split vertices, by angular difference, which is all that a smoothing group actually does.

You just weren't around, and it's not documented.

Use the Object-->Recalculate Vertex Normals, 3DO Style, to smooth stuff. Simple, easy, and it works. Set the maximum angular difference between the facets (i.e., lower numbers for more sharp edges, higher numbers to weld more vertices) and you can make it do just about anything you want.

If you have stuff where it really, absolutely needs to have two different smoothing angles on one part (I've had this happen exactly once), you can import them as separate meshes, get everything scaled, etc., then do that step BEFORE you combine them as the final step- scaling afterwards will ruin it, as you need to recalculate vertex normals after any scaling step anyhow.
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maestro
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005, 11:10

Re: 3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Post by maestro » 05 Jun 2008, 12:16

OK thx for that...
that is the 'use 3DO smoothing' riight ?
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Argh
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005, 03:38

Re: 3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Post by Argh » 05 Jun 2008, 21:52

Um, I have no idea what you're talking about, there is nothing called that, in UpSpring 1.54, to my knowledge.

Is that some export dialog option, in Max? If so, forget about it. You need to do this part in UpSpring.

Also, when you first bring an object into UpSpring, it's always wise to use Recalculate Vertex Normals immediately after scaling. And during this process of getting stuff smoothed, always keep lighting on, so that you can actually see problems with welded verts and other stuff.
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maestro
Posts: 352
Joined: 08 Jun 2005, 11:10

Re: 3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Post by maestro » 06 Jun 2008, 03:10

thx... whatever u call dat is work... :mrgreen:
start making thing now...

Big Thx to JC nossen (is he still active here ?)
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Argh
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Re: 3DS Max UV Mapping Tutorial

Post by Argh » 06 Jun 2008, 03:27

is he still active here ?
He's working on something else now. He stops by once in awhile, though :-)
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