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UVLayout Workflow for LightWave 9

 
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Greenlaw



Posts: 5
Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:36 pm    Post subject: UVLayout Workflow for LightWave 9 Reply with quote

Hi,

We've been evaluating UVLayout for use with LightWave 9 and so far it seems to work great. If there are other LightWave users here having trouble with UVLayout there are a few things you need to be aware of:

- For LW compatibility, UVLayout currently only supports the .OBJ format. Use LightWave's Export .OBJ command to export LightWave objects for UVLayout. LightWave can import .OBJs that have been exported from UVLayout.

- If you want to optimize an existing LightWave UV Map with UVLayout, you should know that LightWave's Export .OBJ command does not save UV Maps with .OBJs unless the UV Map has been applied to a texture channel. You can apply it to a color channel, for example, and disable it or set the Layer opacity to 0% if you don't want the layer to affect anything; UVLayout won't care about this.

- In LightWave, all the vertices of an object must have a UV assigned for the Export .OBJ command to save the map properly. This is apparently an .OBJ requirement and not a LightWave bug. If you plan to create a completely new UV map with UVLayout, then you can skip this step. To be honest, for organic objects you will probably prefer to make a new UV map from scratch in UVLayout.

- You shouldn't be too concerned about preserving additional UV maps and non-UV data in the .OBJ because it's very easy to copy and paste a UV map from UVLayout's .OBJ to the original LightWave object using Modeler's UV editing tools. The following procedure may sound a little convoluted but it's pretty easy once you know the tricks.

Here's the workflow (UVLayout to LW9 Modeler):

1. After creating or editing a UV map in UVLayout, export the object as an .OBJ.

2. In LightWave 9 Modeler, open the .OBJ object exported from UVLayout and the original .LWO.

3. Select all the polygons (or subpatches) of the .OBJ and then select the Copy UVs command. Make sure you're in Polygon Edit mode. Modeler will report an error if you're in Points Edit mode when you use this command.

4. Switch to the original .LWO object and select all the polygons (or subpatches.) Create a new UV map. The settings are mostly irrelevant at this time, so the default settings are fine. If this is a subpatch object, then you will probably want to select Subpatch for the Subpatch Interpolation method before clicking on the Create button. Depending on the object this option may improve the quality of the UV mapping when rendering the object in LightWave 9 Layout.

5. This next step is important: select the Unweld Points command; otherwise, the next step may fail.

6. Select the Paste UVs command. If you have the UV Texture mode selected in a viewport, you should now see UVLayout's UV Map applied to the original LightWave object, and all your Endomorphs and any other vertex maps should remain intact.

7. Finally, select Merge Points to re-weld all the points in the object so that it subpatches correctly. Naturally, you should make adjustments to this procedure if you really don't want all the points in the object to be welded. If you chose Subpatch as the Subpatch Interpolation method in step 3, your UV map should also look subpatched.

I hope this information comes in handy. If there are other LighWave users here also using UVLayout, and you have improvements to the above workflow or other useful tips, please post the info here. You're input is appreciated.

I'm finding that UVLayout is a lot of fun to use and it's already proving to be an invaluable tool for texturing characters quickly and precisely in LightWave.

-DRG

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D.R. Greenlaw
Senior Digital Artist
Rhythm & Hues Studios - The Box
www.rhythm.com
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headus
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Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Location: Perth, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed workflow information!

Phil
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Greenlaw



Posts: 5
Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

You're welcome Phil. It's been a pleasure working with UVLayout and I hope this post gets more LightWave users to try it out.

Here's a slight revision to the above workflow for Subpatch objects:

For the Subpatch Interpolation setting you may want to choose Discontinous Edges instead of Subpatch. This preserves sharp corners and edges for your UVs but smooths the polygon flow for the interior region.

The method you choose will depend on the geometry so you should experiment to see what works best for you.

-DRG

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D.R. Greenlaw
Senior Digital Artist
Rhythm & Hues Studios - The Box
www.rhythm.com
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Greenlaw



Posts: 5
Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

One more revision:

It just occured to me that if you choose Discontinuous Edges, it's unnecessary to unweld the points as stated in Step 5, and you can skip that step and go directly to pasting UVLayout's UVs into the .LWO object's UV space.

You do need to unweld points if you choose Linear or Subpatch methods. I'm not sure about the other methods.

-DRG

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D.R. Greenlaw
Senior Digital Artist
Rhythm & Hues Studios - The Box
www.rhythm.com
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