Pirate’s Gold: Unwrapping

Following the modelling of the Treasure Chest, I have now ‘Unwrapped’ it.  For those that don’t know what the ‘unwrapping’ process is, it’s basically skinning a 3D object so that it’s skin can be painted and textured and look pretty.  That’s a simple way of thinking about it.  I have to admit I’m still very much unsure of myself with the unwrapping process, there’s so much to it that I don’t know about and haven’t learnt yet.  There were so many unused buttons that have me wondering about their purpose and I’m very humbled.  There wasn’t much to the unwrapping process with this particular project, mainly just projecting it to a ‘planar map’, breaking apart seams when necessary, relaxing the UV’s to flatten them out and then to fit them all within one texture space (which was kinda fun, like a puzzle).

Screenshot 2015-07-21 18.07.53  Screenshot 2015-07-22 20.20.03

  So basically what I did was, select all the poly’s on a particular side or face that I wanted to unwrap, then I projected them to a planar map (which I’m still not entirely sure of, I think it’s simply when you want to unwrap only one side/face of a model), then I relaxed wrap which generally flattened the image out perfectly.  Applying a checker material to the model also allowed me to see and warped or stretched UV’s easier as well.  Sometimes however the Unwrap didn’t flatten properly.  When this happened I had to either ‘flip’ or ‘break’ the unwrap.  Breaking the unwrap was the easier of the two and a little fun as well, which involves cutting the wrap on certain edges so that it would open up properly and wouldn’t twist or contort.  Flipping the unwrap was a little weird to me and is something I still haven’t figured out properly yet.  Basically I simply flipped the unwrap by trial by error until I got the right flip selection, I think it has to do with which way the side is facing in relation that causes the relax contortion but I’m not entirely sure yet.

Screenshot 2015-07-22 20.21.51  Screenshot 2015-07-22 20.23.00

As numerous sides were going to use the exact same texture, I had to place them directly on top of one another so that the texturing process would be easier and more accurate.  To do this, once I unwrapped the face I switched on ‘Angle Snap’ and grabbed each vertice of the top-most unwrap and placed it on the corresponding vertice of the unwrap below it.  It’s a simple process but I also had to make sure that all the unwraps were oriented properly as well, so each unwrap couldn’t be upside down otherwise the texture’s would appear to be upside down as well.

Screenshot 2015-07-22 20.20.03

Then to finish it all off came the fun part.  When all the pieces of the model were properly unwrapped, I had to then fit them all into the texture space.  Even though I was following a video, it was still a lot of fun trying to fit all these pieces in.  It was like an over-complicated, not so obvious puzzle.  This is actually a really important step to get right as it will make texturing so much easier.

Screenshot 2015-07-22 20.23.30  Screenshot 2015-07-22 20.25.27

With the Unwrap process finished on the chest, the next step is to texture it.  I’m not going to lie, I’m still very much daunted by the unwrap process.  Not only is there so many buttons and processes I have no idea about, but some of the practices like the ‘flipping’, I don’t 100% understand.  Unwrapping is certainly not something that is obvious to figure out, but when I create some more model’s in the not too distant future I’ll have to play around with it a bit.

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