If you are used to using UV Mapper, you will find it easy to use the built-in UV tools in Lightwave instead. There are just a few things you have to remember.
With these solutions in place, there are many advantages to creating your UVs in Lightwave. Among them;
Given these advantages, I think that it's well worth the effort to learn to use Lightwave's tools; especially since they are quite easy to use!
Shall we begin? (As you go through this tutorial, you can click on the picture to see the full screen for that step.)
|We're going to start with a simple model, so you can get the idea without going into a lot of complex stuff. (We'll go there later.)
The first model we are going to map is a simple can; in this case, a can of Swoop Tasty Dragon Treats for your little dragon. If you want to follow along, you can download the model, SwoopCan.sit or SwoopCan.zip, and the image that we are going to use for the map, SwoopCanColor.jpg and SwoopCanBump.jpg. (The images are stuffed together in a file called SwoopCanImages.sit or SwoopCanImages.zip)
|Load the object into Modeler, and set your window up so you have four viewports. Choose UV Texture for the top left Viewport.|
|Under the flippy where you can usually choose the viewing mode, you can now choose to load an image.|
|Load the SwoopCanColor.jpg image. This is the map that we will use to place the UVs where we want them. This step is equivalent to showing a background image by using ctrl+B in UV Mapper.
The resolution will probably be too coarse to use when it first loads. To fix it, open the Display Options by tapping the d key, go to the Backdrop tab, and choose TL for the Top Left viewport (where the image is.) Change the Image Resolution to something that you can work with. (I usually just go for 1024, so it will remain clear even if I zoom way in.)
|Set the Top Right viewport to Perspective, and use the Texture viewing mode.|
|To start a new map in UV Mapper, you would load the model. Here, you start a new map by going to the Map tab, and clicking the Texture > New UV Map button, or simply clicking the T (for Texture) at the bottom, and choosing (new) from the menu there. Let's go ahead and do that now.|
|This will open the New Map Requester. In the Texture Name text field, type something that will allow you to choose this map from many others in a scene; say, SwoopCan_UV.
Make sure that Initial Value is unchecked. We don't want Lightwave to make a map for us; we are much better at making it ourselves.
|One of the advantages of making the UV map right here in Lightwave is that you can watch the map being applied while you are making it. But this only works if you are using it on the surface.
So, open the Surface Editor, and choose the Swoop_Can surface. Click the T next to Color, to use a texture in that channel. This will open the Texture Editor.
|Make sure that the Layer Type is set to Image Map (the default,) and that the Blending Mode is Normal, and the Layer Opacity 100%. In the second section, set the Projection to UV. This will cause the UV Map menu to appear. Choose SwoopCan UV for the UV Map, and SwoopCanColor.jpg for the Image. Leave everything else at the default.|
|In UV Mapper, faced with a model like this, you would probably choose the Cylindrical Cap mapping type. Lightwave doesn't have that choice; but that's OK, because it's easy to choose the polygons you want to map. Even though there is only one material here, we won't have any problems.
In the Perspective view, click on the polygon on the top of the lid to select it. Then, hold down the Shift key and tap the } (right curly bracket) key (or go to Display > Selection > Select Connect) to select all the polys that are connected to this one. Repeat this step 5 more times, to select all the polys that make up the top of the can.
When they are all selected, cut them, and immediately paste them back in. This will allow you to manipulate the top in the map. (If you skip this step, the vertices will stretch when you try to move them.)
|Select the middle poly in the bottom, and tap the } key seven times, to select all the polys that make up the bottom of the model. Cut and paste them right back in.|
|That's it for the prep work. Now we are ready to start making the map.
Select the can itself by clicking on any of the side polys, and then tapping the ] (right square bracket) key (or going to Display > Selection > Sel Connected) to select all the polys that will get the label on them.
|When they are all selected, go to Map > Texture > Make UVs. This is equivalent to choosing New UV Map in UV Mapper.
The Assign UV Coordinates requester will open, allowing you to choose the kind of map you want to make.
The first text field is Texture Name. You can use it to assign these UVs to any map that is attached to any open object, which makes it very handy if you want to make two or more maps for an object (or one map for two or more objects.) Right now, it should say SwoopCan_UV.
The next field allows you to choose the Map Type. There are four types available.
Right now, of course, we are going to be using Cylindrical, since we are mapping a cylinder; so go ahead and choose it.
The next part allows you to choose the axis you want to use for the map. This is just like the Alignment choice in the UV Mapping dialog in UV Mapper. (Except, of course, that you can see which one you want!) If you look at the viewports, you will see that the Y axis runs the length of the cylinder. So, in this case, we need to map around the Y axis. Go ahead and click on it.
Settings is something like Offset and Map Size in UV Mapper. If you leave it at Automatic, it will map from the center of the model, and arrange the polys to fill the whole map. If you click Manual, you can enter values yourself; but it's... ummm... quirky. Usually, it's easiest just to leave it on Automatic, and that's what we are going to do.
There is no choice for gaps in the map, because Lightwave doesn't do gaps. If you want them, to you have to add them yourself. There is also no choice for rotation; once again, you have to do that using an endomorph if you want it. (That's covered in the next lesson.)
Click OK to map the cylinder.
|As soon as you do, you will see the whole image mapped around the can. We need to pull the label part up. To do that, of course, all we have to do is shrink the polys on the map so the break is where the green and purple meet.
Go to the next page, and we'll finish this model.
If you have a question, write to me and ask it!
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