Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Unwrapping the character

Firstly i just want to apologise for not updating my blog recently i have got so caught up in developing my character i haven't had time to post anything i also had a major issue which i will get onto later on another post.

I have to say that Unwrapping isn't my favourite part of the process (I don't think many people do) but having said that i did learn some more things i never knew you could do within 3DS Max. As my character is to be built for Unreal Tournament 3 my UV Layouts had to be set out in a particular way. Below the images show how i should set out my UV's according to Unreal.

Head UV Layout

Body UV Layout

Looking at the layout of the head i immediately noticed how much wasted space area there was as i have always been told to use up as much space as possible as this unused spaces is loss of memory. So why unreal set out the UV's in this way i don't really know the answer to, John or Dean might be able to answer that one for me. Any ideas guys?

So following these rules i produced the following UV Layouts:

Head UV Layout

Body UV Layout

The Unwrapping took alot of hours to do and i had particular trouble around the jet pack area as is such the amount of detail around this area. During this time and experimenting with my Unwrapping i got to know a thing called Pelt Mapping i had now prior knowledge of this. I only found out about it whilst searching on youtube watching some tutorials on it the Pelt Mapping can be found under Map Parameters within 3DS Max. Although this was a handy little tool i never eventually used it as i was 100% confident that i could use it to its full potential, so i ended up unwrapping all the UV's manually. Another thing i never knew about was once a UVW Unwrap has been added to the stack and unwrapping had begun. It was possible to collapse the stack back down the an editable poly and make adjustments to the mesh. Once another UVW Unwrap was added to the stack the previous Unwrap was still present. This was extremely useful as i found whilst unwrapping that i encountered some 5 sided polys and this helped me eradicate any 5 sided polys from my model.

After a couple of weeks work i was finally happy here is how the Unwrap looked on my model with a checker applied from the Material Editor. I tried to keep all the checkers to equal size as much as possible in order to keep the resolution at equal length. Below is some screen grabs to illustrate this:

I'm very pleased how the unwrapping has gone and i have to say its the best unwrap that i have ever done. Having said this its only my second time of unwrapping a character here is the first character i created on the Foundation Degree 2 years ago:

As you can see from my previous attempt of building a character i feel i have greatly improved my skills in this area i understand the process alot more and how to go achieving good results when unwrapping. This will not just include unwrapping a character but also for any other object that i will build in the future.

Whilst i am here doing a crit of my previous work i might as well point out a few things i noticed when looking at my last attempt of a character. The first thing i would like to point out is the actual layout of the UV's if we look below there is alot of unused space in the layout this is also bad as this is wasted memory:

Also i would like to point out how many polys/tris that where used on my last character the following two screen grabs show just how many unnecessary tris was used and therefore this character just simply wouldn't work if attempted to be used in something like Unreal etc.

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