Intro to UV Mapping

What is UV Mapping?

UV Mapping is the process of unwrapping a finished model and preparing it for textures. This involves flattening out the triangles and converting them into a single square. The terms UV Mapping and UV Unwrapping ┬ácan be used interchangeably.The letters “U” and “V” refer to the individual axes of the 2D texture, while “X” “Y” and “Z” refer to the location of the 3D model.

Before

UV Mapping

After

UV Map Texture

Why is UV Mapping Software Important?

Without UV unwrapping, you lose control over textures. If you want a high level of accuracy with your textures, UV mapping is an absolute necessity. Many 3D artists use a 3rd party photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop in their workflow. From there, they can add artwork, edit, and alter the UV unwrap before they bring it back into Strata (or another 3D modeler).

Mapping Basics: Part 1

Tutorial by Chris Tyler

A general overview that is intended to help you gain a solid understanding around the concept of UV unwrapping.

Mapping Basics: Part 2

Tutorial by Chris Tyler

Walks through the generation of UVs from a projected texture, and then shows how to manipulate the UVs in order to get a texture to correctly adhere to the object.

Mapping Basics: Part 3

Tutorial by Chris Tyler

Covers textures, merging and grouping objects, 3D and 2D geometry.

Getting Started

For a good first time UV mapping project, see our tutorial on UV Mapping a Simple Cube. To follow along using Strata, download our free 3D modeler or our more powerful Design 3D CX ($19.95/mo).

For other 3d modeling questions and tutorials, visit Strata 3D University. We also have an forums and a helpful Facebook community that are full of artists of all levels!

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