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UV Mapping Tutorial For 3d Studio Max R3.1

This tutorial is for planar mapping... meaning that it's not the typical cylindrical mapping. It's to help you flatten your model's coordinates to prepare it for skinning In this tutorial I will use a simple head... yeah it sucks but it was done quicky to get this tutorial set up. Before we get started you might wanna get a neat little plugin called texporter you can get it Here You don't really need it but it'll make things easier

Step 1. Load your model DUH!!!

To make it easier for your viewing pleasure right click on the front view port and click on edged faces... I really don't want to get to deep into this just look at the diagram below put checks on the ones I have checked to make it a little easier.

Step 2. Select your model by clicking on it once

Step 3. click on the modify panel

Step 4. Then your gonna click on the subobject button and then your gonna click on face

Step 5. To make it easier for myself I will cut the mesh in half if it's possible you can do it as well it will save alot space. If you can't then you can skip this part. Anyway select the half the mesh and hit delete on your keyboard or go to edit and click on delete

After Deletion

Step 6. Okay so then you select a certain section for instance the front part of the head.

Step 7. Now you gotta detach it. So you gotta click on the detach button which is located under the edit geometry drop down list. Your gonna see a window pop up to label the detached faces just leave it as it is it'll label each one as you detach the individual sections.

You gotta make sure also you select ignore backfacing so that you don't select any faces in the back of the head. I don't have it checked on my screenshot there but I will check it when I need to.

Step 8. do it for the rest of the mesh detach the faces by sections until everything is detached

Step 9. Now unclick subobject and press the attach list button which is located in the same spot under edit geometry drop down list select them all and then click on attach.

Step 10. Now you gotta select the mesh go to edit and click on clone this will make a copy which you will need it later so just move it to the side for now

Step 10. Select the original head and click on suboject .....then click on element.

Step 11. Now time to lay everything out make sure you do this on the front view port make sure every piece is facing forward as well. As seen on the image below

Step 12. Now once you have everything laid out you select everything and click on the uvwmap modifier button and click on planar if it is not already selected. If the gizmo... that square around the objects does not appear to be around all the parts click on the fit button or try clicking on subobject and click on gizmo and stretch it out make it taller or whatever so that it fits as shown below

Step 13. Now click on the create tab and then click on compound object and click on morph.

Step 14. Now remember the clone copy??? I hope you do cuz this is where we need it. Now your gonna click on the pick target button and then your gonna pick the clone we were saving

Okay so it snapped back into place and now you can delete the clone copy were done with it.

Step 15. Now you go back to the modify tab and click on more and select unwrap uvw and click on okay

Step 16. Next click on edit and fix what needs to be fixed you can attach some of the parts that connect with each other like for instance the side of the head with front of the head.

After fixing the UV's

Step 17. Now if you have the texporter utility you just go to the utilities tab and click on more and select texporter. Now you click on pick object and click on the mesh before you do that make sure you have it as the correct size 800X600 or whatever size... it will generate an image which you can save as a .bmp or .tga etc. You can also select wire frames if that's your fetish I usually leave the defaults.

If you don't have the Texporter Utility then you gotta print a screenshot save cut the image using photoshop or Paintshop Pro and resize it to your liking.

Step 18. Now bring up the material editor click on on one of the circles up on top.

Step 19. Then you click on the maps roll out below and click on diffuse and browse for the mapped image. Once you have the image just simply drag and drop to the image unto the mesh

Step 20. Okay all done if you didn't cut the mesh in half but if you did then you gotta click on edit then click on clone on the pop up window click okay.

Step 21. Next you gotta click on tools then click on mirror then just click okay on the window that pops up

Step 22. Next you gotta put it in it's rightfull spot make sure you don't leave any gaps or openings.

Step 23. Now you gotta click on attach on the modify tab if your not there yet and once attach is clicked .... then click on the side that is not selected and there you go both objects are now one object.... LET THE SKINNING BEGIN!!!!

Any Questions you can email me at

The End