In this series of lessons we're going to take a look at the basics of working with UVs in Maya. UVs and UV layouts are important aspects of creating textures for our 3D models. They let us tell Maya how to apply the 2D images we create. Having a good UV layout can really make a difference in speeding up texture creation and optimizing your results.
In this lesson, we'll take a look at how we can get our UV layout out of Maya in a form that is usable in our image editing applications as we texture our models. So let's take a look here. Let's say that we've got the UV layout for a model finished. And so it's going to be our dinosaur for our example. So we've got all the pieces laid out into this zero to one space. So now we're going to go about the process of creating our texture map. And so to have this UV layout as a visible indication within our image editing software is going to be vital in really matching up where the detail is supposed to go, figuring out where to paint certain things, and just knowing where everything is laid out. So we need to actually save this out as an image to be able to use. So to do that we're here in our UV Texture editor rather. We can just go to Polygons. And all the way down at the bottom it's going to be the UV Snapshot. So we'll open that up. And right now right here at the top you can see under File Name it gives us a path where it's going to save out our image. It also gives us an image name. And we can keep that the way it is. We can also choose another path. Or we can just change the name if we'd like to. We also have the ability to change the size. Right now it's 1024 by 1024. If we're going to have maybe a 2K image, we can size that up. Or whatever type of texture we're going to be using or size of texture we can size this to match so that we can just bring that right in as a layer. We also have a color value here. So I can go ahead I think the default will be a white. But this is basically going to be just the color of the edges. So it just depends. It's kind of personal preference in many cases. I don't know if there's a specific instance where you would need to have those edges a different color. It just is up to you on how you want to see that. That's going to be black background. And then the edges are going to be whatever color this is. We also have an image format that we can change. So we have a number of different formats in here. So whatever image editing package you're using most likely you'll be able to use one of these formats to be able to work with. We'll just leave that as a jpeg, And then lastly the UV range options, so right now it's set to normal zero to one. So it's basically going to just use this upper right quadrant. So we've got the zero and the U to one, zero to one in B. And that's all it's going to output. So you just ignore all of this other area. We can also use the entire range. And we can also go to User Specify, which will allow us to put in actual numbers in here if we want to get a very specific range. But we'll just go ahead and leave ours at zero to one. We just want to get out that upper right quadrant. So once we're done, we've got the white color added. Let's go ahead and just say OK. So down under here you'll see there's a little indication. It saved the file. It tells us where it's saved and what it has named that file, which is what we specified. So if we jump into that folder and we take a look at the image, you can see, as I said, it's just a black image with white lines over it. So we could bring this image into, again, something like Photoshop or whatever image editing package we're using, import it in as a layer, and then use the blend modes to take down our opacity so that we can just barely see those lines but still get an indication. And so we can then start to paint our textures. So looking at this, well, this is the back. I need to paint, my spines need to go this way. And this is the inside of the mouth so I need to make that a different color. And the scales need to go a certain way on the arms. And so I know that those are down here. So it just gives you a visual cue of where on your texture map everything is located. And it's really important in knowing that when you're going in and creating your different textures. Now, if we want to change, for instance, something like the color, we can go back in here create another snapshot. We could make that bigger if we wanted to. We could change the color of the edges. We could change the range. If we wanted to change the range to the entire range, say OK to that, we can call this something like dino two. Say OK. It's going to save that new image out. And so we can open that up. And you can see that it hasn't actually taken the entire range. It's changed the color of the lines. But if we go back in and, for instance, take one of these shells and move it over here and one of these shells and move it down here and then we go back in, do our UV snapshot, call it the same thing, we'll use the entire range again, say OK, overwrite that file, and let me make sure that I've got that object selected, get back our UV snapshot, save that out again, and so now when we go back in here, you can see that it has taken that entire range. So the range is really where the shells are located. So I've moved the shells out of this range. And it's now taken that as the range. So before they were all squeezed into this box. So it only took just that box. And you can see where it's cut off the area on the side. So just keep that in mind when you're creating your UV snapshots. You may want to use the entire range. You may just want to use the upper right quadrant. In that case, you just go zero to one, say OK to that. And then if we take a look at this that we just output, you can see that that takes that zero to one. It doesn't really matter where the shells are. You can see it's got a big gap over here because we moved one of the shells out. So it didn't cut that off here. It just went along that zero to one area. So again really important to get the UV snapshots out to be able to create your textures if you're going to be creating them that way. And so you can find that in your UV Texture editor under Polygons and all the way at the bottom UV Snapshot. Well, I hope you've enjoyed the last hour or so looking at just some basics of working with UVs in Maya. We looked at some simple projection methods, planar mapping, cylindrical spherical mapping. We looked at automatic mapping of our objects. We also looked at some simple editing functionality that we have here in our UV Texture editor, cutting and moving and sewing things like that, moving our shells around, selecting different shells. And we talked about some of the different tools we could use to, for instance, transfer UV layouts and also to get a UV snapshot out to be able to start texturing. And we didn't really go in depth on any of the tools. But hopefully, you've got just a good basic overview of how we can deal with UVs here in Maya. Again, if you want to continue on with your learning as far as UVs go, I'd encourage you to check out the UV mapping workflows that go through the whole process with the dinosaur of creating a UV layout for him and also going through the process of texturing as well. There's also a course, The Urban Environment, which has a lot of UV work in it. So there are a number of courses in here that you can continue on with if you're interested in learning more about UVs. So I hope you enjoyed it. I know I did. We'll see you next time.