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Uvmapping - The Other Way Around (56k Warning!)

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My UVMapping method

The waylon tutorial is very nice, but maybe a bit too much for a beginner in the art of uvmapping.

Here i describe my method to uvmap a vehicle piece by piece. As an example i take the hanomag from [XWW2]TuuT :D (a fellow modder from my team)

Note that this method is normally the preferred way to uvmap statics onto existing texture catalogues. The only difference to the method described here is that you add higher channels for Detail, Dirt and Crack textures. In this tutorial we only use channel 1 which corresponds to the Base channel for statics.

In contrary to waylon's method, i don't use texporter but make my texture BEFORE i start uvmapping:


Note how i left some place in the texture to add things when i need them. For a basic map, you'll need front, rear and top view, plus a basic bottom texture and every detail you want, like the dashboard or seat textures.

Setup the basic vehicle folder and the textures folder inside it (already in the final place):


Put your texture in there. Next step is the setup of the material manager in 3DS. Press 'M' to bring it up:


I have assigned the 'BF2BundledMesh' type for all materials i want to have visible. 'Standard' materials are used for the collisionmeshes.

In the dialog for the BF2BundledMesh, select your formerly made texture by browsing to the textures folder for the hanomag:


Note the name of this material : 'wreck||EnvMap'. This means we want to use the 'EnvMap' shader technique and we are currently on the wreck material. The 'wreck' word will later appear in the editor for mapping it to the right BF2 material.

To help us in the things to come, add the basic texture as 'Diffuse Color' in one of the standard materials, too. We don't need to display that material , though.

Now we should have prepared everything to start uvmapping :D To avoid any faces being out of the mapping bounds, i first select ALL faces of the model and apply a 'box' UVMap to it:


Collapse this modifier to the mesh.


Now we can start to select individual faces and do the real thing. I start by selecting faces seen from the top of the hanomag, as i want to uvmap the engine hood first. Collect faces by holding the CTRL key, btw:


Now we need an planar UVMap to cover the faces of the hood. I add an 'UVW Map' modifier to my selected faces and make sure it is located right to cover them:


When you're satisfied with the position of the map, add an 'Unwrap UVW' modifier on top of your mesh and press the big 'Edit' button in the rollout:


The hood faces pop up in the window. Now go to the rollout menu in the top right corner of the edit window and select 'Pick texture':


A long list of possibilities show up , but we want 'Bitmap' (even if we're using DDS textures) . If you added the texture as 'Diffuse color' to any standard material in the scene it will show in the list and we don't need to browse through folders anymore.


Navigate to your texture. Don't be afraid, this long dialogs are remembered, you only need to dive through the folders this time only. If you added a 'diffuse color' these steps aren't necessary.


Now the selected texture is underlayed in the edit window:


(if you have very bad texture quality in this window, open the 'Options->advanced options' menu and deselect 'Use custom bitmap size'). Now we only need to drag and scale the hood's uvmap onto its place on the texture. I find the 'freeform' tool( 4. icon from the left) the best for this (although currently the move tool is selected :wink: ):


You can zoom in the window with the mousewheel, drag with right mousebutton. Note how you can see your editing in the main viewport. When everything looks right, you simply collapse both stacks again:


And voila, we have our first uvmapped part:


Now continue to select faces, apply UVW Maps and UnWrap modifiers. It might be a bit tedious, but you see the progress and can save anytime when you're tired of it. (no need btw to save the uvw separate, just save the model)

Have fun!

Edited by mschoeldgen[Xww2]

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In the games industry usually the modeler will model and unwrap the model to a checkerboard pattern to get the scale and identify any parts that have streching and then export those uv coordinates to a 2d texture for the texture artist, however in some instance's and especially with static objects in BF2 it will be up the the modeler to map his uv's to a texture or set's (as in the case of BF2 statics)

The example above works well for statics with tex layers and for tweaking of uv's to a texture or if remodeling and using an existing texture.

With mod team's most people have to become multi skilled in all area's just to get work done so many modelers are texture artists also, in order to make a good texture look good you need a clean logical unwrap for them to start with and in order to make a nice clean unwrap sometimes it helps to have knowledge in texturing, (what area need's the greatest detail, what area's can be mirrored or overlapped ect)

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@[iDF]SPYKER: Thats why the tutorial is called 'UVMapping the other way around' :P

@Icy-Spicey: Its the only way you can currently uvmap working Tank tracks, afaik. And there's no way you ever uvmap a battleship for BF2 with texporter. The hanomag was completely uvmapped within a day :P

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Oh well , why not fill this tutorial with useless answers .... As i said, the hanomag was unwrapped in one day . Do that with your method and stay away from this thread would be my advice. Texturing your next multistore building with texporter will be funny , too.  

(will delete useless answers in a day or two to keep this tidy)

I'm not sure why their responses are making you so upset, mschoeldgen...I would think you saw these responses coming. Most people texture to an unwrapped bitmap, and for so many good reasons. Like Croupier said, "the modeler will model and unwrap the model to a checkerboard pattern to get the scale and identify any parts that have streching and then export those uv coordinates to a 2d texture for the texture artist". Without this step, how can you lay out a texture that you know will work with your unwrap...without stretching or distorting the pattern?

Your method would certinly work on buildings, and is currently the way I texture mine. I create the texture first, based on the scale of 1pixel = 1 cm, and then simpy apply the unwrap. Easy as pie, true enough. But for vehicles and weapons, with curved faces and many small parts (nuts, bolts, etc), this would be a horrible waste of time.

I'm not sure why you would want to delete posts, simply because they do not conform to your tutorial. All tutorials are not good, if they show someone a way of doing something that is potential more time-consuming, or wrongly teach someone a bad habit. We appreciate you taking the time to write this tut out, but we also disagree with your method.

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I'd never delete any constructive critics and answers (and my singleplayer tutorial shows just that ). As Croupier stated , there might be situations where texporter is better ,and there might be situations where the above described method works better. This tutorial lives from pictures and displays an alternate way of doing uvmapping. But an answer like 'This is too complicated' won't help anyone and doesn't lead to improvements of the tutorial and your learning curve.

After all, do the comparision on your own and decide which way you do prefer. Actually i can add any detail i like to my texture and reuvmap the detail part on my added texture piece. I can also add detail to a model later on and just add some parts to my texture. Its just a flexible way :D and you get it all for free :P

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I just to thank you for taking the time to post your tutorial. There are certainly situations in which what you describe is the way to go, and your tutorial is certainly helpful for those situations.

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Looks really helpful, and the pictures make it all clearer. Looks ideal for the sponshorship type stickers I'll be adding to my racing cars, rather than a whole texture cover of say a tank.

Thanks very much.


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just a liitle update for users of max9 is that you select the faces after the unwrap uv moddifier

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Interesting enough , the above methods works unchanged for Max 9. I updated the tutorial with a few comments about statics as the method is really better for statics than for vehicles and a little help for the 'Pick Texture' menu.

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Because of this tutorial, I kept on proceeding into making my lamborghini go into battlefield! :)

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