Behavior crafted UV-mapping?

I have a challenge in that I’m importing assets that are originally created in CAD and/or Solidworks software. In these worlds the crafters mostly deal with solid material volumes, nurbs instead of polygons etc… UV texture mapping is not part of the creation process.

Anyhow, using conversion tools I transform these to a realtime format such as .fbx.
At this stage I will have to create the UV mapping from scratch.

I’m using Blender and it has a couple of nice functions such as ‘Smart UV project’ and ‘Lightmap pack’ that will attempt to do a smart UV unwrap without overlap etc. The software however has no idea how I’m going to use or view this object and as such we need a final human touch to the mapping (as insignificant areas otherwise gets lots of UV-mapping space and so on). Now… this is an extremely tedious and time consuming process. Especially when I have a ton of imported assets originating from the CAD/Solidworks ‘no-texture-mapping’ universe.

Does there exist tools that creates a UV-map based on first-person-perspective exploration?

I could envision that this tool smartly weights the importance of each polygonal-face depending on their exposure to the camera within the recorded session.
This would be incredibly helpful as resources (time & money) are limited.

Hi Wollan,

Unfortunately there is no such software, that I’m aware of. I certainly don’t want to say never though.

I think you summed it up pretty clearly here in this statement. Lightmaps and UVing in general are a tedious and time-consuming project. I would argue that it’s just as much an art-form to get a good packed UV and lightmap as it is creating an object for a game engine. I’ll spend a good amount of time laying out UVs to get the results I need.

I’ve noticed a lot of users coming from CAD and ArchViz backgrounds that have started to use the engine not realizing the need for UVs and Lightmaps. While the texture UV cannot be avoided you an avoid having to setup a second UV for Lightmaps by using dynamic lighting. This bypasses the need of the lightmap where static lights shadow information is being baked into a texture.

Since UVs cannot be altered once they are imported into the engine without using a 3D modeling software like 3Ds Max, Maya, or Blender this would all have to be completed before being brought into UE4.

If you have any questions with your UVing I can certainly help and provide some feedback.

Thank you!


That is tip worth it’s weight in gold to me. I have a VR project and I had a tunnel vision in just having everything be static as performance is of absolute importance but at the same time my resources are limited… I think I will still be able to uphold 75hz (155.5mill pixel per second with Oculus DK2…) with careful orchestration between dynamic and static lighting with my current assets. I only need excellent shadowing/lighting detail within the ‘on-foot’ area (dynamic) and I can rely on automatic UV-mapping scripts for distanced assets (baked).


edit: And for anyone clever enough to develop such a tool as I originally suggested: There’s a gold pot waiting for you at the end of that rainbow.

Good luck! If you have any questions along the way we’ll gladly help point you in the right direction. :slight_smile:


I think everyone hates UV mapping when they start. But I can honestly say, with a lot of practice it becomes second nature and no longer takes too long (mesh dependant, of course)

For software, I would recommend headus UVLayout, it is a fantastic UV mapping tool.

i doubt that such a thing has been conceived at all due to the simple fact that in most cases a 3d object game or other wise can be seen from most angles so that all of the mesh needs to be uvw mapped

blender isn’t that bad with uvw mapping you just have to learn where to put the seams, but that needs understanding of where and when the texture is placed.
there are plenty of tools out there to help like blacksmith3d / 3d-coat / substance designer-painter , also there are stand alone uvw mappers which will help with the uvw mapping but again a little understanding of the process is required to get good results

one thing NOT to do is use blender’s lightmap generator in the uvw tools as this will cause you more problems than anyone can solve

headus is awesome, I like UV’ing its easy and its fun getting the mesh flat.

Like most, many of my assets are made from multiple sub-objects then combined with Maya. I usually tackle the UVs once the sub-object has been formed, that way its not as tedious as unwrapping the full object for an hour or so. I create automatic UVs for the lightmaps then stitch relevant islands together ensuring that overlapping UVs are eliminated and bleeds between them are sufficient. Needless to say, it can be a PITA sometimes.:mad:

I’ve heard a lot about Headus but never used it, can Headus unwrap the object to a second lightmap UV channel to be manipulated?