Best way around this UV problem?


Just trying to get some models setup for the market place (will all be free), I’m a structural designer by trade and work on mainly mining projects so I have lots of steel models at 100% correct scales and 100% engineered (not that it matters but it looks nice) :slight_smile:
Anyway, so I have a few models that I’m having trouble with getting into UE4 for easy use.
For example, I have a bunch of hand rails I want to add (side mounted, top mounted, welded, etc) -

Now if I setup the UVs on each part, the model will have to come in as separate parts and not very user friendly.
If I setup the UVs on a single plane, the UE4 editor comes up with the UV overlapping error and some of the shadows can be a bit funky, but the model can be a single element and more user friendly (instead of 12 or so parts).

I’m stuck at what would be the best way to get this into UE4 for people to use easily?
The MAX file is just too big to fit in the attachments for the forum :frowning:

-Thread moved to Rendering section-

Thank you I wasn’t sure where to put it :slight_smile:

You need to process the UVs to unwrap them into 2D space. In the image you share the UVs would essentially be projecting any texture to one side of the asset (this would be the overlapping error, the back side of the rails are still behind the front)

For example, to unwrap the pipes, think of them as rolled pieces of paper: starting from a flat paper, you roll it up and are left with a seam running down it. You must define this seam on the mesh so that it can be laid out flat like the paper. After you select the edges that will be your seam you can break the UVs there and then use the flatten tool to lay it out. Each part needs to be approached in a similar way, eg that plate at the ends of the vertical pipes would be laid out in the 6 faces that make it up.

UVs can be really complex, but once you get used to them you can start to plan for them in your meshes to make the process easier.

There are plenty of resources you can search for that give the specifics of the process for whatever program you are using.

Here’s how I’d unwrap it if I wasn’t using tiling textures. The green lines are seams, the different colored parts are different UV islands.

Download FBX of the 3d model:

And the model in UE4 with a quick auto-generated texture.

Looks good!

Wow awesome advise thank you so much, will give it a whirl today :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Yeah if you have any questions about particular parts of the process, just ask them here, I’ll be happy to help. I might do a version of the UVs designed to take advantage of tiling textures.

is that UV Layout you are using?

I use 3D Coat for unwrapping.

Hmm it may be the software I use (Tekla) how it exports it.
At first I tried to run a seam in the exact spot yours are, but my objects were tubes with a hollow bored in it (a Circular Hollow Section)
So I changed it to just a Round in my software then exported again, now when creating seams and peeling all I get is like a Plane peeling with a few nodes and no unwrapping (like paper) if that makes sense?

That is the model I’m trying to unwrap

Hmm are Map Seams & Peel Seams the same?
I seem to only be able to make the blue seams (peel seams?)
That may be where I’m going wrong?

How you starting UV mapping a mesh depends a lot on the application you use, I cannot find any information on Google how to actually create a UV map with Tekla, and I’ve never used the software, so I’m not sure what map Seams & Peel Seams are. But where you place your seams and how you separate out your UV islands should be similar across any 3d application.

The FBX file you posted, I’m not seeing any UV unwraps on any part of the mesh. I see that 2 UV channels exist, but nothing is actually there laid out.

Thanks for taking a look, you’re right Tekla has no uv wrap or render capabilities, more of an engineering / shop detailing program.
I can export it out of Tekla into Sketchup and then import it into 3ds max design 2015.
So my workflow -

  1. Import sketchup file into 3ds max design (works good, but has no UVs or materials)
  2. Convert all objects to Editable Poly
  3. Select all objects and give it an unwrap UVW modifier
  4. Start creating seams

    Which then going into UV Editor it looks something like this (not right?)
    or if I Peel it at the seams I have created -

Just can’t seem to make it look like a nice rolled out piece of paper :frowning:

I think this is the ideal method within 3ds Max, but maybe someone else more experienced with Max can give their own advise.

There also seems to be some relevant tools here, like Unfold Strip from Loop

Cheers for those, though already read through them.
Just can’t seem to make it do what it should do.
Might try downloading 3d coat give that a whirl, 3ds max may be too much for me :frowning:

3d Coat makes it super easy, I normally just mark seams and hit unwrap and you are pretty much done. You may want to add or remove seams and hit unwrap again. You can also straighten the UVs like I did with this technique

Thank you so much for your help.
Downloading the 30 day trial now, although the server from my end is soooo slow :frowning:
Give it a shot tomorrow!
Cheers once again, hopefully by this time tomorrow have an actual hand rail post unwrapped! :slight_smile:

there is a “straighten selection” button in the 3ds max unwrap modifier. usually works pretty good for cylindrical objects, but not always.

So I got 3d coat and much happier with how easy it is to adjust and create UVs compared to 3ds max (for me anyway).
Has been a good run, I think in the future I will have to delete most of the bolt details as my program spits out the washer, the nut and anything else on it, and it turns the UVing into a nightmare for each piece -

As you can see I straightened one radius bend just as a test, was very easy :slight_smile:
So next time, off with the bolts I’ll try just set the head of the bolt to make it easier.