What Are Industry Standard Plug-ins for UV Unwraping?

PastyPict
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I personally find unwrapping in 3DS Max to be finicky, and I have seen people who've been doing this for longer than me share similar sentiments, some describing it as "outdated."
I think I remember hearing that professional VFX and Game Artists in the studios use 3rd party plug-ins for more efficient unwrapping.
Is this true, and if so, what are some plug-ins used in the industry?

I'm trying to make myself more employable, but I find unwrapping in Blender a much more pleasant experience and have to urge to just unwrap it there, but I imagine that's not an option at most studios. So any plug-in recommendations for 3DS Max and Maya would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter
  • Cathodeus
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    Cathodeus polycounter lvl 10
    3DSMAX is good at uvs. You can install Textools, or PolyUnwrapper and if you can afford it RyzomUv do have actually the best flattening algorithm out there in this world with a bridge plugin for 3DsMax available. It do work like a charm. People complain a lot because they want everything being done automatically for them but 3D is a job. If everything become easy than that will not be a job anymore.
  • rollin
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    rollin polycounter lvl 14
    I do 99% with native max tools and the 1% with textools
    That being said:
    Unwrapping is an art imo. There are often multiple ways of unwrapping a model which are technically "the same" but can make a huge difference when working with the model - depending on what you want to do.

    E.g. sometimes you want straighter lines and have to accept more stretching for it
    or sometimes you prefer an somehow organized layout which is not perfectly using all available space. 

    Just saying..
    I certainly hate unwrapping.. but I also love it!  <3
  • PastyPict
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    PastyPict triangle
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    And @Cathodeus, I hope you don't take this as me being unappreciative to your helpful repsonse, but I'm not saying I want everything done for me, nor am I saying that this isn't part of the job. Even in Blender I still need to do the work to make sure it's unwrapped properly, but to me, part of technological progress is cutting out/automating the tedious things that we don't need to be doing, or develop technologies that make things less painful.
    I look for things that will help me achieve the result I want/need, and help speed up my workflow. But I'm also looking for the industry standard methods. I don't want to spend more time than necessary to get the same result as another method that takes less time and or is less tedious, especially if people in the industry use more efficient tools and methods instead of the default tools.
    I learned to texture using Photoshop, Crazy Bump, etc. but just because it's a tried and true method doesn't mean I'm going to avoid Substance Painter and Quixel. More tools, less pain, easier and less painful experience to get results, and that still involves work.
    As many professionals have said for years now. It's about working smart. I want the smart method, not the unnecessarily long, tedious, and possibly outdated methods.

  • PastyPict
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    PastyPict triangle
    @rollin I more or less consider it an art as well. Like I said to Cathodeus, I'm not asking for something to be done for me. I just want to know if there are more efficient tools to use than the default. I've been unwrapping my own models for years now, so it's not like I'm just now learning what it takes to get results. I have just been using other software (even though 3DS Max was the first 3D software I ever used), and want to know if and what additional tools people use, since I have heard that plugins are used at studios.
    In fact I am doing a project now with 3DS Max and I'm getting results, I understand the process and tools. I just personally find some other software to be less tedious, easier to get the result I want, but still feel I have plenty of control.
    I was just wanting to know if people in the industry use plug-ins for same reason that I prefer unwrapping in Blender.

    And I absolutely agree. I simultaneously hate and love unwrapping.
  • musashidan
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    musashidan insane polycounter
    I've been unwrapping in Max for years and can do it in my sleep at this stage, but it has become tiresome of late and in the last 2 months I decided to add Rizom Unfold3D into the mix. I'm now using that with a bridge script to Max. I also have been using the Polyunwrapper plugin in Max, which is great.

    Rizom is the best solution out there at the moment with the most features and power and the bridge script means it's a click to and from Max.
  • Cathodeus
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    Cathodeus polycounter lvl 10
    @PastyPict What i mean is that if you want to be really "more employable", you will have to do with what is available ! High chance that your employer will not purchase a Ryzom Uv license and or plugins. And if you come to a lead artist and say : Max is beyond technologicaly, high chance that you will not get the job. I do 3D since Max R2, i know Maya, Modo, and a bit of blender two. yes some improvements need to be done that is true. But if what you search is being more employable than start to improve yourself and adapt instead of trying to find outside solutions. My answer here is a present to you. Your are the best asset [the solution isn't a plugin]. I've been working in companies VFX where only core maya was provided and if i wasn't hable to do with what is available than nobody cares. Some companies don't even allow plugins to be installed. And or have none access to internet for users.
  • Justo
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    Justo greentooth
    For Max, ever since I discovered PolyUnwrapper I had no need for TexTools in my work. PU is great, I love it. I admit I was not aware of this Rizom Unfold 3D app some people are recommending here. From what I'm seeing in YT, it looks quite robust. In the video it says it offers bridge links to Max & Blender, but the video is from last year. Is Maya and Blender 2.8 supported now?
  • oglu
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    oglu interpolator
    Cathodeus said:
     But if what you search is being more employable than start to improve yourself and adapt instead of trying to find outside solutions.
    +100 
    I wasted tons of time searching for tools and bending the pipeline. Its also the Artists that has to improve.
  • Mark Dygert
    The default tools in 3dsmax get the job done without much fuss. It's a simple straight forward process that barely takes up any time. Maybe you aren't leveraging what is there if unwrapping is a speed bump in your pipeline?

    Can you give some example of pain points that you're running into? Maybe in another thread so as not to derail this one... 

    When you take on 3rd party plug-ins you have to be very careful if they start to form a critical part of your workflow. They might fall out of date and the author might halt development. They might cause bugs or crashes and they might be doing something you could already do but just where not aware.

    I'm not saying 3dsmax unwrapping is perfect, I have a list I would like them to address, but when I look at what slows me down or even annoys me, it's not that high on the list. 

    In Maya, I have a few more gripes but then it also cancels out a few that I have in max so it's kind of a wash. I can roughly do the same stuff in both apps, they just have different friction points but none of it is all that bothersome. 
  • PastyPict
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    PastyPict triangle
    @Cathodeus Okay, thank you. That's more the answer I was looking for. That just wasn't what I gathered from your first answer. If most studios just use to core tools, then that's what I will mainly stick with. I mean, that's what I have been sticking with for years. I just wanted to know if it was true that most studios use plugins or not, because I want to be familiar with how the studios do it.

    @oglu
    oglu said:
    Cathodeus said:
     But if what you search is being more employable than start to improve yourself and adapt instead of trying to find outside solutions.
    +100 
    I wasted tons of time searching for tools and bending the pipeline. Its also the Artists that has to improve.
    I've done this for years and have improved loads, so I completely agree. I just wasn't sure if it was common place these days for professionals in studios to use plugins or extra tools after already being competent for years with the core tools.
    Admittedly I did spend the first couple of years wasting time trying to bend the pipeline too.


    The default tools in 3dsmax get the job done without much fuss. It's a simple straight forward process that barely takes up any time. Maybe you aren't leveraging what is there if unwrapping is a speed bump in your pipeline?

    Can you give some example of pain points that you're running into? Maybe in another thread so as not to derail this one... 

    When you take on 3rd party plug-ins you have to be very careful if they start to form a critical part of your workflow. They might fall out of date and the author might halt development. They might cause bugs or crashes and they might be doing something you could already do but just where not aware.

    I'm not saying 3dsmax unwrapping is perfect, I have a list I would like them to address, but when I look at what slows me down or even annoys me, it's not that high on the list. 

    In Maya, I have a few more gripes but then it also cancels out a few that I have in max so it's kind of a wash. I can roughly do the same stuff in both apps, they just have different friction points but none of it is all that bothersome. 
    Oh, I'm not saying it's not straight forward. 3DS Max was the first 3D tool I used and was where I first learned unwrapping, and I did get faster over time. I'm just aware that professionally, you are expected to work as efficiently as possible, and I was told a few years ago that studios use certain plugins to assist with that.
    My pain points I run into is more to do with the time it takes, because I'm admittedly impatient with myself in terms of achieving results in pretty much any endeavor, but that's about it. I just always think "I gotta be faster, better..." etc. right now. Which then ties to when I was told a few years ago that professionals use plugins, so I decided to ask here in case I'm not using everything that I should be.
    So if the core tools are generally all that's used, then my only real problems I face with unwrapping is my own abilities and knowing/learning the right methods.

    The only thing I will say is that the L hotkey (and a few others) in Blender is a quality of life feature when it comes to unwrapping. Speeds up a little, but also feels fluid. But it's just a quality of life thing, not a superior tool thing in my opinion. The tools to are pretty much the same to me.
  • Cathodeus
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    Cathodeus polycounter lvl 10
    The truth is really more complexe. There is no "one rule that rule them all". Each studio do have his tools and habits. But as long as they all have 3dsmax core or Maya than being an ace with core tool will be usefull in 100% cases. So i will recomand you to learn hotkeys and or Tweak ui in order to become an ace, and if you're hable to learn scripting than i will definitly recomand that as you will be hable to make your own tools. Developping Keyhydra Plugin made me 4 time faster than without it. But as i said before i started to master max modeling and uving workflows after having using 3DSmax for 17 years. And i'm still learning everydays from my pairs. I know nothing about Max but i've been using it for 22 years now ....
  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter lvl 9
    I also find unwrapping in Blender more pleasant.  In 2,8 especially even if I don't like its interface.   Max has copied all Blender advantages including pins  but necessity to do in in  modifier is still annoying.    I never used Text tool in Blender . Not sure what they are giving me extra  and why people complain   about Blender UV. 

    Rizom packs better +  in UV tiles too.  it's quiet an advantage imo.    But  once you are having  not enough small UV islands to fill the gaps  and need to bend islands a bit to pack tighter  its packing algorithm is not a huge help.

    Polyunwrapper could attach  fragments automatically and in Blender you have to cycle it with "v" then  'I' +"tab" and scale manually each of them,  but also pretty easy imo.


  • poopipe
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    poopipe ngon master
    Like everything else it's 90% planning and 10% tools. 

    If you learn to UV properly by hand the fancy tools will help you get good results faster. 
    If you don't learn to UV properly by hand the fancy tools will help you get shit results faster
  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter
    Heh...the latter is me to a 'T': but nonetheless TexTool's provides a welcome crutch when things get wobbly o_O
  • PastyPict
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    PastyPict triangle
    Well, thank you so much everyone. This is all very useful advice for me.
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