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Unwrapping 101 Cube with Bevels

Valvoa
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Valvoa polycounter lvl 6
Hi everyone, so I've been working on this scene lately where the concept itself is very boxy...squares, rectangles, you name it. I wanted to give the silhouettes a bit more roundness with a simple bevel/chamfer. Here's a high poly prop in the scene, lots of boxes.



Questions is, what's your approach when unwrapping beveled cubes shapes? I'll start with a simple cube as an example. 

So I could simply place UV seams on every hard edge like shown here. Simple enough but a bit ridged and I'll have more UV shells. 




From what I understand I could also shade smooth and place my seams wherever but deal with harsher normal gradients. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm thinking this is good for organic meshes but not so much for hard surface.  

If I add a 1 segment bevel to the cube, I can't split my islands equally. 



Following the UV split on every hard edge rule, this feels like I'll have a lot of UV islands, including the corners. I could shade smooth and again have the normal map gradients or put a weighted normal modifier on there. Problem is my UV islands/textures won't be evenly split, not sure if that's going to be problematic later on or not. 


Now I could add a 2 segment bevel and just split down the middle



This is not shaded smooth but with a weighted normal modifier applied. I wouldn't need a normal map to smooth the edges, just for additional flat detail.

My question is what would you do if your looking to just round the silhouette a bit? Should I be shading smooth the entire model OR auto smooth (smoothing groups) with weighted normal?

I'm looking to make my models a bit more rounded with more geometry. I appreciate any feedback as always, thanks. 

Replies

  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d sublime tool
    My question is what would you do if your looking to just round the silhouette a bit? Should I be shading smooth the entire model OR auto smooth (smoothing groups) with weighted normal?

    I'm looking to make my models a bit more rounded with more geometry. I appreciate any feedback as always, thanks. 

    CHOOSE where you have soft edges/smoothing groups manually. Pretty much, imagine your model without chamfers/weighted normals, and then whenever you have a chamfer, you create a smoothing group/soft edge for those joined faces. Likely you wouldn't chamfer absolutely every hard edge on your model (reckless, costly, not all details are seen etc.). If you were to auto smooth, then you would risk a chance of having a hard edge on an area with a chamfer, which wouldn't shade correctly obviously.

    If I add a 1 segment bevel to the cube, I can't split my islands equally. 



    Following the UV split on every hard edge rule, this feels like I'll have a lot of UV islands, including the corners. I could shade smooth and again have the normal map gradients or put a weighted normal modifier on there. Problem is my UV islands/textures won't be evenly split, not sure if that's going to be problematic later on or not.

    Doesn't matter if its even or not in this case, unwrap the most optimal way (2nd image, like a T-shape). That rule is when you're baking normals to already existing normals/tangent (your low poly). This workflow/example is midpoly modeling, which rarely requires baking. It forgoes it entirely in most cases. You can unwrap this however you'd like, you aren't baking this down (right?), so you wouldn't have to worry about gradients/ugly shading.
  • Valvoa
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    Valvoa polycounter lvl 6
    I was planning on baking a normal map to add additional details to some of flat surfaces, plan on baking ao and curvature as well. I guess I was a bit concerned with the seam placement and was getting some small artifacts when baking from a higher poly version. Perhaps I should be baking with the same mesh if I need additional maps when working midpoly rather then with a highpoly? 
  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d sublime tool
    I was planning on baking a normal map to add additional details to some of flat surfaces, plan on baking ao and curvature as well.

    That's fine, if you're baking floaters and what not. Still wouldn't cause any gradients.
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