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What is your preferred UV workflow?

I switched computers and while reinstalling everything realized that I've been using an old version of Headus UV Layout and textools in Max since 2015. While I've kept up with other software I realize I haven't even looked into potentially switching up or upgrading that aspect of my workflow.

I was just wondering in the futuristic year of 2021 what y'all are using nowadays? I know it's probably very dependant on your individual software of choice but I am curious.


  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter

    I use UVpackmaster pro2 in Blender and textools for straitening uv. And a kind of streamlined workflow by splitting hard edges to future UV islands, one click unwrap, anothe click to pack and then merging split vertex back.

    I miss a feature of Headus although where you can pack a big island being in between 0-1 and 1-2 space. But since this is not good for UDIMs and causes issues for bakers I rarely need it.

  • KertArt
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    KertArt polycounter lvl 3

    Ohh, like it UVpackmaster pro 2 a lot, using it to pack stacked and overlapped uvs. Maya hasn't tools for this and I haven't found anything similar.

  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter

    Blender's native UV tools + TexTools addon. I pack my UV islands by hand, because I want to arrange and organize certain parts of an object to a same area of the UV space, logically, and with as world space aligned rotations as possible. An UV checker map with letters and arrows as a helper.

  • aregvan
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    aregvan polycounter lvl 7

    I find the aligning and straightening island tools inside Rizom suite me better. For packing it's always UVpackmaster pro 2.

  • lluc21
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    lluc21 polycounter lvl 4

    I use a combination of TexTools and UV Toolkit for blender as some things work better on one or the other. For packing UVPackmaster works extremely well for me and allows for enough control on overlapping shells and such

  • sacboi
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    sacboi insane polycounter

    Preferably for personal stuff, I'd typically unwrap & pack by hand then use Max - textools too flatten - straighten - stitch...etc, things up

  • chien
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    chien polycounter lvl 12
  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt polycounter

    I've switched between programs in my career so my unwrapping pipeline is very simple and goes like this:

    1. projection map (usually planar or cylindrical
    2. cut seams
    3. unfold or relax - this is called different things in different programs
    4. straighten any UVs I think need straightening using whatever automatic straighten tool there is
    5. pack uvs - sometimes I'll use automatic packing and sometimes I'll do it manually

    This works in most pieces of software with or without extra plugins.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe godlike master sticky


    I usually separate chunks off basically by angle, relax them, stitch them together where appropriate and then pack everything. works in everything (although I prefer to use max because obviously)

    not relying on fancy tools means you don't end up stuck when they go away.

  • iam717
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    iam717 polygon

    zbrush or max made objects, max pelt mapping, only unfolding keeping it in center box, moving to zbrush letting zbrush sort it out for me roughly, going back to max and doing some manual and visual corrections, boom.

    This is what i have done by learning softwares so this is what i do by doing, if it works out for you, obvious credit if you video this.

    I am bad with remembering plugins, but i had something i think was polytools(not really sure) and it had an unwrapper plugin i think and that was neat for separating parts via pixel boundaries so if you put 16 as a distance it would separate and re-scale parts to fix that pixel spread. (use older version of max, idk what they do now.)

    (most times on reinstalls i forget to use it or install it and get "lucky" and manage to get it far enough from each-other via eyeballing it, risky but hasn't failed yet.) I'll review some of these sometimes but i am pretty comfortable with my above.

    EdiT this is what i like in max:


  • michagrandel

    No one using Rizom UV? Haven't got that much experience with it yet, but it looks very promising to me.

  • Michael Knubben

    For what it's worth, UVP allows for all of those. You can group islands, specify a box in which they're to packed, set rotation limits per island, and there's a tool that aligns islands to a world axis.

    I'm the same way:

    I like the face to be rotated upwards,

    I make my arm/leg islands as rectangular as possible and then lock them to 90 degree rotation.

    If a small object is divided into a few islands, I prefer them to stay close together.

    UVP also allows you to set scaling per island, so that inner face that just needs a few pixels? Just set it to 10% or less. Stacked islands? You can specify whether to lock any overlapping, only exactly the same islands, or not at all.

    Another great option is 'Pack to Others'. If you do the main layout for the biggest, most important parts, you can have the rest (say, a bunch of chains, a bunch of bolts...) just fill the remaining space to the best of their ability.

    Even for really low poly objects, I now use UVP to pack, usually with Heuristic Search while I grab a coffee. For massive mechanical items it's especially useful ofcourse, as that's something that's almost impossible to pack by hand.

    Edit: Here's a lowpoly layout I just packed:

    Ofcourse, with more small parts, it's easier to get more coverage, but here that'd be at the cost of usability, LODing etc.

    Edit: Another thing that's invaluable to me is it can normalise your islands size (to the degree of your choice, again), but it does it after locking overlapping islands together. The 'Average Islands Size' in Blender will break stacked islands if they're of a slightly different scale

  • wilson66
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    wilson66 polycounter lvl 8

    I use it in combination with Blender exclusively, a brillant app. I assume that you are aware of the B2RUVL addon that can exchange models between applications with the click of a button?

    Really surprised to see that so many people actually seem to use those annoying, subpar UV tools that come with Blender. I only use those for very simple stuff where a good unwrap and layout is not essential, and avoid them in all other cases.

  • wilson66
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    wilson66 polycounter lvl 8

    There are tools like Rizom UV that can do all that without having to rotate or arrange the islands manually. Doing the layout by hand might work for simple objects with a handful of UV islands, but good luck packing complex objects with hundreds of islands and multiple UV sets.

  • michagrandel


    Thanks for the tip with B2RUVL - currently I'm only using Maya, not Blender, but I'm sure I will have to learn Blender sooner or later, so this will be a nice addition ๐Ÿ˜Š

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