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Decent UV Packing Script/Tool?

Hey,

So, I've been having to do hundreds of objects worth of UV3's at work for Lightmaps lately, and I've been using 3DS Max's Packing system to help with some of it.

But as I'm sure alot of you know.. it's kinda crap... Or at least, isn't that smart alot of the time. It will often leave big gaps open, or arrange pieces in odd ways.


I am wondering if anyone has found a good method/script/tool to help with this? So far I've just been doing flatten mapping, or whatever the object calls for, then use Pack, and then have to manually adjust the UVS by 30-50% most of the time to get something decent.

I was just messing with the Headus UV Layout demo, and it's a pretty awesome tool. But I don't think that tool will work well for hard surface, boxy type objects... Unless I am missing something.. But I do like its packing setup.


Thanks,

-M

Replies

  • tristamus
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    tristamus polycounter lvl 9
    Hey there...

    Yeah, I've heard nasty things about a lot of 3d packages' UV'ing mechanics....especially maya and 3ds max's.

    However, I'm a Maya user, and I do still use them, AFTER I've had a pass through Headus UV Layout.

    Headus is really great as it has one of the best packing functions around. I also use UV Master in Zbrush, as it is extremely simple to learn and get working correctly.

    You say you need uv's for boxy type objects? Well...what exactly is the problem you're having? Planar mapping etc should work fine..

    I guess I should say it all depends on what you're making but, generally, I always have an easier time with Maya's tools for doing boxy stuff. But since your a max guy, don't think that info is much use to you atm lol...

    It's hard to say man. I'd just give Headus a go, learn it, give it a few hours, and you'll see that it works quite well, and works in conjuction with anything else (max, maya, uv master, etc.)
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    I cant recall the feature name because I havent used Headus in over a year (work has taken me elsewhere) but there is a feature for automatically unwrapping boxy objects. It is located near the weld tools. Edit (What Kary Said. its called Segment)
  • kary
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    kary polycounter lvl 15
    http://www.uvlayout.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=98

    Take a look at the segment section. Might help, the packing setup (with the boxes that keep things together) is a very good solution. Wonder why more companies aren't doing that.
  • megalmn2000
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    megalmn2000 polycounter lvl 10
    Hey!

    Take a look here: http://www.raylightgames.com/2010/05/sneakpeek-xrayunwrap-15-rc1/

    It's call the X-Ray Unwrap, a real time saver!
    You'll just need to select your seams and they'll unwrap your mesh automatically. I've been using it and it helps a lot!

    And it only cost 13 euros! :)
  • NordicNinja
    I've been having a lot of luck going between Blender and ZBrush. Marking UV seams and the default unwrap function in Blender and then importing the model into ZBrush and using UVW master with the "use existing UV seams" selected. I find that this is an easy and quick way to get decent UVs without the need for a whole lot of manual work.
  • MattLichy
    Wow, thanks for all the suggestions.

    I will have to keep messing with UVLayout. I really dig it, just need to learn more. But it sucks its like 300$ for the pro version. I don't think Turn10 would pick it up , but it's possible.


    Unwrapping the stuff isnt the issue when I asked about this. I just am looking for a way to pack the shells quicker and efficiently with less manual labor. But I dont think there will be anything anytime soon that will do what I want. But hopefully will get close.
  • jimpaw
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    jimpaw polycounter lvl 9
    I reccon you are using textools at the moment for max ? , generally when i model stuff its houses and buildings wow style. What i feel is the problem is getting different faces share the same cordinates in the uv editor quickly.If you do it by hand on a big house with door frames,windows,lists this process can be extremly time consuming. unfold 3d has an option that automaticly stack similar islands in top of each other. Otherwise i would search scriptspot, i am sure you can find something that will meet your needs there. I have a friend that is a really skilled programmer, we are actually working on a script in maya that does this. first you select one face (lets say an inside of a door lframe,move the verticies in the editor to the correct possition on the texture where you have painted the door list on. after that you set that face with a "master stamp" in the 3d view, then with a special brush you paint all the faces in the 3d view that you want to share the same texture space. i hope i am not being to illusive here,this can easily save me half the time when i am doing box kind of objects.

    the problem with programs like headus and roadkill is that they are aimed for unwrapping more organic models. it whould be nice if someone could make a uv program thats ONLY speed up box kind of object with similar faces.
  • rodrigocox
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    rodrigocox polycounter lvl 9
    ssup Matt

    I think this should solve your problems,
    http://www.texturebaking.com/

    kinda expensive, but works great...
  • SICKERMAN
    I mostly use 3ds max uvs tools and Headus Uv layout. Headus is great to work with symmetrical stuff, especially if you want some to be symmetrical, like the arms, but that you want the whole head. (as an exemple).

    Max or Maya's uv tool are pretty easy and straight forward to understand once you get past the coldness of the softwares.

    And the pelt mapping tool is really nice.

    Quick tips: If you want to use the relax tool and it's goes no where, try using it on specific part of the uv, like the nose or ears (damn you ears! ^^)

    If you want a nice tutorial for 3ds max uv tools, you could always buy this baby here, really helped me when I first started:http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/store/product/155/Character-Texturing-for-Production

    But do try Headus UV Layout, it's not really expensive and is worth the time, really easy to understand, but you do need to know the shortcuts (C for Cut, W for Weld, D for Drop.... and Shift F for flattening and Relaxing... cant really be easier)
  • J0NNYquid
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    J0NNYquid polycounter lvl 5
    I'm having a similar issue. I need to unwrap 1000's of individual pieces of a vehicle for lightmap baking, and I need something better than 3ds Max auto-unwrap and pack tools, they make too many small islands. I doubt I'll be able to get the powers that be to swing a license for Headus unfortunately. I'm on the hunt for something that can quickly do 100's of UV's per sheet, and pack them without leaving the huge empty spaces and miniscule UV islands of 3ds Max. I stumbled upon one a while ago, I'll try and find it, but until then....any help is appreciated.

    Found it. Anybody used this yet? http://www.posavec.eu/uv-packer-open-beta-get-it-now/

    Either way it's free so I'll give it a shot.
  • Stromberg90
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    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 9
    Not open beta, bought it myself some time ago to do lightmap bakes, works ok for some meshes, but for me it cause more problems than helping, breaks my uv's, crashes or sometimes collapses them :/
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Headus is really, really nice. The packing features alone -- being able to group islands together, lock them as overlapping and other things -- are just invaluable time savers. Being able to quickly flatten pipes and other things into rectangular islands is also great.

    My only complaint with it is that it's 2012 and I have to carry around a USB dongle to use it.
  • xXm0RpH3usXx
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    xXm0RpH3usXx polycounter lvl 10
    rodrigocox wrote: »
    ssup Matt

    I think this should solve your problems,
    http://www.texturebaking.com/

    kinda expensive, but works great...


    i made a test once with default max against flatiron.
    flatiron only got 3% more uv space than the default one...
  • cupsster
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    cupsster polycounter lvl 9
    FlatIron & Unwerella, UV Layout
  • CheeseOnToast
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    CheeseOnToast polycounter lvl 16
    Headus is really, really nice. The packing features alone -- being able to group islands together, lock them as overlapping and other things -- are just invaluable time savers. Being able to quickly flatten pipes and other things into rectangular islands is also great.

    My only complaint with it is that it's 2012 and I have to carry around a USB dongle to use it.

    Agreed, headus is great and getting better. I think he could lower the price significantly though and ditch the dongle thing entirely. I'd rather pay £50 - £75 for a node-locked license than £220 for a dongle based one. The multi-seat licensing is a bit convoluted and manual as well.
  • ivanzu
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    ivanzu polycounter lvl 8
    Blender has built-in lightmap unwrapping tools and they work fine.
  • Caetano
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    Caetano polycounter lvl 2
    ivanzu wrote: »
    Blender has built-in lightmap unwrapping tools and they work fine.
    The lightmap unwrapping, as well as any unwrapping method in Blender uses bounding boxes instead of the face shapes to pack them. Also every face that has a rectangular bounding box is deformed into a square bounding box, unless the rectangle is very thin, so I would more call that TERRIBLE !
  • Throbberwocky
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    Throbberwocky polycounter lvl 9
    Hi,

    there is an addon for Blender which delivers excellent results in my opinion:
    It is super fast and has a bunch of useful features.
  • gandhics
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    gandhics polycounter lvl 4
    3dsMax 2017 Packing is not bad...

  • oglu
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    oglu quad damage
    this thread is five years old... now near every tool does have a decent packer.... 
  • musashidan
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    musashidan high dynamic range
    Max's non-convex algorithm is actually very good and fast.
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