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**Tutorial** UVW-mapping for beginners

Here you can discuss building custom ships, texturing and 3D modeling in Freelancer

Post Sat Dec 31, 2005 4:42 am

**Tutorial** UVW-mapping for beginners

(how to do proper UVW-maps)

[uRequirements:[/u 3dsMax 5 or above, Texporter-Plugin (can be found here)

First of all, I assume you've had some previous experiences with 3dsmax and that you are familiar with its basic features.

So you have your model (for easiness' sake I'll be using a fairly simple box here)

Fig. 1 That's how you start out...

Then, change to the Modifier Tab, scroll down that list and chose the 'UVW Map' modifier.

Fig. 2 The Modifier Tab, pick 'UVW Map'.

Change it to 'Box', switch back to the modifer list and pick 'Unwrap UVW'.

Fig. 3 [iPick 'Box'.

Fig. 4 Then pick 'Unwrap UVW'.

Fig. 5 The 'Unwrap UVW' Tab, here, click on 'Edit'

Once you've done so, click on the 'Edit'-button and a new window will pop up.

Fig. 6 The 'Edit UVWs' window.

Unless you want all sides to be the same, click on 'Mapping' in the toolbar and choose 'flatten mapping', leave everything as it is and click 'ok'.

Fig. 7 The 'flatten Mapping' dialogue.

You will now notice how the image in the window has changed. thats all your faces placed accurately one next to another.

Fig. 8 OMFG...something's changed.

Now, close the window and switch to the 'Utilities Tab' (either you already have the texporter in the buttonset or you will have to pick it from the list after you click on 'More..')

Fig. 9 The Utilities Tab.

For now, leave all settings as they are and choose a resolution in which you want to export your want-to-be-texture-map (I chose 1600*1600). click then on the 'pick object' button and choose the box in the perspective window.

Fig. 10

Again, a new window will pop up in which you should see the boxes' faces colored differently, now click on the disk symbol in the upper left corner of the respective window and save your unwrapping to a format which you feel is appropriate (mostly *.jpg *.png oder *.tga should do the trick.)

Fig. 11 That's how it should look like...

Fig. 12 here's our unwrapping applied to the box.

Import your map into a program of your choice to do your textures (I recommend inkscape or GIMP - they're free!!!) and you're done...

You can of course, do this with any object you want to, just make sure to apply your UVW maps to certain parts of the models as you see fit.

Fig. 13 And now to something completely different

Congratulations, you created your first proper UVW-mapping

Tutorial (c) blaXXer, Nov 6, 2005

"Just for a good shot - for what else?"

Edited by - blaXXer on 12/31/2005 4:47:04 AM

Post Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:44 pm

Thanks for showing this. I wasn't aware there was a plugin like this out there. This should save me a lot of time since I use 3DSMax for all my modeling. I'll give it a try and let you know how it works out.

That was sooo easy. I tried it out on something that would have taken me hours to do using UVMapper Classic. Using the texporter plugin took less than 2 min.
Here is what I used it on.

Thanks again for showing me this.

Edited by - jsncalif11 on 12/31/2005 8:11:19 PM

Post Sun Jan 01, 2006 4:39 am

glad to be of assistance^^

Post Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:37 pm

So this does not drift off the page....



Post Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:57 pm


Post Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:12 pm

Snap. Just saw this thread, gave it a shot - SOOO much easier than max's built in way to do it. Thanks!

Post Wed May 02, 2007 5:17 am

Long time listener. First time caller.

I've got an invisible ship. LODranges are set 0, 2000. I noticed that when I open the .cmp I export from Milkshape with utf editor it only references one of ten groups under VMeshLibrary, then under Cmpnd I notice that first group is referenced as the Root. All the rest of my ships groups fall in line under the first one as parts, and then they all show up as their own nodes after VMeshLibrary and Cmpnd.

I wont pretend I know anything about what the file is supposed to look like in utf edit, but my intuition says that baby is F'd the F up. So um... somebody please correct me if I'm wrong or uhhh... help point me in that right direction.


ima dork

Post Wed May 02, 2007 9:31 am

It's a MAT file problem not a CMP one, the MAT holds the textures and tells freelancer how to apply them to the model from the CMP, you either don't have one or it's corrupt in some way. If you used the MAT exporter for milkshape then it should work unless you've used the wrong type of texture (TGA or DDS only).

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Post Wed May 02, 2007 11:26 am

I've actually tried both exporting the MAT and building my own in utf editor according to Drizzt's Tutorial. Neither one of those have worked. My gut feeling is still that there's something wrong with the CMP. By the way, I've also inverted the textures because they're TGA's, so everything should be in order there too.

Thanks for the advice, I'll double, triple, quadruple check my MAT.

Oh and some other info that might be important... or not...
my engines don't show their effects
I can collide, but can't be hit by lasers (probably because I don't have a .sur file?)

ima dork

Edited by - Silent Dark on 5/2/2007 2:14:46 PM

Post Wed May 02, 2007 2:00 pm

It could be your CMP but I very much doubt it, if the CMP was so badly corrupted you couldn't see anything then Freelancer would more than likely CTD on you. The only other thing might be the scale you exported it at, meaning the ship is so damned big your seeing it from the inside (back faces don't show in freelancer without some special coding in the MAT), or it's the reverse and it's a tiny spec in space.

In my experience an invisible ship is usually to do with the MAT, wrong material assignments, a joke for a MAT,I was sent a 6kb MAT once that had been hand built using Drizzt's tutorial, only problem was it had nothing in it that could be called a MAT file. The other one is your textures, they might be TGA but are they the right kind of TGA (24 bit uncompressed and flipped vertically (ie mirrored)).

If you get really stuck then zip your CMP,MAT,ms3d, textures and the CES settings file for the CMP exporter(I need it to match your scaling in the CMP), and mail them to me(address is in my profile). I offer the same help to anyone, and after I fix your files and send you them with a nice big readme on where you went wrong(how big depends on how bad you were) I always delete the files my end( I don't need them and it stops people thinking I'll nick thier models).

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Post Thu May 03, 2007 8:01 am

On that "invisible ship" problem...
1. make sure the ship is scaled to game proportions.
2. set your LOD to: 0, 999999

Post Thu May 03, 2007 10:27 am


I just sent you those files. No rush and thanks for your help. I hope the problem is something really obvious that makes it look like I'm really stupid and I didn't listen to anybody here who tried to tell me what my problem was

ima dork

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