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Blender UV Unwrapping, pinning, pack islands....

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I should have known Id end up here searching some wild stuff about Blender! 

I just learned how to stop using kludgy UV spheres and instead use icosahedral spheres, and bake to an icosahedral map that has the most amazing wrap around the globe, and can then be hand painted in blender too.  You start with just 20face icosa and unwrap it just right to form this shape, load your premade base texture and set the texture to generated/sphere. 

Throw on a subdivision and enable the texture and wow its damn near perfect!  Note: you have to be in render mode to see the effect before baking your uv and switching from texture being generated/sphere to using the UV, then it will be visible in material/texture/painting modes to tinker with.

The only thing that was eating me up was the empty  wasted black space after baking the UV as seen here.  Theres a good 13 tri's  worth of wasted texture space there.  20/13 is the ratio there I think just quickly guessing.  Granted some of that goes away with margins, but still!


At first I thought I could just stack sets of these up near each other, or fill little things in there to use the space, but then I thought what if I split them more so those tilted quads rotated?  Then they could be packed in and use all the available texture space, still allowing for islands as needed.  Im not sure if pining is the right way to do that? or just split the islands and rotate? 

The uv would need to be rotated from that angle, say you'd want to animate the texture horizontally which is common on planets, the uv needs that angle just right to do the fractal it would do to seem horizonally moving.  I have to test just to find out!

It was buckminster fullers dimaxian maps that had me searching google, for making globes that do not severely distort the texture with glitches like UV spheres do.

Edited by Macrocosm Draegonne
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Side effect of pinning is that the unwrapper ignored pinned stuff yeah, would be nice to prevent this, just ensure you have everything unwrapped and then pin everything you  aren't working in and drag them outside the UV area while you do your packing.

A little tip, when you bake stacked/shared uvs, it's a good idea to remove the "extra copies" and only bake one instance of the stacked UVs because you aren't guaranteed in which order the triangles get baked and might end up with rendering glitches.

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