Saturday, January 4, 2014

Step by step tutorial for making a decorative object - Step 2.1. UV-mapping (continuing) & 2.2. Smoothing control

Let's move on to the saucer part.
 I will omit the details mentioned in the previous post.

Hide cup and handle groups, and select upper surface in face selection mode.
Then right click to open command list and right click on UV-Mapping.

It would be good if you map this circle part as a circle shape.  But I picked this cutting way for this example.
Continue > Unfolding

Aligned the vertical and horizontal edges. And then I 'stitch' each two segments to form half segments of the saucer.  (Select the edges to be stitched, right click, and select Stitch)

Then, map the rest part of the saucer in similar way.

Now the whole saucer part was mapped.

In the above picture, the upper segment is upper surface and the bottom one is bottom surface of the saucer (overlaid two half segments in both parts).

You can see the triangle faces corresponding to center circle got shortened.  I did it to get sufficient mapping space for other parts.  By being shortened, the texture over those center circle will distort a bit. But my priority for this mapping was to get clear and seamless texture on the outside of the cup.  So I thought this distortion was a sort of sacrifice.

Scale up the saucer part as much as possible.

The saucer part is done.  Let's move on to handle, the last part.

Mark the inside edges for cut and unfold.

Align vertical and horizontal edges.

Scale down and move it to an area where other parts have not occupied.

Now got the whole mesh mapped.

Here is the so-called UV map of the cup&saucer.

I extracted this map via UV mapper classic.  
Export the mesh as obj file, and load it with UV mapper and save the texture map.

Now the cup & saucer looks like this with default grid texture.

You can see the texture outside of the cup is seamless, and those on the center circle of the saucer is stretched a bit.

Again I think my mapping way would not be the best.  You should try several ways and find your best way.

2. 2  Smoothing control

Smoothing seems to be omitted in meshing tutorials, but I think it's very important factor determining the appearance of the mesh.  If you don't use smoothing, the mesh looks too crisp.  But too much smoothing leads to ugly results.

Here is an example, an arm chair.  When smoothing is applied over whole mesh, the chair looks like this:

I left view, the corners looks too rounded and there are weird shades over the surface. These shades are more noticeable in game.  

To get rid of the ugly shades, I set some edges to 'Hard'.  They are orange as shown in above right panel.
'Hard' edges are not affected by smoothing.  In this way, you can control which area to have smoothing effect or not.

Back to the cup & saucer, it looks like this when smoothing is ON.

When you want to see smoothing effect, click the top-right icon as shown above .

Maybe this mesh was not good example.  It looks not so bad with full smoothing.  Anyway, I set some edges to Hard to make them more crisp.

In edge selection mode, select the edges which you make crisp, and right click, select Hardness > Hard.

The rim edges of the cup turned orange.  In this way, set the rim edges of the saucer to Hard.

Now all work in Wings3D is done.  Export it as obj file for next step.



  1. Firstly thank you so much for these! They are so helpful! <3

    I have followed each of your steps, but must have done something wrong, I have ended up with an auv for each part of my teacup - one for the handle, cup and saucer. And I cannot find anyway to combine them - Could you perhaps tell me what I missed or did wrong? Or how to combine them into one?

    1. Hi! I think you did nothing wrong. In Wings3D, each group has one auv. The UV map image shown above was exported from UVmapper. If you want to combine two or more groups to one group, in group selection mode, select groups which you want to combine, and right click to select "Combine". I hope this helps.

  2. Thank you so much, I thought it all had to show as one and got confused. But it worked perfectly in UVMapper. <3

    I hope you are keeping well!