UV editing is an important part of the 3D workflow. In the past, UV tools were limited and difficult to work with. This has changed dramatically over the past few years, and Update 3 of Maya/Maya LT 2017 continues to make UV creation and editing both easier and faster. Unfold3D was introduced in Maya/LT 2015, bringing a better UV unwrapping algorithm, and many other updates have been made since, such as better layout tools, pinning, more intuitive UV seam creation tools, etc.
Continuing on these improvements, in Maya/LT 2017 Update 3, the UV Editor panel has been overhauled in a number of ways that include performance improvements, visual improvements, and organizational improvements.
This week, we'll focus on some of the visual improvements, as well as organization using the new UV Toolkit. If you've ever worked with the Modeling Toolkit, added to Maya/LT back in 2014, the new UV Toolkit will be quite familiar. The toolkit adds many similar tools for controlling selection of UVs, making fine grain control of UV transformation easier, and putting all the UV tools in a more visual, consistently organized location.
Here are just a few of the new features included in the UV Editor update:
- The new UV Toolkit (seen in the image above on the left) adds a new dockable window that organizes all of the UV Editor tools into a familiar layout that is more visual.
- Drag selection allows the user to paint select UVs or UV shells.
- Selection constraints will allow the selection of UVs based upon constraints such as front or back facing, shell borders, etc.
- Grow & Shrink UV selections easily in vertical, horizontal, or both directions.
- Selection performance improvements and visual enhancements have also been made.
- More consistent workflows between the UV Editor window and the 3D viewport.
- Multicolor UV Shell display allows for easier identification of similar UV shells on the 3D mesh (such as left & right arms or legs).
This week, we'll cover most of the UV Toolkit features and some of the other UV Editor improvements in Part 1 on Update 3 of Maya/LT 2017.