Unwrap UVs Tool - An interactive tool for automatically unwrapping UVs (plus MIGS)

By Steven Roselle - 10 Nov, 2009 - Maya

First of all, I have to say that it is purely a coincidence that I have done two posts in a row with a picture of a skull.  I really don't have a thing for skulls I promise.  The one that I used in this demo just happened to be a good test case for the tool.  

I'll really try to resist including any skulls in my post next week :) 

Aside from working on this new UV tool I'm preparing for my sessions at MIGS next week.  MIGS = Montreal International Game Summit.  If you live in Quebec, or if you happen to be traveling there for MIGS, stop by and check out my sessions...


So, this new UV tool that I'm showing in the following movie is based on something I did a long, long, long time ago for Sega in SF.  It became a bonusTool called Automatic Wrap Map. 


You've probably never tried it but if you did you probably found it completely unintuitive and somewhat limited.  So this new tools is based on it in general, but it is much improved and hopefully much more useful.  It's called Auto Unwrap UVs Tool

It can be used to interactively and automatically create UVs for lots of different types of forms.  Check out the movie below to see how it works.  If you're interested, or as we sometimes say in Texas "inersted", I've posted a beta version of the script that you can try out (see link at the bottom of the page)




NOTE:  This tool is part of BonusTools which can be found here   ->  http://area.autodesk.com/bonus_tools

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My Oh Maya | 4 years ago
@NateM296 - sorry for the late reply. I somehow missed this the first time around. Did you ever figure out the problem?
Edited by My Oh Maya 4 years ago
NateM296 | 4 years ago
Im using [b]Maya 14[/b] and i get this error: [b]// Error: No object matches name: wrapMapBorderEdges[/b] at the obvious point when adding edge borders when using the auto unwrap feature of bonus tools. Also the test shaders do not appear - there doesnt seem to be any reaction besides making my UVs disappear. I have done a repair on the Bonus tools but the problem remains. There doesnt seem to be much info on this on the web so not sure if this is a bug or an error native to my Maya package. Please help. UV's are the most frustrating aspect of the CG pipeline and investing more time into them is more infuriating than frustrating. Maya 14's new modeling toolkit is nothing less than a miracle - incredible. As a paying customer and user I know the CG society(no pun intended) would like to see such interventions as the modeling toolkit towards the UV mapping and unwrapping pipeline. Ptex is a great option and i would like to see this more incorporated in the Maya pipeline (and not only in Mudbox) but not as an end all, be all but as an alternative solution to archaic unwrapping technique. Pixar really are on the ball, so like their creation of Ptex, their creation of open subdivision workflow is revolutionising the Maya pipeline. Thought id go on a little rant while asking about a problem. Keep doing what you doing N
Edited by NateM296 4 years ago
CyberGolem | 4 years ago
It did require a service pack to fix the HUD problem but "THIS IS AN AWESOME TOOL!!" My only request is the ability to reengage an existing UV layout when the tool is launched ... or someone please tell me how to do this if it's already capable of doing so. Currently it wipes out any previous layout and loads up the trademark green shader. The shader I can handle, but it'd be nice to have an option to retain existing UVs.
Edited by CyberGolem 4 years ago
My Oh Maya | 5 years ago
*** SP1 fixes the HUD button bug that was affecting a number of BonusTools. *** You can download it here... http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19834912&linkID=9242259
Edited by My Oh Maya 5 years ago
zoorroo4 | 5 years ago
I can´t see the buttons that is supposed to show in the viewport for this tool.. i can click the buttons but i can´t see where they are which makes it very hard to click them :P How can i fix this?
Edited by zoorroo4 5 years ago
Johnchen | 7 years ago
@steve - its just I've watch the video many times from the start, when you say hello its like 'lol' cakk me up every time :) must be the strange aussie humor.
PixelDroid | 7 years ago
Thanks for the reply.
My Oh Maya | 7 years ago
PixelDroid - I think your shell is too big and too complex for the unfold algorithm to handle. Try breaking this up into separate shells... at least one for the head and another for the shoulder area. The head shell would have a border around the neck. Also try starting the seam higher up on the forehead. Also it looks like you may have an interior for the mouth? If that is the case you will need to separate that out as another shell as well.
PixelDroid | 7 years ago
This looks very useful, but I'm having trouble getting it to work. I followed your demo using a different head mesh, but I'm having problems w/symmetry in the unwrap - the UVs are not being mirrored correctly. Any idea what I'm doing wrong? Thanks. www.thepixelfarm.com/MayaStuff/BT_autoUnwrapA.png www.thepixelfarm.com/MayaStuff/BT_autoUnwrapB.png
My Oh Maya | 7 years ago
Thanks for all of the feedback. I just posted the update to this tool along with a new demo movie -> http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/stevenr/unwrap_uvs_tool_update_an_interactive_tool_for_automatically_unwrapping_uvs
nickzucc | 8 years ago
Really cool tool! Thanks for making this for us all. Please try to incorporate these ideas into Maya's base UV tools. I really like the road and pipe demo, I know that surfaces like those are not fun to map! Great work!
sfxmarc | 8 years ago
this tool is excellent! one question though. I'm using it on a full character but seem to be having a bit of trouble. how do you suggest I proceed? Should I make multiple UV sets for the head and body? or should I stick with one layout for the whole thing?
My Oh Maya | 8 years ago
Hi Akabane - yes this is a known issue. Thanks for reporting it though. It will be fixed in the next version which I hope to post soon.
Akabane | 8 years ago
Hi, great tool you got here, thanks. But when i try to unwrap a mesh, it says "it works only for one mesh at a time". It's strange because i only choose one and one only mesh when trying to use it. The model i'm trying to using it for has it components locked and has some basic constraints and parent/children relationships. Where could be the problem? Thx
noxy | 8 years ago
This is so excellent. thank you! you and Duncan make the Area worth visiting.
Vojtisek | 8 years ago
Hello, thanks for this script. For me as a modeler it`s looking very useful. But as wrote sherridge101, executing Enter tool maya tells just "// Error: Cannot find procedure "bt_killUnwrapMapHUD".". I`m on Maya2010 64bit, Vista 64. I`m looking forward to a new update :). Thanks anyway!
My Oh Maya | 8 years ago
I will be posting an update to this script in a week or two that will have the fixes for the Mac along with a few other updates. Please check back. Thanks.
sherridge101 | 8 years ago
On a mac and can't get the script working. How do you make bt_killUnwrapMapHUD a global proc?
sherridge101 | 8 years ago
On a mac and can't get the script working. How do you make bt_killUnwrapMapHUD a global proc?
Edited by sherridge101 8 years ago
sherridge101 | 8 years ago
On a mac and can't get the script working. How do you make bt_killUnwrapMapHUD a global proc?
Edited by sherridge101 8 years ago
ghostmeat | 8 years ago
Awesome. Thank you for this, i think its added years to my life ;)
jsyracopoulos | 8 years ago
Thanx Steven. And thanx for the very informative presentation you gave the other day, it was very educational. I along with the rest of the a2m gang will freequent your blog for updates. Keep up the awesome work and thanx once again. John Syracopoulos.
3dtrialpractice | 8 years ago
works for me on maya2110 x65 winxp64. only hicup is that I cant select the object.. returns error "only to be used on one mesh" even if I only have 1 mesh(deleted history) selected.. only way it works if I acctually go to face selection mode and select all faces (not huge deal but i thought id report it) Other than that this is a 100% MUST NEED for MAYA script.. crazy that we ar on like the 11th version of maya and finally we have something like this. .thank you soooo much!
ghostmeat | 8 years ago
This looks very promising. I am getting an error when I try to run the script by clicking on the tool bar: "$AutoUnwrapMap" is an undeclared variable. I'm running Maya2010 on a Mac (10.5.7)
kurgan_dk | 8 years ago
the error comes because the script is made to be run from the script editor, ie: not sourced... :/
kurgan_dk | 8 years ago
the error comes because the script is made to be run from the script editor, ie: not sourced... :/
elvis75k | 8 years ago
line 936: proc bt_killUnwrapMapHUD()... missing bits it must be: global proc bt_killUnwrapMapHUD()... or you get the error running the scritp like .. cannot find procedure bt_kill...
My Oh Maya | 8 years ago
Yep I will definitely test it on a Mac. Thx.
Edited by My Oh Maya 8 years ago
skyasay | 8 years ago
This looks very promising! The script has errors when I run it on my mac in 2010. If you do come up with a version for mac I would love to try it.
tonytrout | 8 years ago
PS Could you add an option for adding a spacing to the shells for edge bleed?
tonytrout | 8 years ago
Looks good, ta
Braden99 | 8 years ago
"Wow, really amazing. This should be built into Maya, why bonus tools? " eucalyptus Exactly what I was thinking.
royterr | 8 years ago
great tool, 2 thumbs up dude! finally a pelt tool like in max
andyfedak | 8 years ago
Wow, really amazing. This should be built into Maya, why bonus tools?
My Oh Maya | 8 years ago
dwass - whoops... good to know. Luckily I just got a mac last week for exactly this kind of testing. I will figure out what's going on and fix that for the final release. Thanks a lot!
dwass | 8 years ago
This worked great with our PC's but I couldn't get it to work on our Macs. The script copied just fine to the shelf but when I tried to apply it to an obj, it just brought up the code screen....must be doing something wrong
Zeeshan Anjum | 8 years ago
I like that tool. nice script. also good for hard surface modeling
My Oh Maya | 8 years ago
Yep you are right. It works fine if you drag the entire thing onto a shelf and run it from there. But if you source it directly it won't work because that proc isn't set to global. Thanks.
davidjx | 8 years ago
There seems to be a small bug in beta2. I had to make bt_killUnwrapMapHUD a global proc (line 936) to get it working.
davidjx | 8 years ago
Excellent. Thankyou. I would prefer to use a fileTexture as the test pattern since I like to use a few different one for assessing different aspects of the unfold. But I'm not complaining. Your tool is going to save a lot of time.
Braden99 | 8 years ago
I will have to test this handy new bonus tool on my next UV session, thanks looks great!
xiaoyun34747 | 8 years ago
cool tool, Thanks!
RROCHS | 8 years ago
Wonderful Job Thank you...
My Oh Maya | 8 years ago
Which link? I just test them all and they seem to be ok.
jarud | 8 years ago
The link don't work!
Pat | 8 years ago
Very good video and very good tool? Thanks?man?
ytsejam | 8 years ago
oh hhh great tool. Thank you....
My Oh Maya | 8 years ago
One thing I should probably mention as a warning. If you test it out, don't use the "Proportional projections" method on dense meshes or you could be waiting a long time. This particular option is meant to work with moderate to low poly objects.
wesm | 8 years ago
Absolutely Amazing Tool!!! Thanks for creating this and I look forward to the full release. In the meantime, I'll definitely download the beta. Great Work! -Wes