Inspired 3D: Constructing the Inspired Character — Part 3 (continued from page 6)


[Figures 56 & 57] UV coordinates for the low-resolution head (top). Subdivided polygons allowed the UVs to be transferred to the high-resolution head without any additional work (bottom).

Face: Relax
The face was done simply by starting with a cylindrical texture coordinate system. This provided a basis for unfolding the texture that allowed the small polygons in the eye area to remain small, and the large polygons on the side of the head to remain large.

From this starting point, the individual vertices were pulled manually within the UV texture editing window along the texture edges to line up with the UV borders, ensuring that the exterior vertices did not go beyond the 0 to 1 boundaries.

From that point, it was important to ensure that the overlapping areas within the ear, mouth, nose, and eye sockets were all flat and clean. This was done by pulling some of the points in these problem areas to the hidden interiors of these areas. The places in the eye socket, mouth, nostrils, and ear inner are safe places to hide a lot of things. The overlapping UVs in the eye socket were pulled to the center of the eye, the mouth interior was pulled to the interior of the mouth, and so forth.

The UVs inside the eye socket were selected in the 3D modeling window (finding them in the texture editing window is too confusing). When the relax function was applied the these UVs, the UVs averaged themselves evenly within these safe zones. The head was split at the top because the hair would cover the top of the head, and I did not need to worry about matching the UVs in that area.

Other UVs that needed relaxing were also carefully selected in the modeling window and relaxed in the texture editing window. The fastest way to do a job like this is to simply grab all the UVs and relax them all at once. The problem with this method is that all the UV spaces are averaged out to be the same size. There will be excessive detail in areas that have smaller polygons and not enough detail where the polygons are spread out.

[Figures 58 & 59] The UV coordinates for the shirt. Note the uniform parameterization along the front and back (left). The UV coordinates of the arms and hands (right).

Body Parts: UV by Hand
The body was a much simpler model in many ways. The problem with getting UVs on simple geometry like this is that there are no default methods for applying UVs to these polygonal shapes that will make the textures wrap onto them as easily as they would if there were NURBS shapes. It doesn’t take long to texture map simple tubes if they are NURBS surfaces, because the parameterization is inherent in the surface itself. Using polygons to create these parts of the body posed an additional challenge of getting these parts to map smoothly.

For the most part, the application of UVs using a texture mapping tool was simply a formality. The texture coordinates for these body parts had to be completely modeled in the UV texture window to achieve uniform parameterization. Manually adjusting the UVs into this uniform configuration was a tedious task and took about as much time to do as the modeling of these simple body parts.

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