View Full Version : Modding InfoCenter - Understanding UV-mapping (with UVmapper Classic)
28th Jul 2005, 9:15 AM
>>> Modding InfoCenter <<<
Basic UV-mapping using UV-Mapper Classic
:new: Read the Additional Hint & Tips by Darylmarkloc in Post #42
DISCLAIMER: The "Modding InfoCenter" threads are NOT tutorials: they are intended to help average-experienced object creators performing specific tasks, or to give users a deeper in-sight on specific modding-related subjects. So, don't expect to find step-by-step explanations, to be performed "blindly". Please DO NOT REPOST the following info, or part of them, on other sites.
All the "Modding InfoCenter" threads are created and mantained by Numenor and JWoods. Everyone is welcome to post his own questions or additional information about the specific thread subject.
This notes will explain the basics of the UV mapping tecniques. In the following examples, I've used UVmapper Classic, but all these info apply to UVmapper Pro, as well (only the menu layout is different, but all the functions of the Classic version are included in the Pro, too).
:deal: This InfoCenter article is also provided in PDF format. To view it, we strongly suggest to download the Foxisoft PFD Viewer (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php): it's free and small, less than 1Mb!
1 - INTRODUCTION
UV-mapping is used to apply a 2D texture over a 3D mesh. In order to achieve such a result, any UV-mapping program needs to create a "projection" of the 3D mesh over a 2D plane.
Every creator wants to give the maximum level of details to his object. You may think that the best solution is to use large textures. Wrong! The best solution is to make the most efficient use of a medium-size texture.
Even a simple programs like UVmapper Classic (http://www.uvmapper.com/download/uvmapper026b.zip) allows many different types of "projections", so our first goal is to choose the most suitable UVmapping method, regarding the kind of mesh we want to map.
2 - ALTERNATIVE MAPPING METHODS
The most common - and most (mis)used - mapping method is the Box mapping.
This is the most suitable method if you want to map an object that resemble a cube (examples: counter, dishwasher, boombox radio, dining tables...).
If we map, for instance, a simple cube using the "Box" method, we'll have a map like this:
As you can see, all the faces of the cube are clearly visible (and that's good), but there are large parts of the textures that are empty: what a waste! :)
In UVmapper Classic, when you select the "Box" entry from the "Edit" / "New UV map" menu, you are presented this option window:
By default, the "Split Front/Back" option is checked. But if we uncheck this option, we'll end up with a map like this:
As you can see, each pair of faces are mapped on the same portion of texture: it's very useful if we need to apply a uniform texture (wood, metal, glass...), so that all the faces are supposed to look similar.
This way, we use a larger part of the texture, and this ensures a higher level of detail.
Now, let's say that we want to map a cylinder. If we use the standard "Box" mapping, this will be the result:
All the faces are visible, but the surface of the cylinder (excluding the top and bottom round faces) is splitted in four: at this point we can't apply to the cylinder a texture that runs all around it.
UVmapper Classic offers an alternative: the Cylinder map:
Now the cylinder surface is not splitted, and moreover it covers most of the texture (= high detail); but where are the top and bottom faces? We can see them inside the red marks: they are barely visible because they show only their side, that is only a thin line.
Nevertheless, this method is perfect for cylindrical objects, whenever the top and bottom faces are not visible in game (for instance, the "Social Climbing" floor and table lamps).
On the other hand, if we need to have a good-looking top and bottom faces, we can choose the Cylinder Cap map:
Now *all* the faces of the cylinder are clearly visible; the drawback is that each part is assigned to a smaller portion of the texture (= less details).
The Cylinder Cap method is suitable for pyramids and cones, too:
Just be sure to select the right projection axis from the option window: you have to choose the radial symmetry axis (in a cone, for instance, it's the axis that passes through the top vertex and the center of the base; if the object stands vertical, choose the "Z" axis). If you are unsure, try the different axis: you'll know that you have chosen the wrong axis if your cone is mapped like this:
A useful option when mapping a cone, or a pyramid, or any other object with one sharp end, it's the "Spread Facets at Pole" option. When selected, the top vertices of the slanted facets are "spread", in order to give a more regular look to the map:
Check this option if your texture is uniform; uncheck it if you want a special decor to run flawlessly all around the object.
3 - MAPPING COMPLEX OBJECT
So far, we have mapped simple meshes, like cubes, cylinders and cones.
Let's say that we have to map a more complex object, like this:
This object contains a cube, a cylinder and a cone: what mapping method can we use for it?
We'll use multiple mapping methods; we only need to split the object into separate parts, and then apply different mapping to the different sections.
Let's start with a simple "Box" mapping (with the "Split Front/Back" option checked):
Notice how many parts overlap each other (red marks): if we'd leave the map as is, part of the cylinder colour would be visible on the cube side, and the base of the cone will have the same colour of the cube face. We definitely need to separate the various parts...
You can select a portion of the map like in this picture:
Notice how the selection box surrounds part of the cylinder face without touching the cube face. When you releas the mouse button, the whole cylinder face will be selected, and not the cube face:
Now you can drag the selected face in an empty part of the screen, and continue selecdting another face:
Go on selecting faces this way, and moving them to empty parts of the screen, until you have ordered and grouped all the faces of each mesh part on a separate part of the screen:
Now we are able to apply to each mesh part a specific mapping method: we can select the cylinder...
...and apply the "CylinderCap" mapping only on the selected part of the mesh :
Then, we can apply a "Box" map on the cube and a "CylinderCap" (with the "Spread Facets" option) to the cone.
We are not done, yet: the texture is still *not* efficiently used. We need to reorganize the faces on the texture in a more regular way; to do so, select single faces and drag them, trying to create a "square", like this:
Last step: select all the faces at ones and enlarge the selection until it covers the whole texture.
As an alternative, if you have a uniform texture and you want a higher level of detail, keep in mind that you can always map multiple faces over the same portion of the map, i.e. you can place multiple faces on top of each other, so that they will overlap. In the following example, I have moved all the cube faces in the upper-left corner, all the round faces (from the cylinder and the cone) in the upper-right corner, and the main surfaces of the cylinder and the cone at the bottom:
OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES
Modding Infocenter Index (http://www.modthesims2.com/forumdisplay.php?f=333) - Comprehensive list of all the InfoCenter threads
Object Creation Workshop and Repair Center (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=82084) - If your object doesn't work, no matter what you try
Colour Options for "EP-ready" packages (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=42014) - About the texture linking tecniques
Sims 2 start to finish Object Creation Tutorial (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=59293) - Learn how to create your own object
28th Jul 2005, 10:38 AM
Thank you, Numenor!
Another great explanation from you :D
To understand what you're doing is more important than reading what you have to do next on this one object in a tutorial (as these are a sort of 'basic step' in understanding) and your UV-mapping explanation really helps me a lot in understanding the stuff I do (as if I understand myself... :lol: )
6th Aug 2005, 10:16 PM
Great Job again my friend!!! Only took me a week to find the thread... My bad so busy... I am adding a link to it to the workshop thread
6th Aug 2005, 10:18 PM
ah, this was much needed
especially by me :D
6th Aug 2005, 10:22 PM
Oh thank you thank you!
Once again you share your knowledge with us.
I am so greatful.
6th Aug 2005, 11:20 PM
Thank you so much for putting this down in such a way that I could understand it! I can finally UV map!! Now there's no stopping me.... muh hah hah!
No, really, THANKS!
7th Aug 2005, 9:22 PM
Thank you very much, know I understand much more , it was very helpful !!
9th Aug 2005, 5:48 AM
Darn. I understand much better, but I'm still quite lost when it comes to things like sofas. My textures are always too stretched across every part except for the back of the sofa and the front cushions.
Sniff, sniff. May I have an example of a couch? That would be OH so helpful.
9th Aug 2005, 9:16 AM
I've run some tests with the Club Distress loveseat: like most of the "seating" objects, it has a complex mesh and a complex UVmapping. If you want to see the original Maxis UVmapping, download these templates (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=31640) made by RGiles.
To map your custom sofa, I suggest the "box" mapping with the following options:
Split front/back: NO
Gaps in map: YES
Scale result: YES
With these settings, I've got the result shown in picture (a test cequered texture was applied, to show that there are no unwanted "stretchings".
The second picture is the actual UV-map template (but don't use it: it's a low-res pic; create you own, instead).
9th Aug 2005, 2:10 PM
Aha! This is exactly what I needed. I thank you! Are RGiles templates for recoloring? I already have those. I just needed to see how the UV mapping should look.
I should have hollered for help ages ago. I've been struggling with one sofa for almost 2 weeks.
9th Aug 2005, 3:41 PM
Here is how the original UVmapping looks: quite confusing! Compare this map with RGiles' template to understand what portion of the map corresponds to what part of the template
12th Aug 2005, 2:25 AM
MUCH THANKS!!!!! It's like finding a treasure. so happy.
14th Aug 2005, 12:58 AM
I made a new mesh--a sign based off the clothing sign.
I haven't found the right UVmap to use. This one is the cylinder cap map--doesn't look right to me....? So I am trying the box first and moving stuff around, per your example above.
Does the map size refer to the orginal txtr size (256x256)?
Does the size in the map size box always need to be the same as the original file?
14th Aug 2005, 9:57 PM
My suggestion is to use, for a hanging sign like that, a "Planar" mapping along the X axis; if you need to paint differently the two sides of the sign, use the "split" option; otherwise, use the "don't split". You should end with a map depicting the two circles, the two metal support of the circles and the metal bar (viewed from its side). This should be the most suitable mapping for this object, even without moving around the various parts.
As for the size of the texture, the best is to use a 256x256. If you need more detail on the round signs, you can select them using the technique explained above and move/enlarge them, to let them occupy a wider free portion of the texture.
There's no need to use the size of the original TXTR, as long as you use the DDS utilities to import the new texture.
15th Aug 2005, 3:26 AM
I have a question, Numenor. This is for an armchair I'm now working on. I finally got the mesh to look right in the game, but my mapping is still off.
I cloned a chair from the game to use as a base (forget what the object is called). Anyway, my new armchair has the fabric, the wood legs and a pillow. I can map them okay, but the problem comes when putting it all back together in SimPe.
The original chair's fabric texture is 128x256, and the wood part is 256x512.
How do I map these? Do I have to map twice, with only the fabric in one and the wood and pillow in the other?
Using UVmapper Classic, I'm not sure how to do this.
Should I export from MilkShape only the cushion and wood and map that? And then export again just the fabric part and map that?
Me is SO confused!
15th Aug 2005, 5:37 AM
I am guessing that Numenor is most likely sleeping so I will try and help you out here...
Should I export from MilkShape only the cushion and wood and map that? And then export again just the fabric part and map that?
Yes that is exactly what you should do... ;) Remember your textures can be any size as long as they are divisible by 2. I recommend being as sufficient as possible, 99 times out of 100 I do not make maps bigger then 512x*
15th Aug 2005, 6:30 AM
Thank you! I'll try that and see how it goes. I tried applying a flowered material as fabric, but when I view in game, all it shows is the basic color of the fabric, not the flowers. I.e., solid green, as in the background of the material.
Why is that, do you know?
I didn't have that problem when I made the sofa.
And thank you (Numenor and JWoods) for being so patient with me. I'm really trying hard to learn as much and as quickly as possible.
15th Aug 2005, 6:35 AM
Could be a few things, Material Definitions or texture size to name a few... You can allways upload to the O.W. thread and I would gladly check it out for you. ;)
15th Aug 2005, 9:06 AM
Grapholina, if the .obj mesh is composed by different groups, you can select and map the groups one by one using the menu Edit/Select/By Group (I usually use the keyboard shortcut, CTRL+G):
Once you have selected a single group, hit the apostrophe key: all the other groups will be hidden, and you can easily work with only the selected group.
This is an undocumented feature of UVmapper Classic, and there is no way to make visible again the groups that you have hidden: you have to save the work and re-open the file. Apart from this little problem, this feature is extremely useful.
15th Aug 2005, 2:05 PM
Oh! That is really nice to know. I've been using the Tile menu and therefore, even after I selected a group, I couldn't get rid of the others. I've been manually making my own maps.
As for the texture thing, the problem was that I had forgotten to apply materials to the mesh. I took it back into my program, applied the materials, and voila! Now I have texture.
Thank you for your help. If we can get through all of my questions, maybe we'll have a brand new living room set to play with.
15th Aug 2005, 11:52 PM
Thanks, NUmenor. I'll try that.
Can bad mapping result in an invisible object? Or would it just result in a badly covered object?
16th Aug 2005, 1:01 AM
Bad mapping will not cause an object to be invisible just make it look a bit "yucky"... ;)
16th Aug 2005, 1:21 AM
Thank you JW.
*sigh...back to the why is my object invisible thread...*
27th Aug 2005, 12:11 PM
Thank you for this - it's great! Do you know of anything similar for clothing? I know - it's basically the same but....... it is different :)
9th Oct 2005, 6:30 PM
Is there any way to tell UVMapper Pro that you are going to use a 256x512 texture file so that it gives you a long thin mapping area to lay out your pieces on? I moved my parts over to the left leaving the right of the square empty, and asked for the template to be saved onto a 256x512 image, but all that happened was that I was expected to paint my image all long and thin down just one half of the texture image otherwise it got stretched out and half missing.
Also is there any way to select an area and ask UVMapper to double its size in one direction only? Do we only have freehand pulling?
9th Oct 2005, 7:30 PM
RGiles reported some times ago that UVmapper Pro has great problems in dealing with non-square images.
I can suggest a workaround:
1) save the template in 512x512, then resize it with your paint program and lastly create a 256x512 texture that fits the resized template;
2) load the 256x512 texture into UVmapper Pro; if the image looks stretched, and this disturbs your work, you can resize the window, until in the Status Bar you can read an Aspect Ratio of 1.00 (note: the Aspect Ratio is shown only when you have loaded a texture and a model);
3) adjust the object parts over the texture.
As for your second question, as far as I know, UVmapper Pro can't stretch a selection in only one direction. I do that manually.
9th Oct 2005, 7:35 PM
Thanks, I thought I was just being stupid and couldn't find the option in the menus. I don't know why it bothers letting you save the template in a different proportion to the way it saved your map! If it lets you use your own texture checker, then I can make myself one where the squares are twice the width, so I can still get the proportions correct.
9th Oct 2005, 7:36 PM
Sorry, our messages overlapped. I've edited my previous message a little.
9th Oct 2005, 7:51 PM
I've been considering buying UVMapper Pro, but if handling non-square maps is so complicated with it, I don't think I'm going to spend money on that. UV mapping is painful enough already :gonemad: . At least I can still do that with the Classic version, even though the lack of an Undo function is a problem.
30th Oct 2005, 3:01 AM
Me again, cos tho I clicked thanks the other day when I read this tutorial, I didn't realise then how much it would help me - and I just had to come back and say THANK YOU sooo much for this mini-tutorial... it was wonderfully set out and easy to understand - and it really made everything go CLICK in me brains - it did, it did!! :D
Yes I'm strange, cos I think UV Mapping has become one of my fave things to do at the moment, lolol! I really enjoy that part of making a mesh now, since I read this information.
So, thank you again so much for your hard work.... I've read just about every word you've ever written on these forums in trying to figure this whole object creation etc etc stuff all out :) I'm very grateful!
30th Oct 2005, 3:04 AM
wow ty so much. you made it very easy for me to understand :)
ty for doing this :)
3rd Nov 2005, 2:03 PM
I found some excellent video tutorials by Trp.Jed using LithUnwrap if anyone is interested.
The files are fairly large [33MB and 120MB] so a fast connection is needed.
They can be found here:
3rd Dec 2005, 8:00 AM
Is it possible to just do a UV remapping? What I mean is using SimPe - export the GMDC, do the UV remap & then just import it back in? I think this should work but I am having problems with it. The UV mapping is correct & it does show up in the game but the problem I am having is that the car moves along the street bit the driver & windshileds are moveing slightly slower than the car - it's weird.
Perhaps i am just not checking the right options when I do the Export/Import. I don't know.
If I use the MeshTool the car stays as only one piece but then it reverts back to the previous UV mapping - it just totally ignores what chanhges I made.
Any ideas would be appreciated - I'm not really looking for someone to look at this - mostly I'm just asking for suggestions :)
3rd Dec 2005, 11:20 AM
I've done what you ask about very often (exporting the mesh as .obj, fixing the UVmap and reimporting via the MeshTool), and I never had problems. As for SimPE, there are no specific options for Exporting the mesh. The same applies to the MeshTool: I never change any option, just import the mesh into the GMDC in "Advanced View".
If you use SimPE to re-import the mesh, than you can't use the .obj format: you have to export and import in Milkshape 3D Ascii (.txt), or extracht the entire GMDC and import it in Milkshape with the proper GMDC plugin. In both cases, you are bound to use Milkshape, that doesn't allow you to remake the UVmap...
I suggest to use the MeshTool.
Anyway, the problem you describe (some parts that "move slower" thatn the main body) is new to me: if the joint assignments get somehow corrupted, the parts won't move at all...
3rd Dec 2005, 8:56 PM
Thanks Numenor :) I'l work on it some more today. LOL - it was pretty funny seeing the car move like that!
I'm using Ultimate Unwrap for the UV mapping - I really like it so far. I'll report back & let you know what happenes.
15th Dec 2005, 1:43 AM
Nevermind. I have learned something important - when meshing seperate pieces, don't have them intersect. Making it flush instead fixed it and so it wasn't a mapping problem at all, but a mesh one. :santa:
11th Jan 2006, 3:27 PM
I'm having a problem for uv-mapping a plane (err... well that's the name I found in Milkshape, after the "box" button.) because when I click "edit > new uv map > box" in UVMapper I can see a face but I don't know if it's the front or the back (I think that's the front) and I'd like to know if I can separate both front and back (NB : "split front/back" is still checked).
Does anyone know ?
11th Jan 2006, 4:16 PM
a plane mesh usually only has one side, the 'back' side has no face and will be transparent
that's why uv-mapper refuses to map it. If you want a double sided plane, make another one and 'stick' it to the back of the one you have :)
11th Jan 2006, 4:24 PM
Ahh... OK thanks Lethe ! Once again you can help me ! :)
So an object's shadow is a plane too, isn't it ? But how can I be sure that the face that will be uv-mapped is the good one ?
I'll try it then. I want to make a "poster" ;)
11th Jan 2006, 4:30 PM
if you have two faces,
use the 'plane' button in UV-mapper instead of box
depending on whether or not you want a different backside of the poster,
split front and back
if you don't, they'll both be mapped to the same spot, so front and back will have the exact same image
if you split them, just colour both rectangles differently and test ingame which is the front :)
if you only have one face, it's automatically the good one :)
6th Feb 2006, 4:42 AM
Numenor: Thanks :) This helped me finish an object that wasnt lookign right. :)
19th Mar 2006, 4:10 AM
Coloring individual vertex groups:
If your object is complex, make more and many groups in your 3 D program. It won't hurt and provides enormously much more flexible UV-Mapping possibilities. They will get regrouped when you import back in to eliminate the material groups anyway. but to UV-Mapper, if you keep the MTL file (or whatever file your 3D program generates for material groups), they will always be re-mappable as individual components
When you first open your object in UV-Mapper, choose from the menu options Edit >>> Color >>> Material - each individual group will be a different color and much easier to see against the others.
When you have done that, drag the cursor around everything and use the '/' key on the numeric keypad to shrink the whole object down to a tiny box, maybe 20x20 pixels or 10 by 10, and move it to a corner of the screen. your mesh is still with you, it is out of the way leaving you nearly the whole screen to work with and each part is still selectable when required.
When you 'select by material', put the cursor over the tiny box, and it will change to the cross..slide it to the centre of the screen and then tap the numeric keypad asterisk '*' until it is larger - and there will be only that part of the mesh you selected by color! Finer adjustments smaller or larger can be made with the '+' and '-' keys. You can of course also hand drag, but using those keys will preserve whatever perspective UV-Mapper has applied. Selecting 'scale' when mapping sometimes preserves the correct perspective, and sometimes not.
Using these methods you can re-map individual components of your mesh, change their relationship to each other for UV-mapping purposes and so on.
Making your square, square and your circle, circular
UV-Mapper Classic doesn't have a grid which hinders re-shaping a distorted object or portion of an object. What I have done, to ensure my basic shapes are correct, is create a series of small 256*256 BMP's of several basic shapes (circle, square, triangle etc) black against white. I import this into UV-Mapper as a background 'CTRL-B' and shape my part to the shape of the background image (the background image itself can be rotated or flipped as well). Once I have the right shape, it can be resized using the '+' and '-' keys and retain it's perspective. It may be the shape looks squashed or stretched, but by matching your object shape to the background shape you can be 100% sure, it will come out the correct shape when textured.
UV-Mapper Classic DOES allow rotation of an object although I have seen it mentioned elsewhere that it doesn't. To rotate a part, select it by material, select 'rotate' from the menu, enter the required degrees against the axis required, and then making sure the part of your object you want to rotate is still selected, re-map it. If you have done it right, the selected portion of your mesh will now be rotated. WARNING: Before mapping the next selection, go back to 'rotate' and enter '0' where you had previously entered a rotation value or your new selection will also rotate.
This means you can of course, have a completely different UV-Map for each individual component on the same page.
UV-Mapper Classic is much more flexible than its simple interface might suggest. I hope these additional hints help as well :)
19th Mar 2006, 9:43 AM
Darylmarkloc - Thanks a million for the additional info! I wasn't sure if all those feature were active in the Classic version, too (I mainly use the Pro).
I'm going to add a link to your post in the main page.
23rd Apr 2006, 9:49 AM
Great thread :up: Has reveiled some things for me, thanks for a partial enlightenment!
Have a few questions regarding the mapping and painting process...
After flattening the mapping and arranging the UV's, what format do I have to save the file as? I am using 3dsmax8, can it be done with this app alone and without mapper classic? Texture baking?
When painting the textures in graphics program, do you have to cover only the designated squares (object mapped pieces) and leave the rest white or untouched? If not (which I'm thinking) then how do I say add a design to one part of many of the same piece of mapped geometry and know where exactly it will end up being rendered finally?
23rd Apr 2006, 9:56 AM
You need to only texture the mapped parts, although it's probably a good idea to have a safe marginal so that when the texture image gets resized for the smaller "mip maps", you won't get any odd streaks. I personally usually paste the texture to fill the whole image even if not all of it gets used.
You can have the uv-map image as a separate layer over your texture that you're working on that you can toggle to be visible and invisible to get an idea where each part of your texture will end up at.
24th Apr 2006, 7:29 AM
Yes! Was hoping someone was going to confirm that :D
One quick last question, what format does the UV map have to be exported as from max, is it dds? (Just got the plug in and utilities from link here.)
12th May 2006, 8:11 PM
I have a rather silly question here- when you map a UV model, if you stretch/shrink shapes, and you apply a texture to them that is in proportion, will it stretch in game?
14th May 2006, 1:06 AM
When you stretch a mesh, without changing anything in the UVmapping and in the texture, in game the texture will look stretched.
15th May 2006, 3:07 AM
Thanks for explaining UV mapping! This helps me alot! :anime:
19th Jul 2006, 10:35 PM
what format does the UV map have to be exported as from max, is it dds?
Can someone please tell me about this? I'm reasonably proficient in Max, and my thing (tutorial table) is perfectly mapped there. I'm just trying to put a different texture on the legs and the top part.
I'm obviously doing something wrong, since it's losing its mapping coordinates along the way. I haven't been able to find out what by looking through the forum...
19th Jul 2006, 11:24 PM
I always use OBJ format to export/import the meshes between different programs (3D editor, UVmapper etc...). This way, the mapping informations are exported along with the mesh.
20th Jul 2006, 8:02 PM
I'm using .obj... What I'm doing is exporting the obj from SimPe, importing it into Max8, changing the mesh and texturing (using bmp, no procedurals), exporting as obj with options 'use materials' and 'texture co-ordinates', and then importing back into SimPe. I've tried to use right-click and 'Build DXT', but that option is greyed out. Nevertheless my texture comes in (in 256x512) but the mapping has gone back to standard box, from what I can tell.
I'm getting the idea that max doesn't behave properly with obj files - can anyone confirm or deny this? It seems that a lot of people had them not showing up at all, but I haven't come across a case specifically like mine.
(Also, in the very last testing, the shadow has come displaced from the rest of the thing. I'm not too worried, since I guess I'll be starting from scratch anyway, but can someone give me a clue as to what can cause this so I can try and avoid doing it again? :) )
I admire you guys' skill in creating this stuff, and your amazing patience in dealing with all these queries!!
20th Jul 2006, 9:33 PM
Perhaps I'm just too tired, but either I don't understand, or you are making a big confusion...
The mesh contains the UVmap coordinates (in Max: "Texture coordinates", I guess); it can be imported into the GMDC, by clicking "Import" and selecting the OBJ format (and then browsing to the OBJ file you have exported from Max).
There is no "Build DXT" option in the GMDC: that is an option available only when importing a texture into the TXTR.
Please note that importing the mesh in the GMDC and the texture in the TXTR are two separate activities, both needed for your object to work fine.
therefore, you have to export 2 files from Max: the mesh (with its "texture coordinates") in OBJ format; and the texture (image) itself, possibly in PNG format, or even BMP.
Then, import both files in the proper locations using SimPE.
20th Jul 2006, 9:49 PM
Sorry, I guess I'm explaining badly - thanks for replying :)
I'm doing as you say above, with the clarification that the bmp is one I created in paint, and then used as a material in max. This bmp is the one I am importing into the txtr, but I'm not getting the 'build txt' option, it is greyed out here.
I'm currently trying to do this all with .3ds files instead, and will be getting to the import stage shortly.
20th Jul 2006, 10:00 PM
Argh, my brain isn't working right - I'll be back tomorrow...
20th Jul 2006, 11:15 PM
Perchance, do you have the path to the NVidia DDS utilities correct in SimPE? Import DXT won't work without them.
I noticed the other day that my SimPE suddenly forgot where the utilities were, and I had to enter the path again.
That would explain the greyed out build DXT option.....
21st Jul 2006, 6:05 PM
You're very kind :)
30th Sep 2006, 10:19 AM
Once again, this is extremely useful. Thanks Numenor for your time and effort into this in depth yet concise tute.
26th Jan 2007, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the Tutorial Numenor this was also something I needed to understand a lot better
31st Mar 2007, 12:36 AM
AHHH!! So you can put the figures wherever you want to. I've been having problems with my tablelamp mesh, and never knew were to put the figures and with which type of map...I never knew you could assign a type of map on a certain group of parts! Thanks. I will post questions later, let me try this!
12th Oct 2007, 10:08 AM
I am not sure what exactly I am doing wrong when I paint my maps. I use the transparency method to view the map below and paint only the parts of the object I want painted. When I import my painted map into SimPE using the DXT option and then view it in the GMDC, any details I place on the map end up tiling over the entire image. What step am I missing? Do I need to export the obj twice from UVMapper? Once as a bmp and once as an obj model? Is the obj model the one you upload into SimPE in the GMDC or the original mesh that was exported as OBJ from MS? I think this may be where my problem is. I am importing the MS OBJ into SimPE and then just using the bmps to color. Is this wrong? I have to be missing something!
Thought I should also mention - my meshes are a combination of my own and maxis meshes. The problem I am having is with remapping and coloring of my own. I have no issues with recoloring maxis textures. Just my own new ones.
12th Oct 2007, 7:29 PM
If your texture is tiled all over the surface, this means that the UVmap is too large, compared to the texture. Unfortunately, I don't use MS very musch, so I can't help you with the mapping functions of MS. But I know for sure that you can load your texture into MS and apply it over the object, so to preview the final look without importing mesh and textures into SimPE.
I'm quite sure that there are tutorials abut UVmapping with MS; perhaps in the BodyShop section.
In order to understand what I mean with "UVmap too large", see the animated attachment: it's always the same textures, but the UVmap is larger and larger.
13th Oct 2007, 1:54 AM
Yeah...that sounds like exactly what is happening...although I am not using MS to map, but UVMapper Classic and have tried Ulitmate Unwrap 3d. So if its too large, then I need to shrink them down? is that right? Or when selecting box map just make sure scale is not selected?
Update: I found how to add materials in MS but none of my texture bmp's will load. I keep getting a message - "Out of Memory" in the message box. So I guess I will be stuck doing trial and error - unless you know another way to view and adjust them. I am going to attempt making my maps in UV Mapper Classic without using any scale options or resizing options.
Update 2: Well, I have tried everything I know and it still doesn't work for me. I must be UVMapping Stupid or something. I have followed every tutorial I could find and my maps still don't work. I give up!
13th Oct 2007, 9:33 PM
In UVmapper classic, load the OBJ, and you will see the current UVmap (you will probably see only part of it, actually, because I guess it's very big).
On the keyboard, hit CTRL+A to select the entire map, then use the following keys to resize the entire UVmap:
NumKeypad "/" to reduce to half
NumKeypad "*" to double
NumKeypad "+" to increase size slowly
NumKeypad "-" to decrease size slowly
NumKeypad numbers 2-4-6-8 to move the map around
Once you have reduced the map to fit the white area, you are on the right way :)
Remember that the white area represents your texture: a map that completely fills the white area without exceeding out of the borders will use the entire textures without "tiling" effects.
15th Oct 2007, 12:42 AM
Thanks Numenor...I am at work reading this but I will give your instructions a try the second I get home tonight. At this point I am willing to try anything. :)
A couple of questions: by doing this will everything in that obj be on one map? If I want to split up the maps to have specific parts of it recolorable would I then need to split up my original full obj to specific parts and import them into my GMDC from the specific objs instead of the obj with all parts in it?
My object consists of a counter with a counter top, a wall with a window frame on it, and three box shapes that will represent tickets on a shelf below the counter. At this point I have all items by groups in one obj as well as an obj with each item in it separately - as I wasn't sure which way I should go. Each item - counter, countertop, wall, frame, and tickets are their own group. As far as I can tell most of the objects with the exception of the frame are all box shaped - although the frame appears to map nicely using box as well.
I have the object set up so that the wall and the counter are recolorable subsets. Would that mean that each of these would need their own map? Or would everything on one map/texture image be better?
Final Update: I think I figured it out thanks to you Numenor! The one step I was missing all this time after making my maps in UV Mapper Classic was to save the model AFTER my map was made - then use that model to upload to my GMDC - that, in combination with the scaling techniques you pointed out made all the difference - I think - its working anyway! My textures are no longer scaling!!! TYTYTY!!!
2nd Nov 2007, 1:37 AM
I am also have the same issue with one of my objects that Im trying to texture via MS,
its tiling, so I made the UV map smaller, as Numenor suggested, yet even at 1 X 1 size it still tiles, how can this be?
I tried also using UVmapper classic, and it has the same problem.
I have done textuing via MS before and it work very well, its just this one object im having problems with.
11th Feb 2008, 7:32 PM
:help: :help: I have created a canister set and cloned it over the fruit basket. I have made it a square set and UV mapped it. But the color does not show up right on the set. Here is how I did my canister set.
I cloned the fruit basket, exported the alpha channel and texture that was meant for the fruit basket. I took the UV mapped part textured it and place it over the alpha channel. Then I place it over the textured bmp file. When I went to import it back into the SimPe I imported the obj file that from the saved model* canisters uv mapped file. It looked square like my canister set.
Then I fixed it and committed the file, after this I imported the new alpha channel and texture file back into the SimsPe. it looked great until I got it into the game. For some reason the top knob on the set is not totally colored? I have tried different ways of doing this trying to teach my self here, but it doesn't seem to be working for me.
Would you please take a look at it and tell me what I have done wrong?
I made sure the size was a 126x126 my canister set is a little larger.
I am uploading the rar file of the mesh and the map file as well. So you can see what I have done with it. I would like to upload it here, if you don't mind me doing that. It has a registered guid number and should be ok in any game pack.
I am learning a little at a time here* grandma * slow as Moses lol
I have a question as well about the UV map do you color the empty white part?
I tried not doing this and had white all around my object.
Help pease Stonekeeper
3rd Apr 2008, 7:18 PM
o.k. i have to admit i am completely dense. i kinda get it; in fact it is the only thing i've seen so far on uv that makes any sense to me at all. i tried the jwoods start to finish tute on the table. (3 times) the last one i can't get the texture all the way around. in game it doesn't fit and a "mystery" texture is covering part of the table. i tried doing a glass i made in blender but it looked so crazy in the uv mapper i couldn't do anything to it. and simpe refused to load it. :cry: :help:
i'm so lost and want to understand so badly. what do i do? how do i get the understanding i need so i can make cool stuff too? :(
28th Apr 2008, 5:50 PM
I've got a question about UV-Mapper, too:
If you have meshed a plane it normally is mapped only from one side and so the back will be invisible. But now I want to mesh the leaves of a plant and it is necessary to see them from back and front. Is there a way to tell UV-Mapper that I want both sides mapped??? Or do I have to duplicate the number of vertices and make another mesh for the backside?
Thanks in advance for all replies! :help:
28th Apr 2008, 6:03 PM
jon119 - You'll need to duplicate and flip the faces so that they're visible on both sides.
28th Apr 2008, 8:38 PM
Thank you. I am very new to object/recoloring creating. This really helped me understand a bit about what is going on.
I have made my first object (a table - what else?) and completed the mapping using UV-classic. When I save my texture map, the size comes up as 512x213. The tutorial says to make it 512x512, so I do.
When I look at the texture map in Photoshop, it is obvious that everything was stretched vertically to make the 512. A patterned texture reflects this stretching when applied to the object.
What can I do differently to avoid this?
Should I save as the suggested default, then in photoshop resize the canvas (not the image) to 512x512, keeping the image tacked to the bottom left?
29th Apr 2008, 2:23 PM
jon119 - You'll need to duplicate and flip the faces so that they're visible on both sides.
But do you mean that I have to duplicate them in my 3D-Editor or that there's a function in UV-Mapper that allows to duplicate vertices that only exist once?
Sorry I'm a real beginner... :sheep:
30th Apr 2008, 1:28 PM
Once you have done the map and save the mapped model in your 3-d program (milkshake, if it matters), does the mapping hold for subsequent manipulations of the model?
For instance, if I wanted to build a table that forced symmetry in the recolor, could I build half a table, map it and then once mapped return to milkshake, duplicate and 'put together'?
30th Apr 2008, 1:46 PM
Yes bonnie it does hold the mapping. I am not well versed to say that is the best way to make your table, but it does hold the mapping. Just make sure any new additions contain the same subset name.
Have you tried mapping in milkshape? Don't know around here, but I know I saw one over at TSR from cyclonesue I think.
EDIT: Guess I'm a little slow this morning! :rofl: Glad too because I love that idea of mapping the legs HP.
30th Apr 2008, 1:47 PM
jon119 - You'll need to actually duplicate them in your 3D editor. You'll want to select all of the leafy parts and then flip them - I don't know what editor you're using, but in Milkshape this is accomplished via "reverse vertex order."
bluetexasbonnie - I'm not sure about your first question as I do my mapping in Milkshape and not in UV Mapper, but regarding your second question... yes, the mapping will stay for subsequent manipulations... so yes, you could build half your table, map it, and duplicate and flip it and the mapping would stay the same (just reversed) on your second half. You can use it in other applications - like, say, build one leg of the table, map it, and duplicate it 3 more times and the duplicates will all have the same mapping as the first leg.
30th Apr 2008, 2:04 PM
HP - Thank you.
Lunie - When you say 'same subset name' are you referring back to SimPE? (i.e - be sure that in the end all pieces with the same mapping, point to the same texture.) Or is there another set of subsets that I have yet to recognize?
I wasn't aware that milkshake could do UV-mapping. (Now that I know, I'm looking at the help for doing such.) All of the object creation tutorials I've read (a grand total of 3) that use milkshake always send you to uv-mapper. Is there some functionality or ease of use that uv-mapper classic has but milkshake doesn't?
30th Apr 2008, 4:47 PM
Thanks again HP! Now it's clear for me.
I'm working with blender 3D and I know that it also has a mapping function that seems to be quite useful but not reall easy to understand...
Do we have a good tutorial about that here or do you know one on another homepage?
12th Jun 2008, 5:28 AM
When I tried to combine 2 meshes, one with a UV mapping and the other without, I decided to get rid of the UV mapping because it looks funny in the game. How do I get rid of it?
12th Jun 2008, 2:44 PM
To get rid of an old UV map, you just have to create a new UV map for that mesh.
The new map will automatically replace the old map, because each mesh can only have one UV map.
13th Jun 2008, 5:29 AM
I made a new UV map, but there was nothing to override! When I combined a mesh (the top) that has the UV mapping but the other (the bottom) without one, it says that the UV mapping on the top doesn't exist. However in bodyshop there is a very distinct difference between the top and the bottom (although it is combined). Here's a screenshot.
13th Jun 2008, 9:21 AM
Sorry, but what program "says that the UVmap on the top doesn't exist"? UVmapper or Milkshape?
And by the way, are you creating a clothing mesh? Because in this case using UVmapper would cause your mesh to lose all the joint assignments, which is a problem...
If you are trying to create (or re-create) the UV-map with Milkshape, then I'm not expert enough to give you an answer (this tutorial is about creating UVmaps with UVmapper Classic).
14th Jun 2008, 5:29 AM
No, what I meant was that in the beginning when I checked the material section there was nothing in it, although when you upload it in the game there is like a tonal difference between the top and bottom meshes which I regrouped. Is this either a problem with the UV mapping or a problem with the texture/normal mapping in the Bodyshop, because I think that the bottom mesh originally did not have a normal mapping in it.
14th Jun 2008, 9:05 AM
There's a misunderstanding here that must be cleared up...
An object will correctly appear in game if it has:
- the mesh, composed by triangular faces;
- the texture (or material) that is applied over the mesh surface;
- the UV-map, that defines the way the material must be applied to the surfaces (i.e. which part of the texture must be applied to each face);
- the smoothing (or normals), that defines how the light hits each face, and is used to hide (smooth) the hard edges between two adjacent faces, so to make the mesh look rounded even if it's composed by flat triangles.
In the Sims2 packages, the mesh, the UVmap and the smoothing are contained in the GMDC; and the material is defined by a TXMT (Material definition) with its associated TXTR (Texture).
In Milkshape you import the mesh that you exported from the GMDC; and therefore only the faces, the UV-map and the smoothing will be imported in Milkshape, but the "Material" section of Milkshape will be empty, because you don't import any material along with the mesh.
This applies the other way round: when you export the object from Milkshape, you only export mesh+UVmap+smoothing, but not the material.
Mind that what I said above is true regardless the format you choose to import/export: you can work in OBJ format, or XSI or TXT, or even export the entire GMDC, but still you will lose any information about the material.
And this applies to any 3D editor and UV-mapper program: you can move between SimPE and an external program only the mesh+UVmap+smoothing, but the materials are always lot (you have to replace the texture in SimPe in order to change the material).
That said, I think that the visible difference between the upper and lower part of your mesh is due to a bad smoothing, it's not related to the UVmap (in fact, the "material" applied to the mesh, in the screenshot posted above, is a uniform yellow: uniform colors appear the same regardless the UVmap, but are affected by the smoothing).
I don't know how to fix the smoothing using Milkshape (I use UVmapper Pro for that, because Milkshape is known for badly messing up the smoothing if left unattended), but there may be a tutorial in the Create forum, either in the Object Creation or in the BodyShop section.
18th Jun 2008, 11:14 PM
For food, is there a certain way you're suppose to make the UVMaps? I just cannot get passed the texturing phase cuz my texture won't show up correctly, and it's mainly the preparation stage that's giving me the hardest time. :cry:
19th Jun 2008, 12:44 AM
Food is UV-mapped just like any other mesh. The main difference is that food mesh uses "blend groups", i.e. contains several (usually 3) alternative meshes that are swapped by the game while the food is being prepared or eaten.
Unfortunately, only Milkshape can manage the blend groups, and therefore you must rely on milkshape to do the UVmapping too (you can't export the mesh in OBJ format and import it in UVmapper...).
There should be a tutorial about UVmapping with Milkshape in the BodyShop forum.
21st Jun 2008, 2:22 AM
Thank you so much.
30th Nov 2008, 5:55 AM
This was the most helpful thread to date! Thanks so much!
30th Nov 2010, 6:20 AM
This was really helpful! I just want to make sure that I understand it correctly, if you map your objects in separate pieces, you can move them across the entire space in any order?
30th Nov 2010, 7:26 PM
Yes, if mapped separately you can move them around however you wish. Mapping each piece separately is usually easier and gives better results. It's also helpful if you mesh/map one part that is going to be duplicated - like table legs. Mesh/map one leg then duplicate and move the mesh in your 3d editor. This makes each leg share the exact same space on your texture, and you don't have to map each of the legs.
1st Dec 2010, 1:26 PM
Oh ok, that's what I thought from reading the basic object tutorial but, when I tried it, it didn't work out very well. I thought I went overboard moving the pieces around. I'm guessing I forgot to save the model in uvmapper.
Oh and I made a lamp I saved the pieces that I wanted to be distinct separate, mapped it and then went back into Milkshape and regrouped and it seemed to have messed up the mapping when I imported the mesh. Did I miss something?
EDIT: Another question... sorry. How do you know which map is best for your object? Like if you make something with a lot of swirls or twists. Would it be the shape you used to get the twists and swirls? For example, If I started with a box and curved it all kinds of ways would I use the box map?
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