Thanks go out to Dmitry Denisov for this UVLayout and modo tutorial You can see more at dmi3ryd.com
First we’ll load the ‘ladybird_noUV.obj’ (supplied) in UVLayout. For more comfortable work with the model, hit Space+MMB to move and separate all parts to a different position (1). Our model is symmetrical and we’d like to activate it, so go to Edit and press the Find button. Click LMB in the centre of the model and hit Space to activate Symmetry. This will greatly decrease the selection time and improve your workflow. Using the G button, double-clicking on the geometry to mark it (double-click Shift+G will deselect the shell). Select all the small parts, click H and then G to hide the selection (2). Now it’s time to make seams for unwrapping. Use C to make a selection, W to deselect edges and make seams for future unwrapping (3). Depending on what you’re creating UVs for, you can create one large UV map with distortion or use small UV pieces with no distortion. Right now, we can make UVs for future projection painting with a large amount of UV shells. With this object, the head seams are the hardest part of unwrapping (4). Once you’ve finished, drop all of your geometry to the UV Editor using the D button.
Now to unwrap our dropped geometry (1). Press2orEtogototheUVEditor.Aswe have a small quantity of shells, we can manually unwrap each of them. Move the cursor under each shell, hold F until you like the result, and all areas will turn green. As we activate Symmetry after unwrapping, alignment will become accurate. If you have problems with incorrect or very strong distortion, try to use Shift+F. This option first stretches geometry after unwrapping. To move the shell press Space+MMB, to rotate hit Space+LMB and press Space+RMB to zoom in.
Here we’ll focus on a couple of useful tricks. You can manually cut and weld shells using the C and W buttons. To cut an edge, simply move the cursor under and press C. If you start to do this in the centre rather than from the border, for example, this will create a loop. Hit Enter to separate a part, but if you don’t like the result, try to cut some edges to improve shell tension. Use magnet (M) to snap one part to the other then press Enter to merge to one shell, then hold F to relax the new geometry (2).
Continue with other parts of the ladybird until you see ‘Nothing in ED’ in the editor. In the 3D Editor press T twice to place your texture and + to increase tiling. This will need to align the textures correctly. I recommend you use one global direction for more comfortable projection painting and future texture editing (1). Now we need to separate all the parts and pair them up. For example, we can combine all the legs into one UV square, as well as the head, eyes, whiskers and so on. This can improve image quality because we have more space for textures. Combining texture parts can improve your workflow and make the process more comfortable. Now we have four squares with ready-to-pack shells (2).
Now we’ll create four packing groups. Drag a selection under the first square, go to the main Pack menu and select New Group. To see a difference, drag one of the four green arrows with Cmd/ Ctrl+RMM and you’ll see a result. Do the same for all the groups. As you can see, when you drag the green arrow, UVLayout tries to find the best way to pack UV shells. In the Pack option click Delete All to remove all your groups. If you have a large amount of UV shells, a better way is to use the option Fit To Sqr, which you can find in the Move/Scale/Rotate tab. This will bring all the shells according to the UV square and fill the maximum UV space. Click the Rescale button to make all shells one size. After that, try to repeat the option Fit To Sqr, or you can manually select and scale each group.
To make all of the UV shells local size in Move/Scale/Rotate, click the Local button. On the top of the main menu find the Send button and click it. Return to modo and click Import From UVLayout. To finish up, we can create a UV map wire and render it. This may be helpful if you’d like to manually draw textures. In the main menu open the Edit tab and click on the Auto Fit button. Find Render and open it. Check the AA Lines, disable Outline, choose the resolution you need and click the Save button. If you’d like to make a wire, for example with a 1.1 value, drop any unused shells with Shift+D, click the Auto Fit button and render it.
If you have a large number of UV shells and you need to separate different parts to other places, you can split the panels. For example, in the left screen you can choose the UV Editor, and 3D view from the right screen. This increases your workflow and makes work more comfortable. Under Display, find the green button Split Pane.
C – cut
Shift+C – UV space
F – flatten shell
L – lock shell
M – magnet selected edges Enter – split or attach shell Shift+I – straight to line
R – convert to rectangular 5 – paint expand
B – flatten brush
P – pin border
Shift+P – unpin border
T – change texture type
+,- – change tiling texture
Home – centre screen on selection H – hide tool
G – paint selection