When I first started my journey in to 3D modelling, UVW mapping was always a struggle; an irritating, mundane struggle. Cut to several years down the line and I now see UVW mapping as a very simple part of my workflow. This has a has a huge deal to do with my next piece of software, "headus UV Layout."
What UV layout does, is allow you to cut and slice your model in to pieces, flatten them out and create a UVW map with ease. The way this is done, is by utilizing a much more visual system that just makes more sense than other UVW mapping solutions. Not only did it allow me to get over the frustrating UI of 3Ds Max's mapping and get on with it easily, it actually taught me the fundamentals.
By using this software, I have learnt to understand how UVW Mapping works in a broader scale and could now use 3ds Max or Maya for this particular task. Not that I would want to after trying this beautiful software - but I could. This is what makes UV layout such a great tool; not only does it help professional modellers get their UVWs done quickly and efficiently, it helps newbies learn the fundamentals.
This piece of software is sold in dollars, but it's available via paypal which nicely does all conversions for you. There are currently three versions of UV layout;
- Student, at £59.92
- Hobbyist, at £119.83
- Professional at £179.75
Bearing in mind, Student is intended for non-commercial work only! Below is an excerpt from the website detailing the different versions:
All three of these versions are available as a demo, however if you choose to try the Hobbyist or Professional versions, you cannot save your work.
Here is a great video introducing the software by 3DMotive: