- What are UVs?
- Detail Modeling
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What are UVs?
This process projects a texture map onto a 3D object. The letters "U" and "V" denote the axes of the 2D texture because "X", "Y" and "Z" are already used to denote the axes of the 3D object in model space.
UV texturing permits polygons that make up a 3D object to be painted with color (and other surface attributes) from an ordinary image. The image is called a UV texture map. The UV mapping process involves assigning pixels in the image to surface mappings on the polygon, usually done by "programmatically" copying a triangular piece of the image map and pasting it onto a triangle on the object. UV is an alternative to projection mapping (e.g. using any pair of the model's X,Y,Z coordinates, or any transformation of the position); it only maps into a texture space rather than into the geometric space of the object. But the rendering computation uses the UV texture coordinates to determine how to paint the three-dimensional surface. (via Wikipedia)
The UV Editor lets you view and interactively edit the UV texture coordinates for polygon, NURBS, and subdivision surfaces within a 2D view. You can access it from either Windows > UV Editor or the UV > UV Editor menu in the Modeling menu set. For more information on how UV shells are used, see the related topics below.
You can select, move, scale, and generally modify the UV topology for a surface very much like you work with other modeling tools within Maya. You can also view the image associated with the assigned texture map as a backdrop within the UV Editor and modify the UV layout to match as required.
You can easily compare a 3D object to its 2D texture coordinates by right-clicking the layout shortcuts section of the Toolbox and selecting Persp / UV Editor. This layout displays the perspective view and the UV Editor simultaneously, allowing you to see how UVs within the 3D scene view pertain to those in the UV Editor's 2D view and vice versa.