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Painless organic unwrapping tutorial

“Painless Organic Unwrapping” by Bill Quillinan
This tutorial assumes you’ve worked through beginner UV unwrapping tutorials and know how to find the UV Image Editor, get into UV Face Select mode and how to use typical unwrapping tools.
This tutorial also assumes you’ve been extremely frustrated trying to unwrap anything more complex than a simple primitive object and have it come out decently.Modeling is fun. Painting is fun. The bridge between the two, UV unwrapping, is, well, not fun. But necessary. This tutorial will not make it fun, but it will remove the frustration so it is, at least, painless.
If you’ve looked at unwrapping tutorials before, you’ll recognize the part where it says: “now tweak the vertices in the UV mesh” and you don’t even know where to begin to get to that nice clean layout shown at the end of the tutorial. So you start pushing vertices around and several hours later you give up, thinking, “this is just too hard. Procedurals are better. Maybe I’ll try vertex painting. “Anything but this!” I intend to outline a work flow, to show you which tools to use and when to use them, to get you through that frustrating “tweak the UV mesh” stage. I’ll put Blender hot key, menu or keystroke information in endnotes, so if you’re not sure how to do something, take a look there. I’m using a model I made using Mr_Bomb’s Adrianna head modeling tutorial.
Principle number 1: Start with the hard parts.If you look at a typical organic model unwrap, there will be places where the UV map is squashed together, with many overlapping sections. It’s often difficult to tell how the original mesh was laid out. In a head model, these spots are usually the eyes, mouth, nose and ears.
Principle number 2: Use your topology to your advantage.Modeling edge loops is an important part of organic modeling, so your mesh probably has loops surrounding all the hard parts. If it does, you can use the face loop select tool to select loops around the hard parts. If you don’t have these loops, you’ll select faces to form a loop one by one. Let’s begin. Load your blend file. Set up Blender with a split screen, with your mesh shown in one 3D viewport and the UV Image Editor in the other. recommendation:

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Fig 01 Screen Layout and Problem Areas
Figure 01 shows Adrianna unwrapped with absolutely no preparation at all. All faces were selected in the 3D window, the mode changed to UV Face Select and the mesh was unwrapped. The problem areas are concentrated in the center: the whole face, along with tight clusters for each eye, the ears and the nose/mouth area. We are not going to use this UV map. To delete it, press the X in the Mesh Panel to the right of the UV Texture Name (the default name: UV Tex.)

Fig 02 Face Loops Around the Hard Parts
Use the Face Loop Select Tool [see note i] to select loops of faces around Adrianna’s Face, the eyes, the ears, the lips, the nostrils and the nose/mouth (muzzle) areas. Notice in the close up on the right that the loop around the ear didn’t go completely around the ear due to that nasty 6 pole hidden behind the ear, and there is a single unselected face between the two loops in front of the ear. The next step is to complete any incomplete loops using face select [see note ii] and to connect all the loops by selecting the two columns of faces that run from the center of the forehead down the bridge of the nose to the lips (see fig. 3 and 4).

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