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rDesign

Improve Texture Mapping Capabilities (UV Mapping)

Question

I know it is a long-standing wishlist item, but I thought I would submit a new request to improve the poor texture mapping in Vw, partially due to lacking support for UV Texure Mapping.

A perfect example of the result of this missing functionality is demonstrated by the way that a Subdivision object has to be converted to a Generic Solid before it can be properly textured with an image-based texture. Of course, you lose all Subdivison functionality once you convert it to a Generic Solid.

A select list of objects that are currently hamstrung by the lack of UV mapping, I'm sure there are others:

  • Subdivison Objects [slightly improved in 2017 for small-scale image texture materials]
  • Cabinet PIO
  • Door PIO
  • 3D plants with textures can't be scaled
  • Framing Objects
  • Meshes
  • NURBS Surfaces

I was doing some further reading on mapping techniques for Pixar's OpenSubdiv (basis of Vw's Subdivison objects), and I came across Disney's Ptex open-source API as an easier mapping alternative to UV mapping.

Links to related threads regarding texturing limitations & UV mapping:

Subdivision Objects

Different colors on different surfaces of objects

Textures that scale automatically- Image Props do, 3D models don't, why?

Free XFrog Plants Too Big

Textures with grains

UV Mapping for Coolux Venue Site

Texture Mapping on Stretched NURBS Surfaces

Render Issues

Model UVW Mapping Question

Edge-banding Tool

Tip For Texture Mapping on Non-rectangular Object

Please Make Cabinets So That They Take Wood Textures Properly

Edited by rDesign
Updated all links for new forum
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I am bringing this Wish back to the top.  I wasn't sure which one to revive because this topic is spread across this board in so many ways and so many times.

I am really loving Subdivision 2.0.  I feel like I can create almost anything with ease now.  The VW team did an excellent job on it and I look forward to a few more capabilities in the future (I'll save that for another wish).  But as my love increases for the modelling tools,  my hate and frustration grows exponentially for texture mapping.  There are so many things that I would love to create but I can't because it can't be textured properly.   Texture mapping on Subdivision objects has improved but this is one of those things that improvements don't mean very much.  Its either textured right or it isn't.  With absolutely no way to control the minor offsets, unwanted stretching, etc... its a deal breaker. I'm not going to present something that sorta looks okay.  This also goes for all the other objects rdesign mentioned above.  My biggest waste of time in vectorworks is jumping through hoops finding work arounds to texture objects so that they look good.

You know there is a problem when people are recommending that you export out of your $5000+ software and texture it in Free SketchUp and then re-import it back.  If that's not embarrassing, I don't what is.

I know I have discussed this with Jim before several times and at one point I said, I would be okay if they just gave us more mapping control of each object but the more I think about it, I feel that this needs to be done once and it needs to be done right.  I don't care if its UV or Ptex or what ever you want to call it but we need to be able to have full control of mapping.

If there is one thing I want more than anything.  This is it.  Please everyone... Make sure you Vote this up by hitting the up arrow to the left of the title !!!

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Not to knock what is said above as yes we need some UV mapping techniques for VW.

Sean O'Skea has just released a new youtube video that to those who are newer to VW may find helpful in applying textures to your various objects.

Youtube

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+1

It reduces the usefulness of subdivision and other surfaces if it cannot handle bitmap textures.

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12 minutes ago, JimW said:

The more support we can get for this wish, the better.

Your wish got fulfilled :-)

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Just now, Art V said:

Your wish got fulfilled :-)

Yessssss, but for real, do slap that button people. I still only get one vote even though I'm an admin, can't be caught stuffing the ballot box ;)

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Shhh, don't tell anyone else but someone very knowledgeable whose name starts with the 10th letter of the Latin alphabet also mentioned that voting up the replies (if they can be voted up) can also count for the overall support. B|

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4 hours ago, Altivec said:

You know there is a problem when people are recommending that you export out of your $5000+ software and texture it in Free SketchUp and then re-import it back.  If that's not embarrassing, I don't what is.

^^^ I loved this quote. Enough said. 

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Because I think this long-standing wishlist item is very important, and I wanted to make it easier for Vw to refer back to, I manually updated all of the links in the first post that were broken by the new forum. 

Edited by rDesign
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2 hours ago, Matt Overton said:

Does this mean there would be UV unfoldding that could be used create laser cutting sheets for model building?

You mean as in software used for sheet metal purposes? That would be more a mechanical engineering kind of things which Vectorworks has more or less abandoned. It would be nice to have for some purposes but if I understood correctly based on discussions in other forums having a good sheet metal unfolding functionality takes quite a bit of programming.

Unless you are referring to a different kind of unfolding that I am thinking of.

Edited by Art V

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7 hours ago, Matt Overton said:

Does this mean there would be UV unfoldding that could be used create laser cutting sheets for model building?

 

4 hours ago, Art V said:

You mean as in software used for sheet metal purposes? That would be more a mechanical engineering kind of things which Vectorworks has more or less abandoned. It would be nice to have for some purposes but if I understood correctly based on discussions in other forums having a good sheet metal unfolding functionality takes quite a bit of programming.

Unless you are referring to a different kind of unfolding that I am thinking of.

No, unfolding or flattening of 3D objects is not what is meant by 'UV Mapping', which basically is "the 3D modeling process of projecting a 2D image to a 3D model's surface for texture mapping".

Vw2017 Guide - Textures Projection and Orientation

The rudimentary texture mapping options offered by Vw will not allow you to correctly texture a 3D object. Examples of which include a stretched NURBS surface like a table cloth, Subdivision objects, a piece of wood which has different textures along the long and short edge as well as the face. If you try to scale a 3D object like a 3D tree purchased from xFrog, the texture mapping does not scale with the 3D object.

 

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@rDesignI was trying to get clear what Matt meant with his question about UV unfolding, as it seemed to me he was thinking of the unfolding as used in e.g. sheet metal design software. If that is the case then I don't think it will be implement in the near future because it seems to be a rather complex thing to do well.

That being said, there are some 3D programs that do have unfolding but it may be a somewhat different kind of thing than used in sheet metal design software, perhaps a "reverse UV mapping" (for lack of better wording) might be all Matt wants for his purposes and that might be easier to implement if that is what he meant with UV unfolding.

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14 hours ago, Matt Overton said:

Does this mean there would be UV unfoldding that could be used create laser cutting sheets for model building?

Were you thinking something like pepakura? Vectorworks can already do some unfolding using Model>3d Powerpack>Unfold Surfaces. Rhino is a little better and will label the pieces for you. But none of that is as complex as the custom pepakura software out there on the web.

Kevin

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1 hour ago, Art V said:

@rDesignI was trying to get clear what Matt meant with his question about UV unfolding, as it seemed to me he was thinking of the unfolding as used in e.g. sheet metal design software. If that is the case then I don't think it will be implement in the near future because it seems to be a rather complex thing to do well.

That being said, there are some 3D programs that do have unfolding but it may be a somewhat different kind of thing than used in sheet metal design software, perhaps a "reverse UV mapping" (for lack of better wording) might be all Matt wants for his purposes and that might be easier to implement if that is what he meant with UV unfolding.

Gotcha - I just wanted to help clarify for Matt what this wish-list item was discussing. You're probably already aware, but Vw already has a function to unfold NURBS surfaces but it is limited to surfaces that are curved in one dimension only, so it might have limited application for sheet metal unfolding. That is a very specialized functionality and probably not something to expect from Vw.

Unfolding Surfaces - Vw2017 Help

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58 minutes ago, rDesign said:

Gotcha - I just wanted to help clarify for Matt what this wish-list item was discussing. You're probably already aware, but Vw already has a function to unfold NURBS surfaces but it is limited to surfaces that are curved in one dimension only, so it might have limited application for sheet metal unfolding. That is a very specialized functionality and probably not something to expect from Vw.

Unfolding Surfaces - Vw2017 Help

Thanks that is close to what I'm after. Wasn't thinking sheet metal folding more streamlining Vectorworks Model to cardboard model attached.

Quick look at Unfolding Surfaces  will certainly get us there a lot quicker than the method we used. Although output from roof is messy and general ever face was upside down which isn't so bad by the time we arrange to feed the laser cutter.

Oddly googling with vectorworks as a specific term for answers don't come even close to suggesting this feature in the program. Almost all answers said push model to free modelling program use UV-unfold command then print.  Which is where my question was coming from. Afterall have you meet any Architects who aren't looking for an excuse to buy a laser cutter and make models.

IMG_2648.JPG

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[Off-topic]

@Matt Overton- you might have already found this in your search, but take a look at this thread regarding use of the 'Unfolding Surfaces' command. Your mileage may vary. 

Back on topic :)

Edited by rDesign
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Jim,  I was just wondering how things get to appear in the "popular questions" section?  Is it by vote, or by view, or is this something that you manually do?  Since UV mapping has 7 votes, not sure why this isn't up there.

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"Popular this month" is more based on thread activity and how recently it received votes than just how many votes or replies it has total. But no worries, the views I use catch everything, that section is just there as a convenience feature. It isn't the main go-to for which features are the most desired.

The main overview for votes is more like this:

Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 1.59.41 PM.png

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Thanks Jim,

I was thinking more of the lines of marketing.   LOL.   I want to make sure my most wanted wish is on the first page.  The more people see it, the better chance they go "Oh yah, I really want that too and vote it up" If its buried on the fourth page, there is a much less chance of them being reminded to vote.

Sorry.  if I am being too calculating :D but I really want this to be a priority.

I am also concerned that a lot of people don't know what "UV mapping" is and will skip by it.  If I didn't know what it was, I would think this would have something to do with the sun or lighting.  I am wondering if we can change or add to the title with something that more people would understand.

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