Last week I told you about my works with the 3D software Maya, then I showed you the first 3D character I made with the package.
This time, I will talk about UV mapping and rendering.
At the end of this post, you will see the final rendering of the character and you will be able to download the high resolution files.
What is UV mapping ?
Simply put, UV mapping is the process that aims at mapping a 3D model on a 2D space, and then apply a texture on that model. “UV” refers to the 2D texture space coordinate system, as opposed to XYZ used or the scene’s 3D space coordinate system.
At least 3 steps are required for UV mapping :
- Unfolding the faces of the 3D model, in order to create a planar version of the mesh. This process is also known as “UV unwrapping” and results in a UV map.
- Creating the texture in a drawing software like Photoshop or Gimp, using the UV map as a reference.
- Applying the texture to the 3D model.
For instance, here is the UV map and the texture I created for the main part of my model :
The hat and the hands of the character have their own texture and UV map, because they have been modeled as separate meshes.
What about rendering ?
Once the character is modeled and textured, we can switch to rendering : staging, managing lights and shadows, and tweaking all the parameters that will have an impact on the quality of the final product (single frame or animation).
During the creation process, 3D packages always show a low-quality version of your work because computers and workstations are not powerful enough to render high quality results in real-time.
For example , “Cars 2” (Pixar) took an average of 11.5 hours to render each frame, even though the studio has one of the most powerful render farm in the world !
Rendering is then the last step of the workflow and is absolutely crucial before being able to showcase all the work that has been done before !
As a comparison, the following frames were rendered in (only) 3 hours each on a 2007 computer:
That’s it for the Layton model ! Feel free to leave a comment !
You can also download the high-resolution renders.