Making the UV Test Map - Adobe Photoshop

Before creating any maps, the texture painter should check the UVs of the 3D object. UVs are referring to the u and v coordinates that are used as texturecoodinates, as opposed to the x, y, and z coordinates used in the Cartesian 3D modeling coordinates.

You are going to create a basic map that I use to test UVs. I simply apply it to every material and take a look at the model to see if everything is copasetic. Most people still use the checkerboard pattern to check for UVs, but as you can see in Figure , it does not give a detailed enough portrayalof the UVs.

The left figure looks okay, but when you apply my UV test map, you can see that the standard checker masked some problems.

UV test map

This map has a gradient in every square, so you know if there is a disconnect or if the UVs are warped. The lines show where the center is so you can get a general idea of how the UVs are laid out and what part of the map you are looking at. Also, I make the textures in a hard 1K and hard 2K, meaning that it is 1000×1000 and 2000×2000 pixels, respectively. This way I know that when looking at the model, each square represents 100 pixels and I can determine whether that is enough resolution for the task at hand. You can see the full UV test map .

The UV test map

The UV test map

Go through the steps of making this map and either use the map as it is or modify to suit your needs. This is also a not-so-subtle way of reviewing some basic Photoshop maneuvering.

  1. At the menu bar, choose File >New to bring up the dialog box.
  2. The New file dialog box.

    The New file dialog box.

  3. Name your canvas UVTestMapand set the dimensions to 1000×1000.
  4. Download the pattern libraries from the book’s companion web site. You can save the pattern library anywhere. However, if you place the library file in the Presets/Patterns folder inside the Photoshop program folder, the library name appears at the bottom of the Pattern pop-up palette menu after you restart Photoshop. Of course, you could create the patterns yourself, but why go through all that trouble if they’re available free? The New file dialog box.
  5. Create three new layers by clicking the New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers palette three times.The blank layers appear in the Layers palette with the names Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3.
  6. Press G to select the Paint Bucket tool and switch the Fill mode to Pattern. You see the newly loaded patterns at the bottom of the pattern palette.
  7. Choose the CheckWhtGrad pattern
  8. Choose the white gradient checker pattern.

    white gradient checker pattern..

  9. Click the top layer, Layer 3, and fill it with this pattern. Since your canvas is 1000 pixels wide, there should be 10 squares across. You can see the appropriate number of squares in below figure
  10. This is how the filled pattern should look

    how the filled pattern should look

  11. Hide the layer by clicking the Eye icon next to the layer.
  12. Activate Layer 2 by clicking it. Fill this layer with CheckBW, which you can see in below
  13. The next layer down should look like this

    next layer down should look like this

  14. The next layer down should look like this.
  15. Hide that layer and click to the empty Layer 1.
  16. Switch to the Gradient tool by clicking Shift+G.
  17. Choose the Yellow, Violet, Orange, Blue gradient, making sure you have selected the Linear gradient.
  18. Drag from the top to the bottom of the canvas to fill it in. Now comes the fun part Your bottom layer gradient should look like this below
  19. Your bottom layer gradient should look like this.

    bottom layer gradient should look like this

  20. Click the black and white checkered layer above to activate and make it visible at the same time.
  21. Change the Layer Blend mode to Screen and see what happens!. With the checkerboard to screen, the black squares reveal the gradient and the white remain white.
  22. With the checkerboard to screen, the black squares reveal the gradient and the white remain white

    checkerboard to screen, the black squares reveal the gradient and the white remain white

  23. Click the white checkers above to activate and to make it visible.
  24. Go to Select >Color Range to bring up the Color Range dialog box and click a fully black square to choose pure black as the selection.
  25. Bring the Fuzziness setting level to 1 and click OK. This should select only the full black squares of the pattern.
  26. Press Delete(Win: Backspace)to delete the black squares and change the Layer Blend mode to Darken. Now you have the checker base for your map! The checker base is complete, but you need to add lines that help distinguish different areas of the map.
  27. The checker base is complete, but you need to add lines that help distinguish different areas of the map.

    checker base is complete, but you need to add lines that help distinguish different areas of the map

  28. Select the Line tool. Make your thickness 8 and your color a pure green(0,255,0).
  29. Drag while pressing Shift to create a perfect horizontal line through the middle of the map. with the same method, create a perfectly vertical line that divides the map into four even sections.Figure 12 if your line does not look like this, check your tool settings against those displayed here. If you hold down the Shift button before you click, the second line is added to the same shape layer as your first line. Continuing to hold it forces your line to be restricted to 45-degree angle increments.
  30. If your line does not look like this, check your tool settings against those displayed here.

    tool settings against those displayed here

  31. Make diagonal lines that cross from one corner to the next, creating an X across the canvas. It is still the same green as the other lines, but you want it to be another color. I chose a purple color like that in , but you can make it any color that stands out. Simply go up to the color swatch in the tool options bar and change the color. Your map is complete! Just one more step Your completed map.
  32. Your completed map.

    completed map.

  33. Flatten the image by going to the Layers palette and selecting Flatten Image.
  34. You can save your PSD for future modifications, but you need to save out a copy if you do not flatten it.

    Layers palette and selecting Flatten Image

    You can save your PSD for future modifications, but you need to save out a copy if you do not flatten it.Now take a look at . The image on the left is the plain model, the middle image is the application of the standard checkerboard map, and the right image is your custom UV test texture application.The whole point of testing the UVs is to make sure nothing needs to go back for UVing.Make sure that the UVs are properly taken care of before you start painting. Otherwise, you just waste your time painting, not to mention the frustrations and delays that all that costs.

    Oh what a difference!

    Oh what a difference!


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