Unfold 3D

I said my next post would be written from BlogJet. Not yet. Long story…

But I started trying out Rizom Lab’s Unfold 3D today. There is a lot to unwrap (Hahaha! Get it?) with this tool. I’ll be blunt; they have no documentation either online or offline. There are some disorganized YouTube videos and a Discord chat channel. So learning the application is by absorbing the community tribal knowledge.

That really sucks large. Not a professional look for a company at all.

unfold3dHowever; if you can scale that initial wall, this is a powerful application for creating UV maps. Memorizing a few keyboard shortcuts will serve you well.

You can select points, edges, polygons and entire shells. UV Layout can do that but in a more clunky fashion. One big advantage UV Layout has is the Copy UVs so that cloned meshes (columns, balustrades, etc.) can all be flattened quickly. I am told Unfold 3D has this feature too but I have not figured it out yet.

Once I get a little more comfortable with the application, I will make a YouTube video beginner’s tutorial.

Considering Some New Tools

Blogging

I have been writing this blog with Windows Live Writer for many years now. I’m used to the tool and it fits (mostly) the way that I work. At the same time, it is getting long in the tooth and clearly Microsoft is not going to update it – WLW shows a 2012 copyright. So I started to seek out other blog writing applications.

About the only one that seemed really capable to me is BlogJet. The latest version was released in 2013 – so not much better than WLW. But everything else seems pale beside it. So I am going to give it a try.

This post is done with WLW, but next post will be done in BlogJet.

UV Mapping

I have been using Headus UV Layout for a few years now. I’m not at the newest version because I have let my maintenance expire. It is a far better UV tool than what either LightWave or Carrara offers.

The UI is the biggest obstacle. It is not pretty and it looks like a Windows 3 application – apologies to the young kids out there who will never know that pain. While it has some powerful unwrapping tools, they are locked behind that awful UI. My recent experience with fixing discontinuous edges that UV Layout then refused to open really left a bad taste in my mouth.

So I decided to search for a new UV tool and I found Rizom Lab. They make Unfold3D.

This tool will open FBX files as well as OBJ. It has colourized distortion maps for the flattened shells. It natively supports UDIM (I believe UV Layout does too but it is less clear). And it has a sexy, modern UI. I’m still digging into learning more about this tool before I evaluate it.

In semi-related news, I have made some good progress on cleaning-up the bell tower model. I rebuilt the base to use fewer polygons so it will unwrap more cleaning. I’ve rebuilt all of the front door pieces using subdivision surfaces. I did the same with the four big column structures around the belfry. I have much better topology now and few polygons.

So I will be returning to UV mapping the bell tower soon.