If you've been UVing in Maya then you already know about Automatic Unwrap. It's a way to UV your assets quickly by running one command.
But most beginners make the mistake of using Automatic Unwrap and calling it done.
Automatic creates problems such as:
You need to minimize the amount of UV shells you have and minimize the texture seams.
Automatic Unwrap should be used on box-like meshes that have 6 sides. Some examples are hard-surface geometry like furniture and architecture.
Avoid using Automatic on organic and cylindrical shapes. This will give you too many UV shells that will be difficult to fix.
First, turn on Shaded Mode and Texture Borders to make UVing easier:
Texture Borders will show you where there are texture seams by displaying a thick white line:
Shade Mode will display which UV shells are inside-out.
Select the object and run Create > Automatic:
Now you clean up the Automatic by using Move/Sew and Stitch Together operations to minimize amount of UV shells you have and texture seams.
You can find Move/Sew and Stitch Together in UV Toolkit:
Under Sew > Move and Sew and Sew > Stitch Together:
And with a shortcut key when you have edges selected inside the UV Editor:
UVs are an essential part of the asset creation pipeline. In Module 3 of the Maya Foundation: Home-Study Course you will learn how to UV from the beginning.
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