Export and paint UVmap - workflow - how to do it... if i can't I may need to leave Carrara... please

edited February 2013 in Carrara Discussion

Ok first let me post a link to some of the stuff i built in Carrara

I am no expert by any means, but i am an ok modeler, and have been a proud owner of Carrara for quite some time.
All the models I built have 1 or more shading domains, with simple square (usually 512x512 made in genertica) textures applied to those domains,(some time tiled a well) some of them are simply free textures I downloaded off the net, but generally just a square that us applied to a shading domain, i may modify it a little in photoshop to add a blur or noise etc but thats about it)

This process is not allowing me to add the detail I want to particualr sections of a model.
compared to something like this: http://derangedscratchings.blogspot.com/2013/01/aliens-are-better-than-zombies.html (scroll down till you see the UVmap image on that web site)

where the model is UVunwraped and then painted (adding specific details to areas as needed) then loaded back onto the model.

When I try and map something in Carrara all I get is a huge mess of lines and unable to distinguish any portion of the model.
I tried pins seams.. etc.. I just do not know what I am doing.. when you have a tiny low poly model perhaps this is do-able.. and easy to identify the pieces.. but on a bigger model I am not having success.

What work flow are people using to acomplish this in carrara?
Do I need to select the individual shading domains and then uvmap them and detach them etc?
I have played around and it seems when I move a vertex or anything on the UV it totally skews and streaches the texture on the model.

I am lost.. and not sure how to get this Unwrap to happen, and export, and then paint and reimport to apply to the model to give it the details I need.

If I can't figure this out I am going to have to move to an application like MAX, where i know it can be acomplished.
I really like Carrara and hate to have to buy a new (and more expensive program and then learn it)
But I can not figure out a way to acomplish this with the UVmap tools in Carrara 8.x

if you look at my catapult http://method72.webs.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=167664747
imagine how much better it would be if i could get in there and truly add the details at a micro level instead of just a generic flat map wraping around a general shading domain... I want to take my modeling/texturing to the next level.. but don't know how.

thanks fot any assistance.
I have been working on this for a while and can't come up with a process that works.. and reaching out the the community.

On a side note, I have posted simillar posts before but no resolution to a working process was ever found...
I am giving it one more try.. before I give up on this.

- Sam

Post edited by samleoncini_e5276f15ca on


  • ShannonHoppeShannonHoppe Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hello Method321. The UV Unwrapping tools in Carrara, although sufficient, are not as "easy going" as some other tools that are out there. In particular I refer to ZBrush and the UV Master tools it provides. Traditional UV Unwrapping is a full on skill set. Getting good results is a time consuming process that requires a great deal of finesse and patience unless "specialized" tools are employed. Before you go down the path of MAX and spend an awful lot of money consider going a different route. By using the GoZ plugin for Carrara you can painlessly transfer your work back n forth between the applications. UV Unwrapping and micro detailing can all be handled with ease inside ZBrush and transferred back to Carrara with a single click. That's the workflow that I prefer to use ;) Oh yeah, and ZBrush is waaaaay cheaper than Max!

  • edited December 1969

    I looked ad the Interface for Zbrush... wow is that confusing, but may need to take another look.
    what about UVmapper pro or Untimate Unwrap?

    are those tool of value? i played with a demo and still would not seem to get what i wanted out of it..
    I heard that Zbrush has some kicking UV abilities but that UI was intimidating and never tried to pursue it.

    I really don't want to leave Carrara, i like its interface and its workflow moving from room-to-room as you work on your model, unlike MAX or Maya where you have 9000 gizmos all piled on tops of you. Sure i know you can customize shelves etc to get a trimmed back UI, or turn geometry invisible in the view etc.. but Carrars rooms is something i have grown to adopt and really like how it work.

    I may need to revisit the Zbrush side of things.. was hoping it would be easier then that.. and not have involve a complex secondary app... but it sounds like If i want to stick with Carrara that may be my only option.

    Will see what else folks may offer in this thread over the next few days.

    thanks for the quick responce.

  • ShannonHoppeShannonHoppe Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    There's a lot of folks on here that have experience with UV Mapper Pro but I haven't personally used it. The ZBrush interface can be intimidating at first but it's really great after getting over the initial hump. What finally got me over the hesitation about jumping into ZBrush a few years ago was the fact it's rather ubiquitous in the industry. Regardless of what software is the mainstay in a shop's pipeline it's a pretty safe bet ZBrush is in the mix. So time spent learning ZBrush is not wasted. It directly translates to something of value when applying to studios and agencies (but of course, the work in one's folio speaks louder than text on a resume). By using GoZ you're not having to abandon Carrara. Just think of ZBrush as a super plug in for all your UV, detailing and texturing needs. Throw in the advances in base mesh construction and retopology tools and ZBrush is a must (imho)!

  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited February 2013

    Yes, UV mapping in Carrara can be a pain. I don't like it at all. :)

    Get the free UV mapper to try it out (i'll show an image to show why later)

    My suggestion is to:

    1. Always model in parts and name the parts with good names
    2. Always use shader domains and name after the parts (part 1 - Top left if you use a shader domain on a part for a decal for example)
    3. Assign a texture map before you export the UV map (Checkerboard, stripes, etc. lots of UV texture maps around)
    Note: this helps you adjust what is being stretched or not lining up
    4. Yes, you can UV by parts AND by Shading Domain
    a. Go to the "Display Tab" of the UV, then uncheck 'show all' - just your shading domain will show up.
    b. You can give that shading its own UV map if you wish and export that for painting.
    5. Paint on that map after exporting (512x512 would be minimum export size, higher resolution if you want a lot of detail i.e. letters, logos)

    I'll try to attach some images later to give examples, but need to mark them up first.

    Post edited by Design Acrobat on
  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited February 2013

    Okay, here is a basic cube with some hints on display mode and checking textures for UVMaps.

    The images are from the bottom up, shows how you can turn on the display mode in the UV room to check texture.

    This is important if you use Carrara to rotate UV maps or UV maps of Shading Domains so they align and encompass your texture map.

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    Post edited by Design Acrobat on
  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited February 2013

    Okay, found a catapult on Google Models and am using that.

    Note: you will have to untriangulate and fix coplanar errors in the model room.

    The first image is what the catapult looks like in the UV room. It's a mess as every thing is out of range (goes past 0 and 1 coordinates and well, it's a mess.

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  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited December 1969

    Remember what I wrote about making your model in parts and making shading domains?

    This is important even if you use a dedicated UV mapper , like the UVMAPPER STandard or Pro.

    The first image is the UV MAPPER Standard or Classic map of just the sled part with no shading domains and the object imported back into Carrara with the new UV map.

    Looks better right?

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  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited February 2013

    But, back to making shading domains from parts and sub-shading domains from smaller parts.

    Do you see the problems? All those small parts (rounded ones) crossing over the rectangular UVs, making it very confusing to texture.

    Here's a standard wood texture on the model.

    Please note how the wood grain is in all different directions.

    Note: This could be corrected by rotating shading domain parts in the UV window or if you paint externally, rotating the 'grain' of the texture until it matches the UV map.

    Remember under selections in the model room, you can select shading domains under "Select By" even with the UV window open. This will save you some time if you named them beforehand.

    Even with a good map like what UV Mapper classic made, there is still work to be done.

    Pinning and making seams are used to flatten out uvmaps so they behave how you want. Knowing where they go is a bit like sewing a pattern (can get complicated) and imo is the least desirable way to do it, but if the model is not split up by shading domain or parts, it may be the only way to go.

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    Post edited by Design Acrobat on
  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited February 2013

    Finally, here's a display that shows the 'sled' portion of the catapult and perhaps how I would split it up into parts and/or shading domains.

    It makes life much simpler when you need to texture.

    Of course, one needs to develop a discipline of naming parts, making groups, establishing hierarchies - BUT - That's a different subject. :)

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    Post edited by Design Acrobat on
  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited December 1969

    The sled map broken down into parts for easier texturing.

    Some parts can be laid on top of each other if, in this case, the wood grain is running in the same direction.

    Other parts or subdomains (shader domains) may need to be rotated or painted externally.

    This is of course is not a finished map, but shows what I meant earlier in the thread - a bit extreme perhaps, but hopefully the concept of making parts, shader domains, hierarchies and groups registers as part of modeling discipline. :)

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  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311
    edited December 1969

    Just to add to what design acrobat has done :

    If you're having difficuly figuring anything out,. ....start by simplifying it.

    Start with a simple object,. then by adding seams, and unwrapping, you can see more easily what's going on.

    In this example, i've made a simple vertex cylinder from a circle, extruded.
    I've then selected the top and bottom loop's, and a vertical edge,.. Why? ..
    Because the top and botom are both already flat,. and the vertical edge allows the cylinder to be split at that point,.. and flattened in the UV grid.

    Once I have created those seams,. I can unwrap,. then Move and Scale those separate sections within the UV grid.
    Once i'm happy with that layout,. I can go to the "display" tab,. and export a UV template,. which I can use as a guide for creating a texture map in an image editor like Photoshop.

    Or,... I can use the 3D Paint tools directly in Carrara, to create texture maps.

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  • edited December 1969

    so i have one question.. if i make a shading domain, and later i want to delete.. how do i do that?
    i can't seem to find a way to remove it. I realize i can just ignore it and not use it, but what i found is that if you import into unity (at least once the .car has been exported to .fbx) the model will display all the shading domains, so if there are unnecessary ones listed that can get confusing) I know how to delete shaders, and of course that is not in the texturing room where you create them.. but i wasn't seeing Shading Domains in that same area to delete unnecessary ones.

    i worked on several test models last night and it looks like i will be able to break my models apart and build the UVmaps I need all within Carrara. The only remaining piece to the puzzle is how to delete an unneeded shading-domain.

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311
    edited March 2013

    Shading domains are simply a defined selection of polygons,.
    So,.. If your object has (for example) two shading domains, "top" and "bottom",. then you decide you only need the "top" domain,. you can select the polygons associated with the "Bottom" shading domain,. and then change the shading domain those polygons are associated with. or you could select the entire object, then select the shading domain those are associated with.

    You do that by selecting the domain in the bottom right panel in the verex modeller (See pic)

    To remove unwanted shaders from the list, you can select and delete them from the "Global" tab, in the modeller.

    remember that if you change the domains,. you'll probably need to re-do th UV mapping

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    Post edited by 3DAGE on
  • edited December 1969

    ok awesome
    thanks guys.
    that solves it.

  • Box8068_31c338ee4bBox8068_31c338ee4b Posts: 280
    edited December 1969

    I couldn't help but jump in on this thread as this seems very close to something I've been struggling with.
    I've been using Carrara for about a year and have done well with the included shaders and have only needed to create one or two
    on my own so I am very much a newbie with UV mapping. My project involves a number of brushed metal machined rollers.
    The Carrara included shaders work great. The only problem I have is I can't seem to get the circular brushed pattern at the top of the cylinder. The sides look great. I've created a separate shading domain in the vertex modeler so I can alter the top of the cylinder , but no matter what I do I just seem to see specks rather the a circular swirl. I've tried to alter this in the shading room and haven't found the correct answer so I'm guessing I need to alter the uv map to achieve this effect?
    Any advice is much appreciated!

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  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 459
    edited March 2013

    Not sure if this is the look you wanted, but gave it a quick spin.

    I used the brushed shader supplied with Carrara.

    Made a shader domain for the flat head portion of the bolt I made.

    Gave the shader domain a boxed UV map. ( I wrote "Box Shader" should be box UV )

    Then in the texture room, I added a home made TIFF map of concentric rings and put the texture map (exported as TIFF) and dropped that in the color shader where the brushed shader has a "value." (used Xara to make the concentric ring texture map)

    Used a HDRI map to render.

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    Post edited by Design Acrobat on
  • Box8068_31c338ee4bBox8068_31c338ee4b Posts: 280
    edited December 1969

    Design Acrobat
    Thanks for the reply. I'll give it a shot. and thank you for the PNG.

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