By Polyxo
I think that there's indeed a considerable problem.
Rhino is primarily there to model stuff which can be physically built. Making pretty pictures is of secondary importance – lots of CAD
operators don't render ever. Geometry created by applying good modelling practices and a manufacturing mindset causes all sorts of
texturing problems. What you suggest (and I of course also do at times) without any question means bending Rhino (or any Nurbs-Modeller
for that matter) to do things in ways which are actually not intended. Merging surfaces instead of joining is bad modeling practice as well
as creating this bed as a single surface. But obviously it leads you to your goal, which is making pictures.

I have no solution to offer but I think it's not only a small conceptual problem on the Nurbs side that one may have to redo parts of the
model by using questionable methods in order to render them. For the time being I prefer modeling such parts as meshes right away.
I think I understand what you guys are saying. However, I'm making scenes for work that need to look nice and after they are approved be sent to a builder to get manufactured.
So it looks like I need to integrate Maya into my workflow. I redid the mesh and got this result which is still kind of lame but much better..

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By Mihai
Polyxo wrote: I come to another conclusion. After testing about every UV-mapper in the market over the years I think it's safe to say that a UV-Unwrapper
which works "great" with Nurbs polysurfaces doesn't exist. Great is supposed to say "about as good or as good as with low res subd-cages", no?
Hands down, No.
I find, that those tools and all their functionalities are 100% optimized towards Subd-Mesh input, UV-Unfold is no exception. It's shortest path selector
works nicely on low poly cages, yes. But on Nurbs meshes? Yeah, a bit better than apps which don't have such, but it doesn't allow for fast and controlled
editing along triangulated surface seams – in my book certainly not at all worth minimum 300 Euro for a single license – that is for that particular use-case.

The best options I could find for editing meshes exported from CAD are 3DCoat (featuring a shortest path implementation which performs way
nicer on surface seams than Unfold3D) and generally offering tons more interesting features for the same price as UV-Unfold. Also (but
here it gets more expensive) Zbrush's UV-Master can be very helpful in certain scenarios. It within seconds can unroll the craziest meshes as single island
which may be great for procedurals but there's also very interesting options to remesh to AllQuads. The result may then be treated with all methods
which also work with SubD-basemeshes.
For me the workflow and UI is important and I feel Unfold is a great tool and dedicated to UV unwrapping, you get the hang of it in a few hours. Zbrush, I'm allergic to its UI. I think you're not using right this shortest path tool and expecting it to do miracles, which in "dirty" meshes, no such tool really can, but with Unfold I can easily get around it:

-click once to establish the starting point
-move the mouse and I get an outline which tells me how the cut will be made
- i move the mouse until the cut would not be where I want, and click there
- then continue like this..

It's pretty fast this way and I can cut cleanly even the dirtiest mesh. Of course, if the mesh is all quads, then the predictive selection works great. And no, it's not just for low poly cages. As you can see from the examples on their site, very heavy meshes are no problem.

Then there is the matter of all the other tools it has for uv relaxing, packing, tools for unwrapping similar repetitive geometry in your mesh... It has plenty of these time saving tools so for me it has worked great.
By Polyxo
Mihai wrote:
Polyxo wrote: For me the workflow and UI is important and I feel Unfold is a great tool
Hey Mihai,
it's not neccesary to come to the same judgements. I just wanted to share some of my experiences from regularly chopping
up dense meshes straight from Nurbs apps and what I personally consider to be the most suitable tools for this very task.
I have nothing to add (and I think I understood how Unfold3D's preselection highlighting works, when testing the app).

Generally remeshing to all quads seems preferable for best results. That gives a nice and manually editable low poly cage which
when subdivided and reprojected against the dense input mesh can hold all of the detail of the original mesh. For this remeshing
bit again Zbrush (in my experience) clearly takes the win – whether you are allergic* to the GUI or not :).


*Probably most Zbrush users understand this statement, web fora are full of this complaint. I tried learning the app several times
over the years and failed each time. Like you I sincerly hated the GUI and its odd conventions. But again as many people I changed
my mind completely, once I got over the hump. Now I'm quite perfectly happy with it. I think it helps greatly to learn a more
conventional sculpting app prior to Zbrush in order to get the feet wet with the overall sculpting concepts.
By Polyxo
wiredupbook wrote:OK!
I redid the mesh and got this result which is still kind of lame but much better.
It looks as if your basemesh needed some subdivisions (or is that negative edge intended?). As Maxwell offers
several disoplacement methods it also matters to make a good choice here. My suggestion is to subdivide the
foamed parts to a degree that they would render perfectly smooth without displacement and then using Flat
displacement just for the frizz.
By Polyxo
hatts wrote:I'm over the "hump" of understanding zBrush and I still hate the UI. It's unforgivably bad and conventions-defying.
The topology tools are irreplaceable for me though.
Let's not get started with a Zbrush GUI debate based on my little footnote - at least not inside this thread.
That would open yet another can of worms and I'm frankly quite bored of this old topic too.
The features I mentioned inside this thread (remeshing/unrolling) are learn-able within minutes even by genuine and proven Zbrush-loathers
and they within no time at all spit out results one can not yield by any other approach. Maybe that's worth biting the bullet, maybe not.
A surprising extra could be that one starts liking that terrible app.
OK last question here ( I think )
I am going with Mihai's suggestion of using unfold3D to make some nice UV's for my objects.
However, when I save the UV's as TIFF files and attach them to a material in Maxwell Studio they do not conform to my object.
Are there specific import settings that I need to use to get my UV's from Mudbox to Maxwell studio?
By Polyxo
Just to make sure:
It is not enough to export an image after editing UV's - you will need to resave the geometry after unwrapping.
You didn't change the model appearance visisbly but you asigned properties in its 3D-coordinate system. That
means you have to save the model after editing in Unfold3D and feed this version into Maxwell.
The option to export an image file which shows the flattened mesh is there to 2D-paint /composite textures
by hand in Photoshop or the like. In case you want to use tilable textures instead (and have cleverly aligned your
UV- islands) it may not be required. If you followed all this and still run into problems it was best to post your model.

Once more just to make sure: As you are also using Maya - you are aware that this program is intended to be the
"UV-Mapper" and poly-modeller for Mudbox, right? You can exchange between both programs by the click of one button.
By Polyxo
wiredupbook wrote:I think that is for Maya 2015..
I have ...2014 :shock:
Well, what is built into 2014 aint shabby at all either! With Maya at disposal and being a beginner, using
any external UV-mapper is a complication of workflow and imo a complete waste of money.
The error you just ran into (not resaving the model) wouldn't have happened when you had uved
the model inside Maya and had pressed the render button from there.
At least my comments concerning possible UV-Unwrap tools were strictly meant for Nurbs geometry
where no source app has serious tools built in anyway.
I understand what you're saying. At this point though I am learning while on the job and the unfold software seems like it's designed to save time.
I learned it in about 10 minutes.
The Maya unfold options seem tricky, I'm going to learn it properly when I have some down time and am not scrambling to meet deadlines.
Also, I'm teaching myself all of this from scratch, I have no formal training at all so it's all a bit mysterious and overwhelming right now.
By feynman
"thinking in singlesurfaces is just about keeping a lightweight and editable model. if there are discontinuities in the surface, the are most likely breaks in uv space too. in that sense I suggest to model with as few elements as possible."


We have found that the classic automotive design/industrial design approach to surface modelling is very useful for rendering predictable results (displacement, real scale materials). Keeping one's NURBS patch layout clean and rebuilding trimmed surfaces (or avoiding them in the first place as is often necessary to achieve good G2 and G3 surface continuity) makes meshing from Alias, Rhino or ICEM surprisingly straightforward so that no other application has to be used.

For interior architecture/rendering only, where the output data is not intended for tool production, rapid prototyping and property analysis, I would think polygonal modelling software must be the better choice.

Just my 2 cents...
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Thanks Fernando!