Automatic Texture Layout
Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Create an Automatic UV Layout for a Polygon Object in Maya
The Automatic texture layout feature creates a UV texture layout by projecting a plane onto the object from several directions. You can choose from three to six, eight or twelve planes.
For instance, if you wish to texture map a cube, you would use six planes (top, bottom, left side, right side, front and back).
Add a polygon cube to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Cube (include options).
In the options, choose Edit > Reset Settings. Set the Width to 1, Height to 6 and Depth to 3. Press the Create button to add the cube.
With the object selected, open the UV Texture Editor by choosing Window > UV Texture Editor. Notice that the faces appear as squares even though you created a tall narrow object.
From the Polygon menu set, choose Create UV's > Automatic Mapping (include options).
In the options, choose Edit > Reset Settings and set Planes to 6. Click the Project button.
The UV Texture Editor now displays each of the six faces with the correct proportions. To move faces and create a more logical layout, see topic, Moving and Sewing Texture Edges.
Taking a Layout Snapshot
To use your new layout in Photoshop, choose Polygons > UV Snapshot. Save your image as a tif or jpg. The snapshot is saved in the project's images folder by default.
More Layout Options
In addition to Automatic mapping, you can also use Planner Mapping (one face at a time), Spherical Mapping and Cylindrical Mapping. Each of these choices is found in the Create UV's menu.
Working with Scaled Objects
In this topic, we started with a cube that was defined with a width, height and depth dimension. If you had chosen to create your object using a square cube, you would need to add one more step.
You would create the cube, scale the cube, then choose Modify > Freeze Transformations before you proceed to Step Three. If you fail to Freeze Transformations, each the faces would appear as a square.