Layout Texture on a Simple Cube

Layout Texture on a Simple Cube

Maya 2012 Tutorial


How to Add a Texture to a Cube in Maya



Creating UV maps is an art form in itself. By understanding how to layout a UV map on a simple cube you will better understand the process as you attempt to map more complex objects.


Step One

Create a new project, set your project and save a new scene in the scenes folder. For more information, see topic, Starting a Project.

Step Two

Add a polygon cube with default values to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Cube. In the options, choose Edit > Reset Settings, then press Create.

Step Three

To view the object and UV Texture Editor at the same time, choose Window > Saved Layouts > Persp/UV Texture Editor.

Step Four

Select the cube. Notice that the UV Texture Editor displays the cube faces with the correct proportions.

Step Five

Using the UV Editor as a template, you can create a texture in Photoshop that corresponds to the faces of the cube.

Step Six

To save your image as a template for Photoshop, choose Polygons > UV Snapshot.

Step Seven

Note your image name and location. Set your image size using multiples of 128 (i.e., 256, 512, 1024, etc.).

Step Eight

Save your image as a tif file so you can open it in Photoshop. You can also use jpg or targa if you plan on opening the image in Photoshop.

Step Nine

Open your image in Photoshop. By default it can be found in your project's images folder.

Step Ten

In Photoshop, double-click the Background layer to make it a transparency layer. Add a new layer below the template layer.

Step Eleven

With the upper layer selected, choose Image > Adjustments > Invert.

Step Twelve

Double click the upper layer icon to open the layer options panel. Drag the upper layer Blend slider to 253 to remove the white portions of the upper layer.

Step Thirteen

Paint the lower layer while using the template as a guide.

Step Fourteen

Delete the upper layer, then flatten your image if you have multiple layers. Delete the Alpha channel from the Channels panel.

Step Fifteen

Save your image as texture01 in your project's sourceimages folder.

Step Sixteen

Returning to Maya, right-click the cube and choose Assign New Material > Lambert.

Step Seventeen

In the Attribute Editor, click the checkerbox next to the Color slider. In the Create Render Node panel, 2D Textures section, right-click the File icon and choose Create Texture.

Step Eighteen

In the Attribute Editor, click the Image Name folder to navigate to your image. The image is located in your project's sourceimages folder.

Step Nineteen

Click the Render Current Frame icon to see the cube with it's new texture.

Why an Alpha Channel?

In Step Eight we chose to save our template as a tif image. Maya automatically adds an alpha channel with tif files.

If we had chosen jpg, no alpha channel would have been created. If you attempt to add an image to an object with an alpha channel, the alpha information can be connected to the shader's transparency node.