UNFOLD3D: An impressive UV-mapping tool
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UNFOLD3D: An impressive UV-mapping tool
11 February, 2015
Interview

There are a lot of game-development tools out there but there are hardly any tools that the developers value more than UNFOLD3D. We had a chance to have a little chat with the developers of this product and talked about its functions and advantages.

What is UNFOLD3D?

unfold3d-80lv

UNFOLD3D is a multiplatform software, currently available for Windows and OSX, designed for professional artists and product designers, in need of high quality UV maps creation: feature films, high end games, ultra high precision product design and so on. Its user friendly interface, together with soft learning curve, makes it quick to use, even for 3D beginners.

For those of the readers who do not work with UV mapping, what are the main difficulties of this process and how does Unfold 3D help to work with UV faster?

There are two main difficult tasks in the process of UV map creation.

The first one is marking seams on the 3d mesh model, segmenting it into several smaller separate parts. Selecting the edges that will define the seams is extremely tedious, therefore UNFOLD3D offers advanced selection tools to reduce that task duration 100 times and even more.

The second task is to flatten those 3d meshes part into flat meshes, so that you can paint on them in 2D, using Photoshop for example or even using 3D painting software that benefits from good quality UV maps as well. The flattened version of the meshes must be as less distorted as possible, and this is the main quality criteria for good UV maps.

unfold3d-80lv

UNFOLD3D provides one click solution thanks to several state of the art algorithms that allow the best quality, best time efficiency, being able to handle heaviest 3D models in term of polycount, when other methods simply fail to produce any usable result. Usually, the result of the automatic job is so good, that you don’t even need to readjust it by hand. For other cases, UNFOLD3D provides the most advanced and unseen tweak tools to improve already flattened meshes, and comfortably manipulate them.

UNFOLD3D will not only give you better quality in less time, it even gives you UV maps when cases seem to be unsolvable at first sight. Our flattening algorithms have proven for years their reliability and their quality. Our unwrapping tool was evaluated, compared, and finally chosen to become deeply integrated into two major 3D software solutions.

What editors is UNFOLD3D compatible with? How do you work with the vendor to use your plugin?

As long as a 3D software can write and read back an OBJ-based format file, describing 3D model in terms of polygons, UNFOLD3D is compatible with it. Many of our users use it combined with 3DS Max, Modo, Blender, Mari, BodyPaint, Softimage, Cinema4D, Rhino 3D, and Lightwave. And because it is very difficult to change the way you navigate and select in the viewports when you have to switch forth and back to a third party software, we provide the mouse and keyboard mimic settings for a fast pickup, so that you feel always at home using UNFOLD3D.

UNFOLD3D-80lv

Besides, UNFOLD3D generation 9 is fully scriptable using the famous and lightweight LUA script engine, so that ITs can easily create company adapted and customized import/export scripts that fit exactly their needs.
For example Maya now carries UNFOLD3D inside, as a standard plug-in together with each new Maya provided license!

How do you distribute UNFOLD3D? The purchase page of the Unfold 3D website seems a little bit confusing for the client.

Customers can either place their orders directly on our website or through one of our official UNFOLD3D resellers, depending on their purchase preferences.

Could you name some of the projects where UNFOLD3D was used?

We are just not allowed to say! Most major companies are currently using UNFOLD3D.

What do you think of the contemporary gamedev tools? Are they becoming more open and easier to use? Do you think that the spread of inexpensive 3D-tools actually helps to make better games?

In my humble opinion, inexpensive 3D-tools create good opportunities to improve 3D skills. They are nice to start working with. Now, when you are in need of high quality results, you will probably need something else…

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3 Comments on "UNFOLD3D: An impressive UV-mapping tool"

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Yarob
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Yarob

Its an extremely expensive software… The freelance license is 299 Euros and it only works using dongles. If you lose the dongle you lose the license. There are far cheaper alternatives that can perform equally well and at a fraction of the price. They really should consider reducing their prices considerably. If they want to sell more of their product that is.

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