The developers of UVPackmaster 2 are happy to announce that their efficient and fully-featured UV packing solution is now also available as a plugin for 3ds Max.
UVPackmaster is probably the most efficient UV packer out there: it can pack a UV map consisting of 1000 islands in less than a second on 2-core i5 CPU. When the number of cores in your CPU grows, the packer is getting even faster, thanks to its sophisticated algorithm which always makes use of all cores, no matter what the packing parameters are. And it was about packing on CPU only - note that with UVPackmaster you can also pack UVs on Cuda-enabled GPUs - then it totally outperforms all other packing solutions available.
Why is packing speed important? Does it really matter whether a UV map is packed in 1 second or in 4 seconds? 4 seconds is not a long time to wait at all… The point is that in case of many UV maps a single packing run will give you a good result (with decent coverage), but it won’t be the most optimal one. In order to pack a UV map really densely, one needs to iterate the packing algorithm and look for the best result (so-called heuristic search). This is the case when the time needed to perform a single packing iteration becomes crucial - the shorter the time of a single iteration, the faster the optimal solution is found.
This is the main advantage UVPackmaster has over other UV packing solutions: other tools give you a result, but very often it is far from being optimal, so manual improvements are still required. UVPackmaster, thanks to its robust heuristic algorithm, always gives you a result that doesn’t require any further tweaks. And it usually needs only a few seconds of iterating in order to produce it.
Take the UV map below as an example. It intentionally doesn’t contain many islands because such maps are usually more difficult to pack densely. The map was packed using UVPackmaster with a reasonable margin between islands:
It is evident that the result doesn’t require any further adjustments. Maybe you could get a slightly better outcome by packing the map manually but think about how much time it would take. The result above was produced by UVPackmaster in a few seconds using the heuristic algorithm.
Take a look at another example: this time a single UV map was packed into 2 UDIM tiles (yes, UVPackmaster supports packing to multiple tiles). The map doesn’t contain smaller islands as well (to make achieving a dense packing more difficult):
The result you see above was achieved after a few seconds of heuristic searching.
The last example in this article shows that UVPackmaster also packs UV maps containing many small islands with ease. The map was packed to 6 UDIM tiles:
UVPackmaster, thanks to its efficiency, is able to perform a heuristic search really fast, even when packing on CPU only. But keep in mind that the plugin supports different packing devices. Not only CPU but also Cuda-enabled GPUs. It can perform a heuristic search on all available packing devices simultaneously. If you have a GPU in your system the plugin will use it together with your CPU, so it will iterate much faster. If you have more GPUs, it will be even faster being able to perform thousands of iterations every second.
Keep in mind that efficiency is not the only advantage of UVPackmaster. This fully-featured plugin also supports: locking overlapping islands, adding new islands to existing packing, island grouping, UDIM packing, packing for a texture of any ratio, packing with exact pixel margin, processing multiple objects in batch and many other!
Watch a video presenting plugin capabilities below:
For detailed info about the plugin visit https://glukoz.dev/uvp/3ds-max/.