Over the course of the past few days I have been learning new uv unwrapping techniques in 3ds max, as well as practicing pbr texturing and implementation into Unreal. One particular method I learnt, was manually creating seams in order to quick peel, rather than using the flatten mapping method which is what I normally use. I had to use this on the boat due to flatten mapping not producing adequate enough results for the unwrap, which of course goes without saying the computer does not always know best.
It took me a fair amount of time to get used to this technique, learning where to put the seams and how it can effect the texture.
To get the shape of the boat I used loft by snapping the line to the grid for precision, I also used the soft selection in order to get a more smoother look. after this I extruded to the shape you can see, then bridge the gaps.
Learning new shortcuts too, such as alt and left click to remove seams have been especially handy.
I have also being trying to incorporate pbr into my workflow, as you can see by the metal.
After importing the boat into unreal to see what it would look like I was not happy with the texture, so I changed it to this one –
It looks considerably better than the old texture but I am still having issues with the unwrapping, even after multiple methods. On the subject of multiple methods, I am learning a lot more about the unwrapping process and the different ways in which it can be achieved. On the screen shot below I selected the front and back of the ship, then used front and back on the normal mapping in order to achieve this result. Then left and right for the sides but it did not achieve the desired result.
Aside from unwrapping, I also imported it into unreal to see what it would look like with the pbr textures. Some things looked off at first due to my normal being to high and metals to rough, but as I go I am gaining a greater understanding of how the maps effect different materials.
As for what my next step is, I am going to carry on trying to finding a way to get the wood unwrapped fully around the boat. Instead of using 3ds I could possibly use mudbox or photoshop as workarounds which I will look into. If I use Mudbox it may be hard trying to paint the wood on, whereas Photoshop may just be better as I can manipulate the texture to bend. Either way I will give both a try.
Textures from – http://www.textures.com/