Archive for July, 2015

#CreativeFriday – Unwrapping UVs on a 3D model for Photoshop CC

I’ve spent the last few weeks learning how to unwrap UV maps for a 3D model, so that any texturing and painting rusults in Photoshop CC are more controllable. For exmple, take this primative object that I created in Cinema 4D, and objened into Photoshop as an OBJ file.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 13.55.33Within Photoshop the standard brush tool can be used to paint directly onto the 3D geometry and project the paint marks onto the texture map.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 13.55.59Painting on one face of this particular object will result in the paint appearing on every side. This can be quite confusing to why it happens. If the material for cube is opened, it’s fairly obvious why.

To access the materials for a 3D Object in Photoshop, click on the material object in the 3D menu (marked yellow) and select to open/edit the Diffuse texture (marked in red) from the folder (marked in purple)

It turns out that we only see one face, the reason that we see this result on all faces is that each of the other faces takes the texture from a single definition.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 13.56.083D Texture maps are controled by something called UV’s or UVW (in some cases). A UV is a collection of reference points that link texture back to the original Polygons.  The U and V are simply references for an X and Y coordinates reference, but are represented in a 2D fashion, this is called un-wrapped geometry. These 2D representations will make texturing and painting much simpler and more controllable. In the case of the cube there are six faces, so therefore six UV’s exist. however, the UV’s in this example are all positioned in the same place, that’s why we only see one, but in reality there are six overlapping.

This might be want you need to paint the cube for your texture, but if you need to have differnt designs, patterns and textures on each face, then this won’t work for you and will need to be corrected.

Photoshop CC can read the UV’s that have been created from a 3D Package and also has a way to automaticaly correct the UV’s by choosing ‘Generate UVs’ from the 3D Menu. This again, might be ok for the texture that you would like to paint. However, if you would like to get full control of the UV’s, then you will need to unwrap them using a dedicated 3D package.

I’m no expert in UV unwrapping and it’s a bit of a dark art, and as my experience grows i’ll write more content, so this is just an intro to get you started. When I was looking into this topic, I found it difficult to get a consistent method of unwrapping UV’s. But I did find one resource that helped me understand the unwrapping process, you can find it here (Lester Banks). As there are many different 3D packages out there, it’s hard to cover them all. So my preference is Cinema 4D and that is what’s explained here.  N.B. You will need Cinema 4D Body Paint to do UV unwrapping with your models.

Within Cinema, you can see the same object that existed in Photoshop CC above.  N.B. This is a very simple tutorial and not the only way to perform the unwrapping.

When you unwrap, you will want to think about how the texures will be laid on on the final object.

The first thing inside Cinema is to make the object editbale, Clickin the ‘Make Editable’ button in cinema to do this (marked in red below)

N.B. Make Editable essentially converts the object from parametric (you can still change parameters) to polygons. This is typically done when want to edit the points/polygons by hand, edit the UVW map, etc.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 14.33.52The next step is to define the points that will be used to refer the object on the UVW map. For the cube, move the Cinema view port into top mode.

Each window has a window selector in the top right (as shown in red below). When on the perspective mode as in above, clicking this button (marked in red below), will take you into multi view mode, then clicking on the same button on the required view will show it in full screen.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 14.39.46Move Cinema into the Points view (by clicking on the points mode (marked in red).

On the top view, hold the SHIFT key down and click on each corner of the square.

N.B. Points refer to Vertices. Vertices/Points are the collections that hold the polygons/edges of the model together.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 14.42.32Now move back to perspective mode in the viewport.

The 2D representation of the 3D model (or the UV’s) is a flattened version, so obviously when converting a 3D object to a 2D representation it will need to be cut in certain places. By selecting the edge tool (marked in red), will tell Cinema how to cut the model and lay it down on a 2D surface (Similar to when a tailor makes a suit). In the case below, each vertical edge of the cube is selected (using the SHIFT key), Cinema will cut the model on each edge.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 14.46.50To unwrap this model as a conventional represention, we need to specify the bottom and how that will be cut, bearning in mind how it will be unfolded. We will just specify three sides to cut, leaving the 4th connected to the uncut faces. (holding the SHIFT key will ensure that these are selected as a collection, if the wrong edge is selected, then pressing CMD/CTRL will allow you to remove a single edge from the collection).

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 14.47.20Now, we can unwrap the model into the 2D UV.

The object marked in Red shows that the model has a UV map assigned to it. To access this, change the view port to be in BP UV Edit.  Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 14.53.33When inside the BP UV Edit, you can select ‘UV Mesh / Show UV Mesh’, and in this case, the lines shown in the yellow box below, will be the same as what Photoshop is showing.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 14.56.21Move Cinema into the top view, as we are now going to specify on the UV where the selected points are. To start specfiying the UV, click the UV property (marked in red), then move the viewport into UV mode (marked in yellow). As long as a UV property exists the area marked in purple will become active).

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 15.00.23There are many variataions to the next step, but for this we are specifying the points, so just click the Projection / Frontal. This will take the points and represent them on the UV (show below).

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 15.04.08Move cinema into perspective view and click the Relax UV tab.

Make sure the ‘Pin Point selection’ is turned on (but the use tag is turned off), as we will use the active selection, not a saved selection. And make sure that ‘Cut Selected Edges’ is turned on (but the use tag is turned off), for the same reason as just mentioned. Also, make sure that LSCM is selected, as well as having Auto re-align turned on.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 15.05.19Then click on Apply!

Hopefully the 2D UV will be shown on the right hand side, which will have collapse all six surfaces

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 15.10.33Save the Object and export as either Collada 1.4 or OBJ from Cinema 4D, then open into Photoshop CC. Now painting on the 3D model or on the 2D UV map by using the standard Photoshop CC brush tool, should be much easier and each side can be painted independently.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 15.22.51

Hopefully this post will get you started into creating and unwraping UV’s, as well as painting on 2D UV’s and 3D objects within Photoshop CC.



Landscape Photographer of the Year – Enter by 12 July 2015

Basic CMYK

The UK’s Landscape Photographer of the Year competition opens for entries


Could you be the ninth holder of the title, ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’ and win the top prize of £10,000? The search is now on to find the new winner of one of the nation’s most exciting photographic competitions, founded by renowned landscape photographer, Charlie Waite.

Entrants have until the 12th of July to enter the 2015 Awards by submitting their photographs of the British landscape. The competition is open to everyone and you can enter up to 25 photographs across the four categories. The prize fund is worth £20,000, with £10,000 for the overall winner and there is also a special class for those under 17, so the whole family can get involved.

Unlike many other photographic competitions, the Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards celebrate the United Kingdom only, offering photographers worldwide the opportunity to showcase their images of this richly diverse and unique country. You don’t have to live in the UK to enter and there is a special extra prize – the Countryside is GREAT Award – offered by the competition’s sponsors for the best image from an overseas entrant.

There are categories for urban views, landscapes with people, close-up details and conceptual landscapes, as well as more classic views, so there is plenty of scope for your imagination. Every part of the UK has a unique character; from the seascapes of Cornwall and the mountains of Scotland to the quieter beauty of the Home Counties and flat lands of the East, each providing many gems for photographer and traveller alike.

The Awards are being held in association with VisitBritain and Countryside is GREAT for the second year. Jasmine Teer, VisitBritain’s Photography Manager commented: “Photographs that showcase the best of Britain play a vital role in VisitBritain’s mission: to raise our profile and inspire people all over the world to come and experience this beautiful country. We are very proud to support the Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards and hope that, as part of Countryside is GREAT, we will encourage not only UK entrants but photographers from all over the world.”

Awards founder, Charlie Waite, added: “Now, more than ever, I think we are realising how important the British landscape is to our wellbeing. The feeling that we get when we shut the office door and escape to a green space, whether it be a small park or a vast mountain, is unique and of vital importance. Our landscape is a place in which to breathe and to create. For me, landscape photography is a way to restore life’s balance and I know that many who enter the competition each year feel the same and share that emotion through their images. A photograph is a very powerful way to convey information, encouraging visitors to appreciate what Britain has to offer and to experience, first hand, the joy to be had from our landscapes.”

An exhibition of winning entries will premiere in November 2015 and around 150 of the best photographs from the competition will appear in the Awards book – Landscape Photographer of the Year: Collection 9 – by AA Publishing.

All entries to the Awards must be uploaded via the competition website, and the closing date is 12th July 2015. Entry fees apply. Full terms and conditions can be found on the site.

Complimentary 12 month subscription to the Creative Cloud up for grabs!

Adobe has joined us as a Supporter of the Awards this year. Adobe will be a awarding a complimentary twelve month subscription of Creative Cloud Complete to the creator of their favourite image from the ‘Adult Your view’ category. They will be selecting the winner from the main shortlist and, unlike all the other prizes, which are decided on by the image only, Adobe will also be looking at the technical information that you supply. The ‘Your view’ category encourages a creative viewpoint and Adobe are looking for an image that matches their vision of ground-breaking content. Matt Botwood caught the judges’ attention last year with his inverted images that created mysterious and intimate fantasy worlds. This new prize is a great reason to think laterally & see where your creativity takes you.

Fern, Ystradfellte, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK

Fern, Ystradfellte, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK

Travels in a Strange Land, Wales by Matt Botwood (Highly commended, 2014)

3D Printing Webinar – Tinkerine Ditto Pro Photoshop CC

Creative Cloud Photoshop CC users now have the ability to slice 3D models direct in Photoshop for the Tinkerine Ditto Pro printer. It has never been easier to take 3D models and print to 3D Printers, especially the Tinkerine, without having to worry about the quality of the mesh or correct supports for the build process.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to utilize Photoshop for 3D-printing, join me and the folks from Tinkerine  this Thursday for an online webinar where we’ll walk through lots of new features that this integration opens up.

Details on the webinar are as follows:
Event: Photoshop for Tinkerine DittoPro
Time: Thursday June 2nd, 10:00 AM PST

All you will need are your speakers for listening and your keyboard for questions. The session will run for about an hour and then will have 15 minutes for questions and answer.

This is an open webinar so don’t hesitate to tell your friends to join too! For those of you who can’t make it don’t worry; the webinar will be recorded and put online for viewing.