Developer Forum

UV improvements

I’m going to upgrade the UV editor. At the moment, the design of tools for alignment, location along the axes and distribution of islands is underway
I have a prototype interface for these tools (the icons are rough, and may change):


I ask you to make notes about it, if there are suggestions on how to improve it
There is no distribution panel yet. Alas, I haven’t studied the uv unfolding area deeply enough, so I don’t even have an idea what these operations are. So I ask you to provide information about this functionality, its benefits, and so on

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blender comes with a magic uv functionality is very good

Just as a starting point if you don’t know about it already:
I think the currently best UV extension for Blender (if I had to chose only one) is TexTools.

There is already a LOT of very useful functionality in there.

I don’t have any feedback per se, just wanted to say that this is an amazing project that Blender definitely needs!

You should also have a look at Uv Toolkit 2.

It’s full of very nice tools and the UI is very good.

I still miss a good unwrap constraint.The one in magic UV is not good enough for my needs.

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In that case I can also refer to Zen UV, it brings workflow improvements for auto selecting seams (by angle) and automatic creation of UV islands by just selecting their faces, see documentation vids, including the one by Ponte Ryuurui:

P.S. I quite like the condensed UI with N-panel tabs (you can just hotkey some of the tabs and disable some to decrease scrolling).

Thanks to everyone who responded! I will definitely look at the functionality of other addons and will develop the design in the direction of the N panel, as everyone likes this idea. But before the main work, I will still listen to the opinions of others a little more, so if there are suggestions, etc., it’s better to tell about them right now

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Not sure if this applies, but for people who want to use UV Packer or UV Packmaster, it would be cool if that would be possible from the N-panel too, like in Zen UV. So you can select other packing algorithms than Blender’s default (or at least, these addons could make it so it works that way) preferably without having to move to another N-panel tab. But this is one for when the UV improvements are finished or close to finished. :wink:

I think UVPackmaster is an outlier here since it isn’t really integrated into Blender but rather a bridge to an outside program. Since it has so many options and settings I would not want it to be integrated into another much larger panel. There’s nothing gained if you have to scroll just one huge panel.

And at least for me I didn’t post the link to the plugin to copy parts from it. I was rather meaning to say that there are some really useful things out there and to maybe check what is actually needed and sensible. :slight_smile:

Fair enough. I agree.

@sanek Thank you for your efforts. We really appreciate it. But in my opinion the development should be first concentrated to a better unwrapping system, than better gui or arranging islands etc.

A lot of addons already offering a better UI and UV island arranging very well, in free and affordable versions. The most solutions were mentioned here.

So how about implementing up to date unwrapping routines first? The current system isn’t fast as it could be and outdated, even it it solves the most tasks. What the other users think?

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I’m absolutely for it. UV needs better algorithms and a way to relax/reiterate over individual islands in the editor. Maybe even a better system that isn’t as confusing as the “synced/unsynced viewport” selection and unwrapping type. But I think some of these things are already being worked on or at least discussed internally. So it would be advisable to check with the devs first to not do unnecessary work.

Though overall I also never want to stop people who want to dig into a certain topic because usually if you really want to work on something specific then you lose interest really fast if someone tells you: “Why not do something else than you want to do right now?”

I mean - algorithm and basic functionality improvement is loooong overdue and extremley necessary at this point. Absolutely agree. So if this is an option: I am all for it :smiley:

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Completely agree.

I wrote my comment because @sanek titled this topic with “UV improvements”. A better unwrapping system is definitely such a topic and a part of the complete UV area in Blender. It should be improved sometime, better earlier than later in my opinion.

So why not start with “easier tasks” like the mentioned UI and do the core thing, like unwrapping, later?

But a the end @sanek is deciding what he wants to do first. :slight_smile:

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improving algorithms is definitely a worthwhile undertaking. But the only problem is that I do not know how long it may take. The algorithms of unfolding and packing are clearly more complicated than the implementation of the alignment/distribution functionality, etc. I would not really like any changes in the uv editor to begin in 3.3. in general, I wanted to make a patch for 3.1 when it was in alpha, but then I was faced with the fact that the tools were not designed, and the same can easily happen with the deployment algorithms: I will investigate it, study the missing knowledge, try to implement, somehow optimize, etc. considering that I still have studies going on along the way, with which there are already some problems, and they need to be fixed in a short time, it can really drag on for a long time. Therefore, it is better to do at least something insignificant, but so that it is and users can use it more than one version later

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Aurel Gruber was working on an improved algorithm. He had a talk at Blender Conference in 2016, I think.
unfortunately it never got finished but from what I’ve heared the algorithm was relatively far and is even mostly useable if you compile it yourself. It just never made it through the final stages and to a maintainable state, AKAIK.
https://developer.blender.org/T48036

I’m glad I found this thread! there are just too many alt-forums to follow where the conversation on UV’s is taking place.

@sanek I’ve made a post in the right-click community & dev forum to bump an older thread in suggestion and added a breakdown of improvements that are in dire needs for artists to make proper use of the UV tools. Hopefully my comments find you in good timing, along with anyone participating in furthering the UV tools for improvements!

Do you know if these suggestions and methods are conversations that are taking place in the development team? If not, are these changes fixable and within good measure to prioritize in tasking given the stance of priority that “Texturing” has in the development focus for the Blender 3.+ updates?

Right-Click > Right-Click Select — Blender Community
Dev forum (at the bottom of the page) > ⚓ T78394 Unwrap selected

the patch is almost ready! it remains only to fix the memory leak, and I will post a patch for review. a video demonstration of the patch is also attached. at the moment it works like this. I have already noticed how it can be improved (at least, it is definitely necessary to investigate this). but I am inclined to believe that this will be done later. I remind you that I am open to comments and suggestions

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Would also be cool to have stack and distribute similar islands operators integrated natively in Blender. Right now I have to use UV Toolkit for that, but the code has been in tex tools for a while now, should be worth it to try making a patch to have the operators available natively

@Limarest, you’re just reading my mind. the island stack operator is planned, and will be done when the rest of the operators are implemented (see this layout). I also want to know what the “distribution of such islands” does. I plan to introduce the functionality of simply distributing islands. I’ll be glad if you tell me. remember, the more detailed, the better

For the buttons in the N-panel, I think they take up quite a lot of space in the UI. You may want to look for how they are arranged in Zen-UV (I like it’s layout the most).

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