What is UV Unwrapping?

Billy McDaniel
A free video tutorial from Billy McDaniel
Indie Video Game Developer
4.6 instructor rating • 10 courses • 13,632 students

Lecture description

After watching this lecture, you should have a clearer understanding of what UV Unwrapping is and what the letters UV actually mean.

Learn more from the full course

Learn UV Unwrapping with Blender for Unity 3D Game Design

Learn the art of UV Unwrapping for Texture Mapping your own video game models using Blender 3D for Unity Developers

09:06:45 of on-demand video • Updated October 2019

  • UV Unwrap just about any model from a simple cube to just about anything under the sun
  • Understand why some techniques are more effective than others through demonstration
  • Get plenty of hands on experience with problematic models you might encounter in real world situations.
  • We'll go through each of the various unwrapping tools exploring what each tool does and when to use them.
English In this lecture I'm going to help you understand the answer to the question "What is UV Unwrapping?" UV Unwrapping is the process of taking a 3D object like this cube and laying it out flat into a 2D area like you see here. Notice that all six sides of this cube are organized in such a way so that I've only cut a minimal number of edges and left some of the edges attached in between. The art of UV Unwrapping is not just mindlessly throwing down a bunch of squares and painting on them. I think the true art of this is laying it out in an organized manner so you can understand it visually and draw on it and paint and texture and all the stuff that you need to do intuitively and that's what we're going to be covering in this course. I made an animation to kind of demonstrate what UV would look like if it were animated (it's not animated) but this this will kind of demonstrate a little bit better for you. So if I scrub through this animation you can see this box coming apart at the seams and laying out flat and the end result is that shape that we were just looking in the UV Editor. And again if I scrub backwards you can see it being reassembled back into a cube again. OK. In a nutshell that's what UV Unwrapping is. It's taking a 3D object and finding the seams, splitting them apart and opening it up flat so that you can paint on it. Simple as that. So you're probably wondering why U and V? Why don't I use X and Y? Doesn't that make more sense X and Y works for the 3D system why can't it work for the 2d system? If you haven't already guessed U and V represent the horizontal and vertical axis of the 2d system. ok? So in other words.. This axis right here in the 2d view is the U access and the vertical axis is the V access. In 3D space there is no U and V. It's all X, Y and Z. OK. We use different letters because we don't want to confuse. If I say U and V or UV, you know instantly I'm talking about the 2D coordinate system. If I say X, Y and Z you know instantly I'm talking about the 3D, and there's no misunderstanding whatsoever and that's the reason why they have adopted different letters than X, Y, Z to map out this coordinate system for 2D. If you look at this using the alphabet you notice that the letters of the alphabet obviously end in X, Y, Z and we got used to using those letters for 3D. Somebody had the bright idea of using the next three letters back for the 2D. There are some programs out there that use UVW and not UV. But Blender and Unity both use UV respectively. So that's basically where the letters are. They're not just random letters. There was a little bit of logic behind it and that's for the most part the reason why those letters were chosen. So there's a lot to cover in this course once we get through the first section then we're actually going to start unwrapping some objects. OK so now you know what UV Unwrapping is. I'll see you in the next lecture.