Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Workflow: UDIM UV Map layout using Cinema 4D, Daz Studio, and Maya LT

This workflow will be of interest to you if:
  • Use Daz Studio and
  • Model in something that doesn't do UDIM UV Maps and
  • Use Maya LT for UV mapping and
  • Want to create UDIM mapping for your object
I spent some time fiddling with this and got it working so I figured I'd write up a quick workflow. 

UDIM UV mapping is the kind where maps are laid out in multiple tiles, rather than all being on the first tile. Genesis 3 and 8 use this type of mapping in Daz Studio.  There are plenty of articles explaining it in depth if you need to know more.

Cinema 4D R14, which is what I use for modeling, lets you stick your maps all over the place in UV view, but it doesn't show you the tiles so unless you are great at guessing, they will cross tile boundaries which is bad. A lot of other modeling programs don't do UDIM, so this is for any of those. 

Maya LT lets you move your UV islands around into tiles. It has really good UV mapping generally, but since I'm just starting to learn it I still do my main mapping in C4D.

Cinema 4D's FBX export doesn't seem to produce anything Maya can read, and Maya's OBJ import doesn't bring in the UV shells I make in C4D, so this is my workflow to get around that:

  1. Make the object in C4D and move the UV islands around to "best guess" positions so they aren't overlapping.
  2. Export as OBJ using Spanki's Riptide Pro exporter, with whatever settings you normally use for DS
  3. Import into DS
  4. Export as FBX from DS
  5. Import FBX to Maya LT, using default settings
  6. Select and move the islands around (there are tutorials for working in Maya LT if you're not used to it) until they are all nicely in tiles without overlapping any tile boundaries
  7. Export OBJ from Maya LT, using default settings
  8. Import OBJ back to Cinema 4D using Riptide Pro importer
  9. Store UV from the new object
  10. Restore UV to your old object
  11. Ta-da!  

Alternately you can import the UV onto an object in DS.  What I would NOT do is replace my original object with the Maya LT version of the object because I have no idea what other things it did to it while it was in Maya - like I said I am just starting to learn it.