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UV Unwrap CAD in KeyShot

Will Gibbons by Will Gibbons | Last Updated:   October 26, 2020

Is it possible to UV unwrap CAD models?

Texture mapping in KeyShot is pretty simple, until you need to texture organic forms. Because not all forms are simple shapes, UV mapping exists. Quite often, you need a texture to follow a specific path. Take for example, bent plywood plies commonly seen on the edge of furniture. There are no pre-set texture map modes that will correctly make the texture flow across this path for example. This along with many other scenarios require UV mapping to make the texture follow the surface as desired.

Also, UV mapping can be a confusing subject to grasp, and if that wasn’t bad enough, CAD models often can NOT be UV unwrapped. Because of this, KeyShot introduced a new tool. CAD models are defined by a language called NURBs. In contrast, the entertainment industry uses a language called Polygons. These are far better suited for UV mapping.

UV Texture Mapping CAD Models? All Your Questions Answered | Beginner Lecture

KeyShot’s UV Unwrap tool

While it may seem you’re out of luck, the good news is I have a couple of tutorials that should help answer a lot of your questions on UV mapping. On top of that, KeyShot recently released a UV unwrapping tool!

Before jumping to the solution, it’s important to understand what UVs are and why it’s not easy to UV unwrap a CAD model. This is what the video is all about. After you have a good understanding of UVs, I recommend following along with my UV unwrapping in KeyShot tutorial.

How to Correctly UV Unwrap a CAD Model in KeyShot

How the UV Unwrap tool works

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to:

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Will Gibbons
Will Gibbons is an industrial designer-turned rendering specialist. He's trained and worked with some of today's most recognizable brands and now is focused on creating the best product visualization content on the internet.
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