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.
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 the UV Unwrap tool works
- If possible, begin by splitting the surface to be unwrapped so it isn’t connected to any other surfaces
- Assign seams where needed
- Set direction guides if needed
- Add chart/s
- Unwrap UV
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to:
- Import a model
- Split surfaces with accuracy
- UV unwrap multiple surfaces
- Add a UV texture
- Create a procedural brushed stainless material
- Add a glowing LED display
- Customize HDRI environment
- Add a ground plane
- Enable bloom
- Use depth of field
Free project files include
- 3D calculator model (STP)
- Label (PNG)
- Lecture (PDF)