Tuesday, January 29, 2013

UV mapping in v5 Rhino

Learn how to adjust UV mapping and texture space for your models in v5 Rhino. 


Nick Scott said...

Thanks for the tutorial. This is a new and confusing area for me!
I tried the variations of texture mapping on a box and noticed that when I use the UV editor it makes the applied texture much darker. Is there something I can adjust for that?

Nick Scott said...

another question.
Since I am often creating models of wooden objects, it would be useful to be able to show end grain as well at the ends of an object. Is there some way to do this? Would I have to make a separate "end grain" texture?
Can this only be done with procedural textures? The trouble with them is that they never look realistic.

Brian James said...

Hi Nick,

I'm glad it helped.

I don't believe you can lighten that texture preview while in the UV editor. I'll look into it and file a bug/wish as needed though.

For your end grain texture, make that part of the model a separate selection and use a different texture in the material for that object or the quick method is to just change the tile amounts in the UV settings (not the material itself) for the selection. For instance, make a wood grain texture tile.5 in the U and 20 in the V and it can approximate end grain.

Nick Scott said...

OK, thanks Brian!

CB said...

Hello, Brian!
Thank you for your great tutorial
It helped me to finally understand UV mapping better.

One quick question about your rotation in Rhino. It looks very smooth and smartly rotating. Is it a plug in that you use? Could you let me know what it is?

Thank you

Brian James said...

Hi CB,


I was using a 3D connexion Navigator which is why the rotation looks different. These devices work well in Rhino 5 by default in my experience without any additional plugins.

Jessmichelle said...

I'm a student that is using Rhino and Vray for my Thesis and previously only had experience in Rhino 4 and Vray 1. This tutorial explains texture mapping Extremely well Thank you so much! If you have any tutorials or classes in NYC please let me know.

Brian James said...

Hi Jessa,
Thanks! I'm glad this video helped. I don't have any NYC classes scheduled but here's a link to a bunch options all in your area... One of these may work for you.

Lio said...

Thak you Brian, it was fast, clear and very useful for me...great work!

arwilso4 said...

First off thanks for the rundown this is extremely helpful. Is there a way to maintain the this mapping information through an Unroll command if applying this to a faceted poly-surface. Or do I need to explode the surface and manually unroll?

Brian James said...

Hi arwilso4,

Can you email me a sample model before I guess too much about the exact set up you've got. Send it to my attention please at

Unknown said...


First nof all tks for the video. It explains very well how the new Unwrap works.
But I have problems by the preview of the map when I'm on the UV editor. It is only gray, doesnt show the map, never. Just gray or the option of grid ok.
And, how could I work on a closed cube with the Unwrap? What edges must guide the Unwrap??

Ricardo Pace

Brian James said...

Hi Ricardo,

The gray display you mention in the UV editor may have to do with another rendering plugin being active other than RhinoRender or Brazil. Or it could be connected to your graphics card driver as another thought. Please check both and email if you're still stuck.

For unwrapping a box, a typical edge/seam selection would look like a vertical cross when unwrapped. A series of 7 edges is selected for this. I can't post an image here so email tech if you want a screen shot. I'd suggest using box mapping for a box shape though in most cases.

CommuniCats said...

Thanks a million for the effort of explaining UV mapping. Very informative and clear.

Евгений Ширинян said...

Hello, Brian!
I tried to "paint" a single face in a polysurface with different material, but I didn't manage with that. Is it possible? Does a composite material support this?

Brian James said...

Hi Евгений,

If a single surface in a polysurface needs to be a different material, I would suggest you use ExtractSrf and assign a separate material to it versus using a blend texture and mapping. Depending on the render plugin used (e.g. Brazil) you can use blends and mapping but separate selections for separate materials is the easy route. Then Group to keep things together for positioning if needed.

Scott said...

ARG! Why is this video the only thing on the entire intertubes about Rhino uvmapping? Is it possible to save the uvmap and import it into Photoshop?? I can't find anything besides the one video!

Brian James said...

Hi Scott,

With the UV editor open and a square aspect ratio defined for it, I would use ViewCaptureToFile in the Top viewport. This will give you a good base layer to work over. If you have example files or screenshots to explain more about what you're looking to do, please post to the Rhino user forum here

bisenberger said...

Thanks Brian,
Well done!!!

Leandro said...

Hello Brian. UV coordinates are saved with the file when exporting to obj format? Importing 3ds Max mapping coordinates will remain? Thank you!

Brian James said...

Yes, UV coordinates are included in the obj format. I believe the same is true for 3ds but I don't have max here to test it out.

Leandro said...

perfect! I have already tested and working properly. Now the next query. Format that curves can be exported and maintain uv coordinates? I sat and tried others but when imported into 3ds max lose the coordinates. Thank you!

Brian James said...

Can you send a model and any screenshots to help explain to ? I'm not sure what you're using curves for and how a material would be applied to them. The IGES format can carry curves if that helps too.