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UV Map for AC3D


Latest release (version 1.0.1)
Download Windows version 1.0,1
Download source code

This plugin and code are freely distributable. This plugin has not been tested on versions of AC3D prior to version 6.0.


Provides new texture mappings for the selected AC3D surfaces. Cylindrical, capped cylindrical, and axis-aligned rotation of spherical/sylindrical mappings are now available.

Also more accurately textures subdivided models where subdivisions have not yet been committed.

Some minor improvements over old Plantex plugin are available.



Added "Space polar coordinates" option to average UV coordinates that are in the "plan" center of an axis in spherical and cylindrical mappings. Or, to put it another way, compensates for "waviness" that appears when mapping at the center of spherical/cylindrical maps.


Copy the uvmap.tcl and uvmap.p files to your AC3D plugins folder (for example, if using Windows, C:\Program Files\AC3D\plugin) and (re)start AC3D.

You will find the "UV Map..." menu item under the "Tools" menu.


To use, select the objects/surfaces where you wish to change texture coordinates.

UV Map comes with a realtime update mode. As you change mappings and options, the selected faces will reflect these changes.


Planar mapping
The Front, Back, Left, Right, Top, and Bottom mapping are the same as in the AC3D Texture Coordinate Editor (TCE). They are provided here again for subdivision preview support (see below).

Shape mapping : Box
Aligns the texture to cover the front/back, left/top, top/bottom of the model exactly one time - most suitable for cube/box shapes.
Shape mapping : Spherical
Very similar to AC3D's TCE Sphere mapping, but allows the sphere to be rotated along the X/Y/Z axis using the "Sphere/Cylinder alignment" option.
Shape mapping : Cylindrical
Allows cylindrical mapping. Similar to the sphere, but more suitable for cylinders.

Shape mapping : Cylindrical Cap
Allows cylindrical mapping with "box" style mappings on the ends of the cylinder.
Global coordinates
Textures are mapped along a global grid. The mapping takes the proportions of the texture into consideration so there is no warping/distortion of the texture. Supports scaling, shifting, and rotation of texture coordinates.

This is actually a version of my old Plantex plugin with subdivision preview support (see below).

To the right is an image of a series of boxes that was created in AC3D using box mapping, and below that is an image using Global coordinates.

Space polar coords
If checked, any vertices that are at the geometric center of a spherical/cylindrical mapping (esp. the center-tops and center-bottoms) will have their UV coordinates more evenly spaced.

The images to the right illustrate the effect better than words. The "warped" appearance is with this option disabled. The "corrected" appearance is with the option enabled, but you will notice that the tiles at the poles are only half covered, which is arguably better than the stretched/warped view.

This effect is currently only applied to vertices in the exact center of the affected geometry.

Realtime updates
If checked, updates take place as options in the UV Map window are changed. These changes can be rolled back using standard Undo.

Use subdivision preview
When mapping surfaces with Subdivision (preview) enabled, standard texture mapping does not account for shifts in the location of vertices when plotting points.

Enabling this option and texturing through UV Map compensates for these shifts, as seen in the image on the right. Both the cubes here are identical, but the one on the top was textured with standard texturing, while the one on the bottom was textured with "Use subdivision preview" enabled.

You can see the standard texturing caused some stretching in the top object, while the bottom object compensates somewhat for this.

Notice that the bottom object is not free from at least some distortion - the left/right edges on the front of the box still have a little horizontal stretching present, but you'll notice the effect is far lessened. Given a more detailed, less repetetive texture, this stretching would be practically unnoticeable.

Note that for completely accurate mapping of objects like this one, you will need to commit subdivisions.

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All content Copyright © 2006 Dennis Hawthorne, except where explicitly noted
supercoldmilk © 2006 Dennis Hawthorne