Step 6: Unwrap the Head

The head is a somewhat complex part of this character. Normal human characters have fairly spherical-shaped heads, and therefore a Spherical mapping would suffice. However, 'tis not the case for our character, which will need a combination of Spherical and Pelt mapping to deal with the helmet and face plus some cutting and stitching to get it just right. I also want to get more of the neck in there.

1. Select and isolate the head, and then apply the Unwrap UVW modifier to the object. Select the Face subobject mode, and drag over the entire object with the Ignore Backfacing option disabled to select all faces. Then click on the Exp. Face Sel to Pelt Seams button (see Figure 5.40). This selects only the camera on the side of Hicks' helmet.

2. With the helmet camera's faces selected, click the Cylindrical mapping button, and click the Best Align button to align the gizmo to the camera. Then rotate the gizmo to align with the length of the camera (see Figure 5.41). Click again on the Cylindrical button to exit mapping mode, use the Unfold mapping method, and then select and move the selected UVs off to the side.

3. Select one of the polygons on the neck guard at the back of the neck, and click the plus sign button to expand the selection area to include the rim of the helmet on the back side. Click the Planar button and then the Best Align button to align the Planar gizmo. Then click the Planar button again and move the UVs off to the right (see Figure 5.42). Repeat step 3 for

Figure 5.40 The Exp. Face Sel to Pelt Seams button isolates the helmet camera.
Figure 5.41 Align the Cylindrical gizmo to the length of the camera for correct mapping.
Figure 5.42 Apply a Planar mapping to the back neck guard.

the front eyepiece. Then repeat step 2 for the microphone in front of the helmet.

4. Select the remaining faces, and define a seam that runs around the neck and along the back of the neck around the guard and to the top of the head using the Point to Point Pelt Seam button. Select all face objects, and click on the Pelt button followed by the Best Align button. This fixes the gizmo in front of the face. Click next on the Edit

Figure 5.43 Stretch out the Pelt mapping for the remaining head UVs.

Pelt Map button. Then click several times on the Simulate Pelt Pulling button to stretch out the remaining head UVs (see Figure 5.43).

5. Select all UVs in the Edit UVWs window, and choose the Tools, Pack UVs command to condense all the UVs to a single template. The face and head UVs should be scaled to be larger than the rest of the UVs because they represent the most detail (see Figure 5.44).

Figure 5.44 After you pack the UVs, the template is ready.
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