Is there any way to unwrap a UVW map in gmax other than manually dragging the vertices? This seems like a rather crude method. Thanks.
Personally what I like to do is keep all my parts of the mesh seperate, and export the file as an md3. Then I open Lith Unwrap, and do all my UV mapping that way, whether it be planar, cylindrical, etc. See this way I can do different things to each peice before I merge them all together. You can do a search online somewhere for Lith Unwrap, or Lithium Unwrap. I am sure it still floating around somewhere. Or if you like, drop me an email and I will send it to you.
Thanks. I got Lith Unwrap and unwrapped my model, but is there a way to export the uvw map to a file (*.uvw) that I could load up in gmax?
Yes, in fact you can export the file from Lith Unwrap as a .3ds, and import that into Gmax. However if you don't want to go thru all that trouble. You also have the option of unwrapping it in Gmax as well. I will try my best to explain it here:
First breakdown your model to smaller pieces because if you try to unwrap it all at once you will get lost in the process. Identical objects (Like those small cylinder pieces in the saber) you can attach it and unwrap it together.
Because the saber is a cylindrical object a cylindrical UVW map will do the job. select an object of your saber and apply UVWmap from modify panel (far right to your gmax interface, next to create panel) choose cylindrical map and check the Cap option, select from Alignment, X or Y or Z (You will understand when you do it) and press the button Fit. Depending on the shape of your selected object you can choose other ways of maping (Box,Spherical,Planar..etc)
Create a new material with a texture and apply it to the object. Press the Show map in viewport button(Next to material name). Now you can put the UVWunwrap modifier.
***If you use UVWunwrap modifier without first applying a UVWmap, the unwraping tool will assume there is a flat object and will create a planar map.(Not very good for our situation)***
After that press the edit button from the UVWunwrap modifier parameters and a new window will show with the object unfolded. Now you can move,scale,rotate etc... you vertices to match the portions of the bitmap.
When you figure out you will see that is very easy and fast the unwrap process in Gmax. Hope that helps.