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Using UVMapper to Generate Templates

For any version of Poser

Many content creators provide templates, or seam guides, to show which part of the texture applies to which part of the figure or prop. Even if you don't have templates, this tutorial will show how to generate a set of them for Poser 5's Judy figure and, by extension, other things with complex mapping....Applying customized image maps to props and figures in Poser is a great way to change the look of things and give your scenes a unique flavor- but making those texture maps can be a challenge. When you go to set up a new texture, it helps to see the geometry of the item you're texturing- to help with that, many content creators provide templates, or seam guides, to show where to put what part of the texture.

Not all Poser items come with templates though- and using the original image maps as a guide, while it's better than nothing, can be frustrating and inaccurate. There's a utility that was developed to set up mapping data on polygonal structures to help in creating image maps, called UVMapper; a free version can be found at

Even if you don't want to set up mapping yourself, opening an OBJ file in UVMapper will reveal the mapping that has been applied by its creator. The resulting image can then be exported and used as a template to create your own image maps for the item.

By way of explanation, UV mapping information assigns each of the polygons of the item a set of map coordinates along two axes, U and V, each of which takes a value from zero to one. Thus the top-left corner of a UV map is (0,0) and the bottom right is (1,1). Any polygon can be assigned to any set of coordinates in that range- and UVMapper can make it pretty easy to set up a good map.

Some items, though, use multiple image maps in the same UV space- many figures, for example, have one map for the body and one for the head, and in UVMapper you'll see the body structure 'overlaid' by the head. This makes for a less-than-useful template if you export straightaway- but there is a technique which, if used carefully, can provide multiple usable templates.

This tutorial will show how to generate a set of templates for Poser 5's Judy figure.

1. Open the file for which you want to make maps- in Windows, choose File>Load Model, on the Mac choose File>Open; see if it has overlaid UVs-

2. Select the 'unwanted' geometry- in the Windows version of UVMapper Classic, use the Edit>Select>By Material dialog to select everything except the material(s) for which you want to generate a template. In the Mac version, start by selecting all the polygons (Cmd-A)

3. If necessary- Deselect the 'desired' geometry in the Mac version of UVMapper Classic by choosing its entry (or entries) from the Select>Material> or Select>Group> menu. For this example, we'll deselect the SkinBody material and generate a map for it.

4. Shrink everything else (the unwanted stuff that remains selected) by hitting the numeric / key (the slash on the keypad) several times, or by hitting shift-X to shrink the selected information along the X-axis and shift-Y to shrink it along the Y-axis if you have a laptop without a numeric keypad;

5. Move the shrunken wireframes by clicking and dragging them over into a corner where they won't interfere with the map that you want.

Important safety tip! Do not move or resize the desired materials- it's tempting to make a section larger or smaller, or reposition something, but at this point the map will cease to correspond to the saved file, and any template you generate will be inaccurate and useless.

6. Export the current view as a texture map by choosing File>Save Texture Map and selecting the options desired;

7. Reopen the file without saving and repeat 2-7 as needed to generate the other desired templates.