UV Map Creation

This document outlines the basic procedure used to create the UV-mapped data samples on our site. This procedure is not comprehensive in scope, but can be used as an introduction to the process. This outline may seem rather complicated, but the process is easier in practice. We also offer a series of tutorial videos to assist in your understanding of this process.


  1. Scan the subject using CyScan or DigiSize.
  2. Merge the model in the scanning software using the Merge button.
  3. Use PlyEdit to:
    1. Clean the model (remove floaters, inverse topology, etc.).
    2. Edit the model (Fix nostrils, ears, hair, etc.).
    3. Save as the edited model as 'fullres.ply'.
    4. Selectively decimate the model in order to get the polygon count down to about 10% of the original size.
    5. Save this decimated model as 'lores.ply'.
  4. Launch UVLayout, then:
    1. Load the decimated mesh, 'lores.ply'.
    2. Split the file up using 6-sided method (visualize the object as a cube).
    3. Set Autofit to O (zero).
    4. Use the 'g' key to select an area to "drop".
    5. Press the 'ENTER' key to seperate the selected area from the remaining model (while holding the cursor over the desired mesh area).
    6. Press the 'd' key to drop the selected area into UV space.
    7. Press the '1' (one) key to go to the UV space display mode.
    8. Flatten the selected area:
      1. Select one piece at a time, using LMB.
      2. Press the 'f' key to flatten the area.
      3. Allow the flatten routine to run for 1 minute.
      4. Press the '2' key to return to the 3D view so that you can inspect the results of the flattening.
    9. Continue to next area to be flattened (repeat as necessary).
    10. Pack the UV space:
      1. Enable Rotate for 2 minutes.
      2. Pack All
    11. Verify the results by viewing the mapping in the 3D view ('3' key). Use the 't' key to look for an even, regular grid pattern.
    12. Save the new PLY file.
  5. Use CySlice to:
    1. Load the edited 'fullres.ply file.
    2. Choose 'Networks | Load' and select the 'lores.ply' file.
    3. Press 'Display | Hide' to show only the decimated surface of 'lores.ply'.
    4. In the Texture Maps rollout, set the following:
      1. X/Y Resolution (powers of 2 work best).
      2. Color ONLY
      3. Build UVs
      4. View UVs, if desired.
    5. In the Rendering rollout, set the following:
      1. TIFF
      2. RGB
      3. OFF
      4. OFF
      5. Low
    6. In the Tiled Maps options, select:
      1. Farm
      2. Select the hires mesh
      3. Check hosts
      4. Show render log, if desired
      5. Start Render
  6. Rename the resultant TIFF file to be same name as the lores PLY file (i.e. lores.tif).
  7. Convert the TIFF to JPEG in order to conserve disk and bandwidth space, if desired.
  8. Convert the file 'lores.ply' to OBJ (lores.obj).