Unwrap/UV Editor question

Hello, All

I have a problem and a question in regards to unwrapping a fairly simple solid.

I start with a chair model:

The wooden parts imported from a SW model, the cushion is created by me in Rhino using mostly NetworkSrf and Loft. The cushion will have upholstery of different patterns - please see details down below

I use Unwrap to cut the fabric in a certain way along certain seams (and I do not have a choice in this matter)

and verify the map/layout in UVEditor

Due to certain curvatures in the shape of the cushion, both the “arms” on the layout are skewed and the seat surface is not exactly square and perpendicular to other parts, which leads me to this render of the cushion with some upholstery fabric with a grid pattern applied:

As you can see, the grid pattern on the material is also skewed per UV Editor data.

My last attempt to fix the problem is CageEdit and Bend inside UV Editor to make this map:

It seams like the map is now “suitable” and should produce the renders I need. However, this is the final result:

Which is not just skewed, but badly distorted

Did anyone have a similar problem? Any comments/suggestions/and especially solutions will be much appreciated.

PS. I am still learning, it has been only about 2-3 months for me and Rhino, but I would like for us to become friends.

One of the disadvantages of Rhino is that there are no useful tools such as softener, sewing tools, etc… This tool can be found in programs like unfold3d and 3dmax … If Add-ons McNeels adds this gadget. It will certainly help, and will be easier

Thank you, Mehran.

Is there (do you know of) any way to export a map to and import a map from 3dmax to Rhino?
I think even Blender has some sewing tools for this purpose.


Yes, if you do the Unwrap steps right in 3ds Max, you can put it in the fbx.obj file of the Rhino file … If you want to render it, you can apply the maps using the File Path Editor Vray .

Thanks again, Mehran.

This is a steep learning curve, please bear with me - I need to clarify a few points.

  1. I understand you are suggesting to do the Unwrapping for the whole model in 3ds max. This is going to be quite a tedious job, since I will loose my Rhino NURBS. I was hoping to be able to export the UV Editor map only, do the remapping with stitching in 3ds and import it back to Rhino. Could you confirm that this is impossible?

  2. When you say fbx.obj file - do you mean .fbx or .obj file? And how to I “put it back in Rhino file”? Do you mean direct import of the whole model in .fbx or .obj format into Rhino?

  3. I am not clear on how to use File Path Editor in VRay for this purpose (create some .vrmesh assets?), but I do not want to impose on you and ask for a full-blown tutorial. Couple good VRay links where I can educate myself?.



For this kind of task I use Unfold3D here and I’m quite happy about this little tool. I would start to learn 3dsmax. :wink:

My suggestion for this model would be to build single NURBS patches instead to use the network function. Like in the real world, each part of the cushion could be a single NURBS surface and so the UV could be be perfect or easier to handle per Rhino unwrapping.

An other way could be to set more cuts at the current unwrapped Rhino mesh. So, the upper patches and the patches around could be separated.

Thank you for your input, Micha.

It looks like I may have to invest time and money into both 3dsmax and Unfold3D. But I need to understand the proper procedure on how to exchange/import/export the UV data between Rhino and external tools like 3dsmax and Unfold3D - it still escapes me.

I really like your suggestion to use simple NURBS, but I do need to “fluff” my cushions up a little so they do not look too square. Here is the idea of what the final result should look like (seams are done with Pipe in Rhino).

So I used networksrf on larger areas and loft on the side
I would really appreciate any suggestions on how I can simplify the surfaces in order to make the Rhino UV easier to handle.



It would be complete overkill and very pricy to get 3DSMax license for this simple task. It this cushion is for visualization only, you should be able to get this done a lot better, also in Rhino.

Look into creating more useful seams before unrolling – these seams should be in the same position as the cloth seams in in reality. You could remodel the cushion with lighter geometry and seams in the necessary locations or at least split the the existing L-shaped side-surfaces (in two parts, the vertical and the horizonal portion), so that the Unwrapper properly separates the sides of the upholstery . Then you only need to align and possibly scale the unwrapped UV-Islands, until things look good in the viewport.

Alternatively you might check out custom mapping inside Rhino (seach Help), which provides a custom projection, based on a simplified helper object from a single curved surface surface or mesh. If you don’t mind mesh-conversion using the free Blender offers everything you need and Youtube is full of Blender-tutorials.

Hifred - thank you, your suggestion looks very promising.

Seams (upholstery cutting) are actually done the same way as in reality, except the side surfaces are indeed completely separated from the “main” larger surface on the seat and on the back, just like you have said.

The big problem I find very frustrating is that when I create separate UV islands for the side surfaces vs the larger areas, the things get out of control. Not only the side islands are totally out of scale, but aligning them along the sides of the main surfaces is impossible. Or, rather, I have never found the proper way of doing it. Here is a sample of misalignment with separated islands - please note the front of the seat:

If I may ask, could you provide more detailed advice on alignment?

I will certainly check out custom mapping as you suggest. Do you mean ApplyCustomMapping?

Thanks again,


The UV-Editor inside Rhino is very basic. Physically separating elements to minimize stretch, but then telling the program what is supposed to fit to what part (sewing UV meshes) isn’t available.

One needed to see what’s going on.

One tipp for starters would be to reduce the density of your render-mesh. It is unnecessarily dense, as the whole upholstery is quite a boxy shape. As you are working on the flattened representation of this rendermesh in the UV-workspace, simplifying the the input will also help you editing the flattened version.

You can not only rotate and scale islands, but also turn on controlpoints and move vertices until things look ok. This operation will be much more straightforward with low res meshes ➜ Search Help for meshing, custom mesh (as an object property)

Yes, that’s what I meant. This Help entry is very sparse, but the idea is to transfer the UVs from a simplified Helper-Object.

I think you could get both - the fluff look and simple NURBS. Couldn’t you not use _sweep2 for the surface around and _NetworkSrf for the large areas?

I’m sorry to respond late
Yes, you can invest in these software. Of course, there’s a blender that’s available for free, and there’s a head start that you’ll come across when it comes out.
The amount of start and end time within the software is automatically detected in Rhino, and you can do it, or apply your texture easily, and you will no longer have the UV problem.

Thank you, everyone.

I found the solution to the main issue re fixing the bent/curved Rhino UV islands in
Brian’s tutorial

I will explore other options as well.



Sidenote: If you need to unfold objects often than the way at this tutorial isn’t so comfortable. I looked around the latest news about Unfold3D and I found, the great master developer Rémi Arquier leaves Polygonaldesign and his new tool is names RizomUV. My impression is, if you need an Unwrapper, than I would follow Rémi. :wink:

An other note - for perfect result of low poly unfolded meshes for game development or something like this I recommend to use the MoI3D mesher for the mesh creation.

1 Like

Just wanted to thank everyone who helped one more time.

Micha, - after fixing my little problem, I installed the RizomUV (former Unfold3D) and spent a day playing with it using my model.

What can I say, kudos to Rémi Arquier - this guy is amazing.