in this article, I will show you how efficiently UV unwrap an object in a short amount of time with ease in 3ds Max.
we use the smoothing groups to speed up our UV unwrapping process all the faces that have hard edges should have their own smoothing groups and these harden edges and different smoothing groups help the 3ds Max to create the seams and split the UVS.
we start by going to the command panel>modify>polygon selection and we scroll down to polygon: smoothing groups and we click on the auto smooth 45 and 3ds max automatically add different smoothing groups to our object
but because this model is a low poly some edges are sharp (polygons have multiple smoothing groups) or some edges are smooth (polygons share the same smoothing group) we fix the smoothing groups manually we select the loop polygons by hold shift and select a face to loop the selection then we change the polygons to one smoothing group like number 2 or 3 and we do the same thing to other parts of the mesh that need to be smooth or harden.
- a quick note: if we change our selection to edges and go to edit edges under edit properties we can check display hard edges and now we can see all the hard edges on the mesh shows in red base on the smoothing group we just apply.
after we are happy with the smoothing groups now we add unwrap UVM modifier to the modifier stack now open UV editor on the right tab under explode select flatten by smoothing groups and 3ds max will create seams along all the hard edges and flatten the UVs.
now some UVs been twisted because cylindrical polygons need a seam to relax so we break the edges to create seams and we relax the UVs by using the quick peel.
finally, we pack the UVs in arrange elements and use pack normalize.