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Help with 3d model unwrapping

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Hi. Basically I want to make a 3d model into a flat one so that I can apply textures very easally. I have been trying to implement this in my modeling program for about a month and all I have gotten it to do is make a jumbled mesh. What I was doing : -Select a vertex for the z coord -Find the closest vertex and rotate it around the selected vertex untill it has the same z coord as the first. -Repeat the last step with the 2nd closest vertex from the first one that i selected ... and so on till I have gone through all the verts in the mesh. It works fine for 2 or three faces but when I try it on a cylinder, a cube or a sphere, it gets all confused. I was wondering if anyone knows ways to do what I am trying to do. Thanks in advance!

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There are some awesome papers on bruno levy's site (start at the bottom circa 1998 and work your way up!) :

Click

Although they are pretty hairy, they should give you an overview of how mesh unwrapping is performed.

If your not that bothered about implementing your own then you can just download the latest DX Sdk which has a UV Atlas tool for unwrapping meshes.

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First : The reason that I want to make my own UV mapper is that I am using a custom format for my files and the UV Atlas requires a .x file.
Second : Thanks for the site, but it's a little hard to understand. If you understand what they are trying to explain could you explain it to me?

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