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Consider the under-construction flower mesh:

Initial flower geometry

For each leaf shape, I want one single UV face. Is it possible to merge UV islands or is the only solution to overlap them manually?

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I am not aware of a method to merge the UV islands. The best way that I am aware of is to turn on the vertex snapping to overlap the islands.

Turn on Vertex Snapping

Then you can hold down CTRL (or click the magnet to automatically snap) and drag the vertices to the desired locations.

Snapping

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  • $\begingroup$ Note: internally they are never merged afaik $\endgroup$ – WorldSEnder Aug 8 '14 at 21:53
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For an existing model you can move the uv-layout so that all leaves are using the same part of the image.

If you plan to do this when you start creating the model, you can create one leaf and uv unwrap it. Then you select the leaf vertices and duplicate ShiftD then move it into position. When you duplicate faces that have uv's attached, the uv's will also be duplicated, therefore each leaf will use the same part of the image and look the same.

While you can easily duplicate them, remember that identical leaves will be noticeable so you might want to have a few small variations.

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