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I have a rectangular mesh but when I go to the UV editor, it is shown over a square backdrop. enter image description here How can I choose something with better dimensions (i.e. that have less wasted space) and fit the mesh better?

Similarly, when I go to actually export this map, I can choose whatever dimension and aspect ratio I want.

enter image description here

This doesn't make sense to me - why would I export a different aspect ratio than what I just used to set the UV Map?

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Imagine the square of the UV space as percentage of the texture. Its 100% of its width across the width of the square and 100% of the height of the image across the height of the square. It doesn't matter what the aspect ratio is, the texture will fill the square. If you fill the square with the UVs of a rectangular mesh and then use a rectangular image matching the aspect ratio of the mesh, it will work.

If you open an image in the UV editor, the UVs will be displayed(and transformed) on that image according to the aspect ratio of it. That might be more intuitive to work with.

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  • $\begingroup$ So which comes first: Do I unwrap my mesh and then create a texture that size or do I create a texture and warp the UVs to that in the UV editor? $\endgroup$ – Startec Nov 5 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ Whatever works for you and is more convenient. There are no rules here. Sometimes you have the texture first, sometimes the object. $\endgroup$ – Martynas Žiemys Nov 5 at 11:58
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UV Editor > Image > New Image : here you can enter the X Y dimensions of the UV space.

The UV islands will be deformed, squashed if it is not square so you will need to scale the UV's appropriately. enter image description here

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