I have a simple question: why does Blender distort UV maps by default?
To illustrate my question, here is what Blender does with a UV map of a very simple mesh of a wooden barrel:
And here is what you get with a similar mesh in (I think) Maya:
The difference is staggering: the one in Maya is nice and clean with no distortion and, more importantly, full use of the available texture real estate, while the one in Blender is distorted and with a lot of "dead space."
Why does Blender do this? How can I get a normal UV unwrapping with isles that is not distorted and uses all or most of the available texture space?
I have tried conformal UV unwrapping, but other than a slightly smaller distortion it was the same awful unwrapping.