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I added a plane to a scene, subdivided it, and deformed it with proportional editing:

enter image description here

I'd like to UV unwrap this plane, making the mapping what the would have been without the edit mode deformations. In other words, I'd like my UV map to look like a square grid.

Is it possible to UV map this deformed plane to a square grid? Or do I need to start from scratch, and make sure I unwrap it before I do the edits?

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  • $\begingroup$ I find myself in this situation quite often. I don't know of any way other than doing a normal U > unwrap and then a whole bunch of S > X > 0/S > Y > 0 to align the rows/columns of vertices into a grid. $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Jan 16, 2015 at 18:16

3 Answers 3

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One easy way to do this is to add another plane, subdivide it the same number of times, and UV unwrap as desired. You can now in Object Mode select first the deformed plane, then the new one. Now press Ctrl+L and select Transfer UV Maps. Any edits to the UV of the first will be visible on the deformed plane as well, as the exact same data is used.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Awesome! The selection order should be the other way around though; the new plane needs to be the active object. $\endgroup$
    – ajwood
    Jan 16, 2015 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Really great and useful method @NoviceInDisguise. It openes new possibilities for me. Thanks for sharing. $\endgroup$
    – Paul Gonet
    Jan 16, 2015 at 18:43
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It is simple to unwrap a deformed plane like in your image, back to a square UV map.

In face select mode, select all the faces with A and make one of the faces active.
Then press U > Follow Active Quads and then choose Even and press OK.

This will give you a even square UV layout.

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  • $\begingroup$ This didn't work for me: imgur.com/hcRCqLI $\endgroup$
    – ajwood
    Jan 16, 2015 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ @ajwood is the objects scale set to 1? Did you use the Even method of Follow Active Quads? $\endgroup$
    – David
    Jan 16, 2015 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, followed exactly... $\endgroup$
    – ajwood
    Jan 16, 2015 at 19:38
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    $\begingroup$ @ajwood Try resetting the uvs first with U > Reset then unwrapping with Follow Active Quads. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Jan 16, 2015 at 19:47
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    $\begingroup$ That did it! After the Reset the Follow Active Quads created square grid, although it was scaled up. Pretty simple to scale it down to size though. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – ajwood
    Jan 16, 2015 at 20:03
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What if you unwrap a square mesh, a flat one, with same number of polygons. Copy that UV, and paste it into the deform mesh you want? There is an addon to copy UV between objects I think.

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    $\begingroup$ You can copy UVs with Ctrl L. However it requires not only matching vertex counts, but matching vertex order. There is no guarantee you'll be able to create another grid plane with identical vertex order.. See blender.stackexchange.com/q/2127/599 $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Jan 16, 2015 at 20:10

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