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top UVs are mostly good, but elsewhere are not these vertical rectangles are supposed to be squares

island

And by "good" I mean with minimum distortion, keeping the original shapes for the most part, etc

So far, after doing the seams, I've been doing with the best choice I can find from the various alternatives the UV/Image Editor can offer, depending on the mesh (Unwrap, Smart UV Project, Project from V, etc). Then I refine it so more with things like "Minimize stretch, and Average Islands scale". And manually straighten vertices with the old trick Scale + perpendicular coordinate direction + 0 + enter. But of course this method can take a long time, not to mention it can be tedious too.

I found a couple of seemingly great scripts at BlenderAddonList, like UV Squares, and UV Tool. But maybe due to not being updated they are not working today with 2.75a :( Either way, it occurred to me I may not be looking in the right place after all.

I thought there was a tool in Blender called "Relax UVs" in the UV/Image Editor. But I don't see it, could it be it was in 3D Studio Max? It used to do a great job, like Minimize stretch, but better.

Any pointers, ideas, suggestions, etc will be super appreciated :)

Thanks in advance guys

JDL

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    $\begingroup$ Please place an example screen capture of your blender model so others can give you some specific concrete advice. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger Sep 3 '15 at 22:54
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    $\begingroup$ You should really take another look at UV Squares. It's working fine for me in 2.78c. $\endgroup$ – missy Aug 17 '17 at 22:14
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Incase your doing some painting on it, and want the real size of your faces. select whole object, mark seams (all face get seams) and unwrap.

There is another way for strange shapes that is a bit more configurable for better resulting maps. In mesh edit menu, there is an option to select 'sharp' edges. First deselect everything, then go fo 'sarp edges' select. You can give a angle degree (using mouse slider), to select more or less sharp edges. Then do a mark seams, select all and perform uv unwrap.

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If you really don't want to have any distortion at all, that means that nearly none of the faces of the object may remain connected as a UV image. To achieve that all faces keep their original shape and size you can simple unwrap as Lightmap pack. However, all of the faces will now be separated making it hard to see which face belongs where. Those are the off trades of having no distortion.

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The other answers are good, but I think they're using the word "distortion" differently than you are. (Their use is the more common use, btw.) You want a nice straight UV map, right? And your mesh is something like an edited torus?

In the case of the specific UV map you're providing, it's doable. No, you don't need an addon to unwrap that without weird curvy UVs.

1) Select all UV coords ('a' once or twice in UV editor) 2) Reset UV (U->Reset) 3) Re-select a face to make it active 4) Follow active quads from length average (u->follow active quads, confirm defaults) 5) Pack your UV into your texture space (ctrl P in UV editor)

On the UV map you've provided, seamed as it is, you will have a perfect, square UV map, with only the two seams you have in your image.

Another good technique for this, for other kinds of meshes, is pinning and re-unwrapping. Getting clean UV maps can be very different depending on your exact mesh.

Blender does have a UV relax, but it's called something different. It's "minimize stretch" and it's available from the UV menu of the UV editor.

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