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I want to select "Face Islands" on the main mesh. I know that each of them must have the same geometry. But I want to do only one UV unwrapping for each one. I think that I will have to individually select faces, then unwrap, then adjust the UV for each selection, which very tedious.

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The three windows on the top floor have been individually selected, UV-unwrapped, and material-assigned.

The six windows on the lower floors have the exact same geometry. I was hoping that I could select all of them and UV-unwrap for each disjoint selection. The normal behavior for this is it will put all 6 windows in the same UV map.

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Assuming your topography won't change from this point forward ( or at least not significantly change ), you can solve this by following these steps:

  • select the faces you want to unwrap ( in the case the windows ) and detach them by pressing p ( or whatever hotkey you've bound to it ), and selecting "selection"
  • select the detached object, and go into edit mode
  • select all faces, press p - select "separate parts"
  • select all detached objects, and press ctrl+alt+shift+c - origin to center of mass
  • select one of the windows and unwrap it
  • select all windows, making sure your unwrapped window is active ( bright orange ) by clicking on it last
  • press ctrl + l - select "object data"

This will essentially make every window into an instance of the active window. Please note however that this assumes that the geometry of every window is exactly the same.

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  • $\begingroup$ The above works in my situation above, where all of the windows' normals are facing the same direction. I tried this out on a UV sphere and all instances ended up facing the same direction. Any way to instance but preserve original normal? $\endgroup$ – Mickael Caruso Nov 27 '15 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ I'm afraid not, at least not directly - you might be able to work something out with modifiers, but I doubt you would easily get the result you want. What you have to understand is that instances are really just different different representations of the same data, of which vertex normals are a part - you ask to preserve the 'normal', what you're actually asking is to preserve relative vertex coordinates so that the faces point in the proper directions, and that's a little more complicated... $\endgroup$ – MaVCArt Dec 3 '15 at 11:17
  • $\begingroup$ Also, if your problem has been solved for this particular question, could you please mark the response as accepted? $\endgroup$ – MaVCArt Dec 3 '15 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ In answer to your question regarding using this approach on a UV Sphere, I think you might be able to link some data, though not all - "link object data" is really a catch-all. You could just link Materials, modifiers or UV coordinates for example, though where UV's are concerned that might not always work properly. To link UV's you can go through the same approach as detailed in my answer but select 'UVs' instead of "object data". $\endgroup$ – MaVCArt Dec 3 '15 at 14:45

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