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I've done uv-mapping and tried to pack islands manually, but failed to fill the whole texture space.

enter image description here

But if I try packing this with blender auto-packing, it breakes stacks and I receive trashed uv-map, that I don't want.

enter image description here

So I wonder if it is possible do make blender distribute islands evenly, keeping stacks? Or I just need to try more and more manually? Seems like overkill though..

EDIT: It appears that 3d-coat is able to pack such stacked uvs without splitting the stacks. It actually has two variants of pack procedure: with and without 'shuffle' of the islands: without shuffle it will only move and scale the visible islands.

May be other apps can do it too, but blender can't (at least I don't see how).

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UV mapping is not my strong point, but when I get undesirable results I alternate between Smart UV unwrapping and the ordinary version. When that fails I do a UV unwrap--> reset first, then a "Follow active quads" I think it's called. That seems to divide the image up into even surface areas. Once done I go back and redo it with smart or ordinary unwrapping.

This might sound weird to some (or many) but this procedure has actually got me around a few UV problems.

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    $\begingroup$ yeah, nice tips but i know them and my problem is not in actual unwrapping, but keeping the uv stacks while being able to auto-pack all of the islands. for example 3d coat does it, if a export my mesh to it and then pack uvs in 3d coat, it won't break stacks, it will just scale and move visible islands. it is called 'shuffling' in 3d coat, so it can pack with or without shuffle $\endgroup$ – curly brace Sep 7 '16 at 9:41
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I know your dilemma, Modo has this feature, it's called 'Lock Stacked. In 3DsMax you are able to group your UVs and when packing, it retains the grouping. Someone wrote a MEL script for maya in which you would select the parent UV shell and then select the other shells which are exactly the same and it would stack it and match it.

However my Blender workflow involved working with instances or make links to object data. This way they will all get the same UVs which will be stacked, when exporting an OBJ for instance. It is also lighter and easier to work with, using less computing resources this way.

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I am working on this function to my addon called the smart UV. I will let you know when it's finished and you can check it out. The way that i plan to do it is that you will be able to mark all islands that are stacked on top of each other by drawing a box around them ,then pressing the "lock" button. By doing this you will now be able to pack all islands without the stacked ones beeing treated as induvidual islands. It's a work in progress but i just thought i would let you know it's on the way.

Kindly // jimmy

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