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I have an imported mesh which is a bent metal tube. I would like to add anisotropy to the material, so I need to UV unwrap it where V goes along the tube. The accuracy of the U mapping doesn't matter.

metal tube

I already added a seam along the tube on the side that won't be visible, but the unwrapping produces this:

basic unwrapping

Obviously the 17,000 faces are a bit difficult to handle, plus they are not really as regular as you would like. I don't know how to approach this.

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    $\begingroup$ It might be easier to retopologize that.. or reconstruct. The faces density is too high for that mesh, it doesn't really have that much details. Also there are some Ngons which will make UV map ugly. And of course it would be easier to unwrap once it's less high-poly. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Dec 7 '16 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ I'm totally with you on that. However, it is not an option. This mesh is part of a huge machine which I am assigned to make nice renders of. It is a huge hassle as even the screws are made up of hundreds of faces. I can not replace the mesh easily, it would have to fit perfectly to the rest of the machine. $\endgroup$ – A. Tropics Dec 7 '16 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ The Ngons probably got in there when I used the mesh simplification tools. The original mesh had 40,000 faces but was more regular. Would that help? $\endgroup$ – A. Tropics Dec 8 '16 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ Apply the modifier. Clear the old seam and make new seam and then unwrap. Unwrap with smart uv project $\endgroup$ – atek Dec 8 '16 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ Try and hold "Alt" since that selects edge loops, which you can do to mark seams fast. $\endgroup$ – WhovianBron3 Dec 8 '16 at 4:59

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