Quickly transfer textures to a new UV layout in Maya

You’ve just spent a week painting and baking detailed textures for your model, and just as you’re about to send it to be approved, the lead artist gingerly approaches you and tells you that alterations to the game engine mean that the UV layout has to change. Your original model with three texture pages now has to use just the one. So you’re in for a few fun days of chopping up the texture pages and trying to fit the textures to the new UVs. Unfortunately, things like this happen all too often in this industry, but there’s a simple solution that should help to ease the transition.

Hidden away in Maya’s Lighting/Shading menu is the Transfer Maps tool (see our Maya 2013 review). This tool enables you to transfer information from one object to another. Traditionally, you would assume that this tool would only be used for generating normal maps, displacement maps or occlusion map extractions, which rely on a high-detail model to transfer information onto a lower resolution iteration. With a bit of ingenuity, the Transfer Maps tool can also transfer information between two models with similar, if not identical topology.

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