The next step of my 3D model Light-Gun was to UV unwrap it in preparation for baking the high poly version and texturing.
When unwrapping the model I firstly visually split into five individual parts: the handle, trigger, main body, corrugated detail and the barrel. For the majority of the model, the unwrap consisted of basic planar and cylindrical projections which have been relaxed and stitched to size where required.
The main trouble I had came when unwrapping the gun handle and decided where to place the seams. My first attempt left me with unsightly seams across the edge of the flat planes of the handle, which caused problems further down the line when baking out the normal map.
At this point, I decided to download the “Roadkill UV Tool” (linked above), which I feel has better “relaxing” tools than provided in 3DS Max. This allowed me to place the seams to where I required and the software unwraps and relaxes it to the best of its ability. It also provides visual information such as being red for increased pixels / pinching, blue for decreased pixels / stretching and green for being perfectly relaxed.
The relax left me with the unwrap shown above, with slight pinching in one of the corners. I was happy with this as it was only minor and would hardly be visible to the viewer due it position on the model.
All the elements were then re-scaled to the same pixel density, with me then scaling any elements which I required to have more UV space.