After unwrap, you will likely need to arrange the UV maps into something that can be logically textured or painted. Your goals for editing are:

  • Stitch some pieces (UV maps) back together.
  • Minimize wasted space in the image.
  • Enlarge the faces where you want more detail.
  • Re-size/enlarge the faces that are stretched.
  • Shrink the faces that are too grainy and have too much detail.

With a minimum of dead space, the most pixels can be dedicated to giving the maximum detail and fineness to the UV texture. A UV face can be as small as a pixel (the little dots that make up an image) or as large as an entire image. You probably want to make some major adjustments first, and then tweak the layout.



Mode:View Mode and Mask Mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ Transform
Menu:UVs ‣ Transform
  • Translate G
  • Rotate R
  • Scale S
  • Shear Shift-Ctrl-Alt-S

Axis Locking

Transformations can be locked to an axis by pressing X or Y after one of the transform tools. Also, holding the MMB will constrain movement to the X or Y axis.

UV Options


Mode:View Mode and Mask Mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Options ‣ UV Options
Live Unwrap
Continuously unwraps the selected UV islands while transforming pinned vertices.
Snap to pixel
Will force the UVs to snap to the nearest pixels of an image if loaded.
Constraining to Image Bounds
Turning on Constrain to Image Bounds will prevent UVs from being moved outside the 0 to 1 UV range.

Pin and Unpin


Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ UV Unwrap: Pin/Unpin
Menu:UVs ‣ Pin/Unpin
Hotkey:P, Alt-P

You can pin UVs so they do not move between multiple unwrap operations. When Unwrapping a model it is sometimes useful to «Lock» certain UVs, so that parts of a UV layout stay the same shape, and/or in the same place. Pinning is done by selecting a UV, then selecting Pin from the UVs menu, or the shortcut P. You can Unpin a UV with the shortcut Alt-P.

Pinning is most effective when using the Unwrap method of UV mapping, for organic objects. An example is when you are modeling a symmetrical object using the Mirror Modifier. Some of the UVs on the mirror axis may be shared across the mirrored counterparts. You could pin the UVs that correspond to the midline, then align them on the X axis, and they will stay in that location.

Pinning also work great with the Live Unwrap tool. If you pin two or more UVs, with Live Unwrap on, dragging pinned UVs will interactively unwrap the model. This helps with fitting a UV island to a certain shape or region.



Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ UV Unwrap: Mark/Clear Seam
Menu:UVs ‣ Mark/Clear Seam

See Seams.

Pack Islands


Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ Pack Islands
Menu:UVs ‣ Pack Islands

The Pack Islands tool generates an optimized UV layout with non-overlapping islands that tries to efficiently fill the texture space.

First it will uniformly scale the selected island, then individually transform each island so that they fill up the UV space as much as possible.

Average Island Scale


Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ Average Island Scale
Menu:UVs ‣ Average Island Scale

Using the Average Island Scale tool, will scale each UV island so that they are all approximately the same scale.

Minimize Stretch


Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ Minimize Stretch
Menu:UVs ‣ Minimize Stretch

The Minimize Stretch tool, reduces UV stretch by minimizing angles. This essentially relaxes the UVs.



Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ Stitch
Menu:UVs ‣ Stitch

The Stitch tool, will join selected UVs that share vertices. You set the tool to limit stitching by distance in the Operator panel, by activating Use Limit and adjusting the Limit Distance

Copy Mirrored UV Coordinates


Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ Copy Mirrored UV Coordinates
Menu:UVs ‣ Copy Mirrored UV Coordinates

Copies UVs from one side of the mirrored mesh to the other. Affects only selected vertices (on both sides).

Axis Direction
Tolerance for finding vertex duplicates.



Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Align ‣ Mirror X/Y
Menu:UVs ‣ Mirror

UVs can be mirrored on the Y axis or the X axis:

  • Mirror X
  • Mirror Y

You can also use the hotkey Ctrl-M, then enter X or Y, or hold the MMB and drag in the mirror direction.



Mode:View mode
Menu:UVs ‣ Snap

Snapping in the UV/image editor is similar to Snapping in 3D. For the snap to pixel options to work an image has to be loaded.

Selected to Pixels
Moves selection to nearest pixel. See also Snap to pixel above.
Selected to Cursor
Moves selection to 2D cursor location.
Selected to Cursor (Offset)
Moves selection center to 2D cursor location, while preserving the offset of the vertices from the center.
Selected to Adjacent Unselected
Moves selection to adjacent unselected element.
Cursor to Pixels
Snaps the cursor to the nearest pixels.
Cursor to Selected
Moves the Cursor to the center of the selection.



Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ Weld
Menu:UVs ‣ Weld/Align ‣ Weld, Specials ‣ Weld

The Weld tool will move selected UVs to their average position.

Remove Doubles UV


Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ Remove Doubles UV
Menu:UVs ‣ Weld/Align ‣ Remove Doubles UV, Specials ‣ Remove Doubles UV

The Remove Doubles UV tool will merge selected UVs within the specified Margin.



Mode:View mode
Panel:Tool Shelf ‣ Tools ‣ UV Tools ‣ UV Align ‣ Straighten/Align
Menu:UVs ‣ Weld/Align ‣ Straighten/Align, Specials ‣ Straighten/Align
Auto, X, Y

Will line up the selected UVs on the X axis, Y axis, or automatically chosen axis.

Auto, X, Y

Proportional Editing


Mode:View mode
Header:Proportional Editing
Menu:UVs ‣ Proportional Editing

Proportional Editing is available in UV editing. The controls are the same as in the 3D View. See Proportional Editing in 3D for a full reference.

Show/Hide Faces


Mode:View mode
Menu:UVs ‣ Show/Hide Faces
  • Reveal Hidden Alt-H
  • Hide Select H
  • Hide Unselect Shift-H

Export UV Layout


Mode:View mode
Menu:UVs ‣ Export UV Layout

This is an add-on activated by default.

3D View

Face Mirror and Rotate UVs


Editor:3D View
Mode:Edit mode
Menu:Mesh ‣ Face ‣ Rotate UVs/Reverse UVs

The orientation of the UV texture is defined by each face. If the image is, for example, upside down or laying on its side, use the Face ‣ Rotate UVs (in the 3D View in Face Select mode) menu to rotate the UVs per face in 90-degree turns.

The Face ‣ Reverse UVs tool mirrors the UVs per face, which flips the image over, showing you the image reversed.