Section Five - Manual Mapping Techniques

To begin, I'm going to re-apply "Flatten Mapping" with the settings as shown at the right. This is as good a starting point as any, since I only have to clean up the mapping coordinates I don't like. (Most of the larger chunks should be usable.)
One of the first problem areas on my object is the cockpit - it's curvature is too great for Flatten Mapping to place all of its polygons in the same UVW mapping clump. So what I'm going to do is select all the faces of the cockpit in the perspective viewport, then in the Unwrap UVW modifier rollout, click on "Planar Map".
The result isn't quite ideal - the new mapping coordinates take up almost as much space as all the old ones combined, but it can be easily scaled back down to match the other polygons. I put the scaled coordinates off to the side for now - we'll rearrange everything later.
I found a couple situations where some faces could be joined easily without overlapping, even though planar mapping wouldn't work quite right. When you apply Flatten Mapping, these usually end up as chunks of one or two polygons just sitting on their own.
You can join these polygons together pretty easily by going into edge mode (make sure "Select Element" isn't checked), then select the common edge on one of the two elements you want to join. Note that the common edge on the other element turns purple.
Clicking on tools->Stitch Selected will connect the elements together (click "ok" on the stitch tool dialog - the default settings are fine.)
I stitched together a few more elements, but there are a few overlapping polygons. A simple solution here is to just weld the vertices together to make one continuous piece. It'll cause a little stretching, but if it's on a small polygon, you'll never notice. To do a target weld, click on Tools->Target Weld, then click and drag a source vertex onto its destination. Much better!
You can see I was able to connect together a nice run of polygons using the stitch tool and target welding.

Next: Traditional Mapping Tools

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