Nightshade UV Editor 1.6.1 (maya script)

Nightshade UV Editor offers extended utility to Maya's native UV Texture Editor

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1 MB

Created / Updated:

Sep 11, 2012 / Dec 17, 2014


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mac, windows




2012, 2013, 2014, 2015


Align, Stack, Texel Density, UV Set, snapshot, Nightshade, uv, td, gather, Layout, mapping, normalize, UVTextureEditor, relax, unfold, stitch, Opt, match, straighten, orient, randomize, editor

Nightshade UV Editor extends the default functionality of Maya's native UV Texture Editor by adding scripts that greatly speed up the time it takes doing UV-related work. The goal is to create the best free UV editor available for Autodesk Maya.

:: LATEST ::

Nightshade UV Editor is now under an official Creative Commons license. For you as an end-user this means no change from the ordinary. By installing and using Nightshade UV Editor you agree to the license as specified below under "License".

Version 1.6.1 released.

-Stitch Edge has been renamed Stitch Together
-Stitch Together now works on UV selections (requires exactly 2 UVs that share an edge).
-Sewing order can now be determined on the Stitch Together feature by either right or left -clicking the icon.
-Stitch Together will now give proper error messages on incorrect selections.
-Stitch Together will now properly offset the affected shells.
-Straighten UVs no longer ignores edges that appear on two sides of the same UV shell (connecting border edges)

:: ABOUT ::

Nightshade UV Editor extends the default functionality of Maya's native UV Texture Editor with the following tools:

-Stitch together: Sew together shells by moving, rotating and scaling one shell before sewing them together.
-Scale all shells in a selection around their own centerpoints.
-Gather shells: Offsets shells back to the default UV range.
-Straighten UVs: Straightens a UV shell by aligning the edge loops.
-Straighten UV shell: Straightens a shell along an edge loop or ring, and unfolds everything around it.
-UV projection toolset: With all projection types, including a new one: normal-based mapping. Projects against the average face normal.
-Orient UV shells: Orients UV shells so that their bounding box is as small as possible. Almost always results in straight shells.
-Orient edge: Orient UV shell so that the selection runs horizontally or vertically. Great for custom orientation)
-Stack UV shells: Stack UV shells on top of each other.
-Match UV shells: Match UVs to their closest neighbors. Great to use in conjunction with "stack"
-Center UV shells: Places UV shells in the middle at 0.5u 0.5v
-Recreated UV snapshot window for increased user-friendlyness.
-Spread UV shells: Performs a UV shell layout that does not scale your shells or rotate them in a weird way.
-Snap shells: Snap shells to any of the 0->1 boundaries - or to very center (0,5 0,5)
-Snap shells A to B: Snap two shells together by selecting two UV coords.
-Layout U or V-strip
-Randomize UV shells: Randomize translate, rotate and/or scale of each individual UV shell in a selection.
-Normalize UV shells: Standard normalize, Normalize and stretch to boundaries, Normalize to max U or V only.
-Rotate 90/180 degrees: Rotate shells CW or CCW 90/180 degrees.
-Tear off faces: Converts a face selection into a UV shell.
-Quick unfold: Buttons for quickly unfolding along U, V or in both directions with optimal unfold settings.
-Quick relax: Button for quickly relaxing a UV shell with optimal relax settings.
-Advanced UV manipulator: For quickly manipulating UV coords without having to type in new field values like a maniac all the time. In fact, you can do it entirely with just the mouse now - and even store manipulation values in variables for later use.
-Calculate UV utilization: Fast Python script by Guido Neumann that calculates how much space your UV shell scover (0->1 U and V).
-Measure pixel distance: Select two UVs and measure the distance in pixels between them. Excellent when you need to pack your shells tightly but want to avoid having to do a million snapshots.
-Powerful aligner: Aligns UV shells to the right, left, button, top or average U/V
-Push/Move UVs to average U or V: Maya has the tools for pushing UVs to the furthest right/left/bottom/top by default but it does not have the tool for pushing them to the average U or V. Now you have that option.
-Measure UV distance: Measure the U or V distance between two UVs.
-Retain component spacing checkbox: Now you no longer have to go into the Tool Settings window to toggle this.
-Copy, Paste and Delete UV's -buttons
-Integrated UV Set Editor: All the functionality of the default UV Set Editor is integrated. Also comes witha snapshot button.
-Texel density control: For quickly scaling UV shells so that they have the same texel resolution.
-Cycle edge colors: Change color on selected edges by switching back and forth between Maya's preset colors.


Nightshade UV Editor is licensed under Creative Commons. A human-readable format of this license can be found here:

The legal version of this license is found here:

In short, NSUV is free to use for both personal and commercial purposes - as long as you do not remix, transform or build upon this product. I believe in sharing and free software but do accept donations via PayPal. If you and/or your studio find great use of Nightshade UV Editor then please consider making a donation. Thanks!


NOTE that Nightshade UV Editor is only compatible with Autodesk Maya 2012 and later (32/64 bit - Mac and Windows). Support for Maya 2011 and earlier has been discontinued and will not be re-implemented. Older versions of NSUV can be handed out on request though. NSUV for LT is impossible due to it’s lack of Python -support.

1) Unzip the files from the zip file to your Maya user script directory.
This directory is NOT the same as your installation directory. Path to this directory:
Windows: C:\Users\ %USER \Documents\maya\ %MAYA VERSION \
Mac: /users/ %USER /Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/ %VERSION /scripts

Make sure you copy everything, not just the scripts but the icons as well!

2) Start up/Restart Maya and in there write the following in the command line or the script editor in order to load the script: 
import NSUV

3) For a shelf button, write the same thing in the command line/script editor but this time highlight it, and drag it up to the shelf pressing and holding the middle mouse button. Make sure you click the Python tab as well!! A shelf icon can be found in the Maya user script dir under /prefs/icons and it’s called NS_uvEditor.bmp

4) If you do not like the new marking menu in Nightshade UV Editor, simply edit and add a hash sign # in front of
these rows (a total of 4):
pm.mel.eval(“source texturePanel_NSUV_2015.mel”)
pm.mel.eval(“source texturePanel_NSUV.mel”)

...then save the file and restart Maya.


(This is a list of features that are currently on my todo-list - These are features that will be included, or which I want to include and need to investigate further. Please do not post any of the below as a feature request. Thanks.)

-Atlas toolbox
-Transfer attributes: UV's (On the Propagate UVs -button. Clones UV set to all selected meshes)

:: FAQ ::

Q: Will NSUV interfere with other UV Editors that I use?A: No, it shouldn't. NSUV comes with a button for quickly switching to the native editor, which will re-source the old textureWindowCreateToolBar.mel. But if your studio is using in-house scripts/tools hacked into the native Editor, then you need to change row 608 in for sourcing a custom script.

Q: Where are the buttons for UV Smudge Tool and Smooth UV Tool?A: I removed them as they are not used by very many, and because they can be found on two other locations: Via the right click menu and on the top toolbar under "Tools".

Q: Does Nightshade UV Editor work for my version of Maya?
A: As of now, v1.6 works for all versions from 2012 to 2015 (tested and verified) - for both 32 and 64 bit versions, Windowsas well as Macintosh. Maya LT support is impossible because Autodesk does not think Maya LT should have Python support.But older versions of NSUV (running MEL - which work for Maya LT) can be handed out on request.

Q: The integrated UV Set Editor lacks functionality X - where is it?
A: Almost all of the buttons associated with the integrated UV Set Editor have a second command on right click. Right click on copy and dupe to enter the options for these command (default option box). 

Q: Will you add the option to pin UVs?
A: If I can find out a good way to do it then yea. Don't hold your breath though - there is a reason there are no UV-pinning scripts around: it's either impossible to do or way, way advanced.

Q: How do I rename a UV set?
A: Double-click it in the UV set list.

Q: NSUV is taking up too much screen space, how can I make it smaller?
A: The window is scalable and the frames and icon groups can all be collapsed (hidden).

Q: My question isn't answered here, where can I send it?
A: Send it to


It's easiest to contact me via mail - I check it almost daily:

Please use the Bug System to report any bugs.
Please use the Feature Requests to give me ideas.
Please use the Support Forum to ask any questions.
Please rate my product in the Review section.