Nightshade UV Editor 1.4.1 (maya script)

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

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873.6 KB

Created / Updated:

Sep 11, 2012 / Jun 04, 2014


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mac, windows




2013, 2012, 2011, 2014, 2015


UV Editor, normalize, Align, Stack, randomize, Texel Density, UV Set, UV Set Editor, UV Texture Editor, Nightshade, match, straighten, unfold, relax, Layout, snapshot, orient, uv

:: LATEST ::


v1.4.1 - Hotfixes - updated texturePanel.mel which prevented NSUV from starting up on Maya 2014/2015. Also fixed a bug with the snapshot feature. NSUV should now work for the past 5 versions (2011-2015).
Next update is being worked on, and Nightshade UV Editor v1.5 will be released sometime in June.

-The Snapshot UV's -window has been recreated from scratch. Unlike Maya's default snapshot window, all settings are now stored in optionVars and the user can now create 1:2 and 2:1 ratio snapshots with ease. You should no longer have to fill in your settings or output path everytime you want to take a snapshot.
-Fixed a bug with the custom marking menu: 90 degree rotations will now correctly use the current/last pivot position.
-Fixed a bug with "Straighten UV shell" not properly straightening the selected UV's/edges.
-Increased user-friendlyness: Error messages should now display for the following tools: Cut UV's, Split UV's, Tear off -faces, Sew UV's/edges, Move and sew UV's/edges, Super Relax, Super Unfold, Super Unfold U/V, Spread out and order -shells.

:: ABOUT ::

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

-Straighten UV shell: Straightens a shell along an edge loop or ring, and unfolds everything around it.
-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 as DONATIONWARE meaning it's free to use for both personal and commercial purposes. I believe in sharing but do accept donations via PayPal. 


1) Copy "prefs" and "scripts" to your Maya directory on your system disc (not the same as install dir).
It is usually found at:c:\Users\ YOUR USERNAME \Documents\maya\ VERSION NUMBER\

(it's important that you use the files for the correct Maya version!)

2) Inside Maya, write the following in the command line (bottom left) to source the script:
...and hit enter

3) If you want a shelf button, write NightShadeUVEditor in the command line, highlight it, and move itup to the shelf using mouse 3 (middle mouse button).

4) In the \prefs\icons -directory there is a shelf icon called Nightshade.bmp that you can use


(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.)

-Transfer attributes: UV's on the Propagate UVs -button (Clones UV set to all selected meshes)
-Store/Load TD value, Get TD from shell
-Straighten/align shell edges
-Quick-apply checker texture (and revert to previous shaders - in case your mesh has multiple materials)
-Reselect mesh after performing copy, dupe and propagate on UV sets

:: FAQ ::

Q: Where are the buttons for Smudge UV Tool, Lattice, Smooth and Move?
A: I removed them as they can be found on two other locations: Via the right click menu and on the top toolbar under "Tools".
I kept the Move Tool -button though but changed the icon and moved it to below the Tear Off Faces -button.

Q: Does Nightshade UV Editor work for my version of Maya?
A: As of now, v1.1.6 works for all versions from 2009 to 2013 (tested and verified) - for both 32 and 64 bit versions.
v1.2 only works for Maya 2011+ but will probably be fixed for Maya 2009-2010 as well.

Q: How do I subtract with the advanced UV Manipulator?
A: Use right click for subtraction and left click for addition.

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). Also, on the "Find unmapped faces" button you have an autoproject command on the right mouse button.

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 in MEL or way, way advanced.

More questions will be added later...


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.