Nightshade UV Editor 1.5.0 (maya script)

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

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1008.9 KB

Created / Updated:

Sep 11, 2012 / Sep 21, 2014


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mac, windows




2012, 2013, 2014, 2015


Align, Stack, UVSet, UV mapping, TexelDensity, Nightshade, relax, normalize, match, Layout, snapshot, UVSetEditor, UVTextureEditor, UVEditor, td, gather, Opt, unfold, randomize, orient, straighten, uv

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 (NSUV) version 1.5 release.

-NSUV has been completely rewritten in Python (PyMEL)
-NSUV can now co-exist with other UV Editors, as well as the native one.
-New tool: Gather Shells - Offsets shells back to the default UV range.
-New tool: Straighten UV's - Straightens a UV shell by aligning the edge loops.
-UV-projection -toolset added to the sidebar!
-New UV projection method: Normal based mapping. Project UVs based on the average normal direction.
-Absolute positioning added to the translate mode of the advanced UV manipulator.
-Individual scaling: Shells can now be scaled from their individual center points (scale, right-click)
-UI improvements: Redesigned sidebar w. collapsable frames, new icons, etc.
-Vastly improved custom UV marking menu.
-Extended TD control. You can now specify working units and store/load presets.
-Improved "Tear Off faces" - Renamed "Create Shell".
-Added back the Lattice UV -tool button to the top bar.
-Added back the Move UV shell -tool button to the top bar.
-Added options UI for Orient Shells (user can now chose accuracy over speed, or vice versa)
-Orient Shells now has options for picking speed over accuracy - and vice versa.
-Spread Out Shells has been improved and no longer snaps the shell package to the bottom left corner.
-Right-clicking the stack shells button will now orient AND stack shells (Smart stack)
-Right-clicking the snapshot UV button will now immediatly do a snapshot, without opening a dialog.
-Create New UV Set no longer deselects your meshes
-Dupe UV Set now works on several meshes (will clone the active UV set of each mesh).
-Custom UI's for Unfold and Relax (Optimize, Maya 2015)

:: ABOUT ::

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

-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 as DONATIONWARE meaning it's free to use for both personal and commercial purposes. I believe in sharing but do accept donations via PayPal. 


NOTE that Nightshade UV Editor is only compatible with Autodesk Maya 2012 and later (32/64 bit - Mac and Window). 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.

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) If you want a shelf button for the editor, 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 mouse 3 (middle mouse button). 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.)

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

:: FAQ ::

Q: Where are the buttons for UV Smudge Tool and Smooth UV Tool?
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".

Q: Does Nightshade UV Editor work for my version of Maya?
A: As of now, v1.5 works for all versions from 2012 to 2015 (tested and verified) - for both 32 and 64 bit versions.
Older versions of NSUV 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). 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 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.
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