Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

New Blender add-on makes UV packing like playing Tetris

Tools developer Vilem Novak has released GPack, an amazing free Blender add-on that makes it possible to pack the UVs of a model by allowing them to fall under gravity, a bit like playing Tetris.

If you don’t like the result, you can remove individual UV islands and make them fall again, or even shake the ‘container’ – in other words, the canvas of the UV Editor – that they are settling in.

The physics of individual islands can be locked and unlocked, and you can disable rotation for all the islands.

Or if you really insist, you can adjust the packing by moving islands around by hand – although that doesn’t seem entirely in the spirit of the game.

Not an (entirely) serious production tool
Perhaps not surprisingly, Novak created GPack for inspiration rather than production work, and doesn’t expect to develop the plugin further.

(In the release thread on BlenderArtists.org, he reveals that he does all his own UV packing in 3D-Coat.)

If you’re looking for a more practical UV tool, the same thread contains a demo video and download link for Autoseams, Novak’s free automated UV unwrapping script.

But even if it isn’t the most efficient way to pack UVs, GPack looks like the most fun you’ll have doing what can otherwise be a tedious and time-consuming job.

Read more about GPack in the release thread on BlenderArtists.org

Download GPack from Vilem Novak’s GitHub repository

Hat tip to CGPress for spotting this story.