Wednesday, May 8th, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

Download new free standalone UV packing tool Packer-IO

Plugin developer 3d-io has released Packer-IO, a free standalone UV packing application.

The new software, described as an “automated, feature-rich, fast and free app” for UV management” is based on the same technology as 3d-io’s existing free UV-Packer plugins.

Building on 3d-io’s free UV-Packer plugins for 3ds Max, Blender and Unreal Engine
Packer-IO is based on the same technology as UV-Packer, 3d-io’s UV-packing plugin for 3ds Max, which it made available for free in 2020, going on to release versions for Blender and UE5.

The plugins automatically arrange the UV islands of a model to minimise wasted UV space, reducing total file sizes for sets of texture maps.

They are resolution-independent – so packing times remain constant, regardless of the resolution of the textures – and support tiled UV layouts, used in applications like ZBrush.

Packer-IO: a standalone UV packing tool for VFX, game development and visualization
Packer-IO takes the same functionality and puts it in a standalone application, making it possible to use with other DCC applications and game engines, like Cinema 4D, Maya and Unity.

It features a streamlined UI, described by 3d-io as an attempt to “move away from conservative Excel-like interfaces” to make the process of UV packing more intuitive.

Users can import 3D models in a range of standard file formats, including OBJ, FBX, glTF, Collada (DAE), PLY and STL, then export the unwrapped model with packed UVs.

The imported model can be previewed in the Packer-IO viewport, using a dedicated object manager to hide or unhide components, and a Looks widget to customize their appearance.

Users can drag and drop readymade shaders onto the geometry, including checkermaps to visualize UV stretching, shaders for visualizing normals, and a range of MatCap materials.

Packing can be performed automatically, on both organic and hard-surface models, with Packer-IO supporting assets with “thousands of charts and millions of polygons”.

Users can then fine tune the results via a “simple, fast drag-and-drop UV channel management system” and a streamlined set of packing options.

Packer-IO does not currently unwrap UVs, but in the YouTube comments on the video above, 3d-io says that it plans to add automatic UV unwrapping and retopology in future.

Licensing and system requirements
Packer-IO is compatible with Windows 10+ and macOS 10.15+. The Mac version supports Apple Silicon processors natively. The software is free, and is licensed for use in commercial projects.

3d-io also develops commercial UV tools, including Unwrella, its UV unwrapping plugin for 3ds Max and Maya, and the UV-Packer SDK, for integrating the tech into other software.

Download free standalone UV packing software Packer-IO from 3d-io’s product website

Read more about Packer-IO in the online documentation

Watch video tutorials for Packer-IO on 3d-io’s YouTube channel

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