UV Mapping - Blender

I’m learning how to properly UV map in blender, and one of the things i have learned from Valve’s skins is that it’s a good thing to overlap symmetrical parts of a model. It saves space on the UV map so you can have higher res textures etc.

I’m trying to UV map my model and i’m having problems. It’s symmetrical in a lot of parts but when i unrwap them, they’re slightly un-symmetrical. Is there a way to flip UV map chunks so that they fold in a neat symmetrical way and take up less space?

Picture for reference.

I’m no expert, (Read: lol how 2 do this program what even is how) but you could try placing the seam along the seam all the way around where you have it already, and gain two islands which you could then align side-by-side?

I was never very good at Blender UV mapping, thinking in 3D is difficult.

An automatic way? Not that I am aware of. A time consuming manual method? Yes…
Cut that last edge between the two halves. Re-unwrap, then filp/mirror one of the halves.
Overlap them best you can with grab, scale and rotation, then individually x/y align each ‘pair’ of verticies in the UV editor.

And dont forget to PIN them when you are done, so you dont have to do it all over if you unwrap again. (has never happened to me)

Thanks for the help. I understand all your instructions except for the part where i x/y align each pair of vertices in the editor. When i turn on vertex snapping it does some really weird shit… How do i do it?

Dont use snapping.

Select the ‘pair’ of verts,
then press W and select align-X
then press W and select align-Y

Do this for each pair until the both islands are an exact match.

I don’t understand how i’m supposed to manipulate vertices on individual islands in the UV editor since it affects anything that’s connected at the seam. I fix up and align one part of the mesh and it distorts another part that’s connected by the seam.

Is there some sort of video tutorial for this kind of shit??

Are you using a premade texture? Or are you planing on making one later with the bake functions? If you are planning on making on later, try using the smart uv project option. If that’s usefull, another thing might be mirroring your model. If you use the mirror modifier, and do the UV unwrapping while that is still active (not applied) Blender automatically places the UV cord over top of each other. If you can’t use the mirror modifier, I think your stuck with the manual method.

Do you have proportional editing turned on in the UV editor. If so, turn it off.
You should be able to move vertices on the UV map at will without effecting anything that isnt selected.

I can find a lot of UV mapping videos on Youtube, but none of them appear to deal with overlapping islands to save UV space…

EDIT… this one isnt too bad, but his model is a perfectly mirrored object, so left and right side pieces match exactly when UV’d. He doesnt manually adjust the vertecies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5_2seDBQrw

I figured it out finally. There’s a symmetrical painting tutorial on blendercookie that helps explain it.