Now you are done modeling and ready to start texturing. If modeling is the equivalent of sculpting a sculpture, texturing is the equivalent of painting it. In order to texture a model you must first give it a UV Map. A UV Map is a 2D representation of the vertices on the 3D model and Maya uses this to map to apply colors onto the model.
To start UV mapping, select everything in the model, highlight the front viewport by right clicking on it, and then go to Create UVs -> Create UVs Based on Camera. Now open up the UV texture editor by going to Edit UVs -> UV Texture Editor. The UV texture editor has the same shortcut keys as the viewports. You can zoom in and out with the wheel and can move around by alt + middle mouse button clicking.
In order to select UVs, hold down the right mouse button and release it when the mouse goes over the option UV and that box is highlighted. You can select UVs just like vertices – you can click on one or drag a box around multiple. You can move them, scale them, and rotate them using the same hot keys. Right now, we will separate the UVs by color. Since the legs will be a different color from the shirt, you will want to move them away from the shirt. Note that moving UVs does not change the corresponding geometry.
To move the legs, go back into object mode and select them. Notice in the UV texture editor only the legs appear now.
Select all of the UVs by right clicking and selecting UV, then drag a box around all of the leg UVs. Scale them down a bit and move them to the right.
Do the same with the feet, hands, head, and neck so the UV texture editor looks something like this:
Notice I put the neck UVs over the hand UVs because they will all have the same color. For the head, we will separate the face from the hair to give them both separate colors in the texture. To do this, select all of the faces on the face of the character and then go to Mesh -> Extract.
This made those faces a separate piece of geometry on the head. Now you can select the UVs on the face and separate them from the UVs on the hair.
Recombine the two pieces by selecting both the face and the hair and going to Mesh -> Combine. Then select all of the vertices in the head and going to Edit Mesh -> Merge. This merged together all of the vertices around the edge of the head. As a final step, delete the history on the head and rename it to “head” in the outliner.
Now you will want to take a UV snapshot. To do this, in the UV texture editor window go to Polygons -> UV Snapshot. Browse to the location you want it to be saved in and make sure the size is 512 by 512. You can make it larger for better resolution if you want but the larger the texture is the larger the size of the Alice model file will be.
Before you click OK, make sure you are in object mode and all of the geometry on the model is selected. If you are still in UV subobject mode, it will not save correctly.
Now that your UV map is done, it is time to create the texture itself. Open up Adobe Photoshop and open the UV file in it.
First duplicate the Background layer by right clicking on it and then selecting Duplicate Layer. Name it something like "UVs". Set the mode of that layer from Normal to Screen and then delete the original Background layer.
Next create a new layer underneath the UVs layer by going to Layer -> New -> Layer. Drag this layer underneath by clicking and dragging it.
Now create the texture on that layer. You can paint using the paintbrush tool and fill in boxes by creating boxes with the Rectangular Marquee Tool and then using the paint bucket . If the paint bucket does not appear in the menu, click and hold on the gradient tool to select it. To change the color of the paint bucket click on the top color swatch and select another one. You can do a lot with Photoshop but for the purpose of this tutorial I will keep it simple.
Next hide the UV layer by clicking the eye next to it and save the file as a .jpg. Save it again as a .psd so you can edit it with the layers if needed.
Now go back to Maya and open the Hypershade by going to Window -> Rendering Editors -> Hypershade.
Create a new material by clicking on the Lambert icon on the left of the window and then open up the attribute editor.
Next to the Color attribute, click on the checkered box button. A new window will appear, click on the File button.
Now a new tab will appear in the attribute editor. Next to Image Name, click on the folder icon on the right and navigate to the .jpg texture you just created.
Next select everything in the model in object mode and in the Hypershade window, select the Lambert shader you just made by holding down the right mouse button over it. Select the Assign Material to Selection option by releasing the button over it. Now you model has the texture assigned to it. To see the texture on the model, press the 6 button over a viewport. You can change the UV map and the changes will be reflected in all viewports displaying the texture. You may also make changes to the model and the texture will be updated.