I have been spending a lot of time trying to work on textures. They really all critical to creating a model that looks like something. At first I was just unwrapping textures onto shapes. But eventually I tried using the UV Editor with mixed results. I could create textures in paint software and apply it to a simple cube shape and it would get stretched. So I stretched the textures before applying them and that helped a little.
|A simple Spaceship shape with texture added via UV Editor|
But with complex shapes, like spaceships my unwrapping led to some really messy and unusable UV maps. So I went down to simpler and simpler shapes. Every time I started creating a little complexity the UV Map became a mess. I even tried manipulating the shape after applying the textures. As you can see in the simple rocket below the texture wrapped over on itself once I used merge a few times on the tail fin and the cylinder has some odd wrapping.
|Even splitting up the ship did not help|
At my wits end I tried unwrapping with every single projection. Unwrapping cylinder using the cylinder unwrap just created a mess. But when I unwrapped a complex spaceship model with Cube projection I got something that looks very usable. I just need to mark what each piece represents. But I think I can work with this. Trying to join textures is going to be hard but I think I can at least get started on something now.
|Using the Cube Unwrap I actually got something I can use.|