This is another post where I demonstrate my mistakes and the lessons that I learnt. So yes, this post is mostly for noobs like myself who are learning Blender. The topic revolves around “unwrapping” a model, exporting it and then importing it into another application. Think of “Unwrapping” as the process where you peel the skin off an object so that you can paint it and stick it back on again. So the “skin” is saved in a picture file to be added later in other applications. The great thing about this is that you can make several copies of this skin (or texture) file and make each different and so changing the look of an object becomes as quick as loading a different skin. A bit like different themes on your computer desktop.
Firstly, here is the final successful process in diagrammatic form:
The most annoying mistake here was the first time around when I did not name the materials for each object (part 3 of step 1). I had been really good in naming each of my objects. This is a computer programming habit where good naming practice makes life easier when you are modifying your work at a later stage or when others are trying to figure out what you have done. In applications like Blender and DAZ sensible descriptive names also help you quickly identify the different components that you are working with.
Now I did not name the materials. The reason for this was several different experts online explaining that materials usually don’t work between different applications and that textures are the way to go. So I figured that I would just use textures and hence I totally ignored materials altogether.