2713 Posts

Part database is growing and more and more people are willing to help. I think it is a good time to share information and tips about making decorations for Mecabricks pieces.

Decorations in Mecabricks are PNG images (sRGB IEC61966–2.1) that are projected on the 3D objects using uv mapping technic.

Please have a look in this folder to download the uv maps available https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3dmCtByvZwEZU5xY1d4Smg2ZGM
They are of unequal quality and some parts have multiple revisions. Don't hesitate to ask here if you are unsure.

For the colour palette used on mecabricks download this file http://www.mecabricks.com/docs/colour_chart.pdf
Don't hesitate to redownload it often as I'm updating the mecabricks colour values any now and then.

There is only one deviation from the colour chart to remember and it is for Black 26:
- If Black is used as the background colour of the decorated part, use the value from the chart (#101010)
- If Black is only part of the decoration, use #010101
30 Aug 2015, 12:18
Edited 3 Dec 2015, 19:37
2713 Posts
[booked for later]
30 Aug 2015, 12:19
6 Posts
I'm trying to understand how to do this decoration thing.

I'm starting quite modestly with part 3069bps2. I found detailed graphics of the decoration, I read this topic as well as your answer on following topic: http://www.mecabricks.com/en/forum/topic/69

It's still unclear to me what to do with UV map and my png file, could you elaborate a little bit on what I should do to have my decoration in the correct format?

6 Oct 2015, 12:27
534 Posts
You place the vectorized picture on the UV map. The UV map helps you to get the right dimensions so that your decoration would be perfectly aligned onto a 3D mesh.
6 Oct 2015, 16:03
40 Posts
Just finished the first 2 stickers from 70802stk01.
This is my workflow:

- take a picture of the original stickers with cam in good light condition in nearly exact 90 degr. to have a not distored picture. ( A scanner will do, too
- use the picture as blueprint in corel draw and vectorize it by hand. Using the colourtable PDF from Scrubs to fill the right colours
- export as PNG ( with transparent background if needed )
- download the UV file from Scrubs
- load the UV file into Pixelmator and import the PNG file to another layer ( top )
- set PNG file opacity to 70% to be able to see the lines from the UV file
- scale and place the layer with the PNG file to fit where the sticker should be
- hide the layer with the UV file
- export as PNG

and send to Scrubs
10 Nov 2015, 18:21
Edited 10 Nov 2015, 18:22
2713 Posts
Thanks for sharing your workflow. I've seen your files in my mail box. I'll add them today when I'll be back home.
10 Nov 2015, 19:15
317 Posts
Hey Scrubs,

I'm currently working on Minifig decorations and I found some of deviations between the UV maps (e.g. 3814uv.png for the upper part) and the actual position of decorations as exported to dae/png format. The vertical positions of the backside as well as the UV map altogether seem to be vertically several pixels off. No big deal to adjust this, but I feel uncertain what's actually correct.

For the lower part, should I use 3816UV.png/3817UV.png? The scale is fine, but compared to actual decorations there are also some differences regarding the position. For the head I guess that 3626UV.png is the one to go for.

Now, when doing Photoshop/Illustrator templates, what should I use as a reference, PNGs as exported from Mecabricks, or the UV maps found on the recommended website?

Then, should the decorations be on transparent background, or should the background based on the respective Minifig color be included (considering the rules for black)? In case of doubt I can ship layered PSD files, so the background can easily be turned off before flattening them. However, my goal is to deliver files that are ready to bring them into Mecabricks without any rework or tweaking (I guess you're busy enough with creating parts).

Many thanks for your advice.
5 Jan 2016, 17:47
2713 Posts

For minifig torso, you need to use the map 3814uv.png like you said - It can happen that the decoration is not perfectly centered (not too sure with which one you tried) but ideally it is better if it is. You can download here a sample psd file - For the neck marker, it is generally black, white or not present (check on photos on bricklink if you are not sure). Don't hesitate to scale the decoration close to the edges of the shapes for front and back - they represent the flat area of the torso and don't include the rounded edges.

For arms, use: 3818v2uv.png and 3819v2uv.png
For double materials arms, see example psd files here and here

For the lower parts, use: 3815uv2.png, 3816uv3.png and 3817uv3.png
Double materials legs are different: 20926uv.png and 20932uv.png - See example psd files here and here

For the head, it is 3626v2uv2.png (or if it is unwrapped 3626v2uv.png)

Decorations on mecabricks have a solid background. Final files use the png format however it happens that I tweak the colour values and I need to recheck every single decorations. Therefore it is a bit quicker for me if I also have the psd files - It is up to you though. You can send both if you wish.

For me to go a bit faster it would be great to add the LEGO (see brickset.com) and bricklink references and names - with a link if possible. For instance:
- LEGO: 6097123 & 19198 Mini Head No.1556
- Bricklink: 3626cpb1222 Light Flesh Minifig, Head Black Eyebrows, Cheek Lines, White Pupils, Frown Pattern - Stud Recessed

I can also share my Blender templates that I use to generate the icons if you want to do that too.

Hope it helps
6 Jan 2016, 03:17
Edited 6 Jan 2016, 03:20
317 Posts
Hi Scrubs,

thank you very much for your helpful response. Now I feel certain about which UV maps to use given that there are several different versions. Luckily I had already chosen the right ones...

Creating decorations based on the UV maps is basically not a problem, but it looks as if some of the UV maps - especially the torso one - are totally off. Since I cannot test via Mecabricks, I do the following in order to check my decorations - please use that as reproduction scenario:

1. Create a minifig in Mecabricks with a torso coming with decorations, export do .dae and unzip
2. Go to the unzipped folder and replace the torso image map by a flattened PNG of the PSD file you've linked above (by renaming files)
3. Import into Blender and render (the relevant region of) the scene from front and behind. Find, that the image map is vertically off:

[Images removed]

So, I had to compensate for this by adjusting the UV map accordingly. As a template, I used a working decoration exported from MB to Collada. No big deal, but this is somewhat misleading for the people. Below the two torso UV maps but on top of each other (red for the downloaded one leading to the named problem, green for my fixed one, which leads to proper render results in Blender; image downscaled).

[Images removed]

Now, my actual point here is, that it's unclear whether imagery based on the recommended UV maps is ok for MB import purposes (for example, you might compensate for such errors when creating the MB parts in Blender), or not. Perhaps this not an issue, because for whatever reason the image maps exported from MB might be different from those created based on the UV maps provided. I just would like to clarify on this point before investing time into creating possibly wrong decorations.

I'd be more than happy if you could shed some light on this. And if you wish, I can provide fixed UV maps and PSD/AI templates. Ah, and yes, I could render the icons for any parts.

6 Jan 2016, 06:52
Edited 22 Apr 2016, 12:50
2713 Posts
It looks like the rendered torso is quite squarish on your picture and therefore is an old mesh that is not working with the new mapping. You have multiple mesh versions of a part living together in the part library.

Do you have the part reference of the upper part that you exported from mecabricks?

I bet that if you export a torso with a reference above 76382a251 it shall work correctly - probably even before but I don't remember from which reference I updated the mesh and mapping.
6 Jan 2016, 07:04
317 Posts
Yes, it was the old meshes causing problems - all resolved now. I guess that means that part requests are imminent...

Many thanks once again!
7 Jan 2016, 11:22
196 Posts
I'm in the middle of streamlining my workflow, so I'll post mine in the next few days with some of my time saving files.
6 Feb 2016, 00:10
141 Posts
Can I use GIMP for this???
20 Jul 2017, 11:43
81 Posts
I guess so, the goal is to create a png file in the end.
21 Jul 2017, 05:22
9 Posts
Hey! So I have a quick question. I want to edit part 30370 to make a custom decal, however I want to use the second UV map available rather than using the first one. Typically I just pick a part with a decoration already applied and then edit the included decoration after export, however there's no piece that uses the second UV map for the part.

Here's the UV map that the part uses: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B3dmCtByvZwEZU5xY1d4Smg2ZGM

And here's the UV map I want to edit and use: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B3dmCtByvZwEZU5xY1d4Smg2ZGM

Any help as to how I could go about using the second version of the UV map to make a custom decal for the part would be greatly appreciated, if at all possible.
23 Aug 2017, 15:23
Edited 23 Aug 2017, 15:26
352 Posts
Both 30370d3 and 30370d4 use 30370uv2.png av UV map so you could use any of them? (30370d1 and 30370d2 use 30370uv.png).

Edit: The links in your post are them same...
23 Aug 2017, 18:19
Edited 23 Aug 2017, 18:22
9 Posts
Oops. Sorry that was my fault. I guess you can't link directly to the images, lol. I'm trying to use 30370uv2.png.

EDIT: Wow, sorry. I'm just not with it today and completely misread your post. After seeing 30370uv.png at the end of your post I thought you that's the only one you were talking about throughout your post. Sorry. Thanks for your help and for putting up with my lunacy
23 Aug 2017, 19:45
Edited 23 Aug 2017, 23:22
30 Posts
how do u message people
4 Dec 2017, 20:16
141 Posts
This is not really the right thread to ask this question in. I messaged you the instructions. XD
5 Dec 2017, 22:32
Edited 5 Dec 2017, 22:33
30 Posts
i no srry i still cant message people tho
6 Dec 2017, 14:51
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