I was hoping to find some consensus relating to material management in a project setting in regards to the texturing pipeline. This might be a long post so I hope you like text. I'll put a TL;DR at the bottom.
At my current studio we are working with a large volume of tiling textures (hundreds) for use with buildings and terrain, something that I would imagine is commonplace for certain types of games (MMOs for example). We are re-using textures from old projects as well as picking up tiling texture packs from the asset store and whatnot.
So in this situation our work flow is kind of backwards. We have the textures already loaded and prepared as materials in Unity but we still need to go into Maya in order to make the models and set up the UVs to match the tiling textures. On top of this we have to make sure the material IDs in Maya match the names of the materials in Unity so Unity won't create its own Materials folder with a duplicate set of materials and therefore duplicate draw calls when the game is running.
The big issue is the bottleneck within Maya where, before I can view the textures, I have to spend the time creating and naming materials then finding the texture files wherever they might be saved in the Unity project. It only takes 30 seconds to a minute to set up a material in this way, but doing it upwards of 20 times per scene file definitely adds up to a considerable chunk of time wasted just for setting up viewable materials.
I am wondering if there is a different and perhaps faster way, or a plugin or something that can speed things up, or am I just doomed to manually sync my materials?
TL;DR: How do you go about synchronizing material names/file locations in your modeling software with materials that already exist in the engine, such as with tiling texture packs from an asset store? Is there a quick or automated way to do it?
Thanks in advance for any tips.