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TUTORIAL: Trim Textures for environment art and props

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PixelMasher high dynamic range


Hey everyone!

Just pumped this out last night, a little something for any environment or prop junkies out there to enjoy over the weekend ;)

 Using trim textures to quickly create efficient modular kits is absolutely the backbone of most environment work, and even a lot of prop/asset creation, especially when dealing with tight memory budgets, like in the case of open world games.

Why you are not getting environment jobs....

I still consistently see over HALF of students/junior artists who apply for environment positions with ZERO examples of tiling texture use or trim sheet knowledge in their portfolio. This is a huge red flag and I wanted to create this tutorial on the technique to help fill the gaps left by many game design programs. If I see a strong use of trim textures in at least one portfolio piece I would feel a lot more confident that the applicant is creative and versatile when it comes to problem solving for environment art, and won't require a ton of re-training.

An Essential Skill.....

Make no mistake, if you are building environments in a game studio environment you will definitely  have to build large structural kits or assets  at some point. Trim sheets can be an absolute life saver when it comes to keeping your memory budget and drawcalls down, and maintaining a crisp texel density without relying on massive 4k  unique unwrap textures......which are still not super feasible for gamedev on consoles. 


Links: 

If you are unfamiliar with using trim textures I added the example assets, unreal project and textures to my gumroad for about 5 bucks. You can load the meshes into the software of your choice and dissect how the UVs are laid out, play around with the trim sheets on your own assets etc. All proceeds will go to building an actual up to date PC to make more tutorials for you guys without my rig bursting into flames :P

Example trim sheets and meshes on gumroad


Thanks for reading, let me know what you think in the comments!

-Tim

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