number of texture sets for games character/portfolio piece

GSpa96
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Hi everybody! I already read many posts on this topic, that there is no perfect number for texture sets about game characters, but I feel like I'm abusing it too much.
My aim was to have 2 4k sets, which is what I tried at first, but i was losing too much detail from the sculpting. After several tests I endend up with 12 2k texture sets, every one of them grouping from 1 to 3/4 pieces. Is it really too much for a game main character? I am a junior and my aim for this project is to make the best portfolio piece I can... but on the other hand having a real taste of making game characters, without the loss of details I got with 2 4k maps.
There are still few bits missing, like chainmail and weapons. I think the unwrap for every piece is ok as I really spent some time for every piece, so I don't think that's the problem but I can post the uv sets if needed. Is this fine, having all these sets? Every C&C more than welcome please.

Replies

  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    How much resolution you need depends how you presenting it. Post your uv layouts and the experts can say if you doing that efficiently or not though.

    Twelve materials does sound like a lot. I think if you download the free paragon characters from epic you will find most have two to five materials per.


  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer polycounter lvl 14
    Two 4k texture sets is ok, and pretty good nowadays. Anyways, you can still use two more texture sheets and it will be fine imho.

    You also could use 1x 8192 texture sheet for all your maps. 
  • GSpa96
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    GSpa96 node
    These below are six of the 12 sets I have. I tried already with 2 x 4K textures but there was a bit too much loss of details from the baking, even though I made the cage in marmoset as tight as I could... Maybe as Blaizer suggested, 4 x 4k maps would have been better than 12 2K, for the in game version.
    I can squeeze more pieces together and make 4 maps without problems, but as this would mean to bake everything again I think I will stay like this. For presentation I will do some close ups so I really wanted to preserve details.
    For sure I can improve in packing the UVs... Any suggestion for next time?




  • Eric Chadwick
    Reuse some of those UVs! The first four are the same layout! Your character has strong amount of symmetry, use that to your advantage. 
  • GSpa96
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    GSpa96 node
    Sorry I just realized that I posted four times the same UV Layout :'(
    Now I updated the images... What do you think?
    Thanks for the advice! I would like to not have total symmetry when texturing but for some pieces I can, maybe sparing 2 or 3 texture sets.
  • oglu
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    oglu polycounter
    I would say straighten the uvs and try to make less uv cuts. Those uvs arnt that optimized. 
  • GSpa96
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    GSpa96 node
    You mean straighten by hand?
    I used pelt mapping, relaxed and then created smoothing groups from UV Shells with Textool. Is there another better approach you would use for something like this?

    Update: I just tried to unwrap again a UV Set differently, by not make cuts based on the smoothing groups I want and yes the result is much cleaner. The tutorials I saw on unwraps kinda confused me then...
    For sure now I can spare at least 3 UV Sets, as now there will be many less little pieces. I will also considering mirroring some UVs but, in that case, how is the sculpting projecting on the baking?
    Example: on the sculpt, right arm, I have a crack let's say, and on the left arm I have a crack on a different position. As the UVs between right and left arm will be shared, which crack will be baked from the sculpt? Both?
    Also, if I have mirrored UV's on some parts, is there a way in texturing to kinda break the simmetry? Otherwise both sides would share same cracks, damages and exactly the same texture and ok probably in game, from a certain distance it's totally fine but for a portfolio piece not really I would say?

    Thanks for all the advices so far =)
  • Eric Chadwick
    Texture baking software will only bake what's inside the 0-1 uv range. If UVs overlap, you might get interpenetration errors. More about that here.
    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Texture_Baking#UV_Coordinates

    Don't worry too much about optimization. Just work within reasonable limits, and most importantly make it look awesome.
  • GSpa96
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    GSpa96 node
    Thanks everybody for the advices given. I will improve how the UVs are set, crank up the resolution as this is a portfolio piece but with much fewer texture sets. Just one last question: is there a way to enhance maps in photoshop? I don't know with some overlay or editing the contrast? Is it advisable?
  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    I recommend putting the maps that you baked into a folder called "model baked maps". Keep those for backup.

    Then, yes absolutely edit the maps. In p hotoshop or substance. Most maps are multipurpose. Want to get dirt in the cracks? Use your AO as a mask and use levels or curves to adjust it's range. Just one example.

    It's art so play around and have fun.
  • GSpa96
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    GSpa96 node
    Thank you :D I'll try to edit them in substance (while texturing i guess?)
  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    Yeah that's what texturing is. The baked maps is a starting point. Many of them you will edit heavily. Many of them are only for utility.  Some maps, like position, curvature, thuckness, are intended for use as mask or generator filters.

    Anyway, you can find a million usages in all the easy to find tutorials from the software websites. Many you will understand intuitively just by trial and error practice. Principle to keep in mind is that you ain't building a house, you making art. Workflow should allow for redo, and experimentation. That is the right way to work, especially if lesrning. Between a and b is like a spiderweb of possibilities. 
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