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Questions about UV best practices in game development.

Screamheart
polycounter lvl 6
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Screamheart polycounter lvl 6
(Looking for someone I can send a quick message here and there on Discord or another app to get answers when I get hung up on minor issues. Google works sometimes, but it can be hard to find a specific answer.)

I have this deco I am working on. I'm trying to practice using a specific Texel Density. The 2 meshes for this deco on the left only use half of the 2048 texture space. Do I leave the wasted space? Do I scale my textures up for more detail? Do I use two 1024 textures instead and scale some UVs down to fit? Any feedback is welcome and appreciated. Side questions: Do my UVs/topology look good? Should I use layout instead of manually arranging UVs? Is my Texel Density accurate and is 5,12 a good choice? I'm interested in the MOST common game development practices. If there's a more commonly used Texel Density I'd like to know it to practice in.

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  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    You are going to have a lot more than just this one thing in your game. For enviro art you are usually grouping props by material sets. So everything that is metal might go together, everything that is concrete might go together, etc.

    In my own work, usually the deciding factor is shader based. What I mean is, certain things require a certain shader. So I group that way. Usually there is enough stuff to fill UV sheets completely. If not, it's not the end of the world.

    You don't have to rigidly stick to texel density. If it looks fine in game, it's good.

    Through testing you might learn that some objects are actually rarely seen. Then you could reduce their footprint in the UV space to make more room for others. It's just a balancing act is all. A lot of things can use overlapping UVs. Your piece here, for instance probably can be mirrored. No need for four unique sides.

    The most important thing is to design your workflow so that when things change you have everything at the ready. Imagine you build a full environment piece only to realize it all needs to be changed in some fundamental way. If you work in a smart modular way, redoing the work isn't so painful. So take the extra time to prepare for change ahead of time.


  • gnoop
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    gnoop greentooth
    I work for car racing genre   and no way we would waste texture space for some  theoretical   goodness of equal texel density   other than in a cockpit and few special cases .   As of the environment it's never enough  texel resolution or shader complexity.    So prioritizing  all the way   based on how much  things are eye catchy.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe polycount lvl 666
    I would use a 2048x1024 texture in this case.

    More materials = bad (unless there's a good reason)
    Using up empty texture space with  unrelated assets = usually bad (cos streaming)
    Inconsistent texel density = bad when not done for a good reason

    There are a huge number of caveats and considerations that come into play within the wider context of a game.  The only "safe assumption" for an individual asset with no context is that you should endeavour to use the smallest possible single texture page for it

  • Eric Chadwick
    Also where the asset is used in the game level, this determines what resolution it needs to be. 

    This finial piece is likely to be high on a wall, or under a table. Good to remember when making assets for a whole game level.
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