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Work-flow for large texture atlases

I enjoyed looking at all the entries for the "Beat 'em Up" Challenge. Great work all! My question is how do you go about setting up big texture atlases like that. I'd really appreciate any tips.

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  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 16
    You mean in their final posts? That's really not how they're texturing the scene though, that's just for show. If they had a 2048x2048 texture odds are it was broken up into multiple 512x512 textures and the like. When they show off the the texture sheets, they're just merging all of the textures in Photoshop into a single document.
  • rollin
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    rollin polycounter
    I'm also interested in wokflows for texture atlases!

    I did several of them but always have the felling to under- or overestimate the necessary space.. and UV-repositioning is also lame if somehow avoidable


    in engine atlas creating is some nice thing but you don't have so much control over best uv space usage
  • benjaminx3000
    You mean in their final posts? That's really not how they're texturing the scene though, that's just for show. If they had a 2048x2048 texture odds are it was broken up into multiple 512x512 textures and the like. When they show off the the texture sheets, they're just merging all of the textures in Photoshop into a single document.

    I see. Do you know of any good overviews for work flow when working on environments? I'm working on one of my first(environments) right now, and I'd like to keep things optimized, but i find it difficult to spec how much texture space I'll need


    Thanks.
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 11
    Just don't go overboard. Just make your assets, and judge. Eventually, with practice, you'll get better at judging what you need and what is sufficient. Essentially, don't go applying a 1024 for a small chair that is going to be stuffed in a corner somewhere, or applying a 4096 to a wall. (a single 4096 is the equivalent of sixteen (16!) 1024 maps). Also, factor in what the player will be seeing and what won't be seeing as much. :)

    Hope this helped!
  • Noors
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    Noors polycounter lvl 12
    edit : nevermind, tired -_-
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    For Sacred 2 there was a auto atlas function for the symbols on the world map. it was auto generated out of single pictures and the coordinates was stored to a file where the game could look where the pictures has to be. Yes, there was a lot of empty UV space but that's OK if you see the working hours you would need to create that by hand over and over again - as you know: games industry is "changes every day"
  • benjaminx3000
    Thanks all for the advice.
    One more question. Does any one have a good tip for keep a consistent pixel to world space ratio?
    What I mean by that is like 50 pixels/meter. Is it important to be exact? Or is it ok to just go by looks?
  • CheeseOnToast
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    CheeseOnToast polycounter lvl 16
    It depends on where you work, but usually just eyeballing it is enough. It's not always possible to keep texel sizes the same without compromising detail on objects that really need a bit more space. Your eyes are the best judge, the "rules" just help.
  • VPrime
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    VPrime polycounter lvl 9
    There is also a 3DS Max plugin/script that generates a texture atlas for you. It looks pretty handy, I haven't used it yet as I have just been working on tiny levels that I can just do it manually.. But will probably be using it once I start with more complex levels.
    http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/texture-atlas-generator
  • SimonT
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    SimonT interpolator
    These pixel/meter stuff depends so much from everything. Sometimes you see models where it looks shitty that e.g. the arm has a lower resolution than the hand. Sometimes it's just ok. If you work with atlas textures for environment mostly you have to fit the polygons to the texture and it has to look good - but the resolution is so different for every UV shell because you can' say "i need this metal plate in a bigger res." - it's just there and you have to work with it. So: trust you eyes - sometimes you can waste a lot of time with tech things like this and at the end nobody cares - until its too extreme.
  • Bal
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    Bal polycounter lvl 12
    benjaminx3000, Textools has great tools for manipulating texel ratios : http://www.renderhjs.net/textools/
    I try to keep a fairly same-ish ratio everywhere, as lease as a base for my initial unwraps, then I tweak it around while packing.

    Aren't atlases a bit obsolete now with texture streaming technologies and such? I'd imagine it'd actually be better to go with more small unique textures for each assets now.
  • SpeCter
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    SpeCter polycounter lvl 11
    @Bal: I´m not sure, but i think you have to call glSetTexture(it was this function i think) for each texture(eventhough you are streaming), so many little little textures will kill your batchcount.
  • LMP
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    LMP polycounter
    I've been told that a good benchmark for texture size is about, 512 0r 1024 pixels per 2 meters/6 feet.
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