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Efficient asset beautification

Hello there, question for modellers, texture artists, and all those 3D/2D artisans!

My prior experience with 3D has been very, very low poly, and I’m trying to make a switch to current-gen asset creation. It’s coming along slowly, but I’m always stuck behind “is this going to take too much resrouces in a big game?” wall.
I’m currently approaching to designing a large medieval-esque village, and one of the first things I want to get done is a palisade. The palisade poles I’m looking at making are similar to the following:

http://static5.depositphotos.com/1006102/503/i/950/depositphotos_5032481-Palisade.jpg

I’ve come up with an idea which is roughly explained here:

1.jpg

Here, you see a model with 3 textures - 1. cut-wood, 2 cut-wood with alpha to create the effect, 3 - regular wood. Second texture is applied at a slightly scaled, separate mesh overlaying the regular wood. These three I will be able to reuse in different places as well. Hence, the model is effectivley having 3 materials. Is this efficient? I know that creating a single texture is also an option, but to be honest, I’d rather have more textures I can reuse later, than creating just this one for the asset. What do you guys think, is that a good way of going about it?

It’s not a bad approach, and will afford you further customization for the materials in the masked areas. Using one texture set may be more resource conservative, but it’s up to you. Both methods will be able to pull off the look you want.

Do you mean space efficient, or compute efficient? You can put those three textures into one image file and use the material tools to translate the image to have the effect of three textures, but use one load for the file. The benefit of all three. But you can always do that optimization step later. The benefit of using one file per texture is you can use higher resolutions for the texture, at the cost of increasing the number of textures that have to be loaded at runtime.

And it will depend on your game/scene which will work best for the look/gameplay you are going for.

Thank you for your answers guys, you’re very helpful!

fe380487a105ab3f7fb2996fe7ceb99691e1eaf4.jpeg

This is what I currently have. It consists of around 3 wood materials, 1 metal material and includes 1 texture atlas for the bolts. I aim to reuse those later for different assets (palisade, fences, anything with wood). Would you say it’s a good approach? Also, any tips on improving the look of my assets when working like this?