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How dose one layout proper UV map and materials?

I and my professor had a little conversation and debate about how to properly set up textures and material though Unreal Engine.

My workflow goes a little like

  • Build placeholder mesh layout in 3d software.
  • Bring over to ZBrush, develope details and organic modelling.
  • Once finished, I bring back the mesh into the 3D software to do the UV mapping onto one material for the whole mesh going to use.
  • Making textures through substance designer, and bring up into substance painter to finish up, and adding details. Due to how small UV maps are, of course, I UV tile them in Substance painter to fit for the mesh as texture maps are based on your UV Islands.
  • Apply that texture map into the unreal engine 4 material and have a clean, non-cluttered material list.

Discloser for small props I pack into one texture, for larger props with more details, I make multiple materials when needed.

He mentions that you should scale your tiling onto your meshes, which I think he means is UV islands stretched outside the 0-1 radius in the texture UV map rather UV tiling inside your texture. I looked up and yes possible can use something like UDIM setup, but as for game development sounds bit performance heavy. I understand he is from AAA game studio and has more experience, but that debate made me curious all day. As many tutorials, I’ve watched many videos most of which usually setup UV mapping method is what I’ve listed out.

Let me know what you guys think, or if a better method would like to share about UV mapping and material setups.

Cheers