How to make tiling/modular meshes not look so obviously tiled?

Can anyone share best practices for getting the most out of your modular meshes with respect to avoiding obvious repeating patterns? I’m relatively new to modular meshes and I’m noticing that when I place the same mesh next to itself, the diffuse texture looks fine but the normal and spec maps are too obviously patterned and ruin the effect. Specifically, I’m talking about scratches and destruction in wall and floor panels that should come from wear & tear and shouldn’t be *exactly *the same for each panel. However, I also don’t want to create a unique material and/or mesh for each instance, for obvious performance reasons.

What I’m wondering is if there is a way to create just a single material that I can apply to a single modular/tiling mesh that can support multiple normal or specular map inputs?

Maybe I’m missing something obvious so other suggestions are completely welcome.


World position detail usually on the macro scale rather than the micro scale. If you have a world position variation in say the roughness map or small variation in the albedo map, it tends to blend thing in and makes it less repeated look. Also decoration meshes (thing that can be used to decorate the modular pieces) and also decals can split allot up too.

Hey Ghiest, thanks for the response. I’m with you on the decoration meshes, I certainly try to do that as much as makes sense. However, can you elaborate on using world position detail a bit more? I’m not sure I understand and my searching for an example hasn’t quite returned what I was looking for.

If you open up some of the materials in the starter content (or the free materials pack from the marketplace) you’ll see what they did with macro variation. For example, M_Ground_Gravel.

I think the distinction they are trying to make is, your textures already repeat on a local scale due to the UV mapping. This is what gives it the tiled look to start with. Now if you spruce up your materials and say add some mud/grime/rust material modifiers that are based on the object’s world location, this will help break up the patterns. Two houses next to each other may have the same base brick textures, but if they have mud splattered in difference places, then it will help break up the patterns.

Exactly! So my question is then, using your example, how do I splatter mud in different places across both houses within a single material? I could just place unique decals on each to break up the tiling, but that’s not what I’m looking for.

I looked at the M_Ground_Gravel material but that only seems to work if applied to a single, large area. If I place it on a repeating mesh, the tiling is just as apparent as with any material.


You need world coordinate material for it instead of local uv.
Make worldcoordinated material, blend your tiled uv material with world coordinate one.
Then use vertex paint (in unreal) to apply a bit of mud there and there.

PS. now you should have all keywords to feed google search with.

This is something I have been looking to attempt as well. I have seen some examples on how to get dirt and rust materials that will work across specific meshes as some sort of global material. I am pretty sure I saw this on the UE4 Youtube channel somewhere.

My solution is combining different textures.
First texture is tiling texture which seems pretty high res but repeating.
Second texture is not tiling so seems low res but breaks repeating of first texture.
Also it includes that world position variation.

Did you find a way to prevent repeating (by dirt, mud, rust, etc.) of the same material on many repeating equal meshes right next one to another?

PS - unfortunately all answers of your question are empty worlds, not working ideas and wasting time s…s.