How To texture/Model a Huge asset?

Hello, I’m not even sure where to ask this question but I am working on space themed game and one of the assets is going to be a
huge capital ship that you will be able to land and walk around in (some areas) but for the external hull which in comparison to the
player will be huge, I can’t give a exact scale but as a reference a star destroyer size potentially bigger.

Now How do I texture this? Like how many Textures are recommended, do I paint on the detailed panels? or do I model them?
What Size textures do I even use? Do I break the ship down into many parts with a lot of LOD’s?

Sorry if this is a lot to ask, I just don’t want to model something for countless hours to be hit by and unplayable asset or even worse
an ugly asset that takes up 40-70% of the players screen most of the time.

I would have multiple meshes for sure. Like a lot. It’s called modularity. Doing this would:
-Be much faster, since when your not looking at pieces they won’t be rendered
-Allow you to change a small chunk quickly instead of importing a single mesh really slowly
-A material edit would be faster
-Lots of other reasons

Each window or large chunk/wall piece/whatever would be modeled separately, and therefore textured separately. To get more exact help, maybe you could show use kinda what it looks like? Even a quick sketch would help!

Oh, and this is assuming this mesh is huge not in just scale, but in the number of vertices and material resolution.

Ah right thank you for the tips, currently I don’t have any models or sketch for the capital ships when I do I’ll share it here.

With the modular set up, how efficient would it be. So for example one capital ship has around 20 textures if not more for the external Hull each at there highest resolution being 2048*2? Would this cause any negative effects I should expect?

Sorry if this is a lot to ask for with so little, the basic concepts of the capital so far consist of many turrets, some large and medium modelled armour plates, external generators or communication arrays and other various details like pipes etc.

The aim of the game is to destroy the other capital ship via taking out there generators and other components. Hence why the ships have to be so big and detailed if the player is getting close to them.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with substances but you could make modular pieces with tons of variation all within one procedural substance material. It seems like a perfect solution for you but you’d have to buy and learn a whole new program (there is a demo: Allegorithmic Substance Designer)

Hit up this reddit thread :

also, after reading that, there is some more discussion on polycount as well as some ue4 specifics as they relate to the technique :

basically, in a nutshell, you want to use a decal texture (atlas style) in conjunction with tiling base textures so as to avoid the texel density issues that would otherwise arise from trying to bake and unwrap such a large object.

I’ve been learning substance and designer in the past few days with the demo, it does seem perfect for this.

When I get back home today I’ll be learning about the exposable parameters for ue4.

Looks like I’ve got purchase it now, also waiting for the ue4. 11 substance plugin anyone know when to expect it?

thank you for the links, when I get in tonight I’ll be checking all the methods and links. I’ll keep you posted.

The last Substance plugin took over a week to get on the Marketplace I think. Allegorithmic put it on Guthub the day after 4.11 release though if you want to compile it yourself.

Thank you James, I’ve had GIThub for a few days now I definately will be looking into Compiling it, too eager to get back to work. :slight_smile:

Hello again guy’s Right so I’ve got my basic mesh of the ship I will be using (Picture Below) So I will be using substance to paint this but from the tips you’ve shared about, do I break it into separate pieces and use a texture atlas? If so what size’s are recommended as my aim is for the player to fly up close in a separate ship so keeping it’s texture quality is a must.

Sorry if the answer is obvious, but I’m new to texturing for games in UE4 and Optimizations for gaming.


You would have to mark your seams in your uv tool editor. As you mark your seams, you’ll need to set material. If your using multiple textures, you’ll need to set different materials for different textures so that way its not jumbled up. After that, you’ll then need to uv map it by rendering your ship, then selecting the photo you have opened in your texture on your uv map. After that, then you’ll wanna check your material view and make sure its aligned up right.

Don’t edit your ship after you’ve mapped it or else it will make your textures look awkward and you’ll have to remap it. Also once you get the workflow of that down, its more about repetition and building speed after remembering the steps.