Massive Earth Texture Help

Hello everyone, I’m in need of help with this massive Earth texture I’m putting together for a game I’m working on. Everything takes place in low orbit, so there needs to be a lot of detail retained. What I currently have is attached to this post, along with something closer I wish to achieve.

I’ve downloaded the 21k Earth texture files from NASA and pieced them all together in Photoshop.The main issue I have is with the UV’s. I’ve heard that cutting the sphere into 96 pieces and then applying 4k texture to each piece will retain a lot of the details from the 21k. As of now, I’m unsure on how I align everything to match properly to the Earth texture file In Phototshop. I’ve tried quite a few methods, but still can’t get anything to align, and match correctly.

Any advice on this matter is much appreciated.

My Earth texture (Not the whole sphere, but a quarter of the top):

TheJamsh Earth Texture:

Your topology might not match the texture grid, so what you might do is separate out parts of the mesh, create a new UV channel and map them each to fill the UV space and then bake the high-res texture to the new channel and then move that channel down so that you’re back to 1 UV channel.

The topology matches. I’m not sure if this method would work with what I’m trying to do.
However your help is much appreciated and noted sir/madam! :slight_smile:

Edit: The more I read your comment, the more it starts to make sense, although I’m still uncertain if this is the route I want or need to go.

Normally for a planet texture map it’s probably 2x1 aspect ratio, and you could easily divide it into a number of like 1024 texture maps, but I’m guessing that your mesh topology would not line up with those texture maps due to the spherical distortion, which is why you would have to bake out the texture maps to line up with the topology that you have.