I am working on understanding modular asset creation. I have worked some kinks out on my own, like setting my grid size correctly in Maya so that assets will snap correctly in engine; however, as I play around more questions arise. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
For reference sake my practice models are for a city street scene, so multiple buildings, storefronts, streets/sidewalks, stairs, walkways, signs, awnings, etc.
- Can there be too much modularity?
Currently, I have built basic wall panels with openings that allow me to swap out different storefronts or windows so I can reuse a basic panel multiple times. My practice models are low poly, so that I can get a feel for the process. With how I am approaching my modular assets I would be able to create more or less detail. For example, I have a base panel with a window opening. I could then add one of three window frames, then I could add a pane, and then add a grille. This makes individual models less complex, but more (maybe needless) flexibility. Should I just consider creating fully modeled windows that can be swapped out? Or am I still not thinking this correctly?
Here are some examples of my modular assets as of now.
- Best practice to texture modular assets.
If I approach model making as mentioned above this leaves me (I think) with two texturing options, at least for the base panels. (Assume that I want four looks to the base panels: brick, wood, plaster, concrete). One, I could create a material with four tiling textures and paint each panel as needed. Or, two, I could create a single texture map and uv map the same panel four times, thus creating four meshes. The first way increases the complexity of the material, the second increases the number of meshes. Is there any drawbacks to either method? If I go the tiling route for painting should I up my poly count on my base panels?
Is it beneficial to utilize decals to break up the uniform look of the scene and to add detail (i.e. grime in alleyways, on walls, graffiti, paper, leaves, etc.)? I have never really explored decals so my understanding is very limited. So in practice I do not know if it is practical to use potentially a large number of decals.
I am sure that I have many more questions, but currently these are the stumbling blocks that I am trying to figure out to further my exploration of modular assets. If these questions have been answered elsewhere please point me in the correct direction.