So - When you unwrap a mesh in order to begin adding a texture to it - In maya you can scale the UV shells way up in the uv editor until you get to the size you want.
This is confusing, because literally every single tutorial on the internet says to keep it in the “0-1 range” (or the upper right hand square of the grid, in uv editor)
When I scale it down to fit in there, my textures are obviously stretched over the surface!
Is there something I need to do in order to fit them in there AND get my textures to look good?
Depending on the object you have it may need to be confined to the 0-1 space if it’s going to need a unique texture. If you’re just using a tiling texture there is no reason to worry as much. I use this method often and have plenty of meshes scaled outside of this area.
The most important thing here that actually requires the UVs to be confined to the 0-1 space is your 2nd channel for your Lightmap UV if you’re using stationary/static lighting for baked shadow maps.
If you want to have them confined to 0-1 and even when they are not you can use a Texture Coordinate node to control the tiling of the UV for the texture in your material.
I hope this helps!