Quick Tip #5: Texture planning for modular environments

Let's imagine that you want to create a texture, which has different areas, related to the specific meshes. For example, sci-fi panels.
If you just randomly create these areas on texture, you will get bad grid snapping and as a result much longer mesh placement, especially for big environments.

How to avoid this? Texture planning!

This texture looks nice, but if you will cut actual mesh into the pieces according to the texture, you will get bad grid snapping.

All textures usually have square dimensions(with some exceptions). Which mean that if you're making a wall, it would be easier for you to cut it into segments, according to the texture, if it also has square dimensions. For example, let's take a wall with dimensions 4x4m. It's really easy to split such texture into the pieces, which have a good grid snapping possibilities. Why? Let's make some simple calculations. Our texture has 2048x2048px resolution. Which give us the possibility to split it into such segments in width:

4m - 2048px
2m - 1024px
1m - 512px
0.5m - 256px
 
You can use lower values, but in this case it will be harder to snap mesh to the grid:
0.25m - 128px
0.125m - 64px
0,0625m - 32px
 
What if we have a wall with dimensions 3x3m? In this case grid snapping will be harder for some small pieces:
3m - 2048px
1.5m - 1024px
75cm - 512px
37.5cm - 256px
18.75cm - 128px
 
But what if we don't want 4m height walls, but want to have a good grid snapping for segments?
In this case, you can make a wall with 4m width and 3m height and use only a part of texture for that wall. But in this case, you need to calculate available height, which you can use in texture.
It's easy to do. Just add 1m and 2m heights and you'll get 1536px, which you can use for wall texture. Other 512px you can use for something else.
 
 
 This texture will work well with 4x3m wall.
 
 
 This is how modular pieces are look like in Blender.
 
Important: keep in mind that you also need to perfectly cut wall to pieces. You can't do this with eyes only. Use the same calculations to move edge loops to the right place.
Also use rulers and grid in Photoshop to check that texture segments are placed correctly. 

Ruslan Nazirov

I am 25 years old developer. I have solid experience in programming and used to be a java developer for 4 years. Now I’m working on my own projects and games, based on Unreal Engine 4.

Leave a Reply