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Thread: Using a tiling texture/multi sub object vs texturing in the 0-1 UV space

  1. #1

    Using a tiling texture/multi sub object vs texturing in the 0-1 UV space

    I know it's a noob question, but why would you want to do anything but texture a mesh in the 0-1 UV space? For instance, say I wanted a mossy tree. Couldn't I just unwrap the tree in the 0-1 UV space and uniquely texture it getting the same result as if I used a composite of a tiling bark/moss texture? I'd use less textures this way. It makes sense to me that you would want to do nothing but texture in a 0-1 UV space, but I'm sure there's a reason why it's not always the go to process. No matter what you're texturing you still have to unwrap it in some form, so I'm just wondering what the benefits are to expanding the unwrap outside the UV square.

  2. #2
    It comes down to texel density. If an object is big and you only give it a unique 0-1 texture then its probably a lot lower res then surrounding assets which will look bad.
    UDK is very powerful and is able to use combinations of both worlds. In a lot of cases if i use a tiled texture I also use some sort of unique overlay to break up the tiling or if im using a unique texture and its too low res I use a tiled micro diffuse and normal multiplied ontop which usually results in farther away looking like just the unique detail but upclose it stays sharp.

    Buildings, streets, terrain, anything big usually have some sort of tiled elements.

    the same result
    You would't get the same result in the example you gave unless your unique texture isnt very unique

    I'd use less textures this way.
    In many cases tiled textures can be reused to reduce the number of textures used.

    Once you continue to create assets youll get an idea of what techniques to use for texturing. As long as you are getting feedback on your work

  3. #3
    On the note of draw calls, is a texture only rendered the one time? A tiled metal material for a bucket means it has 1 draw call, but if I have 4 buckets does that mean the metal material now has 4 draw calls or just the 1 still?

  4. #4
    the number of materials on an object is more important then textures within the material, unless you start going crazy.

    and please don't use a tiled texture on a bucket

  5. #5
    I don't quite understand what that means haha. I know 1 texture = 1 draw call, but if I use this one texture on completely different assets does that still remain the same draw call or is it a added draw call?

    What shouldn't I use it on a bucket? If I reused the material on other metal surfaces, wouldn't that be fine?

  6. #6
    No. A seperate object is a seperate draw call. However, you are still only at the one texture sample (per texture in the material), which saves on memory and a bit of effort on the renderer.
    On your bucket, I think DGlow means it's super easy to unwrap a bucket and have a nice map for it. But there are advantages to using a generic material on a simple object...especially if your bucket is something like a plastic bucket or something generic like that.

  7. #7
    Draw calls are per texture and per object then? So if I had 2 materials on a bench, but had 5 benches that's 10 draw calls?

    Good to know about the bucket. If I reuse the tiling metal texture elsewhere, I figured it might be a good idea.

  8. #8
    Yes on the draw call questions. I'm pretty sure it goes beyond just the mesh and texture though...there's lights, effects, etc too. The fact that you have 5 benches that use the same material means you are saving texture memory...which is a very good thing.

  9. #9


    this battleship (link below) has 0-1 unique textures, including textures that are simply 3 channels of masking each (two of those) each of these is 12mb in your video card memory iirc.
    we have kept these unique textures very plain and free of small detail, since that would reveal their resolution (which on a model this size ingame, approximates to about 2 real-world feet per pixel)

    we then use the masking textures to control the application of highly detailed tiling textures which you can see overlaying the surface armour and *open machinery* detail, as well as the windows (they have a tiling detail texture of their own) . the red channel is the *top armor* detail mask for example, those lil tiny panels all over the painted surface of the ship.

    the tiling textures are 512x512 , and are tiled about 16 times, while the unique textures are at 2048x2048x we also use a second UV channel to seperately control the tiled texture's UV.

    we then use a THIRD uv channel to position the markings of the ship (the numbers and insignia) , which are a seperate 512x512 texture. these also get overlaid in the same material. so using these techniques we can get detail and effects which would require many many more large unique textures to get the same resolution, and all out of one material.

  10. #10
    Great example strangelet

    Draw calls are per texture and per object then? So if I had 2 materials[/B]
    May I point out that textures and materials are different things.
    Textures are used inside of materials. A material can use multiple textures.

    Also aren't multiple objects with the same material instanced by the engine to reduce draw calls?

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