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Mesh Painting (part 2)

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I made a post a few weeks ago regarding this topic, but I have been thinking about it more, and would like to elaborate and get some more clarification. The basic idea of mesh painting is pretty straight forward, and the issue is addressed and for the most part solved in the above post. One issue that comes to mind, though, is repeated textures. My original idea for mesh painting, would be to grab the texture from the object, and physically change the color of this texture in memory. This works, but if the texture is re-used (image painting on one section of a terrain where the terrain texture is repeated hundreds of times - all sections would be affected). What would be the solution to this? Would I turn to decals/splatting? (This complicates the issue, because now you must map the decal to a complex polygon surface - not impossible, but more difficult). Painting large areas of the mesh seems like it would not work - the # of decals would get too large. Any ideas on this problem? Thanks.

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