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building texture mapping modular or entire

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Hi,

 

When texture mapping a building (walls, floors, and ceilings) is it better to make them modular set pieces and assign textures per piece, or just unwrap the entire model and texture it as one piece?

 

i understand some of the pros and cons of both methods, however the set pieces seem to leave my levels blocky and not organic, were as the unwrapping the whole could mean larger textures.

 

Just a little about my game,

-  Buildings are non-destructible

-  not open world; just a few buildings on screen during any scene.

-  mostly 3d person camera, with the occasional overhead view.

-  no native "end user" modding support

 

not really looking to go super high res with the textures.  Mostly trying to convey a mood.

 

i use substance painter/ designer for most of my texture work and it works really well.

 

please any insight would really help.

 

Thank you.

 

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This is a deep topic, ranging as far back as when the modular workflow was first introduced to 3D modeling.

 

The most used, fastest cleanest and most optimized way to make buildings is to use the paper modeling style.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxL8up73dTk

I just took a quick peek at the tutorial and it appears to be on the right track.

 

It was first believed that paper modeling would be the way forward for modular work flow, however 3D modeling has improved a lot and 3D sculpting allows for complex models that a paper workflow can't match.

 

If you plan on doing simple buildings then the paper workflow is the best option. For complex models with lots of details, modeling and then unwrapping is best.

Modeling a manifold model any other shape than a primitive will always be less efficient than a modular work flow, however faster to make per model. 

 

 

In truth it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as it looks good and performs well.

For a more info on modular work flow check here http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Modular_environments

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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i understand some of the pros and cons of both methods, however the set pieces seem to leave my levels blocky and not organic, were as the unwrapping the whole could mean larger textures.

It is quite common (I would even say 'industry standard' ) to assign textures to modular work, and unwrap/texture characters and important properties (weapons etc.) with individual textures.

 

When considering effectivity, then using the modular predefined texture workflow will be much better.

 

When considering visuals, then using individual textures is much better, BUT this will limit the usage. Either you need an engine which supports mega-textures (e.g. id-tech seen in the latest Doom game) or you have limits in your scene size.

 

My sugguestion would be to avoid individual textures for most of the modular parts and to work with detail models/decals to break up repetitive visuals.

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There's no easy workflow with Sparse Virtual Textures, unless you have some people making tools. 
 
General guidance:
Use tiled materials if you can (almost always if environment is involved), but especially if the game is big. (Batching is good + you get memory savings)
Consider decals. (The most common aproach)
Edited by RenzoCoppola

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