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In a game, we want to make the difference in our minds and in our game between tiling and non-tiling textures. Tiling are repeatable, and non-tiling, as in part of an Unwrap UVW Modifier or in other coordinates that are meant to span a complete structure. One of the things I like to do when visualizing maps is in the Configure Rollout for the Unwrap UVW, turn off the seams so I can see things a little clear. I'll go down there and uncheck Map Seams and if you've used the Peel function, uncheck that as well.
This is about as close to in game as we can get. It depends on the graphics card you have installed and what other features you have on. But right now this is giving me a pretty good look. In this case, this brick is tilable. It's made to repeat every 8 feet or so as how I have it mapped. So I get large swatches of brick with pretty good detail. I drew it this way and the difference here is that the tiling texture allows me in that 1024 square map to draw a pretty good detail on the brick. A non-tiling texture may give me far less detail because it might be spread over a larger area such as the whole face of the building.
Here is how this looks, so you can see the maps. I've pressed M to get into my Material Editor and I have this set up for testing as a multi sub-object material. In the Diffuse channel of my brick is this brick image. Here is how that brick looks. Right now it's perfectly clean. There is no dirt, no grunge, no graffiti, no other stuff we'd find in it. It's great for tiling. From side-to-side and top to bottom it matches, and in this map I was able to get lots of brick and lots of detail, even down to right here, the color variation in a brick.
I'd like to lay some dirt over it and the other place, we'll want to lay multiple textures on is going to Unity and baking out lighting, where we need a light map for an entire building or entire object laid over a tiling texture, using multiple mapping coordinates. A non-tiling texture looks like this. This is a dirt map combined with an occlusion map I put together. As an example then, this shows the entire face of this building, the whole wall fitted into that same space.
I get far less detail. I can almost see the pixels in here. But for things like dirt where it's a soft even coating, I don't need the precise detail in it. A non- tiling map works very nicely. The big deal then is differentiating that in your mind and in your texture. Which one is better? Often we can get away with a really nicely detailed 256 square map or even 128 that tiles endlessly, such as a floor tile, and then overlay rust and dirt or something else on it or lighting at a far larger size, but still far smaller than if we had mapped the entire floor.
In this case, once I get into Unity, this dirt map laying over the entire building will give me really nice darkness along the bottom. W can see a little bit of it here and it's going to make this building look like well, a grungy brick warehouse down the side of an alley.
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