One of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to modelling is no doubt my texturing. When I started my building I had no idea how to create a texture atlas, which meant that I had to use an individual material slot for each texture. This of course is less efficient then using a texture atlas. So when it came down to creating the atlas, I had kinda put the textures anywhere on it, disregarding empty space and how complicated it would make the PBR process further down the line.
Here is one of my old atlases which I am in the process of transferring textures to a more efficient, tidy atlas. Still, as you can see it is an inefficient mess. Not intentionally or because it was rushed, but just because I did not know better.
I still carried on with the pbr process but I found it difficult and time consuming lining up the textures, making sure it overlaid the base layer perfectly. I carried on with the roughness and ambient before checking it in Unreal. The issue comes down to me re- scaling the textures on the atlas map, which then changes the resolution, degrading quality and makes it harder to line up. I also spend a considerable amount of time trying to improve my brick texture because it looked way to blurry.
You can see the difference between brick quality from the left and right.
When I did go to check what it looked like in unreal it was not good. Not only did I give the pbr maps the wrong values, they were also misaligned. So the brick had this wet, almost melting like quality and the roof tiles looked just as bad. So the moral of the story is to learn pbr theory.
I have now greatly improved my texture atlas and I am now more aware of keeping it tidy, but also taking into consideration of what texture it is and what resolution it needs to be. Instead of rescaling the texture on the atlas, I rescale them on a separate file, which means that if I think the tiling needs to be smaller I can scale smaller and separate it into four pieces, then export it back out at the same resolution of say 1024
It has also made overlaying pbr maps a lot easier due to the scaling being correct, allowing me to work more efficiently. I have not yet got all my textures onto the new atlas and by the looks of it, I will need a new atlas for some smaller textures. I still need to check the textures in unreal and I may have to tweak the maps in order to get the correct look. I have got some new renders of the building in 3ds max however. I have made some tweaks here and there such as using a physical material for the glass, but also some of the model its self like the windows and such.