I have spent many hours looking at tutorials, reading, and trying to understand the dynamic between UV maps, image textures, application of the same, exporting to Unity, and then making it look anything like I want.
In short, I have failed miserably.
For the record I am using Blender 2.79b. Unity version is probably irrelevant, but it's 2019 with some various numbers thereafter.
With the goal of exporting to Unity in mind I would like to know three things please:
1) How do you apply an image texture to an object?
There seems to be at least a few ways of doing this, predominantly depending on (as far as I can ascertain) whether you use Blender Render or Cycles Render. I also understand that Cycles Render is coolio for lighting which is great, but useless in Unity because the lighting from Blender doesn't carry over. So, given my single purpose here, what use is it to me? Should I be using solely Blender Render or does Cycles Render still carry a value? Which should I use and why, please? And then how? Which of the 974 all-different tutorials on YouTube is best for today?
2) How do you edit the image to match the UV map for a sphere?
I'm specifically working with complex sphere-based shapes in my game, which have started life as cubes and had warpy things done to them. Sphere UV mapping doesn't work. Taking any material (which, in preview, looks like a perfectly wrapped sphere - oh, the irony gets me every time I see the little bugger) and applying it to a Lightmap Pack or Smart UV Project Pack doesn't work. Various tutorials for applying a texture to a sphere work just fine - assuming your image is specifically designed for a sphere. Mine isn't. I have Gimp (why is it called Gimp when it's actually Photopad?)...what do I do with it to make this work?
3) If I manage (somehow, several years from now, probably) (1) and (2), can some kind soul please confirm to me that Unity will then behave itself? i.e., if I spend hours upon hours editing UV maps and image textures, will Unity make it look like it does in blender, or will it take a dump on it from height? If the latter, what should I be doing instead?
Thanks in advance for any and all advice around the above. I'm about to invest most of my spare time (2 kids, wife, not much spare time, so it's very valuable!) into this project and I don't want to find out I've been barking up the wrong tree in 2 months time!
Sorry for long post.