I have difficulty creating a normal map for a sword and I have the feeling it might be caused by how I approached the project.
Instead of making the entire sword out of a single cube I started with one cube for the blade, then added a cylinder for the grip and so on. After I was satisfied with the general form I unwrapped each single mesh, instead of making one unwrap for the entire sword, and gave them textures. I proceeded with copying my sword so I could have one low poly object and one high poly object. On the high poly object I added details with sculpting again for each single mesh of the high poly object (grip, blade, etc).
In order to bake both objects together I now need to overlap them perfectly. But because each of the two swords consists of several independent meshes this is quite hard. So I joined the meshes together for each sword.
Now I could easily make them overlap. But after I bake them together I only get a normal map for the grip and not for the entire sword. So I think I need to make an unwrap for the entire sword instead of making them for each mesh. Should I in general always unwrap my entire object in one? But that makes texturing so much harder when I use different textures for each part.
Even my low poly sword has 15000 vertices. I once read that high detailed characters in video games have around 30000 vertices. So 15000 sounds like quite a lot for a single sword. But is a high number of vertices always a problem? For example I can insert vertices on a flat surface as much as I want without changing the amount of detail of the surface. It is still a flat surface with four corners. So are these additional vertices a performance problem when I later use the sword in a selfmade game?
I also tried to make a human. I watched some tutorials on youtube where they sculpted the entire face and body, but is that actually how you do it for a video game?
My human had over 70000 vertices after I did it that way. Sounds like way to much.
So to sum it up:
- Should I always make my objects a one mesh and should I always make one unwrap for the entire object?
- Are a lot of vertices a performance problem even if they don't add more detail to the object?
- Should I create characters by sculpting?