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To be clear, I know how to unwrap and I've watched quite a lot of content on how to do so in efficient ways. However, I have been putting together some decent-sized buildings for an urban city project I am working on and I am having a lot of trouble with texel density. Most tutorials on the matter end with the person taking all of the different objects and then combining their UV maps into one. For me, it feels like even if I get the islands as efficiently packed as I possibly can, my texel density just isn't where I need it to be.

You'll find a screenshot of the project at the bottom of the post.

I am currently keeping each wall section separate and then putting all of the windows together into one map, then applying separate materials to each section so that they come up as separate texture sets in Substance Painter. I am getting good results doing this, but I am wondering if there is something I am missing...?

Read more below the screenshot for more details on what I've been doing to this point.

Building Mesh

Thanks for any help you can give in terms of larger projects and what the standard practices are. In fairness, most tutorials on UV mapping are working with small objects, so I'm having a hard time gleaning any further information from them.

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    $\begingroup$ What size texture maps are you exporting from SP? Texel density is more about texture consistency rather than texture detail. You could get a very detailed texture map for that building with a set of 4K textures, but if that building isn't a "hero" asset, what's the point? This doesn't directly answer your question about UV unwrapping strats - there are lots of those already available, but just be sure that you're not stressing over the wrong thing. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Electric_Wizard I'm working in 4k in SP, but my textures were always blurry at closer inspection until I cut the building up into about 6-8 UV's (I could get this down to probably half) so that I could have more room to get a higher density. Now I get the type of fidelity that I would expect but I am concerned that I am missing something, b/c everything I've seen in UV tutorials combine the entire mesh in one single UV. This could just be b/c all of the tutorials user smaller scoped models, but if my workflow is off I'd like to solve that now rather than after I've created dozens of assets. $\endgroup$
    – Mojii
    Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ Appended to above comment - There is also the issue of seams that comes with cutting a model up like this. $\endgroup$
    – Mojii
    Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 6:41

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My advice is, instead of using one map for everything, you could use multiple UDIM tiles. This way the textures will be less grainy when viewed up close. It all depends up to what zoom the model will be displayed.

Also you could subdivide the various meshes in the UV maps by material type (concrete, wood, glass, tile ceramics, etc...) or by object type (roof, walls, windows, etc...).

In this way with the same resolution you will have a higher Texel Density (which will have to be the same for all the UV islands) and the textures will be sharper.

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