I originally asked this question on Quixel's support forum, but the answer just said "What you're missing is conflating UVs with subdivisions. UVs are independent of subdivisions. You'll need to edit your UV mapping for this plane instead of editing its subdivisions." When I asked if he could elaborate on that, I never got a response. So I figured I'd come to the pros.
My understanding after watching tutorials and trying my best to follow them is this: I make a mesh, if I want detail on this mesh, I need high verts/faces. I then UV Map the mesh with those faces, and this gives me the detail for my textures and materials.
I've added a pic of the road I made to show the issue I'm having. 1k faces is a bit much in my opinion but I wanted to vertex paint so I needed enough verts to accomplish that.
When I drag and drop my materials to the mesh in UE4(and even in Quixel/Substance apps) it looks awful.
What am I missing about my UVs and what am I doing wrong? I follow the tutorials step by step, and they're not doing anything that I haven't done.
Here is my Quixel question as well:
No matter how many verts and faces I have, when i add Quixel or Substance materials to my meshes which have UV maps, I get one very stretched tile. If I bump up to 6 in tiling, it does less stretching, but looks awful.
If i scale the mesh in Y in UE4, I can get it small and it looks okay, but then I would have to be tiling in the same asset over and over, and for performance that is bad.