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I'm texturing a vrchat avatar under tight restrictions, one of which is that I can only use one texture, one material, and no custom shaders for the entire character.

The character has a plaid dress, and I have a plaid design that's quite complex. However, since plaid is fundamentally a textile that repeats, my instinct is to try and optimize texture space by only including a single plaid square on the atlas, and relying on tiling to take care of the rest. The problem is that the sheer number of plaid square repetitions required to cover an entire dress is extremely high and over a massive area with irregular geometry, and there are other things (skin hair etc) on the atlas.

Is there any way I can designate some direction "out of bounds" on the texture as just containing this one small section of the atlas, tiled, rather than the whole thing, such that I can accomplish this? It seems like it'd be such a shame to have to use more than one square!

Here is the plaid square in question, for the curious:

A single plaid square with a fairly intricate thread arrangement

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If you need to put all the textures on the same image I don't see how you could use only a tiny sample of the dress, unless you cut your dress mesh in a huge amount of small squares and overlap their UVs, which doesn't seem reasonable. Using only a sample would have worked if you could have used several image textures for the same character, in that case you would just have to scale up the UV island of the dress a lot.

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