Beyond the Grid:

A Shift in Texture Maps

While speaking with a Technology Manager about asset optimization, we discussed how certain parts of an asset are less noticeable and could use a smaller texture space for optimization — for example, the inside of a shield spends most of its time obscured by the player model. However, locating the right UVs can be a bit difficult when they're all compressed onto one UDIM.

I decided to build a tool to quickly and precisely manipulate UVs across UDIM tiles to streamline the texturing process, allowing artist to quickly select them for future changes.

The main challenge was moving a UV island to a predetermined UDIM tile while preserving its position within the tile. I wanted to move a UV island that's in UDIM 1003 to 1013. I thought it would have been easy to do something like
- Look up the desired UDIM
- Look at the current UDIM
- Get the difference between the two then move the UV island based on the difference

But I was getting stuck trying to parse through Maya's documentation to get that happening.

I devised a simple yet effective workaround: always repositioning UV islands starting from UDIM 1001. This approach bypassed calculating differences between UDIMs, significantly simplifying the repositioning process. By focusing on this foundational strategy, I was able to maintain the integrity of UV layouts while enhancing the efficiency of the workflow.

Now you can quickly identify areas of the mesh based on which UDIM the UVs are located making the selection process faster and more reliable. 

This project not only improved my workflow but also has the potential to benefit others in the field, offering a time-saving technique that can be easily integrated into existing workflows.

As I continue to develop my skills as a technical artist, I am motivated to explore more advanced solutions and innovations that can address the evolving challenges of game development. This project has reinforced my commitment to improving efficiency and creativity in asset production, laying a foundation for my future contributions to the industry.

View on GitHub




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