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How do I properly channel pack texture maps for optimization?



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  • Ian

    Hello Floob,

    Thanks for writing in! I will definitely say that Ben's videos are a great resource, and I highly recommend watching them! However, if you want to save some time, you can pack your maps directly within Bridge for export to UE4!

    To begin, download the Surface or 3DAsset that you'd like to use and then go to the asset's Export Tab. In the Export tab, select Export Settings from the cog icon in the bottom right-hand corner and then select the "textures" tab.

    You'll notice that you have several collapsed menus, select the one that is appropriate for what you're exporting, most likely "Surfaces," but this workflow can also be applied to the other options as well.

    At the bottom of the expanded Surfaces menu, you'll see a + icon that says "Add Map." From here, you can create your own channel-packed maps for export. 

    If for example, you wanted to pack Ambient Occlusion, Roughness, Cavity, and Displacement into a single texture, you can do so by using the drop-down menus and placing each texture within the desired RGBA channels.*

    Alternatively, if you'd like to more closely follow Ben's tutorial, you can create NOH and CR textures by packing your channels with Normal, Occlusion, and Displacement information in one custom texture and Albedo and Roughness in another. It's important to note, however, that in Ben's tutorial, he multiplies the Cavity and AO together using additional software. This step cannot be done directly in Bridge - so if you'd like to follow his tutorial to the letter, I'd suggest following his steps exactly. While you can still achieve the same outcome, the work done to unpack the textures in Unreal will be a bit different and will require more knowledge of the Material Editor than what Ben shows in his tutorial. 

    *Make sure you're using a file format that supports an Alpha channel such as PNG or TGA. Otherwise, you'll only have RGB channels to pack.


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