When I'm using Total Textures I've got every texture I need at hand. They are big, clean and seamless,gathered in thematical catalogues. Dirt maps! They are awesome! I can't image my work without them. They put my textures into higher level of looking.
Faking obiect details
Low-poly objects Vs. Highly detailed. Low-res textures Vs. big ones. Where they are need to use or when they are need to by replaced. For these quastion I try to answer according to my work. When I start to work on new scene I always try to model with so much details as it is possible. Then after camera placing, (according to storyborad). I decide where I need to place low-poly obiects, and where high-resolution meshes are nedded. Creating high-res textures depend on how much details I create on obiect. Lets see on this example of model of light-lamp
First, I model obiect using many ideas from the concept scetch. When the modeling is done, I attach the simple "UVW Mapping" and create simple texture. Inside "TotalTextures metal section", there are many of greate this kind of textures. Clean, dirt, with rust or paint on it. I pick a simple,clean alluminium-like image. Next, I put my texture/image onto my model. Then using "Front View" I render high-resolution image.
Now, all I need is to have fun with Photoshop program.
When my painting is done, I go back to 3d program, and create my final shader, which be placed onto low-poly obiect.
I close this tutorial describing you how you can easily texture multiple objects using the same image.
All we need is to create a simple texture using "composite" map. In my example only one "main map image" was used and only two "dirt images" Changing the 'visibility' value of each map gives you endless possibilities. Also good effects can be achvied by changing "UVW Mapping" modyfier values; like modyfing "Gizmo's" Lenght/Width/Height or UVW Tiling.
Believe it or not, only one texture were used to texture all these pipes and wires.
Bending pipes (technical tips)
Using simple Create/Shapes/Line tool create a 3-dimensional form
(working in perspective view are most efficient).
Now, select all vertexes except first and last. If you have got a closed shape, select all vertexes. Using Fillet tool, smooth your sharp edges. At the end at in "Rendering" panel (we are still in "spline modify" tab panel) activate; Rendering, General Mapping Coords. and Display Render Mesh options. Activating General Mapping Coords will gives you a proper mapping placement. It is very usefull specially when you have got a quite twisted or bended shapes.