Delaney King

Delaney King



Gamedev: question- what is the benefit of packing textures? The main one is that it reduces the number of texture samplers needed in a shader by a factor of 3 or 4. Rather than sampling from three different textures, packing them into a single texture uses just one.

There are other minor performance benefits, such as reduced shader instructions, caching shared textures during state changes, however the thing I love about them is less files for artists to hunt through and assign. Most materials need a color map, a normal map and... map that packs together roughness, metalness and ambient occlusion into one. It's very easy to organise and drag and drop them around.

With a packed map, you sample the texture once, then can split off the R,G,B and A channels with a node like this... RGBA goes in one side, four different greyscale channels come out the other.

Most texture sample nodes give you RGBA channel output options, with the top output being the combined RGBA color.

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