Texel Density : What It Means & How To Use It
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Texel density is a way for art directors to have a consistent feel to everything in the game. It prevents a prop from being higher res than the table it’s sitting on, or a wall from being blurrier than the painting that’s hanging on it.
It allows for a consistent look to the game that allows the game world to hang together and look like it’s part of a larger whole.
The Uncharted games are great examples of this.
Aside from lens effects like depth of field, note how the environment hangs together so nicely. Nothing is super high res, nothing is blurry, it all looks consistent.
This gives the players brain the ability to “buy in” to the scene and accept it. If you looked up from your desk and noticed that the light fixture on the wall was blurry, you’d rub your eyes and wonder what was wrong.
That’s why art directors obsess over texel density.
This isn’t always possible, of course. Sometimes you have to just eyeball things and sometimes things get LOD’d down to fit into memory and any number of other situations.
That’s game art for you!
Motion Graphics : Skye Nelson, aka “SkyeShark” ( http://skyeshark.artstation.com )
I am a freelance artist specializing in environment and prop art, for both the Unreal and Unity game engines: