Can I get equal detail across all UV islands?

I’m asking this before I start a new project. I’ve noticed that for example on characters, I unwrap them and use the UV colored grid texture to make sure that there is no stretching. The torso region and face have a lot of detail but parts like fingers or feet tend to look pretty low res. If I increase the size of those islands to have more detail in them then I need to move them out of the square otherwise they will overlap other islands. Not to mention, creating huge seams.

Isn’t there a way to have everything with equal quality? How do other people manage to do that? I see lots of models on artstation where everything just looks great. How can I have UV islands have the exact same detail size?

Or is it possible to have multiple UVs on one character?

Average Island Scale does what you need I think. Pack Islands will then make sure everything fits within the bounds of the UV map if there’s anything outside.

Average island Scale only scales them ever so slightly without doing much.

It scales UV islands according to their relative size on the model. That gives “equal quality”. It sounds like you don’t want them equal. You want a higher resolution on some parts. Scale those parts up, forget Average Island Scale and instead just Pack Islands.

Scaling them up will generate seams though… Not to mention there just isn’t enough room to scale them all up equally. So I end up some parts looking better then others…

And that’s exactly what it can do. Maybe you should split your island on more parts, so it will be easier to unwrap in with less compression.
Anyways, show the example of your mesh.

You can select them all and scale altogether, though.

Won’t that cause problems with texture painting or exporting them to other software though?

Nah, if it’s still in 0-1 UV space and don’t crossing the borders of it.

So generally, you want the UV to have more pixels in places details will be seen. On a character, this would tend to be the face, as most of the body ends up being covered. If your character is clothed, or has some kind of costume, then those items shouldn’t be sharing the same UV space, and should have their own UV’s/materials…(Generally speaking).

You can have more than one UV map. In the object data menu, you can add additional UV maps, and then tell the node editor which one to reference in materials using the UV input node.

Might be a good idea to have the Head and body have seperate UV’s. That way you get more UV space for the face - which will appreciate the extra pixels, aswell as some extra space for the body, which will give the extra pixels you want. Deleting parts of the mesh that may be covered up would also free up more UV space for the parts that will be seen; something to bare in mind.

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I like that actually! Are there any cons for having multiple UVs? How does it behave when exporting it into Substance Painter or Unity?

If you’re expecting to join and/or split meshes while you’re working this out, the names of the UV maps matter - to join a mesh and combine the UV map, keep the names the same. Useful if a gaming platform limits the UV maps on an object, but allows you to overlap them.