Texturing Before or After Animation?

I have just finished modelling my latest project (over 1,300 seperate pieces!), and I am wondering what the next step is. It will be animated, but I also want it to be photorealistic, so a lot of UV maps will be used. Should I apply the textures before or after animating?

I want to animate first, since I don’t have all my textures together, and can’t see a problem with going either way, but I want to make sure that I don’t screw this up by doing my pipeline in the wrong order.

While I’m here, I might as well ask this: my animation has a lot of really small pieces. Considering the fact that I want my animation to look photoreal, could I get away with using a procedural texture on the smaller bits? I don’t want to have to UV unwrap 1,300 things.

Provided that all the objects you want/need to be mapped have been done it does not really matter whether you you want to do the actual texture before or after painting. It is perfectly fine to use procedurals on the smaller parts particularly if they will be hardly noticeable and is generally my method.

What I would have a heart attack over is trying to animate 1300 parts individually and getting them in synch :-/. What I would do is after the actual mapping and assigning of materials, is combine as many of the smaller objects into the larger (or whatever) ones. Blender will preserve the material assignments.

Thanks for the answer, Touchstone! Unfortunately I cannot combine things together, as this thing will have a lot of moving parts- it’s essentially a very complex chest of drawers. I am going to go ahead and start applying the materials before doing the animation.