Working with Textures/UVs for decimated Objects not created with Multires

I’m sure others have worked this out but I’ve had no luck finding an answer. I am working with a game and have the original model that I’ve had to reduce. I inherited the object, so it was not produced with multires. I have used instant meshes to reduce the mesh size. However, the original UVs are not preserved in the reduced model. The smart uv’s are dissimilar. The manual UVs cuts are equally dissimilar. I thought I could be clever and clone from the original textured image (hi poly) to the new uv of the low poly. It didn’t work. So basically
Hi Poly (Hi UV) --> Lo Poly (Lo UV). Hi UV not same as Lo UV.
This also interferes with trying to bake a normal map since the UVs don’t overlap. If someone knows the solution, can point me to a written or video solution, that would be awesome.

Ideally, I want to bake the normals and transfer the texture from the Hi Poly to the Lo Poly, mapping across from the Hi UV to the Lo UV. Thanks!

You have a few options:

  • reduce the original mesh (if available) with the Decimate modifier instead, it preserves UVs in so far as it is possible

  • use the 'Data Transfer" modifier on the decimated model and transfer the UVs over (Face Corner Data -> UVs)

  • if you just need the texture transferred, unwrap the decimated model properly, then use texture baking (you may need to setup a material for this) with “selected to active”

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