I’ve been going through the materials with a fine-tooth comb and check whether or not they’re still needed. The immediate benefit of getting to remove materials is that the scene file will become more tidy, reducing the memory footprint and hopefully increasing stability.
The secondary benefit is that the project becomes more feasible for collaboration. Working with multiple people on the same file that has a hugely bloated material count just exacerbates the hurdles you face anyway and I’d like to remove as many as I can.
As a side effect, I get a better feeling for which materials do not need to separate and could be put into a texture atlas, which eventually will improve memory usage and performance of the track in the simulation itself (through the smaller number of draw calls needed for certain objects).
It’s not the sexiest of work though. There’s nothing to show, as the content does not visibly change. There’s nothing added outright. But it’s beneficial in the long term, if not actually necessary for keeping us sane. 😉