How are the unwrapped textures created?


For many years really, I have been slowly learning game dev and asset creation (3d modelling etc). After much time, I am becoming reasonably skilled at modelling and writing code for games. However, making nice 3d art is still eluding me.

I can make the model. I can even unwrap it and create a UV Map image. But when I see other old commercial games they use a texture similar to this:

And I am wondering how is this created? To me, it even looks as if they have managed to unwrap an already textured model and turn it into this.

The only way I can think of is to draw it manually myself. But many examples I have seen in real games (and indie game projects), the textures look too good to have been made by hand. They literally look like they somehow unwrapped an existing model. But obviously at some point in time somebody had to make it from scratch, and I am wondering how this is done.

Any direct help on this matter would be massively appreciated. Thank you for reading.



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