I have a scene in Unity that is a ground mesh and a dozen duplicates of a tree mesh placed on it. How would I go about lightmapping this scene in 3dsmax? Should I build the scene within 3dsmax, lightmap it and export the whole thing into Unity? When I build the scene in Unity are the duplicated tree meshes seen as instances of each other and thus saving memory? And if I import the whole scene prebuilt in 3dsmax will that be more memory hungry as each tree will be a unique mesh?
I would recommend lightmapping in Unity. It will “do the right thing” and ensure that each tree has unique lightmap uv and texture data but nothing else extra and unnecessary. Trying to import to max and bake and re-export is likely to end in tears. Is there a reason Unity lightmapping doesn’t work for you?
I’m just much more comfortable with Max’s more powerful lighting systems. But yeah, looks like it’d be a real trip to do in this situation.