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In an isometric system, each tile can be painted with texture. Normally, (if I recalled the technical term) the fastest method to paint these ground tiles with appropiate texture is to use something like UV mapping. However, that is not what I have seen on most of isometric tile-based game (such as final fantasy tactics). For example, if I map the texture onto each grid, then the texture would appears to be flat. Now, in modern day game, each tile may have some part sprouting out (for example, grass). What I want to ask is how should I implements the isometric system such that this feature is supported?

The next problem is, if I implement such feature, then I have to make change to the art process too--- UV texture mapping will not work anymore. My question is, what change would I have to make to the art process? How would an artist color a 3D isometric tile?

Basically, I just want to know how this isometric system will work out for both programmer and artists. The grid system seems to require high degree of coordination between programmer and artist.

EDIT: Rephrase the question

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I didn't understand half of what you said. Maybe you shouldn't mind me, I'm not even an english native speaker, but to me your question sounds not well phrased. – Gustavo Maciel Apr 30 '12 at 16:07
I've attempted to "translate" the question. But I think it's still missing information. This appears to be one of those stream of consciousness type questions. Poor question. – Byte56 Apr 30 '12 at 17:00
^ This. This question sounds like it could be something very interesting but it's so disjointed I'm not entirely sure what the actual question is. – Mike C Apr 30 '12 at 17:49
Sorry, I am not technically professional nor English native either, so the way I phrase my question is a bit obscured. I'll try to rephrase my question. – user1542 May 1 '12 at 3:59
I think you are looking for a way to blend between textures of the map (look up splatting) and looking for a good workflow? For latter, you would preferably have a tailored editor for artist(s) to use. – Toni May 1 '12 at 9:44

I think you need to research 3D textures a bit more. 3D textures do not create visible 3D objects, like grass, they are applied to existing geometry. It's possible that 3D textures are used, but it's not likely. I've checked out screen shots of Final Fantasy Tactics. It appears to use 2D textures throughout.

enter image description here

See the image above. It's clear that the grass in this screen shot are textured quads set perpendicular to the ground. Also, check out the creature center screen. You can see that it's shadow and feet look very much like a 2D sprite over a 2D landscape.

EDIT to address your EDIT

You can implement the feature as I said, with the textured quad. The texturing of your ground tile is not affected with this addition. You will texture your ground tile the same as before. The quad for grass is exactly the same as you would use for one of your characters, except it's position is locked to the grid it's on.

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I rephrased the question, so if possible, can you try read my question, and maybe comment on it – user1542 May 1 '12 at 4:11
@user1542 I've updated with clarification for your addition. – Byte56 May 1 '12 at 5:41

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