I'm trying to get better at texturing by creating a new texture for this ship (http://www.maj.com/gallery/sastrei/Games/BSGFC/aggie_new.png), but I'm hung up on one big thing in particular - how do I handle the lighting, and thus create the sense of raised and lowered objects in the texture?
There seem to be two accepted methods:
Non directional texture example
A lot of stuff I've read, and some little textures I've done, have suggested this is the right style, with no directional lighting information in the texture. I realize though, that this is meant more for high poly assets. Also, when I've attempted stuff in this style, it ends up feeling very flat and lifeless (http://www.maj.com/gallery/sastrei/Games/BSGFC/dev_containers.png).
Directionally lit texture example
So on the contrary, the standard game asset practice is to give the sense of light coming from "above" and shadow or a fill light "underneath". While I can see how this would work for most games, spaceships can turn all sorts of ways to the light source (sun, nebula, whatev) that's illuminating them. So it would seem this would actually detract from the "realism" of the model.
So is there a way that is "correct" ? Is there perhaps a compromise? Any tips or help would be most appreciated.