attaching antennas to head...

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  07 July 2012
attaching antennas to head...

I have a beginners question...

I've recently modeled and rigged a very lowpoly ant that will be used in a game. Im trying to keep the verts to below 300. I have however forgotten to put the antennas onto the ant!

I was wondering if there was a way that I could simply model the antennas and link them to the body rather than adding extra edge loops around the head simply to accommodate the antennas (this seems quite wasteful)

I just tried parenting the antennas to the body but they just seemed to stay in the same space and not move around with the body :(

any help would be very much appreciated!

  07 July 2012
You got to skin the antenae geo to the head joint.
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  07 July 2012
hi ,thanks, yeah I found a useful vid on youtube which talked about 'locators' and linking things to those

This ultimately needs to be put into Unity3D - Im hoping that will except this technique :-s
  07 July 2012
Hi Yonderboy,
I am not sure about unity (havent worked with it yet) but some game engines are picky about the skeletal information they accept. I once had a problem with a rig because it was not in one hyrarchie, meaning not all joints were parented under one main joint (some were floating about). So having locators or joints just floating isnt a great idea. If you want the antennas to be stiff I woule go with the previous suggestion and just skin them to the head. If they have to move I would put a few joints in there that you can animate but parent the base of the antenna joitns to the head joint so they are connected to the mesh!

Another alternative is to bake animations right into the mesh as "vertex animation" but that is resource heavier than bone animation if im not mistaken because it saves "snapshots" of the model for each frame thus creating a lot of data + as far as my quick google search told me unity doesnt support vertex animation yet, i might be wrong on this one though.
  08 August 2012
if your keeping low poly you don't need to skin the antenna to the joints you can simply parent the antenna to the joints the head join in this case. you don't want to parent to the geo since its skinned its not going to move correctly.

With anything you should always do tests.

Now there are some other considerations that you will need to be aware of as well. If this model is low enough poly and it wont take you too long to reskin you should really look at going back and building the antenna in to the model to make it all one mesh.

Why one mesh, for a game you are going to wind up worrying about draw calls. the more meshes you have the more draws you have. If your worried about geo numbers then you really do want to spend the time and go back and just build the attenna in and reskin it. This won't effect your animations if they are already done.
There is no one right way to do anything.
Only the un-explored ways. =)
  08 August 2012
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