Help with Vest and Torso

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  10 October 2009
Red face Help with Vest and Torso

HI, Im modelling a female fighter character in Maya with a tight fitting vest, probably cut to show slight cleavage, and the shoulder straps about 2 inches wide. I dont need any cloth simulation just rigged and skinned in the end ready for animation.

My plan is to model the base mesh of the whole body, then create the vest from that so the topoplogy is the same and follows the form. I was then planning to delete the old polys from the torso that would be hidden by the new vest.

Ideally I would like the head and chest, vest, and arms as seperate objects to make texturing easier and gaining uv space, applying SSSskin to the skin and different material to the vest...but..

Im now confused on a few things...
Is it possible to skin these seperate objects to my skeleton without gaps in places like the thin shoulder straps, as they will be neck then the strap then the arm ?
Or do i combime the objects into one mesh before, then paint my skin wheights to the whole mesh?... but then I guess id lose edibilty later, if i wanted to change uvs or textures?

For this is it better to have them as seperate meshes, or as one whole mesh?
If its one combined mesh, will i need a layered shader, with alphas to apply different shaders to different parts?, Or can i select the polys i want and just apply to that selection ?

Thanks for any help
  10 October 2009
I always prefer to texture (or at least have the unwrap done) first.

You can still edit your mesh even when skinning, at least in 3d max it's possible. I would skin as 1 mesh instead of having multiples. If you ever need to break surfaces from on another, do so after the skinning is done: Once the skin is done, you simply clone the whole mesh and get rid of polygons that you don't need, leaving you with an exact skin weighted mesh that still fits with the other ones...if that makes sense. Repeat process for other areas that you want to break off.

What is the goal for this mesh? is it a high poly mesh or game mesh? You can assign multiple material IDs and have a 4k map for each part if you'd like, at least for a high poly /cutscene type of model.

For a game, then you'd need to break off each element (head, torso, vest, etc) to have the maximum size for your texture sheets.

Last edited by Psyk0 : 10 October 2009 at 10:56 PM.
  10 October 2009
Hey thanks for the reply.
the model is not for game, but high poly animation. If i duplicate the model and break apart after skinnging wont that lose its skin wheights ? also if i had to model anything seperate like a strap etc could i add this to the skin wheighting?

Im maya there is no material ids, but it can use a layered shader or multiple uv sets I think.
thanks again
  10 October 2009
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