@Anselm- Very similar to how i’m going about it…
I do use VB for the prefrag but for me recalculating it on every frame is just madness when dealing with lots of fragments on a deforming high poly mesh, slows my machine to a crawl. Also, the fragments are still clearly visible even though the mesh is smooth because of the subsurface scattering in the skin which is more obvious still when a solid material is used on the inside faces.
So, i’ve been caching the skinned fragmented mesh and using the volume select and delete method I mentioned which speeds things up a bit and solves the shader issue.
EDIT- It was recalculating on every frame because it was at the top of the stack. Moved under the skin modifier it only calculates on the first frame. Absent minded… And I was wrong, the mesh still loses it’s smoothing when instanced in TP.
@Tomasz- I did a previous test with a full character and never noticed the offset problem.
Not sure why it shows on the arm by itself.
I thought it may have something to do with the pivot points or some other geometry related specific but I’ve checked. I modeled, rigged and animated the whole thing myself and I was very careful about pivots, transforms, etc.
I’ve kept the frags as one mesh through vb, skin wrapping, cached with xmesh & alembic…
I have no idea what it could be.