I'm using Maya and UE4. I need to swap out lots of different clothing items on a single character. I'm not sure the best way to tackle this problem in a way that I can have a huge variety of items without fighting the rig too much.
All the tutorials I've found about this suggest using the character mesh and tweaking it into the armor shape.
Pros: Animations will look correct and I won't need to rig or paint weights
Cons: May not be able to push the designs far enough to look distinct from others. I may be limited in the shapes I can achieve. Hard plate will deform in the same way as soft cloth.
Would it be faster to model the armor from scratch and paint weights for every item?
Pros: I could get the distinctive shapes I want and I can make them deform in ways that make sense on an individual level.
Cons: Significantly more work. Animations will need to be carefully examined for every item.
Is there another way I haven't considered?