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Help with Modular Characters Pipeline

In videogames like Uncharted 4, Saints Row, Darksouls; I could see that they use a Modular character for Skins and Armors for their characters. I want to know the correct pipeline about this. My main dudes are these
- Is First the basemesh and after separate every body part? 
- Is this similar to make blendshape pipeline?
- It this a good option? Skinning main mesh and after that separate and copy paint weight or exist other pipeline for this.
- When the clothing covers body parts like chest or parts of the arms I only have to combine  or I have to match some hidden vertex for the skinning.

Examples:
Uncharted 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZJQuHZQakQ&t=1048s Minute 17:21






  Saints Row 







Replies

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky
    http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/SkankerzeroModularCharacterSystem

    That helped me a lot ^^

    Specifics will be highly dependent on your goals. My best suggestion is to plan for this taking a few months full-time work just to figure out the workflow. Use dummies for every part in order to figure it out before you spend time making production art.
  • Panupat
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    Panupat polycounter lvl 15
    ^
    When the pieces are assembled together, how is there no normal-seam between pieces? Is that something game engine not need to worry about?
  • Dihemi
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    Dihemi polycounter lvl 2
    Panupat said:
    ^
    When the pieces are assembled together, how is there no normal-seam between pieces? Is that something game engine not need to worry about?
    Yes. But in the example given by Alex Javor, the cut pieces are in strategic locations (like on the end of the arms, where the shirts begins). So the assembly happens on a geometry level; the pieces aren't a continuous mesh and normals shouldn't be an issue (the hands intersect underneath the sleeves for example. Hats just go on top of the head, etc).

    I think in most cases of a continuous mesh, like a base mesh that's used for multiple characters (think the Elders Scrolls character creation), special deformers are build into the engine that allow the player to adjust specific deformers (think morph targets). Most of the times with additional texture control (adjusting hue for skin colour, adding extra normal/height overlay to adjust wrinkles/age/muscles). Clothes and hair are separate meshes skinned on top of the base mesh and parts of the character that do not require rendering are disabled on a game engine level, thus not having normal seams (or at the least well hidden).
  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter
    Panupat said:
    ^
    When the pieces are assembled together, how is there no normal-seam between pieces? Is that something game engine not need to worry about?

     Just like how destructible objects are made : by making sure that the vertex normals are seamless across both parts (initially by re-averaging across the seam, and then later on when doing more parts by transferring the data from the edge of a previously authored model). So yes, very much something to worry about - a lot :)
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky
    Yeah make sure you are working non-destructively. Don't only save things you think you need. Same all milestones and give descriptive names. Don't waste time trying to figure out the most perfect naming scheme too early.

    So this way when you realize that yes, you will need to place a seam in a highly visible area, you can easily find the old seamless model to bake the normals from. If you aren't familiar, you'll want to look into Maya's "transfer attributes".
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