My team and I are going to be implementing a character editor feature in our upcoming mobile game, but we are stuck in figuring out the best way to tackle the exporting of our art assets into UE4 to best suit this feature, as well as how to tackle the animations in relation to different clothing combinations that the player can choose for their character.
We currently have modelled out two base models, male and female, that won’t change at all, other than skin texture (or paramaterized material color) for different skin types. Each base model currently has a few different wearable items and hairstyles. We have our models wearing these items in the standard t-pose.
We are wanting to change hair style, hats (front, back, sideways), top clothing (t-shirt, long sleeve, hoodie), bottom clothing (a few different pant and short styles), and footwear (shoes, slippers, boots). We are also going to support avatar items, such as wristwatches, necklaces, earrings, waist items, and backpacks. We know the waist and wrist items can be attached to the character via sockets and won’t need to be deformed or animated when the character moves their arms and legs, but for the different styles and types of clothing and all the movements that the character will have, we don’t have a clue how we should move forward with it.
We are just looking for pointers and best practices based on these requirements, on how we should set up our model exports and animations to be seamless across all clothing types. For instance, the shoes will need to crease along the toes if crouched. We can’t use sockets for this cause hypothetically the shoe will just poke downwards into the floor. Does the clothing need to be included in the animated base models as well? If not, will each individual piece of clothing need to be animated and exported by itself? or is there a way we can set up an endless amount of wearable clothing models that can just conform to our base models and their animations/poses? What are the different art workflows for this and what’s the suggested method for implementation?
We appreciate any and all suggestions/assistance, and we thank you in advance for your time.