Before going on... is character customization possible with UE4?

I’ve been working more than one year with my project (tennis game).
At first, I tried to make sure I could do everything I need with UE4.
Now, I’m finishing a gameplay prototype and I know I’m stil years away but I know HOW to do the rest of it, except one thing, that I overlooked:
Character customization.
I will need somehow hundreds of players (for AI), and a custom player creator. I know I can’t do this by hand (authoring hundreds of 3d models)
I read documentation,forums, and still don’t know how to approach this, but I guess it should be like this:

Have a couple of “base” character models, and then some metadata to modify mesh/textures (make it more fat, change color, height)
Like character creators seen in games today, but not something too advanced, just to create variety.

Is this possible ? If not what other options I have ?

PS: Always the same skeleton, and all should use the same animations.

It is possible, and there are assets on marketplace that do that. I think i bought like 3 different characters with customization, they all split mesh into sections then swap one section for another version. And on top of that some material that allows swapping textures/colors.

So either look for tutorials, or buy one of those packs to see how it is done.

I hoped for some feature in UE4 that let you modify “humanoid” skeletal mesh models dynamically (sculpt body etc). Too much I guess :smiley:
Thanks anyway

Hi @paul1489,

Yes. I’ve dedicated my self-learning of UE4 to develop Multi-user Customization Systems. My approach to customization of Characters/Creatures, Weapons, Vehicles, Structures and other Entities are 3 forms (Organic, Mechanic, and Architectural) of 3D Kitbashing. Although, there are several definitions for Kitbashing, my definition is simply assembling 3D Entities from Mesh Parts/Pieces.

Organic Kitbashing
Uses: Characters/Creatures/Plants

I use a ‘Basebody’ Mesh in which Parts/Pieces are attached. Some of these parts are organic and animated too such as tentacles. Animated Organics (skeletal mesh) for Characters/Creatures present a particular problem dealing with proper fitting of clothing attachment, bending of joints, blending seams, proper attachment placement during animation, and performance. The Basebody’s job is to smooth the body out filling in seams and proper animation weighting for joints.

The basebody could be fully skinned to attach clothing and armor too. My approach to clothing is attaching cloth patterns.
Here was the old methodologies of creating a customizable characters:

  • Multiple skeletal mesh components per actor - This method is the most flexible as it allows run time changes to the skeletal mesh. However it can affect performance as each skeletal mesh actor will be an additional draw call.
  • Compositing meshes - This method composites the mesh to generate a single mesh from multiple meshes. This method won’t be described in this gem.

Mechanical Kitbashing
Uses: Robots, Machines, Weapon, Vehicles/Craft
Typically does not use or require a base body as its internal and external parts/pieces are hard-surfaces such as gears, rods, pistons, etc. Here’s some very nice examples of Professional 3D Mechanical Kitbashing.

Architectural Kitbashing
Uses: Buildings, Structures, Furniture

I believe this to be the most popular form of Kitbash. We see plenty of modular Level Construction Kits in the Marketplace.

I understand the idea, but do you refer to some particular marketplace asset? Could I use my own base character base ? (mixamo for example)

On the other hand… the ability to implement typical game character creators, that deform mesh of a base character… is it even techniaclly possible in UE4 ? or is any feature planned for future relases?

Yes to all of your questions. UE4 has MorphTargets, Bone Scaling, Hierarchical Attachment of Mesh components, and more. Several Packages 1,2,3,4,5 on the Marketplace that could help you kick start your customization system. For my own character customization system, I’ve been planning to use DAZ3D Genesis Models for basebody model which has plenty morphtargets, support, and YouTubes for DAZ to UE4 workflow.