creating customisable characters

i want to create the character somewhat in line with what you find in Skyrim or most MMOs where the clothing/armour can be swapped out.

The issue I’m having is that im unsure of how to structure the model. Do i create a base mesh of the whole characters body then add clothing over the top (obscuring areas of the mesh) or do i model the head, arms, hands, torso, legs, feet etc as separate objects then add them together in UE4 so that when, for example, the character is wearing a shirt the torso of the character model is invisible.

I’m less looking for the method more the end result.

If anyone could point me in the direction of a good tutorial on the subject of professional, modular character design i would greatly appreciate it.

This is for a multiplayer game where there can be a lot of characters on screen at the same time so optimization is important.

I’m a 3ds max and Zbrush based artist if that helps (or hinders)

Thanks, i appreciate the help.

Here he shows one way how you can do it in the UE4 (base mesh + add armor on top) -> :slight_smile:

I understand that that is A way of doing it but is it the best practice? i mean;

where as here he basically covers up the arm/leg mesh with the glove/boot. would it not be better/more optimized to have the leg as a separate entity that is completely replaced when the new piece is equipped? so as not to waste the calculations on something that the player is never going to see.

Sorry if I’m not explaining myself very well.