Download

Modular Character design

Hello
Iam Linus and iam a 3D Artist.
The last two years iam specializing in Character Design and costumization. But while iam not a coder and not a expert in technical affairs so often i touch on my personaly boarder in this kind of questions. And now iam on a Point, i must determinate my method to build my Character Library. Iam very professionell in all aspects of Asset design.
But there is a rest of unanswered question ( regarding engine and theres technical aspects.)
who i hope to clear it here.

I have developed a full customizable Charactersystem with, more or less, eight changeable Parts, all rigged and weighted to the new Mannequin, with some Morph Targets for body structure who fits to all peaces of the Character, so, with a simple blueprint Setup as modular Pawn, it costs eight Drawcalls. My tricount, all included (Weapons. armor a.s.o) is approximately 10k. The parts are designed to be completely convertible to all Characters. My Textures are made in Substance Painter and includes all Maps (inclusive
Highpoly bake)

Would you will buy such a Game Character on Asset Store if you enjoy the stiling? The prize would be around twenty Dollar for a complete Charakter(including a complete armor and weapon set) accordingly a fiew Dollars for individual Parts. All Parts fits together, can be stored and be available in your library. The Characters and single parts are Rigged and skinned to the new Epic Guy and can use all UE4 Mannequin Animations.
Here are my specific Questions:
Can you handle such a Character(with Skeletal merge, master pose, modular pawn, UV Offset a.s.o.) so that you can reduce Drawcalls and set it up to your specific Charakter Editor?
What Kind of UV mapping would you prefere? One Map and Material for every peace or in a kind of Atlas mapping with subslots?

Iam just a 3D Artist and just a little familiar with the technical side of this kind of stuff (in Blueprints but absolutely not in Coding)
Ive learned a lot about UE4 in the last months, but now ist time for me to conzentrate on Assetcreation. Im no longer can spread myself to thin.
Ive also learned al lot of modular Pawn Setup a.s.o but its not really my Business. So i ask you for your thaughts and ideas about this theme.
On Artist side, I can setup such a game Character gameready and in any kind of Mapping, texturing, rigging and different Bodyparts as i want, but iam not sure, how do you will… or can handle the different Options in Gameengine side. What effort do you invest to reduce the Draw call of eight or you ignore that Problem right up to a specific point…
I can merge the different Parts of my Meshes in my 3D Software and make it with one single Drawcall without any Problems, but this ist not my purpose.
Please excuse my lousy english.
I hope you have a lot of good suggestions for me.

with kind regards Linus

Well Linus, I would be interested in such a character. An example will do wonders for your post, like a screenshot or two.

Hello
Thanks for your answer. here a first pic of my base naked Man. The character have 6000 tris, all Ue4 animations run and the Blueprint Setup with master pose component is ready. The next days i will make a Outfit (Boots, Weapons, Armor, etc maybe as a Berserk, then i go to substance Painter. All parts like Head Torso a.s.o are changeable with all following Characters. Sorry theres not so much to Show, but im going up from scratch and my Development work ist just finished last Week completely and i want all Parts will be based on this improved System. I go foreward day by day and will post my Steps.

Here you can see how the Morph Targets can effect all my male Characters and their Equipment. There are base,muscle, mass, belly, Slim and size. They can be mixed and added as wanted.

Personal opinion.

3rd person assets is a hard sell and I would expect a rather short shelf life taking into consideration converging products like Daz Studio and the Genesis 3 model set. The initial upfront costs is compatible with the same business model as presented by Epic in that you can make what you need first and then just pay for what you use prior or after release. There are also a fair number of options that you will be competing with, including Daz 3d support for a like type application being targeted towards game developers as well as Make Human and Mixamo which currently have a jump start as to procedural character design applications.

With big name asset providers the need for unique character models is going to be filled using the same procedural approach being used in film production with products tailored to meet the needs for a unique character design for video games where character modeling will become a character dressing task. What is still needed, and will always be the case, is for common dress items that can be modified to fit unique characters from boots, shoes, hair, belts helmets vests combat gloves or any thing you can think of as well provide a workable source file.

Granted turnkey character systems would sell to the plug-n-play crowd but you make a super cool hat, supply the source materials, I would think that would be more attractive to a hard core developer and for sure something I would buy.

I would for sure buy, sounds like you have great start. Cheers!

Thanks for your replies
I have experienced a long time with Make Human or Mixamo and i find out, its not useable for my purposes across different causes.
In other cases there is a immens increase of polygons or shaders from originally and more than ever when added eqipment to it.

I also cant see, how would it be possible to reuse parts of different sources without a expensive use of time and knowledge. Not to mention for the different artstyles and workflows.
If your charaktersystem with modular pawn a.s.o. you have createt is running for you, its just a bit of drag and drop to implement new parts or boddies.
I make my parts as seperate skeletal meshes (sockets in some cases). You can use them in a simple manner. The draw call for every part is the price i will pay for flexibility. A good coder will find a good way to handle this.
Its absolute the low poly plug n play option i will do.
Incidentally, my workflow is from low to highpoly. So i can work with a constant pipeline for matching parts.

Here are some pics of an older prototype (With horrible Proportions:()to see, what i want to do.