Modular Character?

Hello Unreal community. I have a quick question on what a modular character is good for, or whether or not it is preferred. I understand why modular content is a good thing in regards to level design, but why a character? To be more specific, I’m about to start a character creation system and I began making a modular character using this tutorial Now, I don’t have 3DS Max, and there is only one, maybe two, tutorials on how to this or something similar in Blender 3D, but my goals are to 1. Import Daz3D model and join morph shapes in Blender; I’ve done that. 2. Rig the character model with IK constraints and begin making animations; I’m working on that today. 3. Import rigged character, associated assets, and animations into UE4, so that I can being perfecting my character creation system. That is when I looked back at goal one and thought, “…****.” I didn’t intend on making the modular character at first, so I just joined together some [whole] mesh shapes, which is what I planned on using to lay the systems foundation.

I don’t need an elaborate character creator, at least not right now… I have an entire game to build and I’m only one person, which is why I’m so thankful for ingenious products like UE4 and Daz3D… Mixamo is okay, but if I can be honest, the generated skeletons are too basic, they don’t re-target well, and I didn’t see an option to import my own armature to have animated; plus, only the animations where I don’t need to enable root motion for have been of any use to me so far anyway. Hence, I decided to just make my own animations. However, I digress. For my character system, do I need to make a modular character or would it all be the same, seeing as though I’d only be making the body and head? I mean, I might add a few emotes, but only a selected few that a player without a mic can communicate with (affirmative, negative, not sure, that sort thing)… the expressions would be real subtle.

Well like a lot of UE4 development team we started from scratch with the Unreal 4 engine as to the need to figure out all the nuts and bolts in critical areas like character model development which is not a fit to finish design as first presented so from the start we decided that a new approach was required from what were use to doing as to our use of the idtech3 engine for our project.

Our first requirement was to settle on a foundation that both coders as well as content creators could work with that keeps the work load low but by process as to what it takes to get assets into the pipeline the idea of component development became favored over individuals taking on the full scope and responsibility of managing a part of the project in hand from start to finish.

Like you we chose to go with the Genesis 3 frame work as part of our modular character design path way as the pipeline does not require an individual to manage the requirements but rather anyone on the team can become involved with the process and since the frame work is locked to an off the shelf solution so to get kitted up so to speak only needs to download Daz Studio along with the G3 products available from Daz3d and only has to focus on what it takes to fit the frame work and in turn the asset will work with our pipeline.

Overall a modular approach works very well with Unreal4 that we could make other games using the same foundation design and starting with a modular character design pathway future proofs the pipeline that we don’t have to add considerations today based on the ideas that we want to attempt a few years down the road.

As an opinion modular is the only way to go as to what I would consider next gen development for next gen games as through progression small teams could develop games that are hallmarks of the top AAA titles by taking advantage of on going improvements in technology.

Very informative reply; I appreciate that. I actually just finished my character creation system today, or most of it anyway. I was just about to remake the models here in a moment. Thank you for replying FrankieV, I will be taking your words into consideration as I work on the base models and put on the finishing touches.