This seems like making characters in game engines 101, but struggling here.
I am trying to setup a character that has multiple outfits. I am trying to share a skeleton between multiple skeletal meshes. Each skeletal mesh is setup to use the same skeleton. However each skeletal mesh has some amount of unique meshes parented under the bones. If a mesh is bound to only one joint, I am accustomed to parenting it under a bone to save on the calculation of skin weights and increase performance. So because each skeletal mesh has meshes parented under bones this is adding to the base skeleton that all skeletal meshes share.
This has multiple issues.
- It adds extra bones to the skeleton that appear to only be used on certain skeletal meshes and is visual bloat in the skeleton.
- It also means each time I change a skeletal mesh and reimport all animations need to be updated and checked out.
The skeletal Meshes have the import setting, “import meshes into bone hierarchy”. Which when on does what is described above. When turned off, it still create the bones in the skeleton but meshes aren’t imported.
Ideally I would like to be able to parent meshes under bones in Maya. Then when importing the skeletal mesh in unreal, it doesn’t add a bone to the skeleton, and it still has the mesh properly parented under the bone.
Is there a way to have meshes parented under bones by importing a skeletal mesh without adding bloat to the shared skeleton or am I forced to skin meshes to bones and eat the cost of skin weights.
I am working in Unreal 4.22 and exporting FBX from Maya 2019 using FBX 2018.