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Simpler way to separate the head from body from a skeletal mesh

Hi, first of all, i am a totally noob about modeling, and game art in general, i am learing about this, but this is what i need to do now for my project:
I have one skeletal mesh character already rigged. I need show/hide the head in game, but when hide, the head must cast a shadow (a classic True FPS).
So the simpler way i think is to separate the head mesh from the body. The problem is, can i do that without mess the UVs, skeleton rig, etc?
Where can i find some information about how to do this properly?
If someone know a better way to do this, for example through materials and masking, please let me know :slight_smile:

Oh, I could use Blender or MODO, I have the trial version of this one but i think i could buy it (the little that i could see was very nice)
thanks and im sorry for my English.

Its definitely something you need to do in what ever model editing program you want to use.

  • Separate the polys used for the head.
  • Export two different meshes.

There really isn’t any simpler way then that.
Don’t ask me how - been too long since I mucked around in Blender :frowning:

Thanks Kris for your answer, yes, i know i will end up dividing the mesh. Just want to learn a properly way to do it :slight_smile:
Especially to try to not redo UV, rig etc if it is possible. (I’m not the skilled artist)

Removing the head from a UV mapped model will just remove those UV’s in Blender the rest will stay exactly the same. In fact everything else will stay the same (rigging etc.). But, why would you remove his head? Just curious.

Making the head a separate mesh from the rest of the mesh is handy when using a true first person viewpoint.
You can set the head mesh to be invisible in the first person view, but still cast a shadow.

You shouldn’t be able to see the head from inside anyway if the polygons are one sided. I use the Mannequin for prototyping and have never removed the head. You could just remove the front and still get the shadow anyway.

It is mesh dependent.
With a more detailed head, different hair styles and/or attachments, things will start clipping the character and obscuring the players view.
Keeping the head separate isn’t the only way to go about it - its just one of the simplest that still allows for a fully detailed head etc.

Couldn’t you also have a separate model for each? Rather than splitting the head and creating double the draw calls for the character, have a model that doesn’t have the head, and switch out during the camera movement. Could be tricky to do correctly, but would be easier, wouldn’t it? After all, in that view, what you would normally see is the hands and any objects. So you can create a much smaller mesh with just those objects.

But, you could also make the head see through, by switching between two materials as well, though this would also increase load.

Again, why are you using double sided polygons? Meshes can be open in UE4 (it’s awesome because you can save a few polys that way). You can’t see the underside of a hair mesh unless it’s not shaped to fit the head properly or it’s dynamic, in which case it will bop in an out of view constantly anyway. So you can make a ‘shell’ that is open on the camera side and therefore invisible to the camera. Also, just to point out an odd fact, how many video game characters have long hair hanging loose vs. How many have ponytails? LOL I think most have ponytails or some other justification for NOT having hair in front of their face. Probably for this very reason.

You could do, though shadows for the head would be missing.
Otherwise, it’d be fine.

I don’t know - I didn’t make them :slight_smile:
I can tell you that none of the meshes I’ve used for a true first person viewpoint have ever had double sided polys that I know of.
But since they’re not being specifically made with the viewpoint in mind, the issues come from the camera being so close to them.
Or something.

Hey guys I guess this is the right place where to ask, so I’ll take it a step further: what if i wanted to replace the UE Mannequin’s head with a human head of my own making? I tried to scale the mannequin’s head to zero in Persona and then attach my other head as a socket, but when i get in the world and hit play the mannequin never changed (yes, i saved the files in persona)…