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Swapping parts

Posted: August 08, 2009
I guess this is more for future reference when I make the body parts better, but I had an idea for a game that involves having customizable character appearances as a detail in it, since it would take up a lot more space to have a full model for every possible outfit combination, I'm sure there must be a way to have each body part and outfit able to connect and swap to the compatible spot on the skeleton.

What I am wondering though is, do you do this in blender, or is it programmed into the game to allow it, and how would you prepare body parts to be able to be swapped?

(If I didn't explain it clearly enough, imagine how in some robot games where you can swap arms, legs and bodies, that's the kind of swapping I mean)
Posted: August 10, 2009
3d artist gallery Andyba
I totally understand what you tried to explain. I even did a similar thing when I was working for a gaming company. But we did it in 3ds max and we designed the characters so that they have the same connection topology when switching a body part.

What we did is just create all the characters from one character and we tried to leave the part where a swappable body part will connect to another body part intact so that it connects seamlessly.. After this we rigged all the characters to the same skeleton. If I remember correctly I first rigged one character then copied the weight setting and pasted it for other characters so that all the vertices especially in the connection region had the same weights. We actually had to manually teak the weights for every character to achieve this.

Then our programmers imported everything in the game engine and made it work.

I don't know how to do it in blender though. Didn't work with the blender game engine yet. But you can model everything in blender like I wrote above. Then just hide and unhide different body-parts to see if it works with animation.