Making game art for custom characters help

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BloomingArtist
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 25

10 Nov 2011, 4:05 pm

Hi, I've been learning to use and have been using Autodesk Maya since I was about 13 years old. I still don't know enough about it to make great art in 3d, but I have had my good and my bad days of making 3d models. I'm getting better at making 3d models as I learn more about ways to make 3d meshes of all kinds. I like to develop ideas for games, and yet I'm better at making the art than making programs. I don't know much about programming, but I do have a family member who can do programming very well. He could help me with the programming. I just need help with some parts of the 3d art for now.

Anyway, I have some questions I need help with when using Maya 2011 for making a customizable humans for a game:

1. I am trying to make game characters that are humans, and I want them to be fully customizable. Should I combine the limbs that I made separate, as well as combine the eyes, so I could animate them together. OR, should I keep the limbs separate?

2. For the custom humans to be customizable in a game, should I texture them first, before exporting them, or leave a default material on each limb?

3. Should I animate each limb separately, then export the limbs separately too? I think that might be harder to do, if I did that, rather than animating the humans as one piece.



Hero
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 6 Feb 2008
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 149

10 Nov 2011, 5:27 pm

1. Depends on the game engine. Some engines would require a single mesh. Others may have more freedom. Also, as a seperate issue to remember: If you don't combine into a single mesh than it may take longer to keep the model accurate and precise. For example, the edges of the mesh will need to match up perfectly or would need to be obscured by something to cover the backface. The bone or animation system you use to allow movement will require that the borders have matching deformation values so that the limbs don't seperate. Also, depending upon how you calculate the mesh, the physics system(assuming you have one) may have trouble with a mesh composed of multiple objects and it is likely that each character will take more memory overall.

2. Again depends on the engine. If the engine merely reads exterior image and object files, you will need to setup the UVs and create each matching texture previously. If you have some kit tools that are present to build or customize within the engine itself, than you would likely do that part after you already imported your character mesh.

3. This is really a continuation of number 1. However, remember, that the engine may not be able to read 3d files with saved animation data. You may need to animate and setup sliders within the engine itself. If the engine requires a single mesh, you may not be able to do this at all.