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Character models for games

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I''m thinking about programming a 3D game with players and NPC''s (bots), which should look relatively realistic (like sof2, mohaa, morrowind characters). What I am wondering is, suppose I make a human model, eg. in 3DS, how do I handle clothing ? They should not look painted-on like in older games, but have proper shapes. eg. an open coat should look like it does in Max Payne. Women should also be able to wear a skirt or dress, or a cape. Of course all clothing should be able to be combined, an open raincoat over a shirt and eg. combat pants with the side pockets underneath, combined with several models of shoes and boots. How is this generally done ? Making total human models of every combination seems too much work and too complicated. How is the clothing modelled and combined with the human body ?

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mostly its done as a combination like in vtm redemption they made a handfull of models for each character along with a handfull of ''skins'' the painted on stuff and then atached the weapons to the models in game. If you dont have a copy of poser 4 download the demo this should give you a good idea of why merging everything in game usualy isn''t an option as it eats up LARGE amounts of memory although you could do it in a way that wouldn''t eat up so much memory but it would be ALOT of work to get good performance out of it (it would be easer and probably faster to model every possible combination ofcourse that would eat up a whole lot of disk space), poser should also give you a good idea of how to go about putting your models together with clothes and stuff just remember that you need to clean up your models for use in games basicly anything that isn''t going to be seen shouldn''t be there taking up space. As for how you actualy go about modeling the clothing and stuff there are plenty of good tutorial sites on the subject check over at http://www.3dlinks.com/
it has a very large list of tutorials for almost all 3d graphics programs

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