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Paradical

General Modeling Question

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I'm working in Maya, but my question doesn't apply to a specific software package. I'm modeling an low-poly aircraft, and I was wondering whether or not it is better to combine two intersecting objects into one mesh, or leave them as two separate, but intersecting objects. The latter would mean less polygons, but I was unsure as to whether or not it would be less efficient for a game engine to work with in general. I'm asking because I'm working on the tail of the aircraft where a vertical fin intersects with a horizontal fin. The two objects don't get animate seperately (as flaps would), and it is a hard surface, so I'm not entirely sure what the more efficient choice is. Thanks for any help.

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From what experience I have with game engines (not a lot), I would say that it will depend on what engine you use. One I have used will not even allow you to export seperate objects into a single game-ready model -- it needs to be one complete seamless mesh in order to work. Others are more flexible. I generally prefer to keep my models as one clean mesh, but people I work with often use intersecting pieces. It just makes it easier to animate if needed and keeps management of textures easier because you will then have only a single uv texture file for the entire thing. Also, it makes it a lot easier in my package, Blender, to make sure all the normals are facing the right direction. Maybe it's just me -- I'm sure someone else will have other workflows.

Scott

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yeah, traditionally its always been advised to keep objects as one single solid mesh. But as Scotths said, people do things different ways, and it really does depend on the engine. sam fisher in splinter cell for example is built out of multiple objects, his hands are seperate, making it simple to switch weapons etc... it really does depend on what engine you are using and how it deals with the intersections.

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I'm working on a low-poly aircraft and it's up to your engine on how it's used. If you've got ailerons and rudders to move about, you can piece it together into the separate parts and rotate the ailerons and rudders with their own rotation matrices(I'm more familiar with OpenGL)
For organic bodies, keyframe animation is usually done with interpolation.

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