David David - 9 months ago 56
iOS Question

3D Modeling for a game; only use one mesh?

I am just starting to create the models for my newest game, which will be my first game in full 3D.

I have read in a couple unreliable places that it is far better to create all 3D objects as just one mesh and apply different materials to the mesh with weight painting, etc, rather than creating multiple meshes and parenting them to the same armature for animations.

According to these sources, this is because of UV mapping.

Is this true?

At the stage that I am at in creating my models, it would be far easier for me to make each individual part (arms, legs, knees) out of individual meshes and link them all to the same armature. If I do this (not merging vertices together, simply leaving each piece separate and overlapping, while linking them to the same armature), 2 questions:

  1. Will the animations work in a Game Engine, moving all pieces and keeping them all attached where they should be?

  2. If so, will it slow my game's performance to a significant (noticeable) degree because the characters are made of 7 or 8 separate meshes?

NOTE: I am, at this point, at least, planning on using the OpenGL game engine to run my game.

Answer Source

What you can do is create your models from separate meshes, UV unwrap each one, texture it, apply it's material and then when you're done and only then, merge the meshes into one and link that one mesh to your armature. I think for blender it's Ctrl-J for joining.

I know this doesn't necessarily answer your question but it's just what I would do.