decal problem

I have a soldier character and used the decal method to put a patch on the sleeve of his uniform. My steps were:
Decal.png with alpha channel
added empty
went to textures, added new, add image, etc
clicked clipcube and usealpha
went to materials, map input, clicked Object, typed Empty
Parented the empty to the model

It renders fine but when I move the character’s arm, the decal does not follow. If I move the entire character from point A to point B, the decal moves with it.

Are decals only for objects such as aircraft, cars, etc and not ment to move with verts during animation? If this is the case what would be the way to apply small items such as patches or name tags to characters? Is UV mapping the only way?

well, you want the empty to move with the mesh that is deformed by the bone, so that’s the disconnect. Tony’s book, Intro to Character Animation, has a “hold bone” solution. The real issue with the decal is that it should bend and fold with the material, and not stay flat. It will look funny up close if the material “moves” underneath the decal. It needs to stretch with the fabric, like an imprint on a balloon. The only way to do that that I can think of is by mergining it with the UV texture.

well, I guess it’s on to UV mapping! Thanks for the reply.