How do I swap clothing and gear on a model?

Is anyone here familiar with making gaming characters and textures, and how to swap different
sets of gear and clothing on a model? How, exactly, is this done?

I know that you can simply swap textures on a model for different clothing, like they do in WoW,
but if I want, say, the green shirt to have white sleaves instead of the green ones- do you make a
seem on the arm of the model and swap only the arm texture? Wont that create a pretty akward look?
How do I make the seem NOT look like a seem, but simply a green shirt with white sleaves? Any way
I texture it, I get the feeling it will come out pretty odd-looking…

Also, I have read somewhere that two 512 textures is faster to load that one 1024 texture. Is this
true? And if so, should I then cut up the whole character model in different parts (sounds awfully
bloody…) to have a small texture file for the arm, another small texture file for the leg,
the hands, feet, chest, head etc, instead of making a texture file with all the body parts
on? I know I will most likely have to do it this way with the face, since the models Im working on
will have a few different sets to chose from, and logically, it should be cheaper to swap a small face
texture than the whole body texture. I assume this is the way its done for hair as well.

I appologize if this thread sounds noobish, I am one, and I make no secret of it. Thanks in advance for
any help you can give me! :wink:

Well for changing the sleeve color, it might be best to have 2 textures, one a green shirt with green sleeves, and one a green shirt with white sleeves.
As for texture loading times, this wont matter. The speed difference will come in the actual drawing of the texture. The bigger the texture, the longer it will take to draw, therefore slowing framerate. The load time of the texture will only come into affect when you first start (loading screen,sleeve changes, ect…), when the actual image data is loaded into memory.

Soo… you would rather advice me to swap the whole shirt texture than have different sets to combine? But if I understand you right, a whole shirt would require a bigger texture than the shirt cut up in different parts, thus leading to slower loading of the textures. What I want is to achieve the fastest way available, and if this means smaller textures, then the better option would be to have smaller pieces of texture. The green and white shirt is just an example, btw - there will most likely be several more combinations with different colors and materials, not just two options. :wink:

Thanks a bunch for the help, this will all lead to me becoming a wiser person! :slight_smile:

Here are some examples of how game character textures are done to help me explain what I am saying.

When a clothing change is done, usually the whole texture is just reloaded. Since there will be a load time anyways, whether you load 2 512 textures or 1 1024 texture it wont matter. In the end framerate will be more important than load times.