Materials and textures for a complete character


I’ve modeled a low poly character for use in the BGE and I’ve added some bones and everything worked quite well, but I have some doubts when it comes to materials and textures.
I modeled the entire character as one object then separated the different parts (head, hair, garment, hands, feet) and added different materials (it’s basically just different colors with no specularity) to each one. I parented all separate objects to the head object.

  1. Is this efficient, in other words, will the BGE waste more time processing it; should I just use a single object for everything?
  2. If I use a single object, should I use a single material too?
  3. If I unwrap the entire object and texture paint every single part as a whole, what kind of material should I use (what color and other settings)?

I think that’s enough for now. Thank you in advance.

for game engine it’s the best to use the lowest number of elements, so my advice(for character) is to use one meshes with all elements combined with one uv map(for this try to overlap as much as you can uv islands that share the same texture or color to optimize the UV space), and one texture for each material channel ( diffuse color, specular intesity, normal mapping, and AO) so you can use one material. for the texture remember that bigger the texture is more memory it will take, for the character and all the thing that should be HQ use 1024 x 1024 or better 2048 x 2048(use only power of 2 texture). if some doubt on the different type of texture(specular, diffuse etc…) take a look at this or this\bCategoryCharacter\b)

Thanks for the info and the links.

So, if I get this right I must use

Is that correct?

Also very important question: in the BGE, do these 4 map types work in Multitexture Shading mode or only in GLSL mode, or does it not matter?

In order to minimize the amount of draw calls, it is besser to have less objects and materials. Even if you have just one mesh with multiple materials it will have to be split into different draw calls.
Having said that, it’s likely not a big deal unless you have many characters/objects onscreen. It’s better to test these things beforehand with dummy meshes than to waste time optimizing something that has no real impact on performance.

Instead of using a specular map you can save some memory (and work) by just adjusting the diffuse map a bit with nodes. The “ambient” term has nothing to do with ambient occlusion, it is a constant light term that is added on top of all light calculations, which creates sort of a dull appearence. If you wish to use an ambient occlusion texture, merge it into the diffuse map (unless you have a good reason not to)

Normal/Specular mapping (and nodes) only work in GLSL mode.

Thank you. If I understand right, in Multitexture mode I can only use “color” maps that get blended with each others, right? Anything else requires GL.

To my knowledge, multitexture will provide the classic fixed-function functionality of DX7 era games, that is multitexturing and (afair eight) hardware lights for per-vertex lighting.
Therefore, no per-pixel effects such as normal or bump-mapping.

Edit: In other words: Yes.

Thanks for everything.