Options For Chainmail

Recently I have been racking my brain trying to come up with ways to make chainmail. I was hoping that perhaps somebody would have some suggestions or better ways to produce the stuff than what I have come up with.

First off, I am attempting to get something that looks detailed and “good” ( I use that term lightly as it gets thrown around a lot), from both close-up, medium distances, and far away.

My first thought was modelling it. It would appear more realistic, but it would also produce a heavier vertex load, granted the might be a way to use dupliframes and/or dupliverts to do it slightly easier (as in the chain model presented in the blender docs). However this seemed slightly impractical.

My Next thought was texturing (UV Mapping), and after trying that it seemed to produce decent results from distance, but not so decent results from up close, as might would be expected from UV Mapping. I also attempted procedural texturing using alpha maps, but once again it produced results that might not be the best.

All of the above methods seem to have their own pros and cons. So any suggestions?

if only a bunch of duplicated transparent [alpha testing…] planes were feasable

[the render times would be very bad because of lots of overdraw, and positioning is just as bad as anything else]

but you should understand that you will want to have multiple approaches, the vertex load on anything that looks reasonable up close is way too high for moderate distances [or further]