Skin under clothes (hiding mesh not shown)

I have modelled a character with no clothes on to get the basic shape. I am going to put clothes on and had a thought. To save on performance and have a clean model and process, of course when clothes are on, you can’t see the skin, so there is no point to have meshes under meshes if the player isn’t going to see them. Saves performance and unwanted mesh being there that shouldn’t be. I already back cull my textures so can’t see the flip side of a mesh.

So question to experts who have game characters:

  1. do you hide the skin when clothes are on?
  2. do you create 2 models. One naked, then duplicate model and create the character with clothes on, removing the skin.

Assuming it’s number 1 and if so, do you do this by:

  1. creating vert groups and hiding for example upper body when shirt is on.

  2. separating parts of model and parenting them, example seperating the head from body then parenting body to head and the body is then hiding when clothes are on?

It just doesn’t make sense to me to have meshes showing when there is an overlay, something on top for a time.

Does anyone know about overlaying meshes. So whilst clothes mesh is on, it hides the mesh under or different model?

Is this for a game model?
Caus some games might use either one


Yes this is a game model. I have created a main character. I am about to model on the clothes and of course, there is no point waisting performance or having the under mesh if it isn’t seen when clothes are on, so wondering if creaters hide the under mesh when not on show in a game engine, or do they model the clothes on, duplicate the model and then delete the under mesh, so when a player changes clothes, it is basically another model without them knowing, or is it the same model with “hidden” meshes each time.

I don’t think there’s one right answer, I’ve seen both on game models depending on the game.

One example that comes to mind is Fire Emblem: Three Houses, where outfits are determined by class, RPG style, and so each character model is just a head, the hair, hands, a skin tone parameter, and a height parameter. The rest of the body is provided by the outfit, and colored/scaled using the parameters from the character. There’s no body in actuality, just different clothes that look like a body.

I’m personally not a fan of this method in this case- while it was probably faster to do, it ends up creating a lot of inconsistencies. You can immediately notice that all the women in the game have variable breast size that changes with their outfit/class- I guess they forgot to add a parameter for that, and so there’s just a set size per outfit, but it looks really weird. That might seem crass but it’s glaring and weird enough that’s it’s impossible not to notice.

On the other hand, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a full base mesh for the player character and a wide variety of outfits that can go on top. The base mesh is a full body and never gets hidden- clothes either cover X part of the body or they don’t, but both exist in the scene. I think you could get away with having no base mesh and just using clothes like above here, and I think it would
work a lot better because there’s just one character, so you wouldn’t have to worry about the aforementioned inconsistencies.

At the end of the day, most modern game engines can handle either, so it’s up to what you prefer and what makes sense for you :slight_smile:

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It actually depends on the situation…a very heavy mesh and subdivisions I prefer to hide…
I will use a Mask Modifier on the vertex groups I have selected to remove those parts from being calculated in render or animation…


Hi @joseph Thank you for your detailed answer and I agree that there are of course multiple answers to this with different game companies. I want to be cleaner with it all and not show what isn’t needed, however Zelda Breath of wild works so well. Haha you are so right with models just having a head/hair/feet/hands and then the body part changes with different clothes, however some modellers forget certain areas of the body that need to stay the same shap :wink: haha!

@RSEhlers Never knew or used the Mask Mod!!! I will check this out!

Thanks both!