Hey all. moving this from tech talk to here as it's changed a bit now i've started woprking back on it properly.
Ok, for the new aim i intend to have a mech character with its two arms able to transform between 3 sets of weaponry:
A hand with some kind of palm attatchment (similar to ironman).
A large cannon.
A large rotating gun with 4 barrels.
For this i'm going to need to look into creating a custom rig as i was going to do with the previous project idea, however it will also need to use some kind of additional parts for the extra sections to animate when needed.
I havn't attempted something like this before, so i have two different ways i think i could tackle this:
Idea 1: have the 3 states of the arm (as low poly as possible) all present on the arm but hidden depending on which is being used, and when activated they simply animat out and swap with the currently active state.
Pros: no model swapping, as it's only one model.
cons: eats up resources as there are alot of hidden objects almost all the time.
requires multiple animations for one object: each gun firing, hands moving, plus each of the transformation animations.
Idea 2: have a seperate arm model for each state that has no custom animations EXCEPT for animations when the gun fires. have a 4th arm which has all three states at the same time, and which animates/cycles between the 3 states during the cycle animation. The way this would work is have the first state of the weapon on the character first, for example the hand state. The player switches to the cannon, the hand state is seemlessly replaced by the 3 in one model which then animates to the cannon. once the animation is complete, this model then seemlessly changes to the cannon only model and play continues.
Pros: less resources used most of the time with only the one gun present any one time when not transforming (no idden objects).
multiple arm models, meaning no need to share alot of animations on the same model (cannon only needs cannon firing + intergration with rest of body, 3in1 arm only needs the transform animation)
cons: will need to create a total of 9 arms. 1 arm for each weapon selection (hand, cannon, rotating gun) and then 1 3in1 arm for each transformation :
Hand -> Cannon
Hand -> Rotating gun
Cannon -> Hand
Cannon -> Rotating gun
Rotating gun -> Hand
Rotating gun -> Cannon
For starters i have my high poly mech character now complete with all three arm states.
I'll be needing some help from fellow modellers and scripters (kind of a novice at scripting) for unreal in order to get this working in game.
The coding idea offered by SpeCter still has uses i think in this new project so i'll be trying to build on that where i can.
Also, does anyone know where i can get any information on the transformers models in the transformer movie games? i'm pretty sure they use some kind of alternate model swap when transforming between the robot model and the car/vehicle model. Just can't seem to find anything on it.