I have been trying to figure out a way to get the most out of the choppable hipster skelmesh. Partly because I am lazy, and I don’t want to take the time to create 10 choppable characters. And partly to save on resources. If I can save some memory, maybe I can have more enemies attacking simultaneously. Or do something else that costs a lot of memory. I didn’t think it was possible to make a t-shirt look like anything other than a t-shirt. But between a normal map and some baked in AO. I am liking what you can do with a simple t-shirt.
Then I plugged in a few nodes to the shader so I can control the hair color, shirt color and pants color all through parameters.
The magic really comes from a 256×256 channel texture in the back which includes 3 different masks. I use that with a couple of Linear Interpolate nodes, and it allows full control over the pants, shirt, and hair color all through parameters. Basically I can get a few hundred outfit and hair color variations all on the same skeletal mesh with this. And the only thing I need to load into memory is 4 textures. Between this and a few props attached to sockets. It should be convincing that they are a bunch of different characters. Here is what the shader looks like in the editor:
Here is one variation: