Hello everyone, coming to you with another lengthy blog post that requires user/community feedback! Recently, I've been thinking about how to better optimize and increase workflow speed. Immediately what came to my mind was HDT-SMP and how I offer non-HDT versions for most of my mods. I want to change that depending on community outlook. For example, if one of my mods has a skirt, I will make one version that's static (uses only the skeleton's bones) and another version that has SMP (uses external custom bones that I create in 3DS Max). Users can choose using Bodyslide if they want the static version or the HDT-SMP version.
Here's the problem though:
I want the quality of my outfits to be good. I dislike the idea of static outfits ever since I properly learned HDT-SMP and optimized the workflow heavily with the help of Rektoes. Static outfits do NOT look good in many cases look at the videos below of what I mean:
Do you see the difference? Difference is huge. HDT-SMP gives outfits LIFE.
When it comes to static outfits, I try my best to make it look good. This means that almost always, I have to manually weight paint each area with the best bone based on location and movement behavior that I need to estimate through experience and real life.
And you know the crazy part?
Manually weight painting, rebuilding outfits, testing it in-game and repeating until it's perfect is taking me MORE time than doing HDT-SMP and I was doing this for CBBE, 3BAv2, and BHUNP. Bones for HDT-SMP are universal for any body (excluding anything with a parent bone to the Breast01)
Now, the big question: Should I continue to support static versions of outfits?
Let's break down the pros and cons.
It's faster to make for me
It makes an outfit more dynamic and alive
Removing static versions will save file space (insignificant)
Outfits that have HDT-SMP will now have a hard requirement for the FSMP mod
HDT-SMP may have possible performance issues*. The game will have to calculate movement and collision based on polygons and # of dynamic bones. For users with weak systems, this may cause FPS loss. For users that care about maintaining perfect 60fps at all times, this may be an issue.
*NOTE: With the existence of Faster SMP, many of these issues should be mitigated. Performance issues with SMP is also fault of the mod author. If an author adds 420 bones to an outfit that has 69 million poly, then you'll have performance issues. In most cases, I'm very conscience about working with as few bones as possible and making sure that the outfit I'm working with is at a reasonable poly count.
Please vote carefully and feel free to discuss and give me your opinion on the matter. Thanks!