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File: mail 1.png (628 KB, 960x540)
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How the hell do you model chainmail?

Obviously it needs to be done as a texture, but even putting the links together is proving to be a headache. Using anything like historical link proportions it seem really hard to get a nice tight arrangement.

Then there's the question of getting it all to fit together as a texture. Proper mail clumps and stretches in different places, so you need several different textures for different densities. To make things worse, it seems that a lot of mail was made with varying grades of ring in different parts of the armour; the rings on the limbs would get gradually smaller and thinner. So there could be dozens of different patterns on a single hauberk.

The whole thing is a huge fucking headache. Is there some simple solution that I'm missing or is it just a case of having to do the work?
What's the purpose? Is this for a character? How realistic is this project? Is this on the quality of world of Warcraft (Aka just texture the skin where you want mail) or is this super realistic? If it's realistic have fun making rings and putting them inside each other.
>have fun making rings and putting them inside each other
all you would have to do is make a few loops, use an array to create the rest, then deform the whole thing along a curve
just model the chainmail as a pattern, 'sew' it on your model then simulate it like you would any clothing, just set the weight of the material accordingly.
there's really nothing to it.
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>What's the purpose?

Close up still-image, realistic.


I get the theory. But in practise, it isn't so simple. Even getting two rings to make a pattern without some elements intersecting is tricky. The only way I can seem to make it work is to use very thin rings in a loose patterns or put one row an absurd angle. Looking at pictures of real mail on the net, it seems to lay a lot flatter and tighter than my model does.

Plus, it's going to look really shitty at the transition point between ring sizes if I can't figure out how to get that right. Presumably there is a seam where a large number of smaller rings hooks into a smaller number of large ones, but I can't find any illustrations of how it works and there really isn't enough 'wiggle room' in my model to jam any more rings in.
Add physics

You model one link (and maybe a couple variations) and you use arrays (or your software's equivalent) to duplicate them procedurally (and randomly distribute the variations, and maybe randomize other features to break up the uniformity), and then you make that sheet conform to a curve, or a path, or some kind of control cage

then you add cloth physics and animate / deform / blend shape the cage

In terms of modeling, there's not that much to do, it's mostly making the program do all the work for you in an intelligent way (which is a lot of work on your end but a different kind of work)

If you want to do something for a video game, the goal is to bake high detail onto a low detail object, and there are a lot of ways to do that.

If you're new to 3D, I'd look up a tutorial on making a tank tread via modifiers, and then I'd look up a tutorial on cloth physics

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