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Modding Advice For My Custom Head? Help

Has anyone ever did any custom heads before?
I don't know what I am doing wrong with this test version:

My thinking is I am not doing the stitching right.
What I do is select the 6 polygons in the ASP neck stitch tool.
Is that enough?
Is there a button to finalize the neck stitch?
Or is having the 6 polygons 'turn red' enough for the asp exporter to make it a head?
Also I did add 178 faces to the head asp tool.
What the neck does in the game is squeeze together.
Was it alright of me to add those bottom 6 polygons to the neck weights?

On a side note, if heads and helmets are exchangeable,
could someone make a gas that references a head instead of a helmet and
have the head load into the game 'as a helmet' with better defense rating?

Okay. I 'Fixed' it.
According to ghastly head tutorial,
the 6 polygons assigned to the neck stitch have to follow around the neck in an order.
But opening the .gmax file and making adjustments to it made it worse for some reason.
Seems the .gmax file got corrupted somehow.
The new exported head wouldn't even show up in the game.
The whole head came down to the ground in a single polygon.
The solution was to start all over and it worked properly this time. Smile
Only, now a new problem has emerged: Sad

Why are the faces so stiff?
The polygons just above the lowest 6 neck polygons got a weight of 1power from the head bone
and the neck bone.
Was that a no no?
Or is there a smoothing setting I don't know about?
Those are my guesses.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, there is a smoothing option in gMAX. It's probably off by default for new polys. I don't remember how you make edges an exception to that, but it can be done. In olden days, a sharp edge was made by duplicating the vertices along it, and not joining the dup's together, so the smoothing didn't cross the edge. That's not needed any more, but DS1 may have been at the cusp of that change.

Weighting and vertices are important wherever you want a body part to bend. Since the neck does not (just twists) you can have the verts at the top weighted to the head bone, and the ones at the bottom get left as is, so they don't separate from the corresponding ones they get stitched to, when thete's movement. I don't remember if that's all neck, or half neck, half head. That's one reason my tutorial retains those verts (with their weights) from the vanilla object.

Helmets replace heads, and can have some of their polygons mapped to the skin texture, so that the character's face does't change when they put on the helmet. There's support in gmax for selecting those. Hairstyles are also helmets, in the sense of how the game engine handles the mesh. The difference is that the hair is a default to revert to when helmets are removed, and they have to be declared as hair in various general gas files, including which styles are for which characters (race, gender) as these get used during character generation. Helmets have those details in their own files, as you only need that info when the specific helmet is in use.

Thank you very much for the reply and the helpful tutorials. I figured out one setting that I wasn't sure would go with the export, but did:

And this solved mt first test head earlier.

And from there I went on to make my first helmet which in this case does not require the player skin texture...

The last does not have any neck stitch but still works as a helmet.

And the end results (smoothing) wouldn't show up in game until I restart for some reason.
I think it is Windows7 'Previous Versions' or shadow copy or prefetch or who knows,
but it needs to be restarted to see the results. Which can be aggravating if you don't know this.

I'm so happy and its thanks to you and xaa!