Practical Female Modernish/Future Military/Sci-Fi Armor For G8F

I gotta say, finding practical female armor is almost impossible, esp when it comes to hard scifi/future military.

With males, there's options, such as Rogue Soldier and Polish's outstanding Tactical Assault set... but for females? Good luck.

Most female "Armor" is tends towards highly stylized boob-plate at best. If not, it will normally look like a latex fetish suit, include "extras" such as clevage windows, and that's if it doesn't just throw its arms up in the air and turn into basically clunky boots, heavy gauntlets, and a bikini.

We really need a couple good, solid options.

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Comments

  • PsyckosamaPsyckosama Posts: 43

    All dress uniforms and the like, and half of them are male.

    Lets go down the line.

    1) Total Boob-plate with no abdominal protection.

    2) Closest thing to practical, realitistic armor for the entire lot. Though its blatantly security armor, not military.

    3) Very mass effect. Good if you're going for stylized. Doesn't work if you're trying to do anything even remotely "hard" scifi.

    4) Honestly, looks more like fantasy leather than actual scifi armor. Which isn't ba at all, but is not military.

    5) That's a cat-suit with metal bits.

    6) Boob Window, and it has an open back.

  • There is no HALO armor or Starcraft 2 Infantery armors. Wish there was but there isn't yet. However in a field, that would be impractical since it provides very little mobility. Good luck with your searching.

     

     

  • PsyckosamaPsyckosama Posts: 43

    There is no HALO armor or Starcraft 2 Infantery armors. Wish there was but there isn't yet. However in a field, that would be impractical since it provides very little mobility. Good luck with your searching.

     

     

    There is Striper-Halo. :p

    And generally what I think we need is more colonial marines. Polish's tactical assault would have been perfect if he'd actually given the female model actual armor.

    I've tried fitting the male to female bodies. It never looks quite right but its the best we have.

  • The Tactical Assault outfit was actually done by myself and I have been at work on building a new foundation for many new tactical products, mainly in making it more optimized and user friendly. I even want to do an exoskeleton suit.

    As far as lacking content... I believe most clothing artists uses software like marvelous designer (and other clothing generators) to create clothes which I could see why bulky armor sets have not hit the store much. I build all my products from scratch inside zbrush so anything is possible for me to create but in the end you you run into one of the main problems...

    Unless there is a way to force a clothing item to restrict movement in the joints, bulky armor looks gross when the daz figure is bent in extreme ways which becomes a problem in getting a product pushed through quality control. On top of that, when you slap some armor on to the breast area, it has to look good when 90% of its users are going to double the size of them. Rather you plan to or not, it still has to look good when being used in those ways and the artist themself must be happy with the product they're pushing forward as well. I think that's why most armored outfits you find are either very organic and tight fitting or very bulky and treated as an attachment.

    I have had a product in pass for a few weeks now and I think it can be improved further so I will most likely be pulling it before making it to the store. It has had a few problems with JCM's but I'm quickly gaining experience on what works and looks good and what doesn't.

    I very much encourage other artists to build similiar products as the library is lacking but I don't blame them as it becomes a real headache. Hard surfaces + morphs = hell.
    I am working hard at developing a new outfit like this and hopefully you'll see something new from me that will fit what you're looking for.

     

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 906

    Herschel Hoffmeyer's excellent Tactical Assault set has different tops for male and female -- male gets a sturdy ballistic vest, female gets a cleavage-emphasizing corset. I know that this isn't what HH wanted, but was forced on him by the limitations of the technology.

    However, I've found that if you apply the Breasts Gone morph to female figures, you can use the male armor on female figures with minimal distortion. (Female vets who've had to wear body armor tell me that 'Breasts Gone' is pretty much what happens when you try to squeeze a female body into armor designed primarily for males, so this isn't even unrealistic).

    Interstellar Patrol for Genesis 3 Females isn't bad (example image), as is Soldier 2.0 for Genesis 3 Females (example image). I've also had decent results with Zollacce (oddly, it's a single-piece outfit, but you can use Cutout Opacity to hide the helmet if you want to reveal the face or use a different helmet) and Exo Suit for Genesis 3 Females (where by 'decent results' I mean that the female figure doesn't look like they just got off work at the Pussycat Lounge).

  • tkdroberttkdrobert Posts: 1,974

    The Tactical Assault outfit was actually done by myself and I have been at work on building a new foundation for many new tactical products, mainly in making it more optimized and user friendly. I even want to do an exoskeleton suit.

    As far as lacking content... I believe most clothing artists uses software like marvelous designer (and other clothing generators) to create clothes which I could see why bulky armor sets have not hit the store much. I build all my products from scratch inside zbrush so anything is possible for me to create but in the end you you run into one of the main problems...

    Unless there is a way to force a clothing item to restrict movement in the joints, bulky armor looks gross when the daz figure is bent in extreme ways which becomes a problem in getting a product pushed through quality control. On top of that, when you slap some armor on to the breast area, it has to look good when 90% of its users are going to double the size of them. Rather you plan to or not, it still has to look good when being used in those ways and the artist themself must be happy with the product they're pushing forward as well. I think that's why most armored outfits you find are either very organic and tight fitting or very bulky and treated as an attachment.

    I have had a product in pass for a few weeks now and I think it can be improved further so I will most likely be pulling it before making it to the store. It has had a few problems with JCM's but I'm quickly gaining experience on what works and looks good and what doesn't.

    I very much encourage other artists to build similiar products as the library is lacking but I don't blame them as it becomes a real headache. Hard surfaces + morphs = hell.
    I am working hard at developing a new outfit like this and hopefully you'll see something new from me that will fit what you're looking for.

     

    I like this armor.

  • PsyckosamaPsyckosama Posts: 43

    The Tactical Assault outfit was actually done by myself and I have been at work on building a new foundation for many new tactical products, mainly in making it more optimized and user friendly. I even want to do an exoskeleton suit.

    As far as lacking content... I believe most clothing artists uses software like marvelous designer (and other clothing generators) to create clothes which I could see why bulky armor sets have not hit the store much. I build all my products from scratch inside zbrush so anything is possible for me to create but in the end you you run into one of the main problems...

    Unless there is a way to force a clothing item to restrict movement in the joints, bulky armor looks gross when the daz figure is bent in extreme ways which becomes a problem in getting a product pushed through quality control. On top of that, when you slap some armor on to the breast area, it has to look good when 90% of its users are going to double the size of them. Rather you plan to or not, it still has to look good when being used in those ways and the artist themself must be happy with the product they're pushing forward as well. I think that's why most armored outfits you find are either very organic and tight fitting or very bulky and treated as an attachment.

    I have had a product in pass for a few weeks now and I think it can be improved further so I will most likely be pulling it before making it to the store. It has had a few problems with JCM's but I'm quickly gaining experience on what works and looks good and what doesn't.

    I very much encourage other artists to build similiar products as the library is lacking but I don't blame them as it becomes a real headache. Hard surfaces + morphs = hell.
    I am working hard at developing a new outfit like this and hopefully you'll see something new from me that will fit what you're looking for.

     

    My apologies for the mix up, and I gotta say, Tactical assault is by far my favorate military option around. It's utterly amazing, and I'd suggest it to anyone.

    This one is also looking incredible.

    As how to handle the boob deformation issue, I do have a suggestion. How about a bound chest preset that largely flattens the chest and puts it under a slightly feminine breastplate designed in a way to look like the armor they sell that is tailored for females? Would help make it clear "huge chest and body armor, not the best or most natural mix".

    The idea of a tactical exo makes me salivate.I will not lie.

  • rrwardrrward Posts: 12

    Even as a unrepentant pinup artist I'd like to see some practical combat suits. I do like Herschel Hoffmeyer's Tacticle Suit, but I'd like the option to have upper torso armor as well. I also like the new suit he's posted here and hope there's a female version as well.

  • AscaniaAscania Posts: 561
    tkdrobert said:

    I like this armor.

    I don't. But apparently in the future the liver doesn't need protection.

  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 6,924

    Personally I am still waiting for more traditional military clothing, less scifi looking. I do like the scifi stuff, but I have quite a bit of it already and very little modern, realistic military items. I got tired of waiting awhile back and made some of the items I want and bought the other items I want to use in DS elsewhere and if I can ever learn rigging, then I will have what I need

    bulletproof-acu.jpg
    800 x 800 - 89K
    bulletproof-helmet.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 158K
    bulletproof-vest.jpg
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  • Herschel HoffmeyerHerschel Hoffmeyer Posts: 187
    edited March 15
    Ascania said:

    I don't. But apparently in the future the liver doesn't need protection.

    Serving 8 years as an Infantryman in the US Army I can assure you that the armor design above has more protection than today's soldier. The only part on a modern uniform that is well protected is the plate inserted into the vest, which highlighted in red on the picture below. The areas in blue (yes even the helmet) are not designed to stop bullets, only some shrapnel and that is not guarenteed. There are rare cases where the helmet has stopped a bullet but that person was extremely lucky (people's skulls have stopped bullets before so rare stuff like that happens but doesn't make it bullet proof).



    I can offer more 'bullet-proof' areas on the outfit but different suits are used for different scenarios. A cop walks around with a vest to stop 9mm rounds, but not armor-piercing rounds that would come from an Ak-47. EOD soldiers walk around like a tank with a suit designed to absorb an impact from a small IED. The tactical suit above is designed for general use (future cops, guards, security personel, etc) and therefore only uses minimal armor. I am reworking it though to add more armor all around without adding a lot more bulk.

    Post edited by Herschel Hoffmeyer on
  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 6,924
    Ascania said:

    I don't. But apparently in the future the liver doesn't need protection.

    Serving 8 years as an Infantryman in the US Army I can assure you that the armor design above has more protection than today's soldier. The only part on a modern uniform that is well protected is the plate inserted into the vest, which highlighted in red on the picture below. The areas in blue (yes even the helmet) are not designed to stop bullets, only some shrapnel and that is not guarenteed. There are rare cases where the helmet has stopped a bullet but that person was extremely lucky (people's skulls have stopped bullets before so rare stuff like that happens but doesn't make it bullet proof).



    I can offer more 'bullet-proof' areas on the outfit but different suits are used for different scenarios. A cop walks around with a vest to stop 9mm rounds, but not armor-piercing rounds that would come from an Ak-47. EOD soldiers walk around like a tank with a suit designed to absorb an impact from a small IED. The tactical suit above is designed for general use (future cops, guards, security personel, etc) and therefore only uses minimal armor. I am reworking it though to add more armor all around without adding a lot more bulk.

    Thanks for your service! yes

  • Thanks for your service! yes

    Thank you! I would still be serving but deployments are very difficult on the family, especially as your kids grow older. Being infantry as well, a lot of your time back is being out in the field for weeks on end. Been out since '12 and eventually ended up on the extreme other end of sitting behind a computer doing 3d stuff. ;P Some of my old buddies still find me on facebook and find out what I've been up to and its a shock.

  • PsyckosamaPsyckosama Posts: 43

    Personally I am still waiting for more traditional military clothing, less scifi looking. I do like the scifi stuff, but I have quite a bit of it already and very little modern, realistic military items. I got tired of waiting awhile back and made some of the items I want and bought the other items I want to use in DS elsewhere and if I can ever learn rigging, then I will have what I need

    For that there's always Soldier 2.0

    https://www.daz3d.com/soldier-2-0-for-genesis-3-male-s

    https://www.daz3d.com/soldier-2-0-for-genesis-3-female-s

     

  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 6,924

    Personally I am still waiting for more traditional military clothing, less scifi looking. I do like the scifi stuff, but I have quite a bit of it already and very little modern, realistic military items. I got tired of waiting awhile back and made some of the items I want and bought the other items I want to use in DS elsewhere and if I can ever learn rigging, then I will have what I need

    For that there's always Soldier 2.0

    https://www.daz3d.com/soldier-2-0-for-genesis-3-male-s

    https://www.daz3d.com/soldier-2-0-for-genesis-3-female-s

     

    Have it and the quality just isn't there for me, but thanks anyway.

  • PsyckosamaPsyckosama Posts: 43

    Personally I am still waiting for more traditional military clothing, less scifi looking. I do like the scifi stuff, but I have quite a bit of it already and very little modern, realistic military items. I got tired of waiting awhile back and made some of the items I want and bought the other items I want to use in DS elsewhere and if I can ever learn rigging, then I will have what I need

    For that there's always Soldier 2.0

    https://www.daz3d.com/soldier-2-0-for-genesis-3-male-s

    https://www.daz3d.com/soldier-2-0-for-genesis-3-female-s

     

    Have it and the quality just isn't there for me, but thanks anyway.

    Yeah, it's not the best, but it does the role.

    Could probably use better textures.

  • tkdroberttkdrobert Posts: 1,974
    edited March 15
    Ascania said:
    tkdrobert said:

    I like this armor.

    I don't. But apparently in the future the liver doesn't need protection.

    Don't know how much firearms training you've had, but as far as I know, they still train to go for the center mass (chest).  It's the easiest to hit.  Not everyone is a sniper and hitting the leg, arm, or head of a moving target isn't as easy as TV and the Movies make it seem. That being said, it's not a finished product, so roon for improvement.

    Post edited by tkdrobert on
  • Herschel HoffmeyerHerschel Hoffmeyer Posts: 187
    edited March 15
    tkdrobert said:

    Don't know how much firearms training you've had, but as far as I know, they still train to go for the center mass (chest).  It's the easiest to hit.  Not everyone is a sniper and hitting the leg, arm, or head of a moving target isn't as easy as TV and the Movies make it seem. That being said, it's not a finished product, so roon for improvement.

    Yes, certainly. An infantryman is always taught to scare off with their target as well when firing, that way your plate isn't rotated to the side and can provide maximum protection. While its good training and logic, engaging in a firefight on a street (as a soldier or cop), your target is probably just trying to place bullets in your general direction laying down a huge cone of fire. Bullets probably have less than a 5% chance of striking you in the plate and most bullets will probably miss you entirely. However, a sniper or hidden target having plenty of time to aim has a much higher chance but is probably at your flanks where the plate will have a much smaller profile.

    The reson soldiers don't have more armor is simply because your kit (vest, equipment, ammo, and plates) already weigh close to 70 lbs and some missions can go on for over 24 hours. Carrying around that weight has to be manageable under those circumtances. I know the Army has been testing things like dragon skin (layered thin armor) and other things, but right now there's just not a cheap fix to cover you with armor that can stop a bullet that can cut through a whole engine block.

    Edit: Here's a preview of the new build of the vest in progress. Going to use the same vest for bot male and female however I will probably give a bit more shape to the breast plates for the female but they won't be metal boobs. Along the sides leaves room for a harness where magazine pouches, grenades, med kit, etc can be added as a seperate piece. I feel it still has a bit of futuristic feel and can fit into a wide variety of roles... I can even see a punisher skull painted on the front of this thing :p Add a trench coat and you have Blade.

    Post edited by Herschel Hoffmeyer on
  • tkdrobert said:

    Don't know how much firearms training you've had, but as far as I know, they still train to go for the center mass (chest).  It's the easiest to hit.  Not everyone is a sniper and hitting the leg, arm, or head of a moving target isn't as easy as TV and the Movies make it seem. That being said, it's not a finished product, so roon for improvement.

    Yes, certainly. An infantryman is always taught to scare off with their target as well when firing, that way your plate isn't rotated to the side and can provide maximum protection. While its good training and logic, engaging in a firefight on a street (as a soldier or cop), your target is probably just trying to place bullets in your general direction laying down a huge cone of fire. Bullets probably have less than a 5% chance of striking you in the plate and most bullets will probably miss you entirely. However, a sniper or hidden target having plenty of time to aim has a much higher chance but is probably at your flanks where the plate will have a much smaller profile.

    The reson soldiers don't have more armor is simply because your kit (vest, equipment, ammo, and plates) already weigh close to 70 lbs and some missions can go on for over 24 hours. Carrying around that weight has to be manageable under those circumtances. I know the Army has been testing things like dragon skin (layered thin armor) and other things, but right now there's just not a cheap fix to cover you with armor that can stop a bullet that can cut through a whole engine block.

    Edit: Here's a preview of the new build of the vest in progress. Going to use the same vest for bot male and female however I will probably give a bit more shape to the breast plates for the female but they won't be metal boobs. Along the sides leaves room for a harness where magazine pouches, grenades, med kit, etc can be added as a seperate piece. I feel it still has a bit of futuristic feel and can fit into a wide variety of roles... I can even see a punisher skull painted on the front of this thing :p Add a trench coat and you have Blade.

    Looking fantastic already! I will definitely get the male option. But if the female option is going to be practical rather than sexy (with holes and heels XD), then I will definitely get that as well!
  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 6,924
     


    Edit: Here's a preview of the new build of the vest in progress. Going to use the same vest for bot male and female however I will probably give a bit more shape to the breast plates for the female but they won't be metal boobs. Along the sides leaves room for a harness where magazine pouches, grenades, med kit, etc can be added as a seperate piece. I feel it still has a bit of futuristic feel and can fit into a wide variety of roles... I can even see a punisher skull painted on the front of this thing :p Add a trench coat and you have Blade.

     

    funny, I was thinking Blade when I saw that image, LOL

    One suggestion I have is more seperate material zones. For instance, on the female tactical assault vest I was retexuring it and realised the metal parts are all part of the same texture and rely on specific maps for the look, when it would be easier to just add a metal shader to the metal parts. I then started to create a new material zone with the geometry editor but soon realized that was going to be a huge undertaking because of the modeling. Ideally that vest would have material zones for the zipper, vest, metal bits, straps and pockets to help with fast retextures and for kitbashing, say removing the pockets or straps with the opacity slider, etc..

  • funny, I was thinking Blade when I saw that image, LOL

    One suggestion I have is more seperate material zones. For instance, on the female tactical assault vest I was retexuring it and realised the metal parts are all part of the same texture and rely on specific maps for the look, when it would be easier to just add a metal shader to the metal parts. I then started to create a new material zone with the geometry editor but soon realized that was going to be a huge undertaking because of the modeling. Ideally that vest would have material zones for the zipper, vest, metal bits, straps and pockets to help with fast retextures and for kitbashing, say removing the pockets or straps with the opacity slider, etc..

    I can definitely make material zones on this outfit and will do so.

  • PsyckosamaPsyckosama Posts: 43

    Very nice! Very nice indeed!

  • Wish someone would make armor like Batman Arkham Knight series...without bat on his chest and such.

  • DripDrip Posts: 95

    The Tactical Assault outfit was actually done by myself and I have been at work on building a new foundation for many new tactical products, mainly in making it more optimized and user friendly. I even want to do an exoskeleton suit.

    As far as lacking content... I believe most clothing artists uses software like marvelous designer (and other clothing generators) to create clothes which I could see why bulky armor sets have not hit the store much. I build all my products from scratch inside zbrush so anything is possible for me to create but in the end you you run into one of the main problems...

    Unless there is a way to force a clothing item to restrict movement in the joints, bulky armor looks gross when the daz figure is bent in extreme ways which becomes a problem in getting a product pushed through quality control. On top of that, when you slap some armor on to the breast area, it has to look good when 90% of its users are going to double the size of them. Rather you plan to or not, it still has to look good when being used in those ways and the artist themself must be happy with the product they're pushing forward as well. I think that's why most armored outfits you find are either very organic and tight fitting or very bulky and treated as an attachment.

    I have had a product in pass for a few weeks now and I think it can be improved further so I will most likely be pulling it before making it to the store. It has had a few problems with JCM's but I'm quickly gaining experience on what works and looks good and what doesn't.

    I very much encourage other artists to build similiar products as the library is lacking but I don't blame them as it becomes a real headache. Hard surfaces + morphs = hell.
    I am working hard at developing a new outfit like this and hopefully you'll see something new from me that will fit what you're looking for.

     

    My apologies for the mix up, and I gotta say, Tactical assault is by far my favorate military option around. It's utterly amazing, and I'd suggest it to anyone.

    This one is also looking incredible.

    As how to handle the boob deformation issue, I do have a suggestion. How about a bound chest preset that largely flattens the chest and puts it under a slightly feminine breastplate designed in a way to look like the armor they sell that is tailored for females? Would help make it clear "huge chest and body armor, not the best or most natural mix".

    The idea of a tactical exo makes me salivate.I will not lie.

    The Genesis figures already come with several dials to reduce the chestsize.
    Even more if you turn off limits.
    Then, there are a few dozen products to completely flatten the chest, I've even seen some free ones, though, the ones I'd mostly advise would be Genesis 8 Female Mixed Morph Kit by Handspan and the pretty much standard Genesis 8 Female Body Morphs.

    Ofcourse, part of the fun is also to combine things, like chest armor from one outfit, using a catsuit for underlayer from another outfit, and throw in some materials from a more dedicated materials and shaders product, in an attempt to create something that other artists don't have or didn't come up with, while your customers won't instantly recognize it as "oh, that's outfit X by designer Y from Daz! That's an easy way to make art?!"
    I have to do this mixing up (or low-grade kitbashing) all the time, since, contrary to public opinion, most sci-fi outfits sadly don't come with high heels.

  • tkdrobert said:

    Don't know how much firearms training you've had, but as far as I know, they still train to go for the center mass (chest).  It's the easiest to hit.  Not everyone is a sniper and hitting the leg, arm, or head of a moving target isn't as easy as TV and the Movies make it seem. That being said, it's not a finished product, so roon for improvement.

    Yes, certainly. An infantryman is always taught to scare off with their target as well when firing, that way your plate isn't rotated to the side and can provide maximum protection. While its good training and logic, engaging in a firefight on a street (as a soldier or cop), your target is probably just trying to place bullets in your general direction laying down a huge cone of fire. Bullets probably have less than a 5% chance of striking you in the plate and most bullets will probably miss you entirely. However, a sniper or hidden target having plenty of time to aim has a much higher chance but is probably at your flanks where the plate will have a much smaller profile.

    The reson soldiers don't have more armor is simply because your kit (vest, equipment, ammo, and plates) already weigh close to 70 lbs and some missions can go on for over 24 hours. Carrying around that weight has to be manageable under those circumtances. I know the Army has been testing things like dragon skin (layered thin armor) and other things, but right now there's just not a cheap fix to cover you with armor that can stop a bullet that can cut through a whole engine block.

    Edit: Here's a preview of the new build of the vest in progress. Going to use the same vest for bot male and female however I will probably give a bit more shape to the breast plates for the female but they won't be metal boobs. Along the sides leaves room for a harness where magazine pouches, grenades, med kit, etc can be added as a seperate piece. I feel it still has a bit of futuristic feel and can fit into a wide variety of roles... I can even see a punisher skull painted on the front of this thing :p Add a trench coat and you have Blade.

    Herschel, your work is amazing! Congratulations.

    I must admit that I kind of liked the bewbs in the Tactical Assault Outfit ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    But it’s obvious that in a serious scenario it would be out of place. Maybe you could make an practical/sexy option, just a suggestion.

    Here`s one of the best practical female sci-fi armor that I`ve seen. Maybe it can serve as a inspiration.

    image

  • Here`s one of the best practical female sci-fi armor that I`ve seen. Maybe it can serve as a inspiration.

    Hey Lucas thanks and that's a great reference! The breast plates on that outfit is definitely in the same idea of what I plan on doing to the male vest for the female version. I will definitely be introducing some expansive content to this new outfit which will include some sexier alternatives.

    Anyways, using my new pipeline of making products for Daz, here's the vest as it's near finished. And as requested, in the image after I show off the polygroups that will be 'selection sets' in daz if you wish to do your own editing to the materials. I prefer not to make a bunch of material zones since the whole vest uses only one UV map (keeping things simple for the average user) but you can easily do so to your own just by using the selections sets.

  • These are some collected from the Internet.

    8323866953_4afdbc9aab_b.jpg
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    e2c1106a1137d0d7c05de8d2c7c611ee.jpg
    1273 x 1391 - 153K
    feature01_1440.jpg
    2880 x 1706 - 536K
    futuristic-military-armor-concept-art-wwwtopsimagescom.jpg
    1368 x 855 - 168K
    Section_8_Earth_by_Baldasseroni.jpg
    1745 x 1764 - 656K
  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 6,924

    Here`s one of the best practical female sci-fi armor that I`ve seen. Maybe it can serve as a inspiration.

    Hey Lucas thanks and that's a great reference! The breast plates on that outfit is definitely in the same idea of what I plan on doing to the male vest for the female version. I will definitely be introducing some expansive content to this new outfit which will include some sexier alternatives.

    Anyways, using my new pipeline of making products for Daz, here's the vest as it's near finished. And as requested, in the image after I show off the polygroups that will be 'selection sets' in daz if you wish to do your own editing to the materials. I prefer not to make a bunch of material zones since the whole vest uses only one UV map (keeping things simple for the average user) but you can easily do so to your own just by using the selections sets.

    So will the polygroup/subtool information be imported into DS, or will the mesh be seen in DS as one single surface?  Will the user be able to use the surface selector tool in DS and select any of the colors you show in the image and be able to add any material/texture/shader to it? Material zones don't affect the UVMap. The whole mesh can have one UVMap and multiple material zones based on the same UVMap.

    It's looking pretty sweet though!

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