I intend to rig a robot character that has the same form as a human. Right now I have many components of the character as separate meshes (i.e. upper arm, hand, lower leg, etc.), and they all have extensive modifiers to create their final form.
The only way I know how to rig a character is to have all parts of the body be a single mesh. If there is a way to rig all these components together properly while keeping them separate objects, please let me know but I assume there isn't.
Therefore I think the only way to rig this robot would be to join all the meshes together into one. I could apply all the modifiers on each component and then join them to make this happen, but that creates an intense number of faces that I enjoy only having to process during a render right now by disabling modifiers in the viewport. Is there a way to join all these meshes together while somehow keeping the ability to toggle the insane detail in the viewport that would make my computer lag, especially when I need to have multiple of these characters in a scene at once?