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I'm guessing the answer to my question is somewhere but I can't find it because I probably don't know the correct terms...

I am trying to learn how to keep separated constituent meshes/parts of a single object parented in one object. For example, you can see that the 'jacketMesh_REPLACEME' appears as one file in Effect House. Each FBX file is denoted by a white cube. But there are ten separate meshes comprising the jacket. Each mesh has a blue icon next to it. The jacket is separated into sleeve, pocket, etc. The meshes need to be separate so I can apply different materials to each one. But these meshes all need to react to each other when the object is transformed to create a realistic effect, and there can't be gaps between the meshes.

Do I separate all the parts and then save them as one file, parented to the body rig? Or do I need to parent each separate part to each other and finally to the body rig? What are the steps involved? How did they achieve what is displayed in the picture?

The Effect House tutorial video link is here: https://effecthouse.tiktok.com/learn/library/template-tutorials/clothing-try-on

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Each face of an object is assigned to one material slot (unless the object has none, in which case all faces will become assigned to the first material slot added to the object), and an object can have many material slots. So faces, even conjoined ones, can be assigned different materials while being within the same object. I don’t know what you mean about saving the shirt as a file parented to the rig. That doesn’t make sense. What you do want to do is join the shirt piece objects together into one object, then probably go into edit mode and do a Select All -> Merge: By Distance to connect the pieces. Rigging is a separate question, so I won’t answer it here. One thing to note is that if the shirt shares one material already, and that material has one image texture, but the UV maps for the different pieces have different names, you’ll have to rename the maps to have the same name, or make sure each section of the shirt uses the right one (the first option being less complicated by far).

See this answer for a more detailed description of how materials and textures work.

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