Note: This is more of a theory really, than a question or a request (as I do not know actual lua coding for there to be a question to begin with). However, if it does not fit with the correct subforum, please move - or remove - this topic as necessary.
Alright, so view models can be made to be visible to the world / third person, and a lot of people tend to complain about limitations with the player models (especially when it comes to trying to bonemerge new animations in, apparently). Looking at LEETNOOB’s ‘No More Room in Hell SWEPs’, an idea came to me; what if a full body was animated (different animations between the arms for weapons, upper body, and legs) with a variety of animations for a set of weapons, from sprinting, to detailed reloads that don’t just pull a magazine off-screen and then put it back in, to climbing ladders, and then made a model entity over an invisible player model? I’m not sure what could be done for the head, though. The body is also rendered in first-person, so a player can look down and see their entire body model.
The idea partially came from the NMRiH stuff having a custom viewmodel system, along with the GoldSrc mod ‘The Specialists’ having the odd decision to have an entire body model for when the player uses Kung Fu (although you usually don’t see it unless you kick).
The difficult part would be, well, getting a model for the body and creating the large variety of animations, not to mention getting all the coding together to make the animations run appropriately when a player does the respective actions; something probably reserved for the current Gmod beta and I think something being done with Kilburn_'s Team Fortress 2 gamemode (except using pre-existing TF2 models, of course). The fact that this would probably be restricted to specific SWEPs made for it or so forth instead of being widely compatible with everything also doesn’t help. However, this could possibly bypass the bodygroup restrictions on playermodels, and, done right, create a more controllable player animation set for these methods, in a way.
But since I don’t know shit about lua and so forth, again this is merely a theory (and that thus makes me an ideas guy unable to contribute, unfortunately). Any thoughts?