Models with hideable parts

I’m having trouble getting part of a model to disappear. I have an animated person model with a hat as a separate mesh in the model. I would like to be able to show or hide the hat without affecting the rest of the model’s visibilty. I’ve gone through the node/children trees, but showing/hiding the nodes within only affects either the entire model or nothing at all.

Is there something special that needs to be done in either the modeling or the export? We are using 3ds Max 8.

My egg file has this general structure for the pieces that I figured would matter.

<Group> AnimatedMaleModel {
   <Dart> {1}
   <Group> "Scene Root" {
      <Group> malemodel {mesh info}
   }
   <Group> Hat {mesh info}
}
<Table> {animation bundle}

Yes. Animated character models are special. By default, they are optimized into as few nodes as possible during the conversion process. You can use the program egg-optchar to indicate pieces that you would like to keep separate so you can get a handle to them in-game.

See the manual page at http://panda3d.org/manual/index.php/Manipulating_a_Piece_of_a_Model.

David