Filling a closed loop: fill vs quads

I’m super new to 3D modelling (1 week experience!) and was wondering what the pros/cons of using a simple fill vs quads was. To provide some context, I’ve been following some 2011 videos from 3D Buzz in order to model out a banana with feet, arms and boxing gloves. It’s a great, easy to follow series but I am wondering if it is showing its age as they were using Blender 2.56.6 (r36007)

I am up to a lesson where you model out a shoe and I was left wondering at the last part of the shoe. All I need to do is fill out the void at the base of the shoe with a sole. 3D Buzz shows you how to do it by essentially filling out the sole quad by quad:


I actually did it my own way before I reached that part of their video. I just used Alt + Right-click to select the sole’s edge loop, then hit F to fill it:



In my opinion, my method was more logical, more clean and more easy. But of course- what do I know… I repeated the step using 3D Buzz’s method and the only benefit I could see was that the shoe was a bit neater after Subdivision Surfacing.

I’ve done a decent amount of Googling though and from what I can see, there is the general consensus that people hate anything that isn’t a quad. As a newbie, I’d like to develop good practices so could someone please tell me why I shouldn’t be using n-gons?

Thank you!

In my opinion, my method was more logical, more clean and more easy.
If you were using blender 2.56 as in the tutorial your method would have not been the best option because when you’d selected all the vertices and pressed F, nothing would have happened. You would have to be using blender 2.63 or later, that was when ngons were possible.

Adding a subsurf modifier or animating the model may give unwanted effects but if it works for you then it is fine.

Yeah, that’s what I was getting at in the first paragraph. Thanks for explaining + mini Blender history lesson!

So in this day and age you should always use n-gons when not subsurfing or animating?

Edit: Can confirm that you are right about animation (not that I thought you weren’t), using a flat fill is a no-no if you’re animating the filled area. I bent the foot and the fill area disappeared except for one face due to the initially 1 face bending into several. Makes sense.

Speaking n-gons and improvements; if you had edge selection like in image, hitting w - Bridge Edge Loops would have done faces in one go.
On n-gon you have now - furthest boot - select n-gon and (i) inset it. That will create row of faces around where you could J connect some vertices across to add detail and get a proper flexibility for animation later on. Subsurf feels much more comfortable if ngon face has it’s border.