Head separated from the body?

I’m currently modelling a game character and I am curious whether I should make it one single mesh or separate at least its body and the head? I am planning to rig it next after I fully texture it, but can’t really decide on topology. Total polycount is approx. 20-25k. Besides I’ve heard one should keep meshes separate if I will use blendshapes for rigging. What should I do in this case?

Thanks in advance

It all depends on the application ( use case and final program using it). In games for example the clothes may be interchangeable and just cover the rest. Another reason could be the used game engine… I have seen characters which are one whole mesh and others are (a mess of) dozen overlapping meshes. Sometimes even having textures fading to tranparent to the edges because they don’t fit together.
Or: just do what you are comforable with :wink:

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Most game models I’ve seen have head separated. At the very least from Half-life 2 and onwards. Especially the ones with a focus on faces (when face resolution and skin material is different) or with interchangeable skins (or both). You can make head have a separate material with SSS map, skin details and whatnot.
Apparently there really no one true way in practical cases.
Simple solution: as a starting point, look at how things done in the closest game you can think of. You can get away with a lot these days but even older games are not particularly rigid with ‘rules’: having separate meshes, floating parts, multiple materials…

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