I usually start with a cylinder or a box the rough size of the torso: pelvis to neck. I add a few loop cuts to this, rough shape it to suit, then add arms, legs, neck and head. After shaping these new additions, I add hands and feet. After I have shaped everything and checked proportions, I’ll start adding details, like the face, fingers and toes, ears, more detailed musculature and bony landmarks (knees, ribs, elbows, clavicles and shoulder blades, etc.) I finish the model off working on the hair and clothing.
I’ve tried individual parts sewn together, but the only time it has worked for me is when, to save some time, I took an ear from one model and pasted it onto another. In general, the problems of proportion, number of vertices at the connection points (Blenderella overcomes this by insisting on specific vert counts, but I’m not that organized when working on my own projects) and just getting the parts positioned correctly in relation to each other makes it unworkable for me.
These days, though, with sculpt available, many artists are throwing together a base mesh, and then using sculpt. I’ve yet to do enough practicing with the sculpt tools to make this a viable workflow for me, but, one of these days…
Anyway, I don’t claim this is the generally accepted way, just my way. In an artist community, finding a generally accepted way is probably like finding out how to herd cats.
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