I model in Wings, and the plans were t oanimate characters in Blender. Perfectly would do now (I bought another package for this, but could be doing with blender and would be a very nice workflow)
But I post to mention…I do a mix of those …like trends you say, greybeard. I mean, I have worked in game companies, and as they let me use wings, I modelled there point by point using Wings, as there are ways for it if you do your own workflow, and it has reference image planes that are easily setup.
I needed that, as the game was intended to be realistic, so I had best chance to at least start from a 2 planes refs, extracted from real images. We used my digital camera and others in the studio.
When I was to model characters, there was freedom for me not to trace em, but they forced me to at least start from careful group of concept sketchs I also made, so in that time used box modelling, as for organic, and in Wings, is quicker. While is not the best to do in metasequoia (excelent for point stuff) or Blender. Anim8or people are majorly point to point modellers, and I have seen some really realistic and nice models there. Max has both spline and poly modelling… Though for box/“sculpt” modelling, for me at least is Wings or Mirai…It’s so quick for characters.
BTW, Blender is getting so exciting I may end modelling a bit with it
But I rather would prefer (xsi is extremely good, I just still have that special pleasure of using a totally free tool ) if the main next improved area is what is demanding more…character animation… joint p…(I haven’t said it! I’m making progress… )
I mean, there so much modellers out there…i could fill a page with them. All very good. But what Blender does,bones, weights,(even a faked joint pinning, not free of problems) export to game engines, and render the anim…simply: No other tool for free.
OOoops running off topic. I agree with main opinion here. You have to adapt to new workflows. I am not worried bout how a tool does the stuff, but yes on how much stuff it can do…
I don’t have edge loops in metasequoia, and I have modeled loads of realistic stuff with it.Is not all about edge loops.There are many ways. I have used metaballs, point modelling, box modelling, patches/spline modelling or the type of smudge/bump painting of my amorphium and zb. ALL them have their specific use. I can say some methods are better for some type of models…but doing it ALL with a single method…may be not clever. I have mixed in wings poit to point modelling with box modelling (and would have robed a bank for having some spline birail stuff skinning) and really works best.