Problem while cleaning photogrammetry

Hi all.
My wife creates nice children books for them to learn first aid, or languages. etc…
She frequently uses clay sculptures that she creates herself, but I though getting some of those into Blender might help me help her, by giving those a quick rig so that she can pose the characters or add complements, and get more mileage out of them.

Although I work on VFX, I never used Blender before so I’m not aware of the little tricks or specific tools.
The photogrammetry part was pretty straightforward, and I did a quick retopo with Instant meshes, but then I found some problems while trying to clean a bit a couple of areas.
Let me show you my issues.

As you can see it’s a very simple creature.

But also there are problems with the original sculpture as the arms and legs are “fused” as part of the body. I need to separate them so that I can rig and move them independently.

My retopo is lazy but for the kind of simple poses that I need it should be fine. I am, of course, going to bake the textures, but before I generate the UVs, I want to fix the inner side of the arms and legs.

So my question is, what’s the best way to do that? How to properly separate the arms and legs so that I can go on? My initial thoughts are just deleting a bunch of polys and then kind of recreate those areas, but I’m a bit lost since as I mentioned I’m new to blender.
Could definitely take some pointers.

Thanks!

This is going to look daunting, but it is actually quite simple once you get the hang of it!

See if there is a loop you can select that is right down the center of the arm to Body in edit mode…Alt + Shift, Left Click on one of the edges… if it won’t select a continuous loop, you will have to do it manually…selecting edges holding Shift + Left Click, one by one…
Then in edit mode… Mesh > Split, > Faces by Edges…
Then hover over the part you just split and Press L… that will select the part…and then use Mesh > separate > by selection.

To clean up the cut-off selections after all are split… In object mode select a part then Ctrl + I to invert selection…press H and you will hide them…( Alt + H to unhide them ).

Select the remaining part and in edit mode…Select the edge cut and try Face > Grid Fill. It needs to have an equal number of edges, so if they are an odd number, select Vertex selection, ( it is the 3 small boxes next to Edit Mode Dropdown…the one with the dot …) select one of the vertices in the armpit area…and hit Shift + V, which will allow you to slide vertices… If you turn on Snap to Vertex… ( it is the Magnet thing top Center, use pull down to set to vertex ) the one you slide will snap to the next one.
Repeat this for all the body parts…

When completed…Select Mesh > Cleanup > merge by distance and get rid of all those vertices you snapped together making now a single…

After all, is done and cleaned up you could use the Free service Mixamo to rig your bear …you will need to get a free account…

Holler or PM me if you need more help…
Happy Blending…

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Hi. It took me a while but I finally found some time to try this. It has worked incredibly well.Between the slide vertices and just moving them around and Cleanup by distance I was able to create good loops that worked well with Grid Fill.
Then a bit of a smooth brush to tidy the inner faces and done. Gosh, having a sculpting module inside the same app is such a godsend.
I will look for the option, but I guess I should now remerge the two arms into the body again before rigging, right? It felt a bit strange and “Blendery” to have to actually separate the arms as a different object in order to be able to do this, but it has worked very well, so, no complaints there.

As for rigging, I will deinifitely try to use Blender rig tools as opposed to Mixamo, since part of the benefits I’m getting from doing this for my wife, is also learning a lot of Blender.

I will update this with images when I bake the texture into the fixed model in case anyone is curious. Just wanted to point that the explanation given above by RSEhlers is nothing short of stellar.

Hi, just another quick update in case anyone is interested. I was able bake the textures and rig the bear quite easily.
Thanks again from me and the Nurse Bear.