What is more important, the muscle topology or avoiding 5 poles?


First, some context: I’m modeling a dragon for a game project. I’m using a reference image of the dragon’s muscles to help with a more realistic topology, since I have no experience modeling four legged or winged creatures.

This picture above is my current project. You will notice that it’s currently full of triangles and holes, but I can fix all of these, the reason I did not do so already is the same reason I come here asking for guidance from more experienced artists; Should I respect the muscles layout of my reference image as much as possible OR should I avoid creating 5 poles as much as possible? As it currently stands, I find it impossible to respect the muscles without creating 5 poles.

So I must chose the lesser evil, which is either not respecting the muscle layout or having multiple 5 poles, like I highlighted in the first circle.
Which choice would make my project the most professional?
Thanks in advance!

  1. What is a model to be used for?
  2. Who is going to be working on it?
  3. How large is the margin of error?

If it’s a model for video games, triangles are likely going to be what it’s made out of. If it’s for animation on the other hand triangles can cause unexpected behaviour.

Trying to eliminate unexpected behaviour is one of our priorities

Since it looks like a quadruped it would benefit if more research was invested prior to beginning.

Like going to blend swap and examining their dragon models. Then taking what can be used.

Best of blending

Thank you for the help!
I didn’t know it was ok to have triangles if it was for a game, even though it’s going to be animated.