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Is there any benefit of creating model in one piece or I can create separate pieces and just overlap them to create a visually joint part.

For example, the below image were made from two parts
1. Blade
2. Spinner

Is there any benefit to model them (e.g. extrude from the spinner) or it is actually ok to have them separated since visually I can achieve the same effect (See picture 2)

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Related: blender.stackexchange.com/q/3305/599 $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jul 29 '14 at 4:23
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    $\begingroup$ This is very subjective. If your 3D printing, then one part is the only way to go. otherwise, this is very debatable. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Jul 29 '14 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks gandalf3 and GiantCowFilms. My aim is to export it as object and then import it and animate in After Effects using Element 3D. The animation will be a rotating propeller. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Chan Jul 29 '14 at 5:41
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    $\begingroup$ One reason is performance. Having a 50000 polygon single mesh is much quicker to work with in Object mode than 50000 single polygon objects (e.g. leaves) $\endgroup$ – Greg Zaal Jul 29 '14 at 8:32
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The way I would go about that example, there would be separate objects for the hub and the blade. In the situation you described there is no reason to add vertices to the hub and extrude the blades out. In a real propeller there are separate pieces. There is no need to make modeling and texturing the propeller harder then it needs to be.
Another way to look at it, what do you gain by having the blades extruded from the hub? From modeling, texturing, rigging and animating in this case it is all easier with separate objects.

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For a rendered result it's not necessary to connect everything, and as you mentioned the apparent difference is extremely negligible.

I tend to think about whether the parts would be connected in the real world (by connected I mean one solid piece, not bolted/fastened together). So far it's worked pretty well for me, with some occasional bending of the rule ;)

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