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I am learning to model in Blender with emphasis on character design and animation.

I have both tried to implement models as a single mesh with Vertex groups and shapes keys as well as separate objects (parented). However, I still do not have a clear idea on which is a more correct method of attaching extra elements to a mesh, such as, eyebrows or eyes.

It seems like having them in the same mesh is easier to manage. Whereas having them as separate objects/meshes allow easier re-usability.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Ray Mairlot, Leander, Duarte Farrajota Ramos Sep 20 at 23:22

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Your question is currently being closed voted (by me as well) as primarily opinion based. You should just choose the separation you feel comfortable with. Related question for a situation, were merging is not advisable. $\endgroup$ – Leander Sep 20 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Leander The usual StackExchange mentality where no suggestions from senior experts can be given, everything is a duplicate and "just do whatever you want" is an acceptable response? There must be specific facts on which approach is better or worse - same as with software development, there are things to do and not to do to ease your life down the road. $\endgroup$ – Arturs Vancans Sep 21 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ @ArtursVancans, in this specific situation I do believe the only answer not entirely based on one's opinion is to do what works for your situation. The 'usual StackExchange mentality' might come from the usual StackExchange philosophy and values. There can be too many possible scenarios with characters in CG to meaningfully discuss them in an answer, this would be too broad and impossible to answer following the philosophy of the platform and not making it an opinion based discussion that this site is unsuitable for. $\endgroup$ – Martynas Žiemys Sep 21 at 9:46
  • $\begingroup$ You could make it applicable, if you narrow down the question to a concrete example. "character design and animation" is still to broad... I would gladly vote to reopen, if you would for example add a description like: "I have rigged my face with armature deformations and shapekeys for this, this and that pose and a curve modifier for whatever. [screenshot of rig or something]. I have joined the eyebrows. I thought I could run into these problem -A- and -B-. Can this be solved by separating the brows into their own object? What would the advantages of separate objects be?" $\endgroup$ – Leander Sep 21 at 11:41
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There are no rules about this. Whatever is more convenient for you in a specific situation and whatever works is fine.

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Eyeballs and eyebrows are often separate meshes but they usually belong to the same object (i.e. you can create an UV sphere when you're in edit mode with the face selected). Then using vertex groups you will assign the different parts of the object to the control bones. In this way it's easier to edit the weights, expecially when two intersecting parts are not moving together as expected. Often modelling a single manifold mesh is not easy and having spare parts is not a problem, even if sometimes the automatic weight function gets confused and assigns weight to the wrong bones, so that some manual editing of weights is required.

In case you decide to have more than one object, I suggest you not to parent them to the main object, use bones instead - with their own parent-child relationships - to have the whole character moving as expected.

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