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The technique I currently use to create faces to extrude fingers from a base mesh is: Cut the front and upper faces with the knife tool (as shown in the image).

Using the knife tool creates n-gons which influences the topology, creating more loopcuts would be continue over the arms to the whole body where they are not really needed (and would create more work to adjust them).

enter image description here

Are there any alternative techniques?

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  • $\begingroup$ What exactly do you mean? Topology for hand models in general or just low poly hands? Also, how low do you mean by low poly? $\endgroup$ – CharlesL Sep 18 '13 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ @CharlesL Added more info to the question, is this now more clear what I'm asking? $\endgroup$ – stacker Sep 18 '13 at 21:06
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You can use inset, but I have only tried this for three fingered hands:

  1. Individual inset (II) with both faces selected:

    enter image description here

  2. Select the faces inside the new inset, move them forward a bit, inset again:

    enter image description here

  3. Select the faces inside that inset and move them forward, extrude middle section:

    enter image description here

Extrude fingers:
enter image description here

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Using gandalf3 answer and combining it with a diamond shape which splits one loop-cut to three I found this all-quads solution:

enter image description here

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