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I have a character/creature I am attempting to model whose anatomy is quite obscure and disproportionate. Very long tentacle-like structures protruding from a mushroom-like torso just to name a few characteristics. My initial idea was to start with a base mesh object like a cylinder and just transform/scale/rotate/subdivide that cylinder until voilà: my creature has been modeled.

Now, I'm thinking I will need to tackle each limb/tentacle/section separately and build the entire creature out of many base mesh objects. Perhaps, a cylinder for the torso, some cones for the tentacles, etc. However, this approach will leave me with a bunch of disconnected body parts that I will somehow need to "fuse" together.

What approach is most efficient? If neither of my approaches sound like the right thing to do, I would greatly appreciate a detailed explanation of an alternative approach. Examples would be nice too.

For now, I'm going with creating and/or duplicating objects and linking/unlinking them as necessary.

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I suggest using sculpting with dynamic topology. It is perfect for extruding tentacles, ears and horns.

Dynamic sculpting

Also available are extrusion in edit mode. Select a quad and hit e. Drag out a bit, move and rotate and continue extruding to form your limb. Apply subdivision to get a smooth surface (2 or 3 steps maybe).

extruded limb

With subdivision modifier:

extruded subdivided limb

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  • $\begingroup$ So, are you suggesting that I always start with a single base mesh (sphere, cylinder, cube, etc.) and extrude/sculpt from there my entire character/creature? Is there ever a reason to sculpt individual parts of an anatomy as separate objects? $\endgroup$ – Micah Bolen Oct 31 '13 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ Stick with one mesh until you get trouble with performance. Try to split at logical seams. If you want reasonable detail level, you will need to split. Where a hand comes out of a jacket or a leg goes Into a boot are examples of good seams. $\endgroup$ – Gunslinger Oct 31 '13 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks again! One last question: what are some typical causes of trouble with performance? Too much geometry? $\endgroup$ – Micah Bolen Oct 31 '13 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, sooner or later you will get to much geometry (of course depending on your hardware also). You can have blender to draw your mesh at a lower resolution when navigating the view. You find this in the toolbar (toggle with <kbd>t</kbd>) under "Options". Check the "Fast navigate" checkbox. $\endgroup$ – Gunslinger Oct 31 '13 at 20:46

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