I am just working on a new 3d Character for a little mobile Game. Since its best practice regarding performance to keep the polycount low, I am trying to figure out how to merge my hand with my arm since they have a different edge loop count.

The problem I ran into is, that the end of my arm needs way more detail (edge loops) than the arm itself (due to the fingers/claws). The arm is made of a simple cylinder shape with 8 Edge Loops. See the image below.

enter image description here

I than attached three fingers (or claws in this case) to the shaped arm, like so:

enter image description here

As you may see, the claws use more edge loops than the actual arm. And that's okay so far, since I want them to bend nicely. But the problem is to get from an edge loop count of 16 back to 8. The only way I came up with is to use triangles but I don't know if that is the correct way or if there is any other/better solution, since I read about the fact that you should avoid using triangles in character animation.

I will attach my workfile to this post so you guys can jump in and have a look on the character if you want to. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B89oIuOBdiu0Wi1MUUNjTUxUWTg/view?usp=sharing

I appreciate any kind of help with this issue:).

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    $\begingroup$ There is no single recipe for success here, I think, all cases are different and require a localized approach. This may help topologyguides.com $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ Your mesh density is all over the place. You don't need so much detail in the claws or face. Best merge some verts and dissolve some loops, and if you don't know what I mean go watch some tuts. $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


Here is an example of different topology you could use to transition from the octagonal arms to the three fingers. The four selected faces are the ones to pay most attention to.

Alternate topology example

Although, a triangle island surrounded all by quads won't hurt you once in a while. "All quads" is an ideal, it's not a set-in-stone rule. If the mesh can deform without trouble when animated, you're okay. But yeah, it's good to find quad solutions when possible.

I should also point out this loop of faces that only serves to aid the mesh definition when subdivided. You would probably want to do away with this in a model that is a low-poly game asset or something. I left it in as a buffer. You can take it or leave it.

Loop of faces around fingers

Blend file to play with:


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