I'm still getting used to switching from patches(nurbs) to polys (former Animation:Master user). I'm modeling my first character and I am trying to get a grip on a good approach before I get going in earnest. Because this will be for animation, I want the mesh to be efficient and not overly complex, as well as easily animated.
In AM, I'd basically start with a spline, make an oval for the mouth or eye and just start adding patches one by one in a sense. I'd have a plan of course, of how things would connect up without having any bad patches.
Seems in XSI much is similar, have a plan beforehand and avoid the bad patches. My problem is I am starting with a polymesh object to begin with - so instead of building from scratch I am modifying something.
The problem I am running into is keeping my mesh smooth. So for example, I have this oval shape and I want to put the mouth in. I cut out some polygons for the mouth shape, adjust some edges and points and get that 'star' section in the cheek area where you have planes of the face going off in different directions (cheek vs. lower eye area for example.)
This is where I have issues, keeping new or duplicated edges smooth as they are added and keeping things smooth as they are moved around. You can see a rough Idea of what I am practicing in the screen shot. This is how I am thinking of going, then adding in simple eyes and nose (it's a simple character with a cylindrical/oval type head).
So, after all that long-windedness, what I am asking is for those of you who have experience in character modeling - what is your approach to building heads specifically? How do you build, how do you ensure smooth meshes, how do you plan it, what do you look out for, etc. I realize this is a pretty general question, but any insight into your process would be extremely helpful.