View Full Version : Rigging: birdie

11 November 2003, 02:18 AM
Hi good fellas.

I am very keen on hearing ideas and theories around rigging and animating a bird.

Wings are difficult to rig (often require corrective morphs) and a bird in flight is not very easy to animate, since you have to make it look like the bird has weight (letting it fall between wing flaps) while still getting it to look like it is capable and comfortable with the art of soaring and flying (flapping, riding air currents, being affected by wind etc).

So, if anyone has got any good tips, now is the time and this is the place to share them.

Here's a simple pigeon model I did:

Here is his rig (no corrective morphs made yet):

And HERE ( is a short locomotion test where the pigeon is taking off the groung in slight slow motion.
HERE ( is the rendered version.

The complete work from first opening modeler to pressing F10 took 2 days.

11 November 2003, 03:19 AM
Jonny (Kretin) posted some very good information in a thread about this very thing. Im not sure where the thread is but you could probably find it easily by searching.

11 November 2003, 06:46 AM
Yeah, thanks, SplineGod. I found Kretin's fantastic bird WIP thread here (
A must-see, absolutely!

Thanks, Kretin, for going through the hassle of laying it out in such a nice way for the rest of the lw community. I found alot of help in this one! How is your book coming along?

Here are some other great bird resources (animation related):

Hundreds of wing photos (

Great Bird Flight Simulation resource (

11 November 2003, 03:08 PM

Anim (446 kb) (

Still working on the model and on the animations (especially the take-off).
I seem to have problems with making corrective endomorfs, because when I do save the transformed as an endomorph in Layout it turns up fine in Modeler. But...
I then copy the morph, make corrections, apply the original morph at - 100 %, and save it. All looks well so far...
But then when I use the morf in layout, it doesn't do what it is supposed to do. Do I have to check the "use morphed positions" for the bones or what?

11 November 2003, 03:26 PM
Looks great.

Can you render the short without the motionblur.

EDIT: When lift of shouldnt they fall a little bit towards the ground?

Maybe not.

11 November 2003, 04:26 PM
I think the test animation looks really cool. Are you doing this for any reason or just for the heck of it? :)

11 November 2003, 06:56 PM
Looks absolutely perfect to me (I do not watch birds very often though).


11 November 2003, 02:37 AM
Hey Pixelranger, that looks really great... well done :) Specially in the short time...

I did all my morphing directly in Modeler, just testing it in Layout, so not sure what the problem is that you're having. Try "Use morphed positions" on the bones... I can never remember when this needs to be on or not, if it's not working the way I want I just do it the other way :p

On the animation, your takeoff is great. The wing motion is very convincing. The only thing is it seems like the takeoff of a larger, heavier bird. I'd go as far as speeding it up to half the current timeframe, specially for the group shot.

Oh yeah... book's coming along nicely... I hope to be able to show some new stuff from it real soon...

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