View Full Version : Character: Duck

06 June 2003, 01:57 AM
My first post on CgTalk. We have here a Female Duck modeled and Rendered in 3DSmax 5.0, with textures made with Photoshop.

As requested, here we have the wireframe, although very dull. Majority of look depends on textures.


06 June 2003, 02:32 AM
Well the first image is very well done, however the wireframe doesn't match it AT ALL. I smell a fake. Please post a wireframe reflecting the render.

06 June 2003, 02:34 AM

I feel the head, beak, and chest are excellent. The only thing that troubles me is his back. I can't decide whether it the hard edges between each color, or if it may be a specular map issue but something is troubling me about it. Then again if it were in motion I may have never picked up on this. Nice job though man.

06 June 2003, 03:47 AM
Rye: HAHAHA! Sorry buddy, not a fake. Looks like I popped out the wireframe, then made a change... Here's the *most* recent one... If you still don't belive me, I could post the texture map...

Bryan: Indeed. I think I see what you mean too. I think you are right with the hard edges on the feathers on his wings. I will make map changes and repost in about 12 hours from this post.

Thanks for the feedback so far!

06 June 2003, 04:31 AM
Overall very well done, only one thing that might not be 100% true to life but.. one would spect to see some wetness of the feathers near the line where the bird touch the water.

Also, is that a texture-streching line i see going across the chest of the duck? or it is caused by the repetition of the texture-tile?

About the ripples on the water, how you made them?

06 June 2003, 04:35 AM
Thanks for not getting upset skywise, sorry I jumped to conclusions, but hey what can I say...look at that first wireframe...;)

The feathers look a bit plasticky, or almost waxy. The beaks shine is great, but the feathers don't seem to be made of a different material.

And a texture map would be cool to see too. :)

06 June 2003, 04:54 AM
the wet feathers would be wonderful. I would like to comment that the eye texture is GREAT. I actualy would be interested in seeing your texture maps.

Ex Tessera
06 June 2003, 06:53 AM
Now that I look I can (sorta) see a seam line between the wing object and the body object. Very hard to notice though- excellent excellent texture job.

Is the water itself CG?

Honestly, it looks like a photograph. Maybe add some more 'postit notes" like geometry with feather texture maps and transparency maps to break up the silloeute (can't spell that) a little bit.. but it looks like you've done a pretty good job of that already. Little more couldn't hurt though.

06 June 2003, 08:15 AM
Whenever I've seen ducks in a pond you do actually see the feet, no water is so murky as to become opaque within that depth... but you best not do them cos folks really will have a hard time believing it's cg then . :)

06 June 2003, 08:57 AM
Whenever I've seen ducks in a pond you do actually see the feet, no water is so murky as to become opaque within that depth...

Not to disagree with you, but I think its okay for a composition like this to have the feet not show. Ducks can hide the feet under the feathers to conserve body heat. I went to the Tennesee aquarium awhile back and I thought most of their ducks were one-legged ones salvaged from the wild. But they were just keeping warm.


You have a beautiful image here. Have you thought about adding a leaf to the lower right corner of the image? It'll do two things that may help out the image:

1. Show scale, even tho we all think we know how big a duck is.

2. Plus, I think one more object will make it more interesting and also balance out the composition a bit. Just one little leaf floating can do this.

BTW, I used to have a friend that tried winning for the federal duck stamp. I loved his work, and this is a beautiful piece reminding me of his stuff. Keep up the good work. Oh, and texture maps please.


06 June 2003, 09:11 AM
and not to disagree with you ntmonkey, but i beleive a leaf or another object would not help.

imo, getting some of that background somehow would be even better, with a shoreline aswell. that may work better then a leaf. (but again, just my opinion)

as for the invisible legs, it is very possible for those shots to happen, i used to be part of ducks unlimited canada, and from what i can remember i remember some of the pictures did not have any feet what so ever in the water.

for whatever reason, be it, legs retracted or the reflection + murkyness of the water i donot recall, or could recall being so young at the time.

but this piece is beautiful sky, i would call it a final had you not posted it here :-)

06 June 2003, 10:11 AM
:rolleyes: Okay Mage, you got me. I like leaves. But I think you're right. It might just take away from the beautiful duck, especially if its not done quite as nicely as the rest of the image. The pic is definately good enough to be posted in the Finished Gallery.

BTW skywisenight, welcome to CGTalk. Forgot to do that earlier. :thumbsup:


06 June 2003, 10:58 AM
The neck is too thick where it connects to the body.

06 June 2003, 02:37 PM
Throughout my life my Dad has been carving decoys and he's ****ing awesome. This is pretty good but needs some tweaks in its shape for it to be better. I've drawn changes I think you should make to the geometry, and provided you with this link.

06 June 2003, 03:02 PM
Definitely take into consideration the changes that Gamoron has suggested. Adding a baby duck into the composition and some vegetation would definitely give this scene the size comparison and help to round out the composition a bit more.

06 June 2003, 05:24 PM
Regarding the suggestion of adding shore line, leaves on the water, another duck, etc. etc. etc.

There is this saying among old-school cg artists that goes 'IF IT LOOKS GOOD, THEN IT IS GOOD ENOUGH'

Even if that were a real duck and instead of a rendering system you had a photo cammera then still you will never have THE PERFECT picture. If I were Evan I would focus on fixing the texture problems spoted so far, but I would steer clear from making more geometry or changing the already done mesh because it is pretty convincing as it is.

Some times (like this) less is more... and what is done so far is more than just 'quite good'. Adding more elements could easily give away that it is CG.

06 June 2003, 06:11 PM
Thanks for all the comments so far!

Apollux: You have nailed it on the nose! I am indeed changing the textures (including spec) and throwing a little FFD on the neck to thin it out, and that's it. (I might experiment with feet slightly visible in the water as a photoshop layer.) I want to move on, and it's never fun opening older files. I did do lots of other versions of this render that had
a. Leaves
b. Lilly pads
c. A pond shore line.
Now, they all looked good, but did take away from my focus and feel of the pic. So I decided to keep it simple. Water and Duck!

The water is just a bump map, and the wake from the duck is a painted bumpmap mixed with the noise bumpmap that's on the rest of the water mesh.

Gamoron: Thanks alot of the paintover. I see what you mean, and upon closer inspection of my referance, it does have a thickish neck, but not as thick as mine. I will be adjusting the neck. Thanks!

And thanks to everyone else. If I can get time tonight, I will have something to post tomorrow morning before work.

06 June 2003, 08:50 PM
skywisenight, this is one of the best 3d duck renders I have seen.

You need to touch up your shadows a bit so that the bump mapping details stand out. Use the Max GI tools or a fake Gi lighting array. That will make the shadows look more natural and less matted. And tweak the specularlity of the eye a bit. It would look more convincing if you added some of the other elements that were suggested and maybe some localized displacement to simulate water movement at the base of the ducks body. Great stuff.

06 June 2003, 05:16 AM
After a simple minute fun image extraction I was able to come to this conclusion. That the render is infact real.

Or so it seems...........

06 June 2003, 05:02 PM
You have a very good start to your model. But with the amount of poly's you have in there, you can do so much more with the actual shape of the bird. You could use some help with your proportions as well. The head and neck are way too big for that body, and the eye could use some work with placement and scale. It's too big. The body is sitting pretty high in the water in the front and way too low in the back. Right now you have the edge of the wing right at the surface of the water. That needs to come way up. As I say, you have a great start to it. It just needs some work. The bill is too rounded as well. It should start out shaped more like the head of the bird at the base and then it should flatten out a bit towards the tip.

I'm an experienced waterfowl artist and can help you if you'd like it. Unfortunately I can not remember the name of some books I have that are great for reference. Email me and remind me once I get home from work to look for them. Try looking at decoy carving guide books. These books are great because decoy carvers absolutely have to get the shape of the bird and the directions of all the feathers correct. Also, look at as much reference as possible. That'll help get a better idea as to how the bird is shaped. Good luck and email me if you want more inupt.

The image I attached with the modifications to your render is a quick sketch, so don't take it too literally. It's just to give you a better idea as to how the shape of the bird should look more like. I just now looked at Gamoron's and he obviously saw the same thing I did. Good luck...

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