Crow (Bird) Model, Rig, Tex for music video


Hello everybody, this is a pretty tough task for me so I’m looking for some advices about how to organize my work, and also how to improve it from an artistical point of view.

This guy needs to:
1-stand a close up of his head, and then take-off
2-wide shot with him flying
3-lose a feather (cut and then cam follows feather landing)

So far I’ve looked trough anatomical references and came up with this:
(It still needs to be subdivided and detailed.)

But I don’t know wich would be the easiest way to animate all those feathers, giving a minimal level of credibility, I’d parent them to the bones, but I’d like some way to bend them, like wind or so.

The first rows of feathers (the small ones) is a polygon over the arm (wich is part of the main body), here you can see without the others rows of feathers:
I’m not sure why I did that…

How much I need to push the defferences between the feathers, is there a way to do it quickly trough instancing, or perhaps ill keep’em like that and then paint over some differences and move just some verts?
Is okay to model the feather like that (a poly solid) and then paint some detail or it would be best to use a polyplane? Or, again a “plane and a stick”?

I’m not sure about how to make the model look ok even with the wings at rest:
Perhaps this is not such a neutral pose, after all.

Any kind of “At this stage I would…” advice is really appreciated. Everything else is appreciated too.
Thanks for your time.


looking pretty good so far

how detailed you need to model feathers pretty much depends on your animation - if you wanna get real close to them you might need to model them properly. if you’ll just be showing the whole bird then planes should do because then you can use way more feathers and animate them easier.

I like the setup you have so far though… making the wings quite thick and then sticking feathers into them might work very well because real bird wings look a bit like that. I wouldn’t worry about differences between feathers at all btw - if the wings are folded you won’t notice and if they’re spread and the bird is flying you won’t notice either because of the movement. if you’re really worried I’d use maybe 3-4 different feather textures, but I wouldnt model them individually.

as for animation I’d just turn the whole thing into a single model and then give it a couple of wire deformers (maybe along the edge of each wing) to control how much the feathers bend

making the wings look good both at rest and when they’re spread is a nightmare task - I tried once and gave up. what you could do is finish this model and then make a second one, based on the first, with folded wings. if the animation permits it that is

hops this helps


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