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  1. #1
    Member Jeepster's Avatar
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    Bioluminescent Macaw

    So after doing my turtle with the glowing crystals, I thought it'd be fun to expand on that world with more glowing creatures. I decided on doing an exotic bird with glowing fiber-optic feathers, kind of like one of these:



    I worked out the composition by photoshopping a couple images off google together:

    I did the composition after reading Canon of Design - Mastering Artistic Composition which I highly recommend

    Of course, the final image will be a night time scene with a blue tone to it. This is just to get everything in place.

    I might make the berries glow too. I'm thinking the bird could be glowy from the berries it eats, in the same way flamingos are pink because of the shrimp they eat.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Jeepster; 19-Apr-16 at 15:10. Reason: thumbnail



  2. #2
    Member ctdabomb's Avatar
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    ooh! cool project. I'm excited to see progress. Nothing to critique atm. Is it/ will it be rigged?
    BCMG | STK | Latest project: ___ | Current wip: Jaguar XKR-S
    "" -Albert Einstein



  3. #3
    That chicken is ready to be fried. . otherwise its an interesting project and knowing the level of your work, im excited to follow the evolution of that.



  4. #4
    Owww! Great wip!



  5. #5
    nice model, jeep. here's a pic of a bald cockatoo that shows the musculature of the arms:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ite-tweet.html
    nodes tutorial on 'stenciling': http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=73088
    nodes tutorial on custom sequence wipe: http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=90989



  6. #6
    Member pieriko's Avatar
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    Really cool base concept and composition.
    A lot to do here but you can output something really gorgeous.

    good luck, I'll stay tuned
    Pierrick PICAUT
    Blender Foundation Certified Trainer
    Discover my course - www.p2design.eu - youtube channel



  7. #7
    Member Jeepster's Avatar
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    been a while since I worked on this project! time to bump this thread back from the grave


    here's a test render I did to see if my feather setup will work
    the shader is pretty simple right now (no textures or anything) but I think I'm headed in the right direction
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Member Owldude's Avatar
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    Feathers look really cool, want to share how you did them?

    The model looks good as well, although the arms are too noodle-like. They should be thicker, more well defined and, most of all, they need straight bones. Looks more like tentacles than bone and muscle to me right now. =)
    With duct tape, anything is possible.
    Finished projects: Rabbit; Wolverine; Muskox



  9. #9
    Make it glow at night.
    Project 7722486 27677 Super Sentai/Power Rangers Inspired Animated Series



  10. #10
    Member Jeepster's Avatar
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    Thanks Owldude! My next post will have a few images showing how I did the feathers - but first I want to see if there are any improvements I can make

    You're right about the arms though - I made a few changes to make it look more like the image Modron posted, but it shouldn't matter too much since everything will be covered in feathers anyway
    Click image for larger version. 

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    XeroShadow: I know my mockup doesn't show it, but that's the plan!



  11. #11
    Member Jeepster's Avatar
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    *EDIT* I just found an incredible collection of feather references! Check it out!
    http://feathersinblack.com/


    Spent the evening modeling a few feathers...took a few screenshots along the way.
    Here are the steps I took to model them:

    1) extrude a path of vertices following the direction of a single strand
    2) extrude that strand down to cover an area of strands all going in the same direction
    3) for strands that split or change direction, duplicate the path of vertices and offset them by a little bit

    Click image for larger version. 

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    4) continue doing the above for the whole feather (note: it's okay if we cross the stem of the feather for now)
    5) add a bunch of loop cuts that are roughly evenly spaced
    6) add and apply a subsurf modifier
    Click image for larger version. 

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    7) select the edges that are perpendicular to the strands and delete them
    8) add a boolean modifier to cut off vertices going past the stem
    9) remove doubles and do some proportional editing with a random falloff to make it look more interesting
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Jeepster; 15-Aug-15 at 17:44.



  12. #12
    Member Jeepster's Avatar
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    (continued from last post)

    10) convert to curves
    11) model out two bevel objects and a taper object (the circle is the barb bevel object, the wing shape is the barbule bevel object)
    12) duplicate the curves from step 10, then have one use the barb bevel object, the other use the barbule bevel object. Both should use the taper falloff curve
    Click image for larger version. 

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    13) repeat all the steps for the other side
    14) add a lattice modifier to everything to control the overall shape and curvature
    15) model the spine of the feather

    Click image for larger version. 

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    hopefully someone finds this useful or at least interesting. I'll upload some screenshots of the shaders tomorrow



  13. #13
    The feathers look really nice. The only concern I would have about them is how much memory they might take up once you start layering them onto the Macaw model. I don't know what kind of rig you're running, which I guess would make a difference.



  14. #14
    Member Jeepster's Avatar
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    Premature optimization is the root of all evil!

    I have a fairly decent rig, so for now I'm gonna throw caution to the wind and assume I can render it out

    If it turns out I can't get it rendered out, then I don't know... We'll cross that bridge when we get there. I'm not in a hurry to get this project finished, so I don't mind long render times
    Last edited by Jeepster; 14-Aug-15 at 21:10.



  15. #15
    Member Safiy's Avatar
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    Wow! The parrot looks very nice but that feather, Awesome! Great work



  16. #16

    My thoughts so far

    Wow!, looks very nice, however i think it would look 10 times better with volumetric lighting



  17. #17
    Looks really good.

    I think if memory becomes an issue you could try rendering the feather as pure white against a black background and use that and an image texture to control color and transparent nodes in a material applied to a plane. Then use a particle system to duplicate the feather as needed.
    Musician, Budding 3d artist and hopeful animator video creator. (some of My Tunes)
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    my Rig: Asus P8Z77-M mother board, i7-3770k OC to 4.5Ghz, 16G Ram, Nvidea GeForce gtx 770 (2G), Windows 8.1 x64 Blender 2.71 64bit



  18. #18
    Ok I did a quick test and memory may very well give you problems.

    I followed your instructions and made a simple feather. Mine is not very pretty cause I was going for a quick test.

    I added a subdivided cube and put a particle system on it set to render the curve based feather. At 1000 particles it took about 2.7gig of vram.

    Then I baked the diffuse of the curve based feather to a simple plane. Setup the material to use the alpha of my baked image to control a mix shader with a diffuse and a transparent shader as its inputs.

    Setup the particle system to use the plane as the object and this time the render only took 5.8M of vram.

    HTH
    Musician, Budding 3d artist and hopeful animator video creator. (some of My Tunes)
    My YouTube
    my Rig: Asus P8Z77-M mother board, i7-3770k OC to 4.5Ghz, 16G Ram, Nvidea GeForce gtx 770 (2G), Windows 8.1 x64 Blender 2.71 64bit



  19. #19
    Member Jeepster's Avatar
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    thanks everyone!

    tomtuko: I'm glad ya tried out the alpha baking trick
    however, I *think* I can still get away with the geometry.

    I'm gonna be rendering on the CPU (which is marginally faster than my gpu, believe it or not) and i have 16GB of ram available

    I haven't found an exact number, but parrots should have somewhere between 2000 and 7000 feathers...
    Cut that in half since I don't need feathers for the front side, and I should be well under 16gb!



  20. #20
    Member Jeepster's Avatar
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    still needs work, but here's the shader node setup for the feathers.

    Barbule material (used on the curves with the wing shape bevel):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Barb material (used on the curves with the circular bevel):
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	394983

    Spine material:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The fresnel node group was copied from this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pJrlEzbNek



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