Here’s a bird character I have made. I’ve been told that it does not really look like a bird and I do not know why. It should look like a bird before I add textures or else I do not have my shape correct. I am hoping to make a group of different characters and I really need to make sure my character bodies are made well.
I might try bringing in the sides of the head closer into the skull area, bring the lower part of the beak down a little, bring the upper part of the beak up a little, and make the tip of the beak a little sharper, and bring it down below the lower art of the beak.
What level of realism vs caricature are you working toward? If a completely cartoon character, anything you call a bird, and behaves in bird-like ways, is a bird. But if you want it to exist in a world under recognizable conditions - ie the ratio of a birds wing to the body, and in what type flight the wing will be used (if used for flying at all!); the type of food the bird eats and how it gets that food; etc. the creature design must work within the world you are creating.
Right now I would say you have a stylized crow-like head on an anthropomorphized songbird body. I’m thinking ‘hipster crow with an attitude’.
I am working towards making a character similar to the style of falco from starfox. The idea is to use this character for a racing game along side a group of characters based off the maps that they will be stars of; e.g. character based off of a tree, lava, a beach character, ect. I could also use some feedback on anatomy since the character has a human like body.
If your goal is a bird head (or any other character head) on a human body, I’d suggest looking at some human anatomy studies or tutorials. I’m not an expert on human sculpting - most of the work I’ve done are wild animals and architecture - but there are specific differences between human bodies and other animals. Birds generally have larger ‘barrel’ chests, shorter distance between pelvis and chest (remember a birds pelvis/hips/legs are completely different than a human), shorter arms but longer ‘hands and fingers’, etc. Again, if this is totally fantasy you can do whatever you want, but if you are looking for any realism, the entire model must reflect that.
Have you considered creating human-like bodies, but with specific character helmet-heads to address the different body types and head sizes you might otherwise need to make for each creature? Outside of the race they could be human-like (maybe still with some of the characteristics of the game character), but once they start to race and put on their character helmet, then they ‘become’ that creature? For example outside of the race the ‘bird’ might move and act something like a bird, but is still a humanoid. In the race - with his bird-head helmet - he can take on the characteristics of a bird, with the ability to fly, enhanced sight, etc. Or maybe that’s too anime.