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Now I’m wiser and older and know a bit more about vectors I revisited an old eye shader useful for small critters with relatively fixed eyes and… I accidentally the whole bird.
I enjoy sculpting fine details, texturing, and even rigging when it’s weird stuff. I hate, HATE modelling. Proper topology, loop techniques, what’s that even about? Hah. So yeah, I could use the practice.
And learned things I have! A quick rig later and it’s clear I need to take a long hard look at the beak because the cursed thing is just not stretching correctly right now. Not enough loops at the corners. Don’t even tell me about the pincers-like opening. And the neck is also just… not working. I may have to straighten the poor thing’s spine because modeling it upright was a serious rookie mistake. I won’t get any closer to proper wings while I don’t solve the basics.
(a haphazard test with barely combed feathers)
But I’m thinking about feathers already, and that’s a good thing! I couldn’t get my hands on enough featherless corvid references, so I’ve been looking at whatever naked bird comes my way like chickens and newborn chicks and one thing I noticed is how slim they look. I expected something like this, but feathers can really double a bird’s size! That’s something to keep in mind if you’re using a particle system for feathers.
Here are some tests of the feather shader in Cycles and Eevee with provisional maps while I don’t get some white feathers to create better ones.
A quick inherit-from-emitter setup to test patterns because I have plans.
Annotations about feathers flow for later usage. It’s cool to see how this same flow blueprint stays true in the most varied bird shapes and sizes.
In theory I’m doing a Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) but I’ve been looking at everything I can use to fill in my knowledge gaps. I fully intend to use this model as springboard to doing other birds in the future.