The flight and tail feathers are modelled as real feathers, and there are a bunch of them for variation. They are uv unwrapped from the top view and I painted them in texture paint mode. They are separated into 3 materials:
- the shaft is a simple diffuse color,
- and the rest is the left and right side of the feather
The left and right side only differ in the direction of the barbs so that they make a V shape.
The upper Mapping node tells which way the barbs point ( \ or / ), the lower doesn’t do anything, and there are two image textures, one for color and one for alpha masking the little cuts and irregularities in the feather.
The Feather node expanded: the Wave Texture is for the space between the barbs (the gray Transparent BSDF node), it’s not completly transparent. Google feather anatomy, I’m not good enough with words
The gradient texture gives this oily purple/green glossyness. I don’t think it shows up on the final render, but it looked cool.
And the white Transparent BSDF is for the alpha mask image. (Technically I could have used the alpha mask image instead of the Wave Texture but the picture was made as a study, I wanted to do new things.)
The body feathers are fur. There isn’t much to tell about the material, it’s from Andrew Price’s hair tutorial.
The most important, I think, were that I used rather thick hairs (root: 0.02 while the beak hair was 0.005), the clumping and that itsy-bitsy randomness in the children effects.
And finally, the coloring was done with projection painting and quite some Photoshopping.
I hope this was helpful