Starting point: two pictures of a swallow with approximally the same dimensions. Used as reference for modeling
Basic model using the reference picture.
Each feather is modeled as a separate softbody, so it will bend according to air friction when moved.
Bones which are used to pose and animate the whole model. Predefined
rules of interaction between the bones an the feathers make the feathers
to fold automatically according on the orientation of the humerus and
Final model with smoothed surface
After texture mapping (chessboard texture to check for distortion free distribution).
Albedo texture for primary wing feather.
Normal texture for primary wing feather, calculated using the nvidia normal plugin for photoshop.
Alpha Texture for primary wing feather, in order to reduce polynome count.
Applied texture to primary and secondary wing feathers (albedo, normal, specular and alpha).
Albedo texture of torso. calulated using camera-projection in blender
from the two reference pictures, plus tons of retouching and
Normal texture of torso. using the nvidia normal plugin for photoshop.
Specular texture of torso, using Photoshop.
Model without textures
Model with normal texture
Model with additional specular texture
Final model with additional albedo texture
Diagram of swallow flight pattern
Taking the diagram as reference, 15 different poses of the bones
where animated using ipo-curves. Images above show different poses
(1,4,8,10 and 12) from the flight cycle
Example of a ipo curve: The Y-Rotation over time of the humerus bone.