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Feather study (Cycles)


By Kemmler.

Kemmler writes:

1024 samples in cycles, then motiva for post.

I am not 100% happy with this, but I would need specific help to improve it. It is going to be part of a much larger work, so it is possible that this is good enough, but I am willing to improve if a good opportunity is available.


About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender – I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


    • Hey, thanks for telling us about motiva, this is a great program :)
      btw. for correct install you need to right click the setup file and select "run as administrator". Otherwise writing to C/:ProgramFiles will fail.

    • Lawrence D’Oliveiro on

       I don’t understand this preoccupation with mimicking obsolete film technologies. It’s like tweaking your car’s suspension system to make it feel as though you’re riding a Clydesdale versus a Shetland.

      •  But it's not like driving a car. It's art, film gives art a feeling that digital just can't, a personality. Back in the day different films gave photographs different personalities. Making your car run roughly is not beautiful, while older films truly are beautiful

  1. chromemonkey on

    In what ways does this need improving?  How many people who are not expecting it to be a CGI image would even notice?

      • As many other renderings in the newer past. Sometimes looking into blender nation in the last weeks, I thought at first "Well, nice photo. But what has this to do with blender?"It's really astonishing, what quality has been achieved in CG today, not least in blender!

    • Mostly, the individual feather barbs look too 'solid' on close inspection.  Also I had a hard time getting the textures to show up... for some reason they show up well with few samples, and slowly disappear with high samples...?

        •  I think kemmler is right.. They look too solid, the end tips are way to thick. The small feathers at the bottom look very nice though...

          It would of looked more realistic with a better lighting setup, -the shadow is too diffused, too soft, light color is unnatural.

          • I realized the problem.  The vertical thickness is too much, and they aren't translucent enough, leading to a very heavy look at the tips.   Er, either that or I didn't use enough barbs and they're too wide... I found that whole aspect a little confusing. 

  2. These look amazing to me. The only thing that stood out was the purple's feather stem. It seems a bit bright / stand out too much. However, i've never studied feather so this might be exactly how they look. Sometimes nature does that too you, surprises you :) Thanks for sharing. would love to see the final project these are for!

    • Thanks for the comment.  In reality, the feathers are not meant to be totally realistic, I am not aware of any birds that have bright magenta feathers.  The final work is going to have a CMYK theme, this study only includes M and K... :D

      •  I am aware however of the practice of dying real white feathers into different colors, and thought that they look like extremely realistic dyed feathers

  3. That is nice and all, but IMO not really worth a mention here.
    Realism studies are great to show what Cycles is capable of. But from an artistic viewpoint, that here is pretty boring. I would appreciate more images made in Blender that show some creativity and storytelling instead of all those realistic but meaningless Cycles renderings of objects.

    Just my two cents.

    • I actually agree with you 100%, in fact, I find this is an issue across the board with CG art in general.  I think blendernation is a good place for technical studies, but overall I find the focus on realism, verisimilitude, and technique to be boring as hell.  But, I am not going to argue when they decide to post one of my technical studies on here XD

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