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Many a Time, what is often overlooked after rendering birds is to make them more believable. Rendered feathers are usually static and unless they are highly detailed, require touchups on the feathers. Birds in flight will also look static without touchups on the wings. Here are some simple tips that can give that render a little something extra.
In this render, the hummingbird hovers but the wings look “frozen” in time. With a little help from the standard photoshop filters, you can create a feeling of motion to the image.
I first made a duplicate layer in Photoshop and saved the file. Always work with the duplicate layer so that you can go back to the original if you want to restart. Remember to save snapshots along the way in your History palette.
Using the Lasso Tool or any other appropriate selection tool, select the parts of the wings and tail that would be moving the most during flight.
In the File Menu, Select Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.
Adjust the Angle in which the wings would be moving and the desired distance. This would help create the illusion of flight. The higher the distance, the blurrer the selected area. Here, I gave it a setting of 4.
For larger birds, or closeups of small birds, you can enhance the look of the feathers by “brushing” them. Let's start with the DAZ Eagle.
Start with the Smudge brush with the following settings: one pixel brush, Mode set to Normal and Strength set to 98%. I also made sure that shape dynamics and other dynamics were also selected (see image below - here I used Photoshop 7 but the function is also available in Photoshop 6).
Proceed to use brush strokes going inwards so as to create gaps between the feathers.
From time to time, brush in the opposite direction (outwards) so bits of feather are pulled out so as to create some irregularity.
Do not overdo this step or there won't be any feather left!