Making feathers in Blender


I have watched the webinar of the meerkat and was wondering if there was a tutorial of how to make feathers in blender, fur is straight forward, but feathers not so much in blender.

From the looks of it should I create geometry spines for the feathers, and then make fur strands off of that? And if so how many polys should I use for the feather spines? As few as possible.

I looked at the maya source file, but I get some errors opening up and don’t see the spines, not familiar with maya at all so pretty sure I did something wrong or not unhiding everything… but also the error when opening up the file might be the issue.

Make the actual feather. As detailed as it gets.
Get a feather, break it apart. Study it. Replicate it in 3d.
Possibly, use a scanner and take a back/front image of the feather so you have a diffuse to mimic and a way to model with measurements.

From it, make a flat 2d one like we do for leaves.
(Normally that’s around 7 verts. 5 to really cull it).

Bake the high poly to the low poly to get normals/diffuse/opacity.

Use the hair tool on the object you want feathered.
Use the feather object in the render section.
Possibly disable or add children. Depends on the animal.

Definitely look up how to set the thing up correctly so that hair length affects the object. (It’s done differently though different versions).

Brush the feathers into position.

At this point I would suggest also baking down to a low poly. At a distance you cannot really see individual feathers. And swapping out makes performance a lot better.

Last but not least. Go ask at BlenderArtists… they’ll have better answers.

well that isn’t the problem we are having, we know how to make the feathers but how do we export, have no problem exporting fur it works fine, but the feathers not working at all. They are coming over as mesh.