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=== [TASK] === Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos

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Hey folks,

There is the contribution for today. Way harder than I though it would be. The result in low poly up close is really funky. But at distance I seems fine. Added a proof of concept animation as I had that idea of using span pose and use a deform bones to make the swimming/walking/chilling pose. Happy that it seems to work, maybe add a third wing 'layer' that would scale during closed wings poses so that it would be invisible the rest of the time. Kinda of out of the box idea, don't know if it'll work.

What a odd little bird. The animation is bad mind you, a lot of the weight painting is to be tweaked. I was mostly interested about the idea of using that technique to have the same model walking and flying or if it's not necessary because it will never happen in game?

Also I learn that the males change their colors during something called eclipse, and look a lot like the female (texture is next by the way). Soooo... I saw that there will a season system that could be implemented, I got some ideas to add texture season specific to the animals that have low variation in general. Using the alpha as a mask for snow for example (there were a lot of bisons like that). I digress.

As always feedback and critique are welcome. ;)




The files:

Note: It's late and i saw that the texture has the artefacts of before topology cleanup in the low poly version. It doesn't affect the texture because it's out of the uv zone but I'll see to bake something more clean.

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3 hours ago, MrLux said:

What a odd little bird. The animation is bad mind you, a lot of the weight painting is to be tweaked. I was mostly interested about the idea of using that technique to have the same model walking and flying or if it's not necessary because it will never happen in game?

We can have both but not at the same time :) So sure if you find a way to make a bird armature that works for both why not. We attempted the same for the partirdge but I do not have the files due to lack of internet. :)

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Your duck looks great!

While in reality ducks can dive, swim, and fly, what matters for 0 A.D. is their walking animation, like the chicken or peacock, because otherwise units can't catch and kill them for food, which is the main purpose of animals in game. Unfortunately amphibious entities are not (yet) possible, it would also be great to have for e.g. crocodiles and hippopotamuses.

As for colour variation (i.e. textures), the one with the green head, brown chest, and light body is most iconic, but those are always adult males:





Females are brown:



As are young adults, both female and male (you can see they're young because their feathers are not fully grown):




Ducklings have a different colour pattern and are covered in down:



However, there are also entirely white ducks:



And many colour variations in between:






Finally, where in the world mallards live:



Given the nature of 0 A.D., I don't think it's worth it creating ducklings or young adults; having just one mallard shape + animations is good enough. For textures, I'd recommend having at least three: brown, multi-coloured, and entirely white, in a 3:2:1 ratio. More texture variation would be welcome, but is not a priority, and could always be added in the future.

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1 minute ago, Mr.lie said:

This one is not really a "Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos (Stockente)"  but a "Laufente" :)

Practically all domestic ducks are mallards; this paticular photo is from the so-called “Indian runner duck” breed, but it's the same species.

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