Jason Fletcher
Motion Designer
PACK ⬕ Soaring Eagle
- This pack contains 43 VJ loops (74 GB)

Inspired by a dream I had a while back. I was flying in the pink sunset clouds and saw some birds soaring among the clouds and connected to their wings were long golden silk that was following the movement of the wings flapping. When I awoke the image was still clear in my mind.

I started off by doing tinkering with a diamond shader with a super high dispersion factor to create some wild colors. But the real breakthrough happened when I added a field of spheres below the bird, set them to illuminate, and yet only visible in the refractions. The eagle is rigged using bend deformers for the wing and tail motions. To give the bird a little bit more life when it was just soaring and not flapping its wings, I also used a wave deformer to add some feeling of undulating movement.

Interesting to note that the rays were done entirely in After Effects, thanks to carefully keying out specific colors and then applying many layers of the fast radial blur effect. I had planned on doing the cloth in Maya but wasn't in the mood to deal with a cloth simulation, so some quick experiments out of desperation proved to be fruitful. It's a different effect than what I originally had in mind but I'm pleased with the result.

For the clouds I was trying to get Mental Ray working again but didn't wanna deal with an older version of Maya. But then I realized that I could easily render the cloud using the Maya Software render engine. I normally stay far away from the Maya Software render engine but rendering Maya fluids in Redshift is a total pain. I'm surprisingly happy with the result and gotta explore more abstract Maya fluids sometime in the future.

It's been satisfying to render my own 3D animations and then inject them into NestDrop to hunt for some gems. It's playtime! The bird renders were perfect for this and I had to limit myself to only a few absolute favorites.

Released April 2021