Half a crow with a folding wing. The animation is a quick pop from shape to shape but it does show that there are hardly any ugly intersections at long last!
I started off with Jared Reisweber's Excellent Wing Rigging Tutorial then subdivided each individual feather's bone into a chain to help animate follow through and flex in the wing. I added some flex controls for each group (primaries, secondaries and tertiaries) and wrangled the rig into a folded up position, and a couple of tweak controls to manually adjust the angle bisection used to fold all the feathers up. I baked the animation from open to folded out to 3 shapes (a half folded, three-quarter folded and fully folded) then spend a few hours vertex pushing to make sure there were no severe feather intersections. I used the blend from shape tool to smooth out irregularities between shapes caused by my vertex pushing. I've still got quite a lot of reshaping to do on the rest of the body. and head then finally some decisions to make about the rest of the rig. When I get the whole rig completed I'll post it up on blendswap.
In other news Chris Perry's 'The Incident at Tower 37' has finally been released online. I had the pleasure of being an intern at BitFilms out in Western Massachusetts for three months last summer. I realised after watching 'Tower' on vimeo that in my three months at BitFilms I never found the time to sit down and watch the whole film end to end (I was busy working on Bassam Kurdali's production, 'Tube'). While the visual style isn't entirely to my own tastes, 'Tower' is certainly a very powerful and intelligent piece and it's great to see the play counts soaring - Chris' film deserves every bit of exposure it's getting. Evan's fantastic score really completes it so make sure you've got your speakers turned up!