Here is a test for the eagle model which I did just so I could look at the model and think about the flow of the edges and which way would be easiest to model. One of the things I realised was that the hardest part of the eagle to model was going to be the face at which point my group reminded me that its only in the animation for less the five seconds and one of the thing about animation is that there is no point making something that isn't going to be seen.
The Body and Face
The way that I set up the model was by creating a box deleting one side of it and using the other as the master, I would then create an instance of this so that I get a symmetrical model throughout the whole modelling process. Below is a image of the eagle in the early stages where you can see was just blocking it out, I started with a simple box and started extruding each section one at a time getting each looking good before moving on to the next section .
Here you can see a smoothed version of the eagle model above which gave me more of an idea as to how the finished model was going to look.
The beak was hardest bit I had to model I had trouble getting the hooked look at first but after playing with the vertices's for quite a while I started to get the look you can see below.
Wings and Changes
Here you can see the eagle is nearly finished, it was at this point I went to get some feedback from the director as I was at a good point to make any changes that were needed. I was told that although the eagle matched the concept art it needed to have a more angular and streamlined look compared the stylised look which he found wasn't working. Firstly I started by widening the neck out so that eagle was more of a point shape, I also shrunk the head a bit and reduced he hook on the beak all to add to the streamlined look. For the wings I looked at eagle reference and tried to mix it with the stylised wings of the original model, I then gave this to the director at which point I was given the go ahead to continue with the model. Below you can see the results of my changes I made at this stage
The feet were quite difficult to model as getting the claw shape looking right was hard but its was very similar to the beak I just had to spend a while playing with the vertices's.
Once I had the model looking how I wanted I created 2 version one Hi-Res and one Low-Res. Creating these was fairly simple I started by deleting the the instance and creating a copy of the master side of the model and inverting it on the X Axis so that a had a model that looked complete. The next thing I had to do was combine the 2 halves and then select any of the vertices's that were touching another vertices from the other half and merge them so that I had a complete model.
Now that I had the model at this stage I started by softening the edges which created my Low-Res version but I wasn't sure if it would be easier to rig for Tara if she had a higher res model so i also created a Hi-Res version. The way I created the Hi-Res version was by pressing 3 for the smooth mesh preview and the going Modify-Convert-SmoothPreview to Polygons the reason I did it this way is because when I was doing work experience at the Mill and got some training I was told as long as the topology is looking good this gives a quick but efficient Hi-Res model.