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  • The 14th Annual Songbird Remix Open Rendering Season Contest is now open! See the contest thread for details.

Ken Gilliland's Products In Renders

Ken Gilliland

HW3D Exclusive Artist
Yes. You can post your images elsewhere... I think it's a silly rule that you wouldn't be able to do that since part of my objective is to get people to actual use and render my birds (in turn, those viewing the renders might get excited about birds and maybe think about loving and protecting them).


Dances with Bees
Contributing Artist
Thanks Bonnie ...yes this is the idea i wanted to do the first year i participated ,but had not the needed bird...recently i could afford it and did the image ...then the contest was announced and i wanted to submit it because was my original idea . :)


Okay here goes for my first one, I called it "Gotcha!" and this is a crop from the original to fit the forum page better. The submitted render is wider than what you see here.


I slightly morphed Ken's Kingfisher in ZBrush and the water is also made in ZBrush, from a Plane Primitive. Splashes are using Badkings free IMM Splash Brush set and the surface ripples I made on the Plane using the ZBrush Inflate Brush with radial symettry. I spent an awful long time getting the water material to look just the way I wanted it. I added a mix material of water and texture on the birds beak to darken it and make it look wet.

Rendering took about 40 minutes in Octane with a water material from the Octane Live DB, a summer HDRI for lighting and a forest backdrop image. I set the lens focal length to about 200mm at f2.8. No postwork as such, although there were a couple of unexpected small artefacts (weird lines) on the birds beak and neck that only showed when rendered.

Oh, and the fish is an Angelfish that came with Poser. All I did with him was make him slimmer so he would be easier for the Kingfisher to swallow.

My Mam is calling me for my tea now, so I'll post my second render as soon as I'm finished eating.


Here is my second competition entry, again cropped from the wider original. I called this one "Death by Plastic" for obvious reasons.


The subtle environmental theme to the competition made me Google up on animals affected by garbage, and some of the pictures were shocking. I found one of a dead bird with his upper beak stuck through a plastic bottle or tube cap, and I guess the poor bird died from thirst or hunger because he was unable to eat or drink. I decided that Ken's Woodpecker would have to be the subject here as I think Woodpeckers must be inclined to energetically peck at things with their beaks and this kind of scenario isn't impossible. I thought it would be fitting for this Woodpecker to breathe his last breath on a fallen tree, rather than in the dirt.

I did the initial posing of the bird in Poser, then GoZ'd him to ZBrush for tweaking so he would fit properly on the fallen tree. The plastic cap is a simple Cylinder Primitive with 32 sides and every second one extruded in slightly and the whole thing subdivided. The tree came with Poser and I didn't do anything special with it. I added a Plane below the bird and tree and placed a forest floor image onto it.

Rendered in Octane for about 30 minutes with a summer HDRI for lighting. Lens focal length I think was about 70mm at f8 (or maybe f11, I forget now). The only postwork was to add a light grime layer to the plastic cap, and to clone out a couple of artefacts on the birds wings.


Thanks Miss B. I made two renders of the Kingfisher from different angles but only submitted one. Here is the other one, it was tough to decide which one to submit. This one shows the ripples better, although the first one I think is more down in the thick of the action



HW3D Vice President & Queen Bee
Staff member
Wow, Bonnie! So great to see your renders and hear about your creation process. Nicely done!

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
I think you made the right decision Bonnie. This second render is great as well, but the one you submitted is better for this contest. You did a great job of the water in ZBrush, but it's the Kingfisher that should be the center of attraction, if you know what I mean.