Modeling a Bird

This is a very basic subdivision modeling example which mostly uses two tools: subdivide and extrude.

Recall that these tools can be activated as follows:

  • Subdivide: Hold down the Ctrl key while dragging the face normal end point.

  • Extrude: Hold down the Ctrl key while dragging the actual face normal line.

You can also activate these tools using the keyboard short cuts, compass or the context sensitive toolbar.

The body of a bird
Side faces selected

1. Create a SDS cube and switch to the 'Edit/Face' mode.

2. Select the left and right side faces. Now you can see their face normal handles.

3. Subdivide the selected faces: hold down the Ctrl key and drag the left normal end handle towards the face center.

4. Select the topmost left and right faces and drag the 'move on normal' handle while holding down the Ctrl key to extrude. Do this twice.

Faces subdivided
Head and tail extruded
Head and tail extruded again

5. Now, switch to the top view and multi-select the right end faces. Stretch them wider (use the Transformation/Extend tool) to form a tail. Then use the Extend tool again to make the opposite end, the head, narrower.

6. Subdivide the end face of the head so that we can extrude a beak out of it.

7. Extrude two end faces a couple of times and scale them to look like a beak.

The bird from the top view
Head end face subdivided and two faces selected for extrusion
The head finished

8. Subdivide the bottom face of the bird. Subdivide the created middle bottom face again. Scale a suitable pair of the bottom faces smaller so that they can be used for extruding legs out of the body.

The bottom face subdivided twice and two faces selected for the leg extrusion

9. Now extrude the selected faces a couple of times to get the legs extruded.

Legs extruded

10. Subdivide the end faces of the legs. Then select the four outermost end faces in both legs for toe extrusion.

Subdivide the end faces of the legs. Four outermost faces selected.

11. This time start the 'Extrude' tool from the control bar. Set the Region option to Separately and extrude the toes.

Toes extruded
Toes finished

12. Modify the extruded toe faces making three toes to point forward and one toe to point backwards.

The next task is to extrude wings out of the side faces of the body to get our bird completed. However, this would just be repeating the steps described above. Therefore, we complete this example here.