Neil's News

Dead Bird

7 October 2013

An application I'm creating required an animation of a bird in flight. The animation also needed to depict the bird flying in any direction. One solution would be to acquire a digital 3D model of a bird, pose it, and render it. However, the digital models are rather expensive, not to mention the cost of the rendering software. Additionally, the digital models don't allow for the wings to be folded up against the body. A better option was to buy a duck on eBay.

[Photographing a duck.]

The duck was delivered to the office still frozen. It took several hours of work to get all 48 poses I needed. It then took another two days of work in Gimp to clean up the images and align them properly.

[Duck poses.]

Here is a rough cut of the animation. Pick a direction:

Unquestionably the highlight of my career at Google so far was submitting an expense report to my manager for a dead bird -- right before my annual performance review.

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