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Suckerbird ambush

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“The cylindrical white tongue of the suckerbird still pulsed nearby. The bird itself squatted just below them, keeping its immense crude eyes swivelled for enemies. It was headless. Slung between the stiffly extended wings was a heavy bag of body, peppered with the corneal protuberances of its eyes and is bud corms, among these latter hung the pouch from which the tongue now extended. By deploying her forces, Toy had her party attacking this monstrous creature from several sides at once.

“‘Kill it!,’ Toy cried. ‘Now, jump! Quick, my children!'”

From “Hothouse” by Brian Aldiss © 1962

Technical aspects: Xfrog 3.5 was used to create most of the suckerbird with the exception of the wings and tongue which where created in Rhino3D. The creature was then brought into UVMapper Classic for completion. Poser 4.01 was used to pose and create the human figures (there are two of them!). Custom texture maps were made for the green-tinged skin. The trees were a combination of tweaked X-Frog library trees, and Bryce 5.0 Tree Lab creations – about a dozen in total. The large treelimb was created in Rhino3D.

Everything was combined and rendered in Bryce, using a custom Sky Lab setting and a couple of volumetric lights and a small Depth-Of-Field setting in the final render. A render farm of 6 networked Pentium III 800 PCs spent a total of about 240 hours rendering this image.

Apart from a bit of post-production work in Corel PhotoPaint 10 on the tree limb and the title the rendered image is as Bryce rendered it.