We started with the idea of creating a piece with birds, using CG to embellish. David has a great collection of (ethically sourced) taxidermy and we spent a fine hour perusing and chatting through the concepts we felt might work.
Like any live shoot, we always collect HDR lighting data to ensure we can build the scene digitally for accurate compositing and lighting on our models.
Getting the look and feel of the bone's texture right was key. We rendered out a few test samples to achieve the look we wanted at the build stage. We also had a play with the composition at the final stage, to ensure the expression of the Budgie wasn't lost. We think he looks very proud of himself!