?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
Wing Tutorial Art - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Wing Tutorial Art
Here is a splendid tutorial on rendering wings on a humanoid body.

This is how I handle extrapolative biology.  I look for something similar to start with, if anything relevant can be found.  I try to imagine the details as precisely as possible.  I look for potential conflicts and consider how to resolve them.  I aim for something both plausible and appealing.  And I try to follow natural rules such as "use what you have" and "whatever will do the job is okay."  Usually I end up with functional monsters, aliens, etc.  The original tutorial was aiming for angel but I never think of them as exclusively corporeal, so mine can do things like adjust the size of their wings.

Tags: , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

10 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: February 14th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)
*chuckle* I probably could've used this site earlier today. :)
fayanora From: fayanora Date: February 14th, 2012 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I like this.

If you're really going for realism, feathered wings on a mammal are silly.

I like the touch about extra chest muscles.

I don't know about humanoids, but I have some dragons with four regular limbs AND wings. The smaller dragons have large wings. Some larger dragons have an extra set of wings to help lift them up. Others are too big to fly without the aid of magic, and so only have the two wings.

I haven't really considered my lyftmara (winged horses), but it occurs to me they either fly by magic, or would need an extra pair of wings. I think I'll go with "aid of magic."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 14th, 2012 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>If you're really going for realism, feathered wings on a mammal are silly.<<

It depends on the context. After all, reptiles evolved prior to mammals. Some conditions cause humans to develop scale-like features. Moving to feathers is feasible with a stretch. But admittedly, feathered wings on a mammal are more likely to come from technological or mystical sources than evolution, because it's easier to make skin wings from a mammal.

>>I haven't really considered my lyftmara (winged horses), but it occurs to me they either fly by magic, or would need an extra pair of wings.<<

Huh, let's see ... Hailen skyponies get up to the size of small horses but they are much lighter, with large powerful wings. I think they're natural, allowing for the fact that magic boosts evolution. The pony-raptors are not natural, but an example of what happens when some imbecile fools around with genetic engineering magic and the stopgap to prevent further changes pops off. They're sort of like griffins but come in all combinations horse and raptor, in varying sizes up to large dog size, and they're voracious pack hunters. Sort of like flying, feathered piranha.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: February 14th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

True. It also occurs to me that there are other planets where life evolved differently. On Traipah, there are mammalian creatures, and reptilians, but then there are creatures like the ny'ah'lah, which are like alligators or crocodiles but look like birds. (Warm blooded crocs, basically.) And warm-blooded reptilians. Then you get weird things like the mammalian humanoid Ah'Koi Bahnis sharing a common ancestor with the warm-blooded reptilian Shao'kennah. And the planimal kingdom is full of peculiarity.

Hmm, griffins. I don't think I have any of those yet.

Edited at 2012-02-14 02:12 am (UTC)
judifilksign From: judifilksign Date: February 15th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked this link.

I've always imagined that the wing muscles are "under" the chest muscles, layered, rather than one above the other. The sternum is then thicker. It's just hard to tell when the muscles are sandwich-style.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 15th, 2012 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>I liked this link.<<

Yay!

>>I've always imagined that the wing muscles are "under" the chest muscles, layered, rather than one above the other. The sternum is then thicker. It's just hard to tell when the muscles are sandwich-style.<<

I tend to think similarly, although some shoulder-to-waist stacking may occur too.

I have a species of flying humanoids in Hallelaine, my main fantasy world. They have a lightweight body structure like birds, narrower shoulders, and wings instead of arms. There's a substantial amount of muscle anchored to the shoulder blades in back, but most of it attaches across the chest in front. They have a keelbone similar to a bird's that sticks out several inches in front, with massive layers of muscle over the ribs building up a big beefcake chest.

With the addition of arms, the wing bases shift from shoulders to back, and the shoulderblades and back ribs have to house more of the muscle. But there is still significant thickening of the chest.

My angels don't have the same mechanical problems because their wings are only quasi-biological. So they can adapt the wing shape and size, and they fly not just by motion but also by grace.
the_s_guy From: the_s_guy Date: February 15th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's also a great tutorial for people wanting to draw humanoid robots with various types of wings, even wings which are purely decorative. Our culture just has this idea of how a winged humanoid should look.

Doubly interestingly, robot toys which rearrange their parts into things with wings (planes, birds, insects, dragons etc) almost always have the wings ending up in the 'correct' position in the humanoid form, even if the toys need to include extra joints and parts to make sure the wings can move to where they're supposed to be. I've seen wings on legs, arms, and even the sides of the head, but I don't think I've ever seen a set of wings that were allowed to remain attached to a robot butt, if they were of any appreciable size. Theoretically, it shouldn't matter - they're robots and the wings don't have any function - but the aesthetic expectations demanded it. Look at the original Voltron, for instance.

(There was one toy with bird wings that ended up both attached to the same side of its torso; the designers had them splay across the body (one front, one back) and off to the other side like a permanently wind-blown poncho, which was a fascinating variation.)

Now I recall it, there was even a Mary-Sue test for characters based on one toyline which gave an automatic all-clear for any character with buttwings, purely because it would be hilarious.

The point being that there's this winged-humanoid shape in the collective unconscious for our society, just like there are ones for unicorns and dragons and so forth. They don't exist in reality, and never have, but people will complain if you get them 'wrong'. The tutorial is an excellent resource for replicating the classic look that audiences have been conditioned to expect, and a great jumping-off point for experimenting.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 15th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hmm...

>>Now I recall it, there was even a Mary-Sue test for characters based on one toyline which gave an automatic all-clear for any character with buttwings, purely because it would be hilarious.<<

In terms of biology, the butt would be a great place to put wings. You could very easily put ball joints into the holes of the pelvis, and you already have the body's largest muscle mass there.

In terms of aerodynamics, buttwings don't work because they are too far down the body. The head would hang down awkwardly in flight. Notice how long-necked, large-headed birds such as herons typically retract their necks in flight to prevent that from happening. Such an arrangement would only work with mystical flight, and our intuition tells us this, which is why buttwings "look wrong" to us.

However! Angels are sometimes described with multiple wings. If you want two sets, shoulders and butt would be a terrific solution. Narrow wings, such as falcons or swifts have, would even be capable of independent motion without fouling each other.

I am now tempted to create a character with secondary buttwings just for the hell of it.
the_s_guy From: the_s_guy Date: February 16th, 2012 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Fine-control steering/braking surfaces on the hands and feet would also be interesting. I'm imagining a finger/toe or two redesigned to be able to extend and retract a rudder winglet.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 16th, 2012 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

I have indeed seen ankle wings, and more rarely wrist wings.
10 comments or Leave a comment