Wing Modeling

Specifically, Bat wing modeling. I’m sure I could figure out how to model the bones/fingers and whatnot, though I’d still like assistance, but what about the flaps of skin?
And actually, what about regular bird wings?

Yes - the problem with bat wings is that when it comes to rigging, you want the wings to blow out (parachute) in one direction for the curve, but when the wing goes the other way, the same weight paint makes the skin go through itself… is this what you’re asking?

This problem can be fixed by “corrective” blendshapes, or alternatively, I recently got around it by making the bat fold its wings in when moving upwards, so ther was no need for a reverse parachute. This actually makes sense as you’d only want the parachuting action on the downswing.

If it’s topology you’re after, I made a cartoony one recently for a games character which might give you an idea…

Thanks for your answer!

I wasn’t asking about rigging or animating the wing, yet. That’s a little bit ahead for me.

I have no idea what ‘corrective blendshapes’ are :confused:
But, I was interested in your topology. What I may need assistance on is connecting/modeling the flaps themselves (looking at yours, it almost looks like you cheated or something lol, because they’re that good and perfect).

And, say for instance you rig and animate the wing, and move a finger closer to another finger. Realistically, the skin flap between the fingers would crumple and deform, and fall loose like a flap of skin should. This perplexes me…

There is a tutorial at the bottom of this that may be helpful. =)
It is a 3ds Max tutorial, but most, if not all, of the concept can be applied to blender.
If that isn’t enough, I’ll see about making something of my own to help you out.

Thanks for the nice feedback on the work. Here’s the model if it helps. Hit ALT-A to see it animating. If you have a fast computer (faster than mine anyway) you might want to hit the “Enable modifier during interactive display” button in the subsurf modifier (the unselected middle one, looks like a grid).

As you can see, the folding trick is to have an extra bone between the fingers to take care of the skin. There are no “corrective blendshapes” in this example (they would be called “shapekeys” in Blender and refer to corrective sculpting made for problematic frames of animation which then gets turned on and off as part of the animation)… I was just careful to fold the wings instead of making them sweep upwards, which would cause them the baloon the other way… by avoiding this movement, the skin does not have as much of an issue going through itself and therefore the corrective blendshapes were not needed.


batwings.blend (138 KB)

Holy crap! Thank both of you for the .blend and the website tutorial! They’re massively useful :slight_smile: .

Not so sure how the ‘bridge’ function might carry over to blender, though.

It should work if you use “f” and use the “skin faces/edges” option. =)

Sweet, thanks! Too bad it doesn’t skin more than two faces at once :confused: .

It doesn’t? That’s odd, it does for me. It is a little iffy though, it doesn’t always get the job done right. I’m not entirely sure what conditions make it work right, and what don’t though.