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Winged Humanoid: Part 2 by mernolan Winged Humanoid: Part 2 by mernolan
Part I|Part II|Part III|Part IV

EDIT 2013: KEEPING THESE THINGS UPDATED IS QUITE A CHORE but I've long since done other studies since 2011
mernolan.tumblr.com/post/53441…
24.media.tumblr.com/43808b5b87…

EDIT: 1. I've looked into pterosaur anatomy and stuff, I wouldn't really expect a completely new tutorial, but I can tell you I understand a little of it. 2. I apologize for saying that bats are less adequate, that's not entirely what I meant, bad wording on my part. They're just different from birds is all

Skeletal and Muscular Systems

Decided to go through this with feathered wings because (personally) I think they are more difficult to attach to the body and I'm aware that the wing to body proportions are not quite right: the wings would probably be longer and DEFINITELY more muscle on the back and chest IN FACT HOW ABOUT YOU JUST DRAW A BIRD INSTEAD :'D

Other's Theories:
Simple and Practical: auroracarina-chan.deviantart.c…
Also good info: arourallis.deviantart.com/art/… my only issue is the size of the shoulder blade and where are the pectorals and collar bones going?
Shakusan: ara-tun.deviantart.com/art/Sha… ara-tun.deviantart.com/art/Sha… ara-tun.deviantart.com/art/Sha…

Anatomy References:
Human: www.ironmaden.g-21.com/Anatomy… onlineworkshops.ca/images/sn_i…
Bat:www.csus.edu/indiv/L/lancaster… (if anyone has anything on anterior bat muscles show me!)
Bird: www.yuccalofts.com/wp-content/… www.learner.org/jnorth/images/… www.rexresearch.com/ornithopte… www.hsu.edu/uploadedImages/Bio… people.eku.edu/ritchisong/554i… (I couldn't find anything on posterior wing muscles :ohnoes: )

Wings:
Bat/Dragon: browse.deviantart.com/?qh=žion=&global=1&q=bat+wing+muscles#/d1ttpzw
General Bird Info: cedarseed.deviantart.com/art/D…
Bird Wings: cedarseed.deviantart.com/art/D…
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:iconlittlebabychibichan:
littlebabychibichan Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Oh and is there a female version?
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:iconlittlebabychibichan:
littlebabychibichan Featured By Owner 1 day ago
I love this thank you so much!!!!
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:icontheswordlegion:
TheSwordLegion Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool!

As a new author who has just finished his book and is now looking for cover art. . . I've been thinking about how the humanoid dragon species should look up front. I've obviously going with more bat like wings since those would match better.

But what do you think in terms of wingspan to body proportion? Also mass and lightness must be an issue. I know my dragon creatures would have tough scales, which may take years to fully develop. What do you think would be a good wingspan to shoot for?
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2016  Professional Filmographer
Visually speaking, wingspans that are about 4 times the length of the character's height looks "correct" to me, scientifically speaking, the wing length/size would look ENORMOUS to be able to generate enough lift to carry a humanoid form, plus the issue of all the supporting physiology needed for flight, so it's kinda up to the creator to find a balance between the two that is believable. :>
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:icontheswordlegion:
TheSwordLegion Featured By Owner May 12, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay, thanks! I appreciate your time.

Keep up with the good concepts! :)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner May 13, 2016  Professional Filmographer
no problem!
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:iconhannahdoodle100:
Hannahdoodle100 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2016
have you looked at EB. Hudspeth's Harpy from 'The Ressurectionist'. I think he has similar ideas for the wing placement but he creates more space in the rib-area for the wing muscles to attach to the body... 


I'm struggling myself with trying to incorporate an additional limb onto a human/humanoid body. Personally i find this design looks a little awkward in places (that might just be me obsessing over where the muscles should go, their size and how to incorporate different muscle systems together... cuz i'm over-thinking it) The biggest issue i have for me is the shoulder blade and the muscles that attach to it. One idea for winged humanoids that i've seen involves the wing joint being on the sholderblade which means that a muscle may be displaced... but making the sholderblade seperate looks slightly more awkward.... I don't know...

Either way i love several aspects of your winged humanoid design (such as making the rib cage and pelvis closer together - Some designs make the spine look awkward as that area of the spine is designed in humans to help us keep out balance without wasting energy on the muscles so changing its posture looks uncomfortable and inefficient - so i'm glad you got around that)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2016  Professional Filmographer
I have seen his designs around, yes! I put these tutorials together back in 2010 when there were hardly ANY examples of such things, and its super awesome to see Hudspeth and so many others explore these idea today! 

I've learned and revisited this theory a LOT since I put out these tutorials (see mernolan.tumblr.com/post/53441… and mernolan.tumblr.com/post/14001…), considering they are now 6 years old I am well aware of their shortcomings. Attaching the wings to the arm shoulder blade is a solution I see a lot and personally do not subscribe to, my thinking being that the wing will be affected by arm movement and visa versa (as in they will move as a unit instead of operating separately, which could be an interesting concept if you can figure out the anatomy), plus you would be displacing muscles needed for arm movement and it dose not solve the problem of where to attach the necessary flight muscles - placing the wing-humerus on the arm-scapula implies that the wing muscles will some how overlap or share(?!) the arm muscles. The basic function of a scapula is to provide a foundation for proper joint function, without proper foundation things won't work. 

HOWEVER is all theoretical! I don't think there is necessarily a right way or a wrong way, it just kind of comes down to how believable can you make it!
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:iconhannahdoodle100:
Hannahdoodle100 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2016
I know, Its irritating to figure it out. Currently i have separate scapular for the limbs as i couldn't find a way to join the two that i was happy with. I've joined the collar bone/Wishbone but it's kinda clunky looking so i'll probably revise it and i've barely put any thought into muscle placement so far - which i should think about before making many more skeleton alterations.

I do agree with you however that it is theoretical, so i shouldn't stress so much, its just sometimes you want to make something 'perfect' and as realistic as you possibly can. Thanks for the references to your more revised work though :) - I like the membrane you've put in to help the transition between the feathers and skin.
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2016  Professional Filmographer
There's tons of resources out there, and tons of different ideas, so as long as you keep an open mind, you'll be able to come up with your own theory!
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:iconindigooftheheavens:
IndigoOfTheHeavens Featured By Owner Edited Oct 11, 2015  Student General Artist
People always seem to think of the arms and legs as "dead" weight. For my winged flyers, they're actually used as the active rudders when in flight. I mean, you can do an experiment while swimming [or if you have the fortune to practice in a vertical wind tunnel like I did several times], and use your limbs to turn you around in flight and actively shape the water [or air] flow past you. Also, if you shift a leg up or to the side, the rest of your body will have to move to compensate. You use that movement to turn your whole body into a rudder and shift your body into the position you need. Birds have very stiff bodies due to evolution forming them into that way, but that doesn't mean that we have to sacrifice ALL the flexibility benefits of the human body we can and bemoan the rest. Bats can use their bodies to help turn in flight along with their wings. Insects do the same too.

Another example of how the limbs and body movement can become your best friend in manipulation through the air or water, is to take a look at the zero-G people. Yeah they don't need to deal with wind resistance and they have the lift provided from the falling airplane, but still the way they move around by using their bodies, legs, hands, feet, and gestures, is pretty evocative. Swimmers also show that, and swimming creatures actually have a lot of similarities with flying creatures - they both have to be streamlined and aerodynamic.

The way I see it in my head is that you can use a kick forward to turn your body into a forward roll if you time it right with your wings folding in a bit, more forward, and downwards at the same time too and tuck your head in and then the movement should flow pretty naturally from there. To stop, you just fling your arms, wings, and legs out at the right time [like a gymnast actually] and can go on from there. Look at gymnasts in action and they also have to use their bodies to go around while they're soaring in mid-air from a leap or a lunge. Cats that fall can turn their bodies around 180 degrees to get into the right position for landing. All from simply shifting their tail, limbs, heads, and then the rest of the spine and body follows.

I find that so many people who work with airplanes and such, highly underestimate the sheer amount of modifications that are needed and used every second by real living flying creatures. Metal machines cannot hope to imitate such rapid fast and constant modifications. Feathers in the wings can be individually moved and lifted for more lift in low-speed situations, less lift in controlled dives, and etc. Study how crows and ravens fly, and these corvids show you the true mastery of wing shapes and can do aerobatics for fun in flight. They have subtler niches in their primary feathers than the raptors do, and more of an "average" wing shape [not leaning into one extreme over another like some other wing shapes] that they can manipulate to be sleeker for diving, broader for soaring, shorter and rounder for powered flight, longer and thinner for gliding, and even do tumbles, loop-de-loops, wing overs, and more in their flight. At times you'll see them have their legs out to help affect the airflow and body motion while flying, to do moves that may be more difficult for other birds. Even regular birds will stick their legs out, fan out their wings and tails to deliberately create drag to the point of stalling before they can land safely. Methinks arms and legs of the human would function nicely in the same way.  

Also study airplanes, and how they can stabilize themselves better in many ways by having their landing gear down to create more drag and have an anchoring down-weight. Many times pilots have averted disaster or a dangerous roll by shifting out the landing gear to add increased stability in their flight.

Anyways, to wrap up, whoever said that flying should not be a FULL body workout? Swimming, acrobatics, free-fall movements, and the like are very much a full-body work out. Even dancing [like in figure skating] and when the dancer spins very fast, they can affect the speed of their spins by drawing their arms and legs in close, and slow it down by moving their arms and legs back out again. To look only at how the muscles that directly impact the wings and consider the rest as functioning "dead" weight, would be a gross oversimplification in my mind of how such flight aerobatics could be done. But that's my theory at least and I'd love to see what you think of it!
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Professional Filmographer
Hey there! I promise I haven't been ignoring this comment, just waiting until I had the time to properly respond to it!

I really appreciate your insight into solving this "problem" as well as providing a TON of real life examples, and I totally agree with you/have thought a lot about how winged characters can throw their weight around to steer (these tutorials are from 2011 so they are definitely flawed and I've learned a lot since then).

In addition to using limbs as rudders, I think that the environment will also affect the style of flight. In my webcomimc, my winged character lives in a city and spends more time flying low between buildings than he dose soaring due to the nature of his job, BUT he himself and his wingspan are far too large to get into tight spaces (he is "displaced" so evolution isn't taken into account in this case). SO he relies heavily on his surroundings to help him maneuver effectively. For a character living in an open country side, how they fly becomes very different. 

ANYWAYS thank you again, maybe one of these days I will remake these tutorials and include the information I've learned over the years!
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:iconnotthefluffiest:
NottheFluffiest Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And now we're getting into the meat of the tutorial! (Sorry, I'll shut up now)
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:iconmooddragon:
MoodDragon Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Student General Artist
Very helpful, thank you!
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Professional Filmographer
no problem!
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:iconnickelion:
nickelion Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014
Genius work and esplanation. Thanks a lot. It was extremelly useful...
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Professional Filmographer
i'm glad you found it helpful c:
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:iconthewhitejewel:
TheWhiteJewel Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Ahhh, I'm not sure if I will ever use this but I have to say I love all the thought and creativity you've put into this. It's quite fascinating making up and giving rules for a fantastical creature, no? Especially when it sounds so logical!




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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Professional Filmographer
aahh thank you! I love seeing other ways of doing it too!
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:iconhaineko14:
Haineko14 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW! This is really thought out dayum gurl/boy/whatever this need a daily deviation. (If the butt is longer then does that mean they will have a killer booty?)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Professional Filmographer
booty booty booty booty rockin errywhere

(thanks!!)
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:iconhaineko14:
Haineko14 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
SHAKE IT BAKE IT BOOTYQUAKE IT ROLL IT AROUND, DON'T FAKE IT

(you're welcome :3)
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:iconmelysine:
Melysine Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
Finally! Someone thinking the whole thing through. =) Deserves a massive "thumbs up"!
I've been experimenting with the concept myself for some time, but for shape shifters. Your reference makes me want to take up research again. OMG MOAR POEMS!
You're right, information for such mental experiments is hard to gather. A good supply of web pages, anatomy books and photographs is quite useful... but there is so little to find concerning bats! They don't get enough love!
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Professional Filmographer
aahaha thanks! all it takes is a little research to make things believable ;)
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:iconlxblack:
lxblack Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like making creature's that fly using oversized hands with flat fingers. It looks kind of like an evolutionary midway between bat's, birds and humans.
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:icontaquanawolf:
taquanawolf Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I love this it really helped me allot!! ^^
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Professional Filmographer
aww thanks! I'm glad it helped!
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:iconpsyartista9:
Psyartista9 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Student General Artist
This is fantastic!:iconwheeeplz:
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Professional Filmographer
:D
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:iconfregatto:
Fregatto Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Love this.
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Professional Filmographer
thanks C:
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:iconsyq:
Syq Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011
I LOVE this set.
Winged Humanoids are something that have always interested me, but I like it more realistic: no 5 foot wing-span for a 6 foot human. -_-

Great job!!
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thanks! hope it helps :)
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:icontotalrandomusername:
totalrandomusername Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow. Drawing humans with wings with the right proportions is much harder than what I thought
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Professional Filmographer
eh, not really, it just doesn't look at attractive as just slapping some wings on some guy lol
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:iconnoustudio:
NouStudio Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011
Ahhhh this. All of this is fantastic. I've just about worked out the actual wing anatomy, but attaching them to the body - baffling. Thank you so much for these :D
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Professional Filmographer
no problem :)
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:iconsquatchart:
SquatchArt Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a great reference for anyone wanting to draw any kind of bird-like winged humanoids. It helped me learn a bit more for an upcoming piece I am working on and I am glad someone did something like this. For those going on about furries, this is not exclusive to them. It can be very helpful for angelic creatures and even demonic creatures or any bird-winged creature...
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thank you :)
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:iconsquatchart:
SquatchArt Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're most welcome.
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:iconveterilu:
VeTeRiLu Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Hobbyist
Thank you!

A had difficulties with the back muscles of the wings, and was looking for something like this :D
I learned thanks to my duck, but she is tired of me tauching and streching her wings ^^; ... yeah, I'd be tired too
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Professional Filmographer
haha no problem! Just look at lots of reference pictures c:
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:iconveterilu:
VeTeRiLu Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Hobbyist
Sweet thank you!
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:iconarourallis:
arourallis Featured By Owner May 11, 2011
Just as a fore-note, I only want to try and improve my own tutorial, so may I ask what you ment in reference to it? There are no doubt issues, I pretty much copied right out of a human anatomy text and tried to go from there without doing much research, and there are things I would like to go back and fix. Anything you could point out would be helpful :)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner May 24, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I'm not an expert on this stuff and I didn't mean to call you out D: I think the method that you used in your tutorial is valid and I'm very interested in seeing other people's interpretations on winged humanoids :) I'm not so sure the size and position of the wing shoulder blade is practical - birds have long shoulder blades, bat's are much like humans, and both are paralell to the spine. Also mobility and spacing between both sets of scapulars are kinda iffy - study the way we move our arms and the way birds or bats move their wings to get a better idea of how much space they need to move around. I'm not exactly sure what is what on the profile view of the modified chest muscles, if you cleared that up, that might help :)
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:iconarourallis:
arourallis Featured By Owner May 24, 2011
I didn't think you were calling me out at all! Disagreeing with an idea is fine. I did try to think about how everything would move, and there are some things I would go back and change, like the profile muscle view. Thank you for replying though :)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner May 24, 2011  Professional Filmographer
no problem :)
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:iconsingingrabbitskull:
SingingRabbitSkull Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011
ooh this is a really awesome tutorial <3
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:iconpixelmecha:
PixelMecha Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Bat's have different muscle attachment than birds, they don't have the enlarged "keel" bone, but rather the muscles are attached to an extended bone along their spine, so the other way around than birds! I think this could work for flying humanoids, and also it's a bit unfair to say bats aren't as efficient fliers as birds, they fly in a completely different way and are in some ways even more efficient! [link]

Someone mentioned pterosaurs earlier, their flight is very interesting too, sort of like a combination of bird-like and bat-like flight. Their wings were masterful pieces of equipment, made up of three major layers; strengthening fibres, a muscle layer and a layer with many blood vessels to serve the muscles. This meant that unlike bats, they could change the shape of the flight surface of the wing itself, making them even more efficient and specialised for flight.

Flight really is an interesting subject, I really should research more. I was thinking of coming up with my own way of connecting wings to a humanoid, but your guide is really interesting and useful!
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I couldn't believe how difficult it was to find information about bat muscle anatomy on the internet D: which is mainly why I didn't focus too much on them. Good point about bats flying differently ^^; just didn't/couldn't figure out how to put that I guess.

If I were to do this tutorial again (which is possible!) I would definitely want to look more into pterosaurs and bats c:
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