Modeling the Wings

Grae has wings, and they're somewhat unconventional. His are constructed from separate strands rather than being two solid entities.

To build the wings, we have two options available to us:

  • We can build the entire wing, modelling each strand separately.

  • We can construct the wings out of several large, flat polygons; then the individual strands can be added in the form of a semi-transparent texture.

The first option would produce a better-looking result but would require plenty of polygons. In addition, we would need lots of joints in order to animate the wings; each strand would need at least 10 joints to animate successfully. Another plus is that we would need very little texture space.

What about the second option? Both wings could be created with under 60 polygons, and animation would require only a few joints. The downside: We would need more texture space for these wings. Let's go with this safer second option and see how the wings turn out.

Although the wings are not conventional, we still want them to animate like normal wings. That is, we want them to fan in and out as well as flap up and down. With this in mind, we will try and create the basic geometry of the wing by placing edges where the joints occur in a bat wing.


Start in a new scene. Create a polygonal plane by going to Create > Polygon Primitives > Plane. Configure the plane so it has six Subdivisions Along Width and two Subdivisions Along Height (Figure 7.47a).

Figure 7.47. Create and adjust a basic plane to get the wing shape.


Manipulate the plane's vertices until you have a credible wing shape, as illustrated in Figure 7.47b.


So that we can add a bit more shape to the wing, divide the larger spans (Figure 7.47c).


Edit the whole wing in the perspective view, making it less flat and more three-dimensional, as shown in Figure 7.48.

Figure 7.48. Adjust the wing in the perspective view until it looks less flat.


Save the file as Grae_Wing.mb; then load the full Grae model file.


Import the wing and position it, duplicating it to make the wing on the other side.

Now, as you did with Kila, rotate around the entire model of Grae, making sure he is perfect before you proceed to optimization.

As shown in Figure 7.49 the Grae model is now complete. Clean up the geometry and the scene, and save your work as Grae_Details.mb.

Figure 7.49. The Grae model, complete

    Game Character Development with Maya
    Game Character Development with Maya
    ISBN: 073571438X
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2004
    Pages: 169
    Authors: Antony Ward

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