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Realistic Wing Tutorial - P.1
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youtube Icon 3/20/10: My first video showing wing-movement ~
Little Pixel Wing - Black (right)  8/12/10: Made some corrections for spelling & clarification~ And wow, I've underestimated the amount of information...I've gone from 2 tutorials to 5. :O_o: make that 6...^^;
youtube Icon 10/19/13: My second video showing two wing's movement~
 youtube Icon 8/5/17: Disney animator describes the Mechanics of Bird Flight - watch for the useful description of how wings are built from 8:40 - 11:31.

Pixelist - FTU Block Bullet NEW Walkthrough Arrow left  Mockingjay Wings - Concept to Design



Little Pixel Wing - White (right) For those with screen-reading issues, here is the above tutorial in text-based format!

Part 0 - MATERIALS
Part 0.5 - TOOLS
Part 1 - CONCEPT :pointl: YOU ARE HERE
Part 2 - FEATHERS
Part 3 - HARNESS
Part 4 - ASSEMBLY
Part 5 - COVERTS
Part 6 - ARM-COVER WIP
EXTRA -  RESULTS: See what OTHER people have made following this tutorial~ :la:

The Feather Atlas
Slater Museum of Natural History

Bird Wings (Tutorial) by Key-Feathers
Bird's Wing Anatomy by unkraut
Bird Wing Tutorial by TheAntimonyElement has TONS of good links~

Already finished your wings? Please fill out this questionnaire, I'd love to hear about it!


Wing Design/Tutorial © Sunnybrook1
Model wildmage007
Image size
1000x6000px 6.76 MB
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Comments (186)
dovahkovu's avatar
dovahkovu|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
do you make these to sell or is that out of the question? :P
Reply  ·  
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter

Not currently, if I ever do I'll post it all over (on my main profile, at least).

Costume/cosplay creation is something I do for fun, but it's pricey and time consuming, two things I'm short on at the moment.

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dovahkovu's avatar
dovahkovu|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
thats fine! thanks for replying.
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GhostyAshes-x's avatar
GhostyAshes-x|Student Digital Artist
Could you possibly you thick but bendable craft paper In the place of fabric?
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Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It's possible, though the resulting feathers end up rather noisy (click-clacking together), and you'd definitely need to use some kind of adhesive if you're sandwiching two layers of them together, paint wouldn't cut it here.

I used poster board for this set of "quick" wings (bad-photos are bad, my apologies in advance) ^^;
Rito Mother - ECCC 2011 by Sunnybrook1
Reply  ·  
Castielsdearstalker's avatar
Hi Sunny!
I really want to make these for Halloween this year, do I still have time? Also, if you are going to make a fabric version what are the cardboard feathers for?
Reply  ·  
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
If you set aside a few weekends, or paint feathers in your evening free time, sure there's time~

And the while you make the final feathers out of fabric, it's still a good idea to test how big you want the final product to be, as well as have a pattern to use for both wings, so I found cardboard was easy to find, cut, and use as a mock-up material, as well as work as an easily traceable pattern for your fabric cutting. :D
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Castielsdearstalker's avatar
Ooh okay thanks!
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JustForStories's avatar
Question... im planning to make a feathered wyvern and after seeing this, i wanted to make it using this tutorial, but the wyvern also has 3 fingers sticking out of the wing that move with my other free fingers. any modifications you might suggest to make it work with the pinkie finger? (i dont have a WIP cause i havent started, but i plan to start)

thanks!
Reply  ·  
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
3 fingers huh? You mean like this?
misty by Varenich
*totally lurked in your favorites folder*

Well, your pinkie alone won't be enough to lift up the wings, but you could find a way to strap the top feather to your hand, maybe in the form of a loop or velcro-strap that you can put around your hand that keeps the wings open. Means your hands/arms will get tired pretty quickly, and letting your arms down to rest means your feather-tips could drag along the ground (depending on how long they are).

Or to allow you to raise/lower the wings have the strap on the outside that you can slip your hands into, though it'd take some work to make it look natural on the costume.

Good luck in the planning~
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lookingback13's avatar
lookingback13|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi sunny!
Im going to do these wings for a school science project. Do you have any tips?  And just wondering is 10 weeks enough to finish 2 wings or does it take longer?  Have a great day 😊
Reply  ·  
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yes, 10 weeks should be plenty, though I recommend spacing it out, like an hour or two a day, or a few hours every other day (especially when it comes to painting & drying the feathers). Also, before you buy a lot of fabric or paint/glue/etc, I highly recommend buying just a little bit of it & making a test feather to make sure the results are what you want.

Post pics if you finish it! :D
Reply  ·  
Orukal's avatarComment Featured By Owner
Finished stage 1 of the wings for the Fall 2015 renaissance faire that we attend. This included everything except the secondary feathers and the wing topper. Completed the wings for Spring 2016. It wasn't that difficult, following the directions, that is. I was happy with how they turned out, but I know I could have done a better job. That's why we're crafted a new set for my daughter (The first is hers as well) for use at the 2016 Fall renaissance faire. The one biggest tip that I think I could provide would be don't disregard using paint as the glue. It's perfect. I tried spray adhesive and fabric glue and it really just made a mess and didn't hold together as well. The pictures attached are from the Spring 2016 faire. I'll update after finishing the second set. Oh, and a word of warning if you plan on putting one color in the front and another in the back like I did...the paint will run through and you can only match one of the colors. fav.me/dak0fo0 fav.me/dak0fo9 fav.me/dak0fod
Reply  ·  
Z-Angaros's avatar
Z-Angaros|Hobbyist General Artist
I love you for making this <3 can't wait to try it <3
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vtreat's avatar
Thank you for the tutorial. It helped so much. I am working on a Nature Conservation Project throughout the year and theme #3 was Birds of Prey. IF you want to check out my Peregrine Falcon check it out on my Facebook page: Treats Photography
Reply  ·  
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Glad to hear it, I'm always happy to see what people make! :la: Would you mind posting a link to your FB? I searched, but cannot tell which one it is. ^^;
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Okami-Shiranui1's avatar
Okami-Shiranui1|Professional Traditional Artist
hey Sunnybrook1, I'm trying to make Jack Noir wings for my cosplay i really want to finish. and i really like how tyigra did theirs. do you think you could kind of help me? thanks!
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Okami-Shiranui1's avatar
Okami-Shiranui1|Professional Traditional Artist
oh, just another deviant. i don't know them personally though. well jack noir has a long wingspan, probably 12 ft. and i was wondering how i would make the wings.
Reply  ·  
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sure! :) I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, though who is "tyigra"? :confused:
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LongLivePrincessAra's avatar
I bet you could make dragon wings using this same concept... Maybe instead of individual "feathers", have all the wires connected with one piece of stretchy material. What do you think?
Reply  ·  
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yup, agreed. :) I haven't had a project that justified buying & trying this myself, feel free to try yourself & share the results!
Reply  ·  
kolumbianerin's avatar
Hi, I would really like a set of these wings, but don't  have the time to start on such project. I'm willing to buy a set of these. Do you make these for sale? Please let me know if this is possible.  

Thanks.
Reply  ·  
Sunnybrook1's avatar
Sunnybrook1|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
^^; Sorry, not open for commissions yet - I'll announce when I am, though it won't be for awhile sadly.. Sad dummy 
Reply  ·  
joshuainthebox's avatar
I've started my concept work up already....and at first I was confused at how you reached the 27.5" measurement for the basic feather.  Wanted to put this here for anyone else that might get confused too...correct me if i'm wrong but I'm assuming that measurement is roughly the length of the longest primary minus your hand measurement.  Maybe adjusted a bit so you have .5" to 1" to grip.  This allows the shaft to come back to the pivot point somewhat bare to keep from pinching the material and allowing everything to fold up nice...
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anonymous's avatar
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