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Bat & Fairy Wings

Bryce Tutorials

This is the effect we are going to achieve - a slim, bony framework with a transparent membrane stretched across it. Obviously the design of the framework determines the type of wing you will produce.

First you need to make a greyscale 512 x 512 pixel drawing of the framework in Photoshop or your favourite image editing program. Use a soft brush and a mid grey colour. When you have finished smooth it with a Gaussian blur about 2 pixels. For PC users save it as a .bmp file. This will be applied to a Symmetrical Lattice in Bryce.
(You can also do it directly in the Terrain Editor by creating a Symmetrical Lattice, enter the Terrain Editor, select New, select Grid 512 and using a small medium soft brush, draw the framework in the terrain canvas and smooth it.)

Assuming you have created your framework image externally, in Bryce create a Symmetrical Lattice and click the E key to open the Terrain Editor. Select New, select grid 512. Click on the Pictures Tab and load your .bmp file into both thumbnail slots. Click on Apply and your screen should look like this.

Return to your scene - enlarge the Symmetrical Lattice and rotate it 90 degrees around the X axis and render - you should see something like this.
It's not very delicate is it? We'll reduce the width next.

In edit mode with the Symmetrical Lattice selected click on the A button to open the Attributes dialogue box. The bottom row refers to Size. In the column for Size Y enter 0.4 and click the checkmark to return and render.Y is used because we have rotated the Symmetrical Lattice through 90 degrees and the wide part of the framework was along its Y axis.Now that looks better doesn't it.

It is good practice at this point to name the Symmetrical Lattice - click on A and give it a name - I called it Bones.Now duplicate this Symmetrical Lattice and name it Membrane. With Membrane selected click on E to open the Terrain Editor.With various sized hard brushes fill in the area you wish to be the membrane in a shade of grey just one notch up (lighter) than the grey used for the framework. You must use a hard brush for this to maintain a flat surface.

Having filled in the membrane, drag the bottom of the clipping bracket upwards until the darker grey of the framework disappears or turns red. Click the check mark to return to the Scene View.With the Membrane selected click on the A button and enter 0.05 in the Size Y box. This will give you a very thin membrane.

You will notice that the two Symmetrical Lattices are not in the same plane. Select both of them and click on the ball in the centre of the alignment controls - see left. They will then be aligned.

Now all you have to do is apply a material to the bones and the membrane, either the same one or a different one for each. Don't be restricted to the transparent materials for the membrane, use whatever you like and set the transparency to between 50% and 70%in the material editor.In the image at the top I used a rock material.To the left is an example framework for a fairy wing. You can use this technique for any shaped wing with bones and a membrane, it would be excellent for dragonfly wings.

Fairy Wing Image.

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