MMO-Champion - Artcraft - A First Look - New Human Female Character Model
Artcraft - A First Look
The new Human Female character model is here!



Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hi, I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director of World of Warcraft, and this is the first in a series of articles we're creating to bring you all closer to the development of the player character model revamps we announced at BlizzCon. In this series, we'll give you an inside look at the process we go through to do one of these revamps, discuss the kinds of art issues we're addressing with the new models, and provide a bit of insight our future plans for their continued polish.

We're happy to begin our series by sharing a first look at where we're at with the Human female. While future articles won’t always be about revealing a new model, we thought this would be a great introduction to the approach we take for every one of these redesigns.

We’re looking at these model revamps as a sort of “spiritual update” to the art content that currently exists in-game—except we’re completely redoing them from scratch. That includes the base model, skin tone variations, customization options (e.g. wrinkles, scars, moles, earrings, etc.), hairstyles, and any skin variations for NPCs you see out in the world, like Iron Dwarves or Leper Gnomes. We’re pretty excited about some of the ideas you've given us for new customization and skin options you’d like to see, but our first goal—which is already a monumental endeavor—is to make sure that the visual content that currently exists is brought up to or surpasses the level of quality you see in current boss models, the Pandaren, and central NPCs like the new Vol’jin model.

With the revamp, we’re completely overhauling every aspect of the player models, but our goal is to do so while retaining the core look and feel that has always made them your character. We'll feel like we've succeeded if you see the updated version of your character and it still feels like you’re looking at the character you’ve been playing for the past however many years—only someone has finally focused a lens.

To achieve this, we’re increasing the polygon count significantly (in some cases going from less than 1,000 to over 5,000), more than doubling the texture resolution, increasing bone count significantly to support updated animation and facial expression, and retouching nearly every animation for all of the characters. For animation alone, that’s roughly 180 animations per character, times 10 races in both male and female variants, equaling approximately 3,600 animations. We’re also incorporating the rigging technology we introduced with the Pandaren into every character to provide better posing, smoother animation, and the ability to pull off some fantastic facial expressions. In the weeks and months ahead, we’re going to be bringing you in for a closer look at some of the processes, challenges, and results of this revamp process.

What you’re looking at here for the Human female is a single face option and a single skin tone on the base model without any animation or posing. When developing the base model we keep the expression on the face as devoid of emotion or expression as possible, as that allows our animators a greater range of motion when they start posing and morphing the face into different expressions. If we were to put any amount of expression—even a slight smile or mildly angry eyebrows—in the base model, that would carry through to every animation, and we'd end up with some very confused-looking characters.

Joe Keller is a senior character artist on our team and was responsible for the lion’s share of modeling and texturing the Human female. Here's what he had this to say about this challenge:

“Everyone is pretty familiar with the Human character models in WoW, but working on these updates gives us a chance to embellish and fill in the blanks. For the Human female this meant we could give her more muscle definition and personality in the face while still staying true to the overall look and spirit of the original. Hopefully this will also help show her as more of the capable fighter that she is.”

This process has been a welcome challenge for all of us on the World of Warcraft art team. We’ve all wanted to address the player models and bring them up to a more current fidelity for some time now, and we’re as excited as you are to get these models into the game. We hope you’ll enjoy this series as we invite you to meet the team and see more on our development process.

Thanks so much, and see you next time.

Previously Previewed Models

This article was originally published in forum thread: Artcraft – A First Look - New Human Female Character Model started by chaud View original post
Comments 514 Comments
  1. Littleshashi's Avatar
    These things are going to look DISGUSTING good in machinima. Like, seriously, people are going to start demanding them in full fledged youtube series.

    Good job so far, Blizzard.
  1. Finnio's Avatar
    the way these guys from blizzard describe the animation process it sounds to me they will probably release WoD next year...
  1. Keristrasza's Avatar
    I love how people think these models show how close/far away Beta is ... when blizzard themselves said it is possible not all races will be ready for WoD's launch... so I doubt they hold any baring on the release of Beta.
  1. Lumineus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    People who's talking about models looking "like something from 200X" must be total derps.
    Well. They really do. Like something from about... when did the first Kingdom Hearts come out, 2002? Yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong, PS2 gfx are still a vast improvement over N64, and this is probably about the limit to what WoW's engine can actually handle and still function in double digit FPS, but it is what it is. These are not going to be current-gen or even last-gen quality models.
  1. Summerdrake's Avatar
    Uhm, she looks very good, but why did you make her look chubbier? Did she just have birth or something??...
  1. Tyandor's Avatar
    Want to post these links here which explains very well why the model updates are a tricky and a lot of work:

    http://clevermusings.net/2013/11/wow...update-primer/

    http://clevermusings.net/2013/11/wow...e-closer-look/
  1. vlad's Avatar
    Great work, a good 40-60% representation of the original (nose not as upturned,chin not as pointy,eyes angle up instead of down etc). Doing an overlay in photoshop shows they really dont match up well at all when scaled exactly the same. Proportions are all slightly different and each feature is much different than the original (like those big old spooked eyes). They kept the basic idea but the soul of these new chars is changed. Even though the face is emotionless we can see from the previously released animated new faces the chars just dont look the same. im sure folks will take quite some time to adjust, hopefully blizz lets people keep opt out of the updates or at least gives a free char reconfig so we can find a new face that appeals better than the current . either way i dont play anymore but its still kinda sad to see the familiar faces so drastically altered from the original "spirit" blizz claims they were capturing. wow, the eyebrows are the only close match.

    Now the conversion to a Disney cartoon is complete! LOL, I stopped playing before the game started getting so geared toward children.
  1. TehTemplar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumineus View Post
    Well. They really do. Like something from about... when did the first Kingdom Hearts come out, 2002? Yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong, PS2 gfx are still a vast improvement over N64, and this is probably about the limit to what WoW's engine can actually handle and still function in double digit FPS, but it is what it is. These are not going to be current-gen or even last-gen quality models.
    Are you comparing single player graphics to MMO ones? You have to remember that MMOs need to render gigantic towns, with a ton of people on flying mounts swinging around, NPCs, then another ton of people on the ground, some of which spam spells or other things that affect performance.

    Now with dual GTX 690s or AMD 290X, sure you'll be able to ultra it. But you forget that WoW's number 1 priority has always been for the game to be available even to people who cannot afford great computers. For me, for an MMO they look great.
  1. Lumineus's Avatar
    I'm running two 670s now. WoW does a shitty job of using them too, I rarely see over 70% load. It's an engine problem, not a rendering problem.
  1. Ruck's Avatar
    Meh, not impressed
  1. Ghier's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Meh, not impressed
    Me either, looks like a chubby soccer mom that has been curling 30lb dumbbells everyday.
  1. Ineluki's Avatar
    Looks WAY better. Though as someone who is currently playing a female human pally as my main(with that face), Im not sure yet on how well they copied it. I wont make a final decision on it until I see in game on my toon. Hopefully they give out free a recustomization for everyone, I think it would help control the shit storm that will probably happen(no matter how perfectly they copy the old models, it will happen).

    Edit: Chubby? You can see her damn ribs, this is NOT chubby(unless you prefer anorexic women).

  1. Woakerio's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghier View Post
    Me either, looks like a chubby soccer mom that has been curling 30lb dumbbells everyday.
    Thats harsh lol, if anything her body looks curvy but to each their own.
  1. telygroar's Avatar
    she seem to have wrinkle now the "original" model look "young" but now she seem 15/20 years older
  1. Karot's Avatar
    So damn good! The human female actually looks...human! *rabid applause*
  1. Dellis0991's Avatar
    I like this, I really do so now Blizzard give me afro option for my human and I will love you long time.
  1. Kryos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghier View Post
    Me either, looks like a chubby soccer mom that has been curling 30lb dumbbells everyday.
    If that's chubby, then you think woman should look like that?:
  1. Lumineus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryos View Post
    If that's chubby, then you think woman should look like that?:
    Filthy Hobbitses stoles the Precious! We wants it!
  1. Ghier's Avatar

    Yea looks chubby to me. Plus hobbit feet and bodybuilder arms. Also looks too real to fit in a stylized game like WoW. I'm just being honest.
  1. Ahandii's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Summerdrake View Post
    Uhm, she looks very good, but why did you make her look chubbier? Did she just have birth or something??...
    First of all, i disagree, i don't think she looks chubbier, if anything, i think she looks a little more slim. And second of all, play a BE female if you want a character that looks like a size zeromodel..

    edit: forgot to mention that i think she looks friggin awesome.

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