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. Tomana's Avatar
    Wtb the BE model nao please
    It is better to be even more awsum than it already is
  1. perera's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Veceva View Post
    I much prefer the old model at this point. I hope other skin tone/face options look better, else I'll have to be race changing all of my human females.
    I'm inclined to agree. The new model looks like a random girl that has done some plastic surgery. The old model, though outdated, had personality, style.

    Then again, it seems pretty clear most people love the generic look.
  1. Josch's Avatar
    Considering that this is one of the uglier human female faces, it's really well done!
    http://www.scrollsoflore.com/gallery...male-Faces.jpg
    The upper right one is my favorite and I am really looking forward to see the redo!

    The body silhouette remains the same only much more detailed, hopefully they change the running animation as well now.
  1. ssviolett's Avatar
    Very nice. Hair looks still badly, but it seems they will work on it.
  1. Airbag888's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by coranial View Post
    Am I the only one that thinks these models look shit? they still look like they're 10 years old. Maybe they look good if you haven't played anything since WoW.
    Compared to any of the newer MMO's, Tera, GW2 etc they still look incredibly dated.
    That's what I've been saying. If you've only known WoW then yeah big step forward. For everyone else, it's just meh at best
  1. bigmattyl's Avatar
    nice tits! =)
  1. Wayne25uk's Avatar
    I hope they change the skin tone abit on that model as she looks like shes ill atm with cancer or something.

    Also totally called it for the reveal,all others say Night elf and dwarf......idiots...
  1. Ashrael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Airbag888 View Post
    That's what I've been saying. If you've only known WoW then yeah big step forward. For everyone else, it's just meh at best
    If you knew what engine wow runs on, you'd know how big step this is.
  1. Airbag888's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tankbug View Post
    I don't think Blizzard has any plans of making the models look life-like. The direction seems to be more Pixar-y. If you want Skyrim, look somewere else.
    No one is asking for life like models. Just more lively ones. You mentioned pixar, you should know of course that latest pixar scenes of say toy-story have really high processing requirements even with 'simple' models

    Ex: How do you like the 'new' water shaders in wow, how do you like the real time shadows? How do you like the lighting and fire fx? They were all in Guild Wars 1 9 yrs ago which btw ran smoother than WoW on my old machine but that's another story.
    What I'm saying is a lot of improvements could be made to the engine both now and back in the day. What they're doing now is a far cry from a big deal.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostile View Post
    If you knew what engine wow runs on, you'd know how big step this is.
    No one is saying that the engine isn't old. You fail to understand the difference between a relative accomplishment and an absolute one.

    They did impressively while still working on the old engine of yore

    They did crap when compared to anything else in that market. What's worst is some games that came out 9yrs ago in many ways looked better then than WoW does now.

    What we're saying is if that engine is crippling you, get rid of it and swap to a new 'scalable' engine that will cater to low and high specs and everything in between.

    That's one reason many studios licence game engines like Unreal for their games so they know they got the cream of the crop and that their games will look the par.
  1. Ashrael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Airbag888 View Post
    No one is asking for life like models. Just more lively ones. You mentioned pixar, you should know of course that latest pixar scenes of say toy-story have really high processing requirements even with 'simple' models

    Ex: How do you like the 'new' water shaders in wow, how do you like the real time shadows? How do you like the lighting and fire fx? They were all in Guild Wars 1 9 yrs ago which btw ran smoother than WoW on my old machine but that's another story.
    What I'm saying is a lot of improvements could be made to the engine both now and back in the day. What they're doing now is a far cry from a big deal.

    - - - Updated - - -



    No one is saying that the engine isn't old. You fail to understand the difference between a relative accomplishment and an absolute one.

    They did impressively while still working on the old engine of yore

    They did crap when compared to anything else in that market. What's worst is some games that came out 9yrs ago in many ways looked better then than WoW does now.

    What we're saying is if that engine is crippling you, get rid of it and swap to a new 'scalable' engine that will cater to low and high specs and everything in between.

    That's one reason many studios licence game engines like Unreal for their games so they know they got the cream of the crop and that their games will look the par.
    So, you are saying they should get a new engine and use more time to make the game look better and due to that, leave the content with less attention?
    That's the mistake every other fantasy MMO has done.
    Looked good but a hollow shell.

    I know I'd rather play an ugly game with mass of content.
  1. Emzky's Avatar
    Nice models. But. With WoW as inefficient as it is with the heavy load on CPU, I predict that they will run into performance issues and reduce polygon count again.......
  1. Airbag888's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostile View Post
    So, you are saying they should get a new engine and use more time to make the game look better and due to that, leave the content with less attention?
    That's the mistake every other fantasy MMO has done.
    Looked good but a hollow shell.

    I know I'd rather play an ugly game with mass of content.
    Now you're mixing issues up. I was expecting as much.. This discussion, heck the whole article is about graphics right? Not gameplay.

    And about your point, do you believe that Blizzard's finances = Arena.net's? It's most likely not even close. Arena net then achieved that much more with a quantum of what blizzard has access to. Again, graphics wise.

    Oh and Graphic designers and Software engineers don't generally work on content.
  1. Doylez's Avatar
    Dunno what it is but the face doesn't look quite right.
  1. Yzak's Avatar
    People on these forums baffle me. People ask, bitch, and whine for new character model. Blizzard FINALLY answers the request with results and people then begin bitching that they're not up to GW2, Terra, (insert w/e else MMO that has nothing to do with wow) level.

    HELLO!

    They have an art style to stick to and they have an engine they don't want to exceed. If you're looking for the graphics and level of customization of other games, then go play those games. You most likely won't see that here.

    As to to those complaining about the model expressions...

    It just fills me with pride that people know how to read and comprehend... It was stated with the release of this model that it was made without expression, so that the animators could build the expressions from scratch so they better fit the model.
  1. john duo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostile View Post
    So, you are saying they should get a new engine and use more time to make the game look better and due to that, leave the content with less attention?
    That's the mistake every other fantasy MMO has done.
    Looked good but a hollow shell.

    I know I'd rather play an ugly game with mass of content.
    thats your mistake friend, you think asking for one thing will cost you another.

    new engine? why not , this is still the basic engine from warcraft III..thats what? 14 - 15 years old ? god knows they have the money for a new one.

    and for your second point, why not get both? we are not talking about a new company , this is the leading company in the market
    for dacades , again, they have the money to do both even if it means hire more man power to do all what is needed to make the game fresh...
  1. Zanno's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Emzky View Post
    Nice models. But. With WoW as inefficient as it is with the heavy load on CPU, I predict that they will run into performance issues and reduce polygon count again.......
    Polygons aren't the issue anymore with modern GPU's. Texture sizes are what really hurt performance these days. You really don't want to go crazy with polygons, but it's not as big of a deal as it was years ago when WoW first came out.
  1. Ashrael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Airbag888 View Post
    Now you're mixing issues up. I was expecting as much.. This discussion, heck the whole article is about graphics right? Not gameplay.

    And about your point, do you believe that Blizzard's finances = Arena.net's? It's most likely not even close. Arena net then achieved that much more with a quantum of what blizzard has access to. Again, graphics wise.

    Oh and Graphic designers and Software engineers don't generally work on content.
    no, they don't. but more attention to one section means less to others.
  1. azuraji's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Muadiib View Post
    Tbh the original models eyes look a lot better, that's the only aspect they seemed to have lost in the translation. The new version doesn't look as sweet because of it, she looks stern now instead.
    That face with those eyes of the previous human female model used to look so unmistakably sad and lost. I definitely think this is an upgrade, and will for the first time ever consider rolling a human female. Although I think the models that they've yet to reveal will look even more awesome
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Airbag888 View Post
    No one is asking for life like models. Just more lively ones.
    Have you checked out Wildstar? It looks worse than WoW and it's not even released yet.
  1. Djalil's Avatar
    It looks fantastic. Good job blizz but.... Only one gender of one race with a couple of haircuts? In like... 3 weeks?

    I really think their pr department is completely detacheted from reality. This is the best they could do? They're facing the worst period in terms of subs in wow's history, I mean.... A face of a gender of one race is clearly not enough.
    Again though. Fantastic job.... Can we haz moar plz?

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