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. grexly75's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sathric View Post
    Well.. would look stupid if the models didn't match the rest of the world (of warcraft) by looking "too good".
    Wow will never look realistic or compete with the graphics of newer mmo's that go for graphics. Why should wow change it's unique and legendary look?
    Nothing to complain about.
    Yup pretty much this..
    WoW has a certain style, other games have a certain style some games look good and have no substance while others can look meh but actually play really well and are entertaining.. The problem with some games now days is that they go for all the bling and forget about the gameplay..

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Goretex View Post
    This is Muscular lol
    That look to me anyway is just plain horrid, I have seen pictures of some female bodybuilders that if not for the bikini and other bits you would think were men..

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelGurney View Post
    "Lets see you do any better" are you five years old?
    How imaginative is that all you can reply with.. lol
    I mean really if you are going to insult people at least think of something original..
  1. Klaxxar's Avatar
    http://static.zerochan.net/Human.%28...ull.761972.jpg

    The new model looks like this... :L
    YAY!!!

    Finally with all these new models I can finally level my chars.
    I am now, but I will level them with the updates to. :P
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Klaxxar View Post
    http://static.zerochan.net/Human.%28...ull.761972.jpg

    The new model looks like this... :L
    YAY!!!

    Finally with all these new models I can finally level my chars.
    I am now, but I will level them with the updates to. :P
    Clicked on the link you have and got no picture seems two & got in the link and are screwing it up.. Did get to see the pic after taking them out and it looks cool..
  1. Lombra's Avatar
    Adding my post from another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome View Post
    Yeah, I understand, and I am anxious to see all of that come into play in the end. I was just a tad disappointed with the preview given.

    ------------------

    As far as my mock up goes, I'm not a wiz at photoshop, but here's what I have:




    I just took what was already there and tried to tweak it to better favor the original.
    I'll just insert these for you.

    Looks pretty good. Definitely a bit closer to the original, and generally better. Definitely agree with nose, eye and cheek modifications.
  1. Xilurm's Avatar
    Looking at how many people say that this is chubby makes me sad. No wonder many women of our day have matchsticks as their role models...
  1. Tucci's Avatar
    Absolutely awesome and I'm even more excited after reading that blue.
  1. deceptacon1's Avatar
    very underwhelming for the year 2014. would have been on par for around 2006.
  1. Tricky91's Avatar
    In which universe does this look good? I only like the eyes, but the face as a whole looks odd.

    Every time I see the female human model, I ask myself: Something seems to be wrong, but what?

    So far I only like the undead model because it really looks scary a little bit. Orcs are ok, too. But dwarfs and gnomes are really boring.
    I've been expecting much more quality from blizzard but it seems that the engine is preventing them from doing great stuff.
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky91 View Post
    In which universe does this look good? I only like the eyes, but the face as a whole looks odd.

    Every time I see the female human model, I ask myself: Something seems to be wrong, but what?

    So far I only like the undead model because it really looks scary a little bit. Orcs are ok, too. But dwarfs and gnomes are really boring.
    I've been expecting much more quality from blizzard but it seems that the engine is preventing them from doing great stuff.
    There is only so much devs can do with a game engine be it old or new.. Considering the age of WoW's engine they have done a pretty good job and done it in a way as not to bring peoples computers down to a crawl..

    They could redo the entire graphics engine if they wanted too but why should they do it now, there was much bagging of WoW during Cata because people complained the devs spent too much time redoing the 1 to 60 zones..

    Really amazes me how selfish / self centered people are now days but then again I suppose that's the me me generation for you..
  1. Arvandor's Avatar
    the body is ok.. but the face is fail.. look at the old. this have personality.. the new is dead plastic with robot eyes.
  1. Airbag888's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by grexly75 View Post
    There is only so much devs can do with a game engine be it old or new.. Considering the age of WoW's engine they have done a pretty good job and done it in a way as not to bring peoples computers down to a crawl..

    They could redo the entire graphics engine if they wanted too but why should they do it now, there was much bagging of WoW during Cata because people complained the devs spent too much time redoing the 1 to 60 zones..

    Really amazes me how selfish / self centered people are now days but then again I suppose that's the me me generation for you..

    You're full of contradictions, in this post itself

    'there's so much devs can do with a game engine be it old or new' - aka you're saying what blizz did is the best anyone could EVEN with a new engine

    'considering the age of the wow's engine they have done a pretty good job' - aka a newer engine would've afforded a BETTER job

    Make up your mind and this is in all your previous posts too.

    Btw, you're utterly wrong or know nothing about game engines

    1. New game engine does NOT mean higher requirements, it's up to the engine developer to incorporate scaling from low specs to highest and a lot of engines do that beautifully (Unreal comes to mind)
    2. Devs could've done MUCH more with a new adapter engine, ex: not 1 human female skeleton size with various skins attached to it but various with varying hip, breasts size, even facial skeleton like chin, eye separation, etc list is limitless and you find that in several other games with LOWER budget (we're talking 10% of blizzard's or less.
    3. We're not 'selfish or self centered' we're criticizing that Blizzard, a triple A title studio is putting out graphics from 5 years ago and seemingly calling it groundbreaking. No one's saying it's not a job well done CONSIDERING the engine. But a lot are saying that same engine should've been scrapped a long time ago in favor of one that's better adapted.

    WoW has always been behind in optimisation of that same engine, be it in supporting multi core, allowing more than 2 cores to run (even now that's barely working), supporting newest DX versions and fx (water fx came in cata when they existed in other games BEFORE vanilla), support for 64-bit (farcry 1 had 64-bit support in the year vanilla existed), not to mention how terribly slow it runs relative to much more demanding games.

    WoW is a good game being held back by its engine, that's what we're sad about. This revamp of the character models was the opportunity to switch to a new one.
  1. Protar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Arvandor View Post
    the body is ok.. but the face is fail.. look at the old. this have personality.. the new is dead plastic with robot eyes.
    If you read the blog post that went with the pictures you'd know that's because the face isn't being animated at all. This is just the completely expressionless base-line face. When it's actually animated it will (hopefully) look a lot more real.
  1. Kilrathal's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by deceptacon1 View Post
    very underwhelming for the year 2014. would have been on par for around 2006.
    If you expect 2014 quality graphics from a 2004 game engine you have something wrong with your head.
  1. Raelys's Avatar
    I am so so so so so so so so so happy I play a female human. 10/10.

    Edit: Also, not that a gaming forum is a good template for opinions, but these models are not 'chubby'. That's just ludicrous!
  1. Arvandor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Protar View Post
    If you read the blog post that went with the pictures you'd know that's because the face isn't being animated at all. This is just the completely expressionless base-line face. When it's actually animated it will (hopefully) look a lot more real.
    animated on a 2d picture? leave the fan boy bubble..
  1. Olizandrey's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphos View Post
    I'm liking this: "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. " Sounds to me like they might be doing more. :P
    Yes! Oh my god.. Can people stop moaning of issues which aint there? :P Of course more will come guys. Seems like Sapp here read the post before commenting. Lots of you should do that.

    Its really good. But only 1 model?
    Are you serious?

    10/10
    10/10 from me too! GJ Blizz! Looking forward to Female Trolls! :P
  1. kidgamer's Avatar
    All the new models are look fantastic. Well done Blizzard.
  1. nattskift's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilrathal View Post
    If you expect 2014 quality graphics from a 2004 game engine you have something wrong with your head.
    This.


    I have heard this argument so many times and its begun to annoy me.


    In this thread there are several mentions of the Unreal engine, which many consider to be one of the better engines currently used in game development. It pushes triangles very well, is easy to work with and thus is the most used commercial engine (in terms of sales/team sizes, i reckon maybe Unity3D is used for a higher quantity of games these days).

    Would you say it is old? Would you say Unreal Engine 4 is old?

    Generally, game engines are things that have been developed over time. One does not often restart big software projects like game engines or operating systems or whatever every time you use it to make a new product.

    Look at this boring flowchart:

    This.


    I have heard this argument so many times and its begun to annoy me.


    In this thread there are several mentions of the Unreal engine, which many consider to be one of the better engines currently used in game development. It pushes triangles very well, is easy to work with and thus is the most used commercial engine (in terms of sales/team sizes, i reckon maybe Unity3D is used for a higher quantity of games these days).

    Would you say it is old? Would you say Unreal Engine 4 is old?

    Generally, game engines are things that have been developed over time. One does not often restart big software projects like game engines or operating systems or whatever every time you use it to make a new product.

    Look at this boring flowchart that im not allowed to post because i just made this account:

    puu.sh / 6xCHN.png

    Do you see how far it stretches back?

    I can probably guess that there is little, if any, left of the Quake 1 engine in Modern Warfare 3, but its all based on the same shit.

    Why is this relevant to WoW?

    Blizzard talks about engine versions, or anything like that. They havent even given the WoW engine a name! But does that mean that they havent ever done anything with it?


    OF COURSE NOT


    Blizzard works on the engine most likely EVERY SINGLE DAY. THERE IS MOST LIKELY A VERY LOW AMOUNT OF PATCHES WHERE NOTHING HAS BEEN CHANGED IN THE ENGINE. This means that the engine the game released with is a lot older then the current one! Do you think the engine programmers all got laid off after wows release? "Sorry guys, we're all done now. Nothing more to do untill WoW 2, where you'll have to remake EVERYTHING."


    There! Its not exactly the same engine! But its based on the same tech, because its a thing in continual development!


    Did original WoW had phasing? x64bit client? Full scene realtime stencil shadows? Shader water? Could you start the game without even having to download all of it and stream it while running (seriously, that shit is fucking balls tripping awesome)?

    No, because its not the same engine as 2004. Blizzard has such an old game and neither the interest nor time to remodel and retexture everything. Therefore, quality of life additions like the ones mentioned earlier are way better things then making it look slightly better.
  1. Freecandy's Avatar
    Give us the back view! That's also important!
  1. MisterSheep's Avatar
    Hmmm... something looks off with the new human models... the gap between the nose and the mouth is too big. Even when you compare it to the old model. I hope they'll fix that, they look silly as they are now!

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