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. Airbag888's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nattskift View Post
    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?

    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.
    Dude your ideas are all over the place
    1st you say Unreal engine is one of the better engines because it pushes triangles well (aka well optimised for your hardware) and is easy to work with (aka less fidling and more content creation)

    Then you proceed to 'prove' Unreal engine has old code. I don't think anyone said or thinks every generation of the Engine was created by 100% scrapping the previous. There's some 'DNA' that persists, nothing wrong with that because at the end of the day the visual output (the actual topic of this thread) is much much improved AND is powering a lot of current games considered to have pushed the graphics envelope, aka Unreal engine Eye-candy is delicious.
    No one would say anything if over the years WoW's engine had evolved in step with what's being done in the industry. Everything you mentioned (x64, water shaders, shadows, etc) I talked about earlier saying they were late to the party (x64 existed before vanilla wow existed, water shaders same thing ex: Guild Wars 1, shadows again same). What does this mean? Maybe blizz needs better engine devs because everytime their art guys seem to point that they did their best with what they had to work with (the current engine)

    In essence you're saying what we're all saying, they did great considering their tools but they're tools for several years past. And blizzard would benefit from uplifting the graphical fx of the game. Would you say you'd enjoy today playing with the old water/shadow blobs/lighting fx? What makes you think a ton more couldn't have been done if the engine had evolved with its time to be able to 'push as many triangles' as other engines?
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    Really can't tell much from static pictures more a case of what they do for the animations will have to wait and see lets hope they are good..

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Airbag888 View Post
    Dude your ideas are all over the place
    1st you say Unreal engine is one of the better engines because it pushes triangles well (aka well optimised for your hardware) and is easy to work with (aka less fidling and more content creation)

    Then you proceed to 'prove' Unreal engine has old code. I don't think anyone said or thinks every generation of the Engine was created by 100% scrapping the previous. There's some 'DNA' that persists, nothing wrong with that because at the end of the day the visual output (the actual topic of this thread) is much much improved AND is powering a lot of current games considered to have pushed the graphics envelope, aka Unreal engine Eye-candy is delicious.
    No one would say anything if over the years WoW's engine had evolved in step with what's being done in the industry. Everything you mentioned (x64, water shaders, shadows, etc) I talked about earlier saying they were late to the party (x64 existed before vanilla wow existed, water shaders same thing ex: Guild Wars 1, shadows again same). What does this mean? Maybe blizz needs better engine devs because everytime their art guys seem to point that they did their best with what they had to work with (the current engine)

    In essence you're saying what we're all saying, they did great considering their tools but they're tools for several years past. And blizzard would benefit from uplifting the graphical fx of the game. Would you say you'd enjoy today playing with the old water/shadow blobs/lighting fx? What makes you think a ton more couldn't have been done if the engine had evolved with its time to be able to 'push as many triangles' as other engines?
    Sigh still nitpicking posts I see.. lol x64 may have existed before WoW but in most cases the masses had not jumped on the 64bit (if that is what you are yammering about) bandwagon.. Heck the bulk of users of Windows back then are using 32 bit versions of Windows the market for 64 bit was very small getting drivers and software to make use of the full potential of 64 bit was not there..

    Move on a few years and now with Vista then mainly with Win7/Win8 the market exists that companies are willing if viable to them to produce 54 bit software.. There was a Blue post somewhere primarily talking about the upcoming item stat squish having to do so due to WoW being a 32 bit game and that from what I can remember it was not viable for Blizz to completely rewrite WoW to use the full potential of 64 bit systems.. Yes we have a 64 bit option in the launcher but it is pretty much a tacked on feature that is not always reliable..
  1. Airbag888's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by grexly75 View Post
    Really can't tell much from static pictures more a case of what they do for the animations will have to wait and see lets hope they are good..

    - - - Updated - - -



    Sigh still nitpicking posts I see.. lol x64 may have existed before WoW but in most cases the masses had not jumped on the 64bit (if that is what you are yammering about) bandwagon.. Heck the bulk of users of Windows back then are using 32 bit versions of Windows the market for 64 bit was very small getting drivers and software to make use of the full potential of 64 bit was not there..

    Move on a few years and now with Vista then mainly with Win7/Win8 the market exists that companies are willing if viable to them to produce 54 bit software.. There was a Blue post somewhere primarily talking about the upcoming item stat squish having to do so due to WoW being a 32 bit game and that from what I can remember it was not viable for Blizz to completely rewrite WoW to use the full potential of 64 bit systems.. Yes we have a 64 bit option in the launcher but it is pretty much a tacked on feature that is not always reliable..
    Nitpicking is better defined by what you're doing considering I spoke of several items and you decided to tackle just one.
  1. FruitBat69's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Raego View Post
    Why not? They're not removing any options, just updating them. The same face is only used in the previews.
    As with all races there is only one face (or model). The face option allows you to change the texture on that one face. The new models are a double edged sword as yes they look great but unless Blizzard models 8(? cant remember the number) of faces per race/gender (which i very much doubt they will do) they will all look the same similar to how the padnas face is the same but you just change little features.
  1. Aerofluff's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FruitBat69 View Post
    unless Blizzard models 8(? cant remember the number) of faces per race/gender (which i very much doubt they will do) they will all look the same similar to how the padnas face is the same but you just change little features.
    You're acting as though it's not currently like that. They all have the same 3d face model right now... The only thing that has ever gotten changed is the face's texture. Then you have extras, such as troll tusks/belf ear jewelry/things like that, which I'm sure will still be an additional option with the new models. We're not losing anything, we're only gaining in model quality. So why try to make it more than it is?
    I'll admit the panda faces all look similar, but again, you can only texture furry cheeks in so many different ways, the panda pattern was the main thing. If you look at the Blood Elf face textures by comparison, there's actually a large amount of variation with the eyes, mouth, shading in general... which leads to more distinct looks.

    With how much the texturing seems to be improving in detail along with the new model revamp, I'm certain once they finally release a selection of faces, we'll see plenty of variety.

    And like others have said, these previews are just to show off the base model quality improvements... They're only showing one face, one hair color (oh god they're all going to only be brunettes, the sky is falling!) and etc.
  1. Gaiwyn's Avatar
    Big improvement! I like how they said they hope for it to be recognisably your character, only having focussed the lens. I really like that, and hope it is true of my main, which incidentally happens to be a human female.
  1. Cyrops's Avatar
    The female human looks so cute ^_^
  1. DStrukt's Avatar
    end of day who cares, its all gona be covered up 99% of the time with armor anyway so shut ya whinging, case closed
  1. FruitBat69's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aerofluff View Post
    You're acting as though it's not currently like that. They all have the same 3d face model right now... The only thing that has ever gotten changed is the face's texture. Then you have extras, such as troll tusks/belf ear jewelry/things like that, which I'm sure will still be an additional option with the new models. We're not losing anything, we're only gaining in model quality. So why try to make it more than it is?
    I'll admit the panda faces all look similar, but again, you can only texture furry cheeks in so many different ways, the panda pattern was the main thing. If you look at the Blood Elf face textures by comparison, there's actually a large amount of variation with the eyes, mouth, shading in general... which leads to more distinct looks.

    With how much the texturing seems to be improving in detail along with the new model revamp, I'm certain once they finally release a selection of faces, we'll see plenty of variety.

    And like others have said, these previews are just to show off the base model quality improvements... They're only showing one face, one hair color (oh god they're all going to only be brunettes, the sky is falling!) and etc.
    Think of the old faces like a 2d piece of paper you can draw all kinds of faces (or textures) on it and they will look very different. Now try the same of say a 3d mold of a face its a lot harder. This is why faces will (although look better) have less diversity (and also why pandas looks so similar to each other).
  1. eudamonia's Avatar
    I'm really looking forward to what they do with the male humans tbh. The females were never dreadfully bad (although I love the new model). But the males look like a bad 70s bodybuilder with meat paws for hands.
  1. Lumineus's Avatar
    I have faith that they'll fix the male's face to not look like some cleft-lipped freak of nature when his facial hair is shaved, but I found that line about "preserving the proportions" of the old models to be worrisome, considering the proportions are like ninety percent of what's wrong with the human male model; the slumpy shoulders, ridiculous He-Man triceps, sawed off shins... they really need a pretty drastic overhaul.
  1. timwilliam2007's Avatar
    So wear. have any play it.
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    vietnamradio info
  1. Amnaught's Avatar
    ....When are we getting the next post like this? >.<
  1. Treeh's Avatar
    nice models

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