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. Tenjen's Avatar
    cant wait to see them actually fixed to their animation skeleton so we can actually see them as fluid and organic rather than fixed as they are now in the base frozen-pose neutral model

    any uncanny valley is only because the models arent fixed to their proper animation skeletons yet. The skeletons allow for the organic and flowy feel to come out.

    I quite like the changes. there wasn't a lot to work with from the original models but thye managed to pull it off quite well

    their bodies have some muscle sculpting and are reasonably shaped, not ridiculously sexualized
  1. Nickghost's Avatar
    This looks so good!
  1. Tenjen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by UcanDoSht View Post
    All the teasing for one sex of one race? And not even animated.

    Lol.
    erm...what teasing? there was one or two twitter posts about a model review coming out at the end of this week....that was all. nothing was sensationalized or teased. he said there was be a model review today and there was.

    Everything else was us.
  1. bbr's Avatar
    Either way, looks good.
  1. krihan's Avatar
    this looks 1000 times better than the currently human model. gj blizz
  1. buggerlugs's Avatar
    I think the hair is still bad on all the styles. The female human looks great, but the hair...yuk
  1. Xithryl's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuino View Post
    The hair looks lovely, the face just looks a bit odd
    I thought the same thing, but the more I look at it, the more I think that odd feeling, is because it is very human like, but we know it isn't (Uncanny Valley type stuff)

    Give it some time it will prolly go away, I like it a lot more than I did when I first looked at it. It has a very human feel to it, amazing job.
  1. skylia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by heerobya View Post
    I think I have been COMPLETELY underestimating how HUGE of an impact these new models are going to have on the entire game (graphically.)

    New models, new animations... for every NPC in most every city, town, village, many dungeons, world + quest NPCs...

    I just hope the player/NPC characters don't stand out too much when compared to the "old" NPC/mobs that still remain in the cities/towns etc.

    They said they are going to replace every single character in game with the new models. So all human npcs will have the new models, not just player characters.
  1. DrMcNinja's Avatar
    The ponytail pic looks a bit like the Lara Croft from the recent Tomb Raider
  1. Deathgoose's Avatar
    Heh, now we just have to get all of the funny machinima's from over the years to get redone using the new models.
  1. Dreadii's Avatar
    Looks fantastic, just have to see how fluid the animations are
  1. Miuku's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pickynerd View Post
    Since when has graphics made a game more fun?
    Just because you can't afford a decent computer, don't spoil progress for the rest of us.
  1. Korru's Avatar
    I like it, it looks more charming, it has better eyes and legs and I like the ponytail.

    gj blizzard
  1. Zamfix's Avatar
    All around great! They definitely nailed preserving the style while making it look cleaner and better.
  1. frozenembers's Avatar
    These are coming along very nicely! I really think they are doing an outstanding job with this update. I highly approve.
  1. zrankfappa's Avatar
    I am totally amazed at how much people care about what the models look like.

    Seems like a waste that so many hours were spent redoing these models that could have been used creating playable content. I guess I underestimate the number of hours people spend at max level looking at their Characters without armor on.

    To each their own ...
  1. UcanDoSht's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
    Character models aren't going to hinder the expansion's release.
    According to some people on this forum, nothing interveres with anything regarding Y or X. But the truth is, Character Models are a major WoD feature, which is going to delay its release.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenjen View Post
    erm...what teasing? there was one or two twitter posts about a model review coming out at the end of this week....that was all. nothing was sensationalized or teased. he said there was be a model review today and there was.

    Everything else was us.
    The announcement being a tweet or a blue post doesnt matter. They already teased us 2 or more weeks ago.
  1. g01851's Avatar
    I do hope they added some darker skin shading, and perhaps different eyes, to show a bit wider range of the human race, as well as others.
  1. UcanDoSht's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by g01851 View Post
    I do hope they added some darker skin shading, and perhaps different eyes, to show a bit wider range of the human race, as well as others.
    As of right now, that model doesnt even have animations... I guess when they're done in 6-12 months they wont lack anything.
  1. Crovyn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zrankfappa View Post
    I am totally amazed at how much people care about what the models look like.

    Seems like a waste that so many hours were spent redoing these models that could have been used creating playable content. I guess I underestimate the number of hours people spend at max level looking at their Characters without armor on.

    To each their own ...
    There always has to be someone like you, it's already a cliché. The model creators don't design raid encounters. Also: You play with your character model, how is that not playable content?

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