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. theceure's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gospels View Post
    THAT is what was hyped for 3 weeks? A few screen shots of 1 model? No animation, nothing? LMFAO Blizz is gonna lose soooooooo many subs with how far behind they are in developing wod lol!!!!!!!!!

    Agreed. It has been way too long to only have this to show especially after hyping it up like they did. At this rate I will be surprised to see WoD before November.
  1. Kio's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thetruth1400 View Post
    I agree. I have the same face as well and don't feel it's true to the old model at all. The nose is a lot more pointed, the mouth changed from a neutral one to a slight smile, and the eyes, they're probably the worst of all. They've got anime eyes now with a sultry, come hither look on them. I'm not impressed.
    You must not watch very much anime, because those eyes look nothing like an anime character's . Additionally, you have a very odd sense of "sultry" if you think that blank stare is saying "come hither."
  1. g01851's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gospels View Post
    THAT is what was hyped for 3 weeks? A few screen shots of 1 model? No animation, nothing? LMFAO Blizz is gonna lose soooooooo many subs with how far behind they are in developing wod lol!!!!!!!!!
    yeah everyone will unsub because they only released one model... so far *rolls eyes*
  1. mikencarly's Avatar
    lol she looks like my wife awesome!lol
  1. Blur's Avatar
    Would bang
  1. Jaced's Avatar
    I know they don't want to change things but still what's up with this hairstyle? Hairline in the middle of forehead still?

  1. Cammancy's Avatar
    "... 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."

    Well, that doesn't really bode well for me. :/ Are they getting rid of the hag face, then? Are we only getting ONE base face for all our races? If so, opt me out because I'm not interested in playing same-face: the game.
    That being said, this base model is nice, I just don't want to have to share the same horrified face with everyone else. (That face has always scared me, even on the vanilla model.)
  1. UcanDoSht's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Crovyn View Post
    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?
    They design the model of raid bosses.. what are you talking about? The mechanics and co. are a different team. Thorim PTR had Lokens model until release, for example.
  1. Chirri's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kio View Post
    You must not watch very much anime, because those eyes look nothing like an anime character's . Additionally, you have a very odd sense of "sultry" if you think that blank stare is saying "come hither."
    I agree about the eyes.

    But she's definitely smiling on the new version of that face. It's not nearly as bad as the female Gnome face (the only similarities on THAT example are the eye color and the hair color/style) but she's very definitely got an upward tilt at the edge of her lips.

    I don't understand WHY they have these smiles. The female Dwarf and female Forsaken models don't have this perma-friendly smile on their lips, so clearly they're capable of creating a neutral or even focused female expression.

    It's an absolutely minor complaint as far as Human goes, but it's a huge concern to me on the Gnome - the difference in degrees of the severity of change.
  1. Magruun's Avatar
    Absolutely perfect imo, it's a great blend between the old character and real females.
  1. Collected's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by theceure View Post
    Agreed. It has been way too long to only have this to show especially after hyping it up like they did. At this rate I will be surprised to see WoD before November.
    The character models work will be totally separate to the expansion but I agree with you.. it's been hyped for years and let's face it.. it's just some models. Anyone would think they were releasing a new modelling technology or something the number of years we've waited for these.
  1. Hirork's Avatar
    jeez... now I wanna play a Human Female
  1. Cyoor's Avatar
    1.) They said that you would recongnize your avatar after the change. I dont see that. It wont feel like a hotted up finnish on your previous avatar, it will feel like a new one.
    2.) I expected so much more from this update. This looks like it would be from like 2006-2008 (I agree that it is better than the previous models, but it looks old if you compare to anything else)
    3.) The hair still have VERY noticable straight lines and angles. Hair should be soft. Only difference I can see is that it has got more parts to it, it doesnt seem softer in the edges.
    4.) 1000 polygons 2004 and only a bit over 5000 now? Seriously? This is what makes up your avatar. It is the most important thing in the game! (To compare: Lara croft had 32,000 polygons on PS3 in 2008.)

    Changing things that will feel old on release is just stupid!
  1. Cammancy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chirri View Post
    I agree about the eyes.

    But she's definitely smiling on the new version of that face. It's not nearly as bad as the female Gnome face (the only similarities on THAT example are the eye color and the hair color/style) but she's very definitely got an upward tilt at the edge of her lips.

    I don't understand WHY they have these smiles. The female Dwarf and female Forsaken models don't have this perma-friendly smile on their lips, so clearly they're capable of creating a neutral or even focused female expression.

    It's an absolutely minor complaint as far as Human goes, but it's a huge concern to me on the Gnome - the difference in degrees of the severity of change.
    Uh. Okay, I don't really like the smilies as much as the next person but you need to understand this:

    The gnome female was rigged up to her animations. She was smiling because she was rigged up to her facial animations. Even on the gnome male if you look on his base-rig-no-animation, he has absolutely no smile at all.
    The female Dwarf and female Forsaken do not have those because they are NOT rigged to their animations yet. They are still in their base :| ready for animation mode.
    The smile on the new face is a tiny smile, but for all we know the vanilla one could of been smiling; It's hard to tell with textures that look like they fell out of someones ass, and the old rigging system made the textures on the mouth area pretty much null, since they were kind of muppet-style in terms of facial variety.
  1. Chirri's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cammancy View Post
    "... 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."

    Well, that doesn't really bode well for me. :/ Are they getting rid of the hag face, then? Are we only getting ONE base face for all our races? If so, opt me out because I'm not interested in playing same-face: the game.
    That being said, this base model is nice, I just don't want to have to share the same horrified face with everyone else. (That face has always scared me, even on the vanilla model.)
    You forgot a piece.

    "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."

    There are lots of Human female faces. This reveal shows a single face option from a variety of angles, with several different hair styles, and also shows us a lot of the basic body changes. It would confuse the hell out of a lot of fans if they showed a different updated face with each picture of the Human female head. Kind of like they seem to have confused you by only using the one face for now. Why aren't you concerned that all of the Human females will all have the same skin tone?
  1. zrankfappa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Crovyn View Post
    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?
    Uh, well raids , dungeons and about everything else in the game is a 3d model. If they were so specialized why the hell does it take them so long to do one friggin model?

    But then again ... perhaps the absence of competent modelers is why so many get reused.
  1. Yakshamash's Avatar
    God damn son, can't wait for beta!!!
  1. Igzorn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyoor View Post
    1.) They said that you would recongnize your avatar after the change. I dont see that. It wont feel like a hotted up finnish on your previous avatar, it will feel like a new one.
    2.) I expected so much more from this update. This looks like it would be from like 2006-2008 (I agree that it is better than the previous models, but it looks old if you compare to anything else)
    3.) The hair still have VERY noticable straight lines and angles. Hair should be soft. Only difference I can see is that it has got more parts to it, it doesnt seem softer in the edges.
    4.) 1000 polygons 2004 and only a bit over 5000 now? Seriously? This is what makes up your avatar. It is the most important thing in the game! (To compare: Lara croft had 32,000 polygons on PS3 in 2008.)

    Changing things that will feel old on release is just stupid!
    point is its not final its probably the first showable version hances the rig stance.
  1. zrankfappa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyoor View Post
    1.)
    4.) 1000 polygons 2004 and only a bit over 5000 now? Seriously? This is what makes up your avatar. It is the most important thing in the game! (To compare: Lara croft had 32,000 polygons on PS3 in 2008.)
    And in Tomb Raider were you running around with 24 other Lara Crofts? How about standing in a city with 1000 Lara Crofts moving around your screen?
  1. Chirri's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cammancy View Post
    Uh. Okay, I don't really like the smilies as much as the next person but you need to understand this:

    The gnome female was rigged up to her animations. She was smiling because she was rigged up to her facial animations. Even on the gnome male if you look on his base-rig-no-animation, he has absolutely no smile at all.
    The female Dwarf and female Forsaken do not have those because they are NOT rigged to their animations yet. They are still in their base :| ready for animation mode.
    The smile on the new face is a tiny smile, but for all we know the vanilla one could of been smiling; It's hard to tell with textures that look like they fell out of someones ass, and the old rigging system made the textures on the mouth area pretty much null, since they were kind of muppet-style in terms of facial variety.
    They're side by side. The original Human female face with no expression is literally side by side with the new Human female face, and the new Human female face, sans animation, HAS A SMILE. It's a small smile, but it's clearly tilting up at the edges.

    The Gnome female faces - she's not using /smile emote. She's simply standing there. She's animated, wobbling around with the idle animation - okay. She's smiling the entire freaking time. Her idling face is absolutely smiling. It shouldn't be smiling. The face they apparently chose to use (side by side, Vanilla with Updated) clearly has no smile. And yet there is a smile plastered on her face, her eyebrows are up. She's friendly, interested, but she's not the same serious face Vanilla expressioned Gnome right beside.

    It's not just being rigged.

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