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. Janderwel's Avatar
    I'm not too sure how to feel about the new tauren design... they look a little wussy to me to be honest :/
  1. Cammancy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chirri View Post
    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?
    Because they're talking about how any slight emotion changes in the face texture would mess up the animation system.
    I don't know about you, but a lot of the human female faces in-game currently have a HUGE chunk of 'emotion' on them.
    Angry eyebrows, wrinkles, scowling faces, soft faces; Same with the gnomes. Why would they bother making all these faces again if they're gonna start out in the blank-face pose? Why would they bother rigging up the eyebrows pointing down on a certain face for the old angry-face look? It's also worrying to me because they mentioned wanting to even-out the face numbers (i believe it was a question about tauren females having 4 and human females having a hell of a lot more) and it could go one of two ways, and with their extra quip about how any emotion in the texture could mess things up, it makes me think they're going to trim out faces that have emotion in the texture.
    But then again, we don't know until they show us more. (which at this rate, who the frick knows when thatll happen.)

    Skin and hair doesn't really bother me so much as still having one single same face. I'm just worried that they're gonna skimp out and just say okay one face that works lolbye next model.

    I'm worried about them doing the same-face procedure because of their current track record with worgen and pandaren females; Same face, maybe different noses. (well, with the pandas it's literally same face, no different noses.)

    I'm not saying she looks bad; She really doesn't, I just don't want this single face and would like to be reassured they're not going the same-face route again.
  1. Littleraven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Daws View Post
    To be honest it's a bit meh. I give it a 5/10 at best.
    wtf are you people expecting it to look like then? i mean seriously? considering the limitations they work with this looks 100% better than the older model. people never happy ::grumble grumble:: lol
  1. Miuku's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Littleraven View Post
    wtf are you people expecting it to look like then? i mean seriously?
    I expected them to actually look better than games that came out 10 years ago.

    But let's face it, mmo-c is a wow fansite - there literally is no way to disagree here without mouth foaming rabid fan boys gurgling how it's evil for someone to even suggest that they should upgrade their 10 year old wooden computers or that Blizzard should invest some of the hundreds upon hundreds of millions they've made from the game back into it.

    *shrug*
  1. Chirri's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cammancy View Post
    I'm worried about them doing the same-face procedure because of their current track record with worgen and pandaren females; Same face, maybe different noses. (well, with the pandas it's literally same face, no different noses.)
    Yarrrr. Granted, my assumption is going with "You'll get all the faces you have now, but animated, and races with fewer options will get some more" rather than "Everyone gets 10 faces. If your race had more, well, we chose to scrap the least used options so if you had one of those, you'll get stuck with another of our choice." I get that animating a bunch of different faces means more work, but animating familiar face types will certainly be a lot easier than animating animal-faces-turned-humanoid.

    I'm rather invested in the Gnome female faces - that's mainly what I play, and they're completely different people if the preview was any indication of how drastic differences in the idle, "blank" face is any indication. The Human (which my main was, until another racial option opened up to my class) is just a much better representation of the face it was based upon, that the lips are the only thing that's standing out to me, and on the Human it's just plain a lot more subtle of a difference. I'm having to look hard at the original face and can see how the tilt could be more up, or more neutral.
  1. Cyoor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zrankfappa View Post
    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?
    You wont.
    • There are never ever 1000 in direct line of sight of you so that the graphic card needs to render it.
    • Armor cover a lot of it (that doesnt need to be rendered more than today). Not everyone will be naked you know.
    • Graphic cards now can handle more than 5 times what they did in 2004
    • The amount of polygons on the avatar (on this level) is not what makes graphic cards have the biggest problems.
    • Compare to any other MMO game out there and you will see that 5000~ polygons for an avatar is quite low.
    • My example of lara croft was from 2008(!) on a console...
  1. ZOMGitsWill's Avatar
    Hmm... Now I have to race change all my characters Fem Human, Just so I can see Felicia Day all day
  1. El_Diabl0's Avatar
    Come WoD we will be playing the sims online.
  1. Tatis's Avatar
    Uhmm I dont like it so much. There is something wrong in the shape of the eyes, are a little squint... She is so inexpressive and now looks like one of those realistic blow up dolls. :/

    OMG Now I realized who it reminds me that face!

    She looks like Mara Carfagna, a "famous" Minister personally chosen by Silvio Berlusconi... was a showgirl before becoming minister!
    http://www.corrieredelgiorno.com/wp-.../carfagna5.jpg
  1. Darksoldierr's Avatar
    God, the tauren model looks so childish and weak >.<

    I hope they will make them appear more savage on the outside
  1. Raysz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrCodexCY View Post
    this is an amazing work! good job blizz!
    No, not this. Wow was never about very realistic graphics, they maintained the cartoony style with these new models.

    Really liking the new model btw. My rogue will be very happy

    Edit: My bad, I quoted the wrong person :S
    Was quoting the person that said 2003-2007 and seeing 2014 graphics in 2020 or something.
  1. Elfinoria's Avatar
    This model, i like it. ANOTHER!
    Good job! keep it up Blizz!
  1. Kazmodius's Avatar
    Looks very good, but am I the only one telling himself; Only this? Been waiting for a month since the original tweet during xmas for only human female?
  1. gridbread's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tatis View Post
    Uhmm I dont like it so much. There is something wrong in the shape of the eyes, are a little squint... She is so inexpressive and now looks like one of those realistic blow up dolls. :/
    This is by design - since expression and emotion are done in animation now (and not painted on the character model's texture), faces and poses will be mostly blank in previews like this unless the animation team gussies it up a bit first.
  1. PetersenIII's Avatar
    She has toes and actual real wrists! I can't wait to see the Human Male model. No more forearmwrist is my biggest "do want!" for that model, which is what I play, almost exclusively. >.<
  1. Raysz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Miuku View Post
    I expected them to actually look better than games that came out 10 years ago.

    But let's face it, mmo-c is a wow fansite - there literally is no way to disagree here without mouth foaming rabid fan boys gurgling how it's evil for someone to even suggest that they should upgrade their 10 year old wooden computers or that Blizzard should invest some of the hundreds upon hundreds of millions they've made from the game back into it.

    *shrug*
    Why do you have such expecatations? Wow will never have the models that for instance GW2 has, that's just part of the style of Wow.
    And these new models are a big upgrade from the old ones.
  1. Sylviane's Avatar
    I think it looks great. Looking forward to the rest.
  1. Lumineus's Avatar
    I wish they had put the effort on modelling the new hairstyles into creating layers with bones instead of just randomly adding more polys to make it look all scraggly. I mean I realize they probably don't have conditioner on Azeroth, but come on.
  1. Raysz's Avatar
    God, seeing all these new models makes me all the more excited about the expansion.

    For now my favorite is the female human from what I've seen. Can't wait for the female night elf.
    Only thing I don't like about this news is that there isn't a working 3D model and emotes. Really wanted to see those.
  1. Crovyn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by UcanDoSht View Post
    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.

    I still see my player model more than Thorim

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