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 512 Comments
  1. snowcrash512's Avatar
    Dead eyes.

    Though to be fair they chose the most hideous face to show off the conversion for.
  1. Nitrax's Avatar
    Nice! Shame i switched all my human females to dwarves!
  1. UcanDoSht's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Crovyn View Post
    I still see my player model more than Thorim
    Your point is?
  1. gridbread's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by snowcrash512 View Post
    Dead eyes.

    Though to be fair they chose the most hideous face to show off the conversion for.
    Facial examples are a bit meaningless until the animation team touches them. These previews are more to show us what the model will look like as a whole - we're still not getting the whole picture because little touches (stance, eyelids, etc) aren't shown.
  1. Mazzic518's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimee03 View Post
    she is amazing!
    finally... FINALLY my eyes will stop bleeding each time i see a human female in wow.
    thank you!
    now go work on draenei and nelf females, they need some love too
    You really might want to see a Dr.
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    I expected way more of this update... but I haven't seen all of their faces and hairstyles yet, will wait to fully judge the thing.
  1. Nelle's Avatar
    Porn! .....
  1. ognomad's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ZOMGitsWill View Post
    Hmm... Now I have to race change all my characters Fem Human, Just so I can see Felicia Day all day
    That funny I was thinking the same thing!!!!
  1. MaraStarfury's Avatar
    Looks good, can't fault it but still gives me no confidence that they are going to give multiple face models to each race.
  1. Raego's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FruitBat69 View Post
    Looks good, can't fault it but still gives me no confidence that they are going to give multiple face models to each race.
    Why not? They're not removing any options, just updating them. The same face is only used in the previews.
  1. DriveKnight's Avatar
    Damn, I was expecting this...

  1. notorious98's Avatar
    Looks fantastic. Definitely looking forward to seeing more, especially human males.
  1. Muadiib's Avatar
    Tbh the original models eyes look a lot better, that's the only aspect they seemed to have lost in the translation. The new version doesn't look as sweet because of it, she looks stern now instead.
  1. drakonblayde's Avatar
    Looks pretty good, though myself and Sir Mix-A-Lot will be disappointed if human females lose their big ass
  1. Tydrane's Avatar
    Reminds me a lot of some weird combination of Rose McGowan and Emma Stone. The eyes kind of remind me a little of Elizabeth Mitchell, she kinda has that bemused look to her eyes. Overall I'd say I do like the upgrade, I just wonder if, aside from the close-ups, the eyes look a little too big for the face... But then again, if they were much smaller, they probably wouldn't register for a lot of emotes.
  1. Littleraven'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.

    unless blizzard makes a new graphics engine that isnt going to happen. plain and simple. sure they have made upgrades but the WoW engine is still the same engine from 2004. short of them using somthing like the unreal engine or frostbite or something we arent going to see what you are asking for.

    like i said. based off of the limitations they are working with, they have done a damn good job updating these things. but like i also said....i guess people will never be happy with anything. there is always going to be someone who has a complaint.
  1. Kaleesh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Muadiib View Post
    Tbh the original models eyes look a lot better, that's the only aspect they seemed to have lost in the translation. The new version doesn't look as sweet because of it, she looks stern now instead.
    Exactly. She just looks a lot more generic now. Less 'warcraft'y. The features are so sharp and contrasting in comparison that it loses a lot of that WoW painterly look they've always gone for.
  1. Treno's Avatar
    Simply beautiful. I'm looking forward to my lady human's being updated, especially my Warrior.
  1. darkfalcon09's Avatar
    Wowza. Looks beautiful!
  1. Audivi Vocem's Avatar
    I'd hit it.

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