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. Averrix's Avatar
    Wow, that is quite the update. I like it. Can't wait to see the other races.
  1. Nifra's Avatar
    Looking forward to see the other model updates! Looking good so far.
  1. Keile's Avatar
    Not in any way/shape/form chubby.

    Perfect and healthy weight.
  1. Ser Arthur Dayne's Avatar
    Maybe the old model had a bit of chubby in it n I never thought about it...hmmm she's very Milf (no, I don't like that word either). Sad, my human female is shadow priest, I wonder how much I'll notice the changes...
  1. Shade Hunter's Avatar
    I'm starting to think that everyone who's complaining about the human females being 'chubby' has never seen the average 'in shape' woman topless. That's about right. I agree that she looks more slimmed down than chubbier when you look at her, but since her stomach is more defined, it might look odd to anyone who hasn't a clue what 'in shape' looks like. It's not a model figure which probably doesn't eat that healthy or has a metabolism out the ass. It's something I could see as working for a WoW character in its world. For someone who would carry heavy plate armor around, or wear leathers and strike from the darkness. Just too bad we don't get height/width options to make it even better. But for a WoW model, that's damn good. Keep up the good work, Blizzard!
  1. Dark2099's Avatar
    Loving all of the new models so far. Very interested to see what they do with Draeni/Blood Elf.
  1. Ghier's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark2099 View Post
    Loving all of the new models so far. Very interested to see what they do with Draeni/Blood Elf.
    Hopefully they don't ruin them.
  1. Kaleesh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by vlad View Post
    Great work, a good 40-60% representation of the original (nose not as upturned,chin not as pointy,eyes angle up instead of down etc). Doing an overlay in photoshop shows they really dont match up well at all when scaled exactly the same. Proportions are all slightly different and each feature is much different than the original (like those big old spooked eyes). They kept the basic idea but the soul of these new chars is changed. Even though the face is emotionless we can see from the previously released animated new faces the chars just dont look the same. im sure folks will take quite some time to adjust, hopefully blizz lets people keep opt out of the updates or at least gives a free char reconfig so we can find a new face that appeals better than the current . either way i dont play anymore but its still kinda sad to see the familiar faces so drastically altered from the original "spirit" blizz claims they were capturing. wow, the eyebrows are the only close match.

    Now the conversion to a Disney cartoon is complete! LOL, I stopped playing before the game started getting so geared toward children.
    Exactly. I wouldn't say it's a bad model or anything, just that I really don't think they kept the same look! Considering the fact that you can't change your face at the barber shop, that's pretty important!
  1. Soeroah's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by vlad View Post

    Now the conversion to a Disney cartoon is complete! LOL, I stopped playing before the game started getting so geared toward children.
    How could you stop playing if you never started?

    I read several comments before looking at the pictures, so I was expecting too this 'chubbiness' people were arguing about. Couldn't see anything of the sort.
  1. Woakerio's Avatar
    I'm still highly anticipating female tauren and trolls, the latter especially since I feel they need the most work of any of the race/gender combos. Their alpha model had to be the most traumatic thing I've ever seen xD
  1. arcaneshot'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.
    If you read the article you'd have realized that it's not animated.

    You DON'T want your neutral expressions to be a set expression if you plan to make it change all the time (see the Orc, Gnome, Dwarf models, which they actually showed us with animations)
  1. Zardi's Avatar
    The orc in the 3rd picture reminds me of:
  1. Sacrelis's Avatar
    Finally a female adventurer that looks normal, as in what you will expect from an athlete instead of model from Victoria's Secret. Instead of the white flabby looking flesh of the old model, we get more muscle lines which indicates a more seasoned adventurer.

    Never fear! Petite woman lovers, there's still female Blood elf. We all know that's going to be the Fashion model everyone's looking for.
  1. Punks's Avatar
    Holllly Shit.... Well done Blizz, Well done.

    I knew they could pull it off... Hopefully the other models make my jaw drop.
  1. z4x's Avatar
    Ass and boobs could be bigger, else its great.
    Good work blizz!
  1. Srg56's Avatar
    She's perfect O.O Might start playing my human mage again now.
  1. huehuehue's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Finnio View Post
    the way these guys from blizzard describe the animation process it sounds to me they will probably release WoD next year...
    I think they're exaggerating to:

    1)pat themselves on the back
    2)to overly stress nothing is definite, and to not have hopes too high in case they can't finish it on time.
  1. Solomodex's Avatar
    Huge announcement, whoa. Totally worth 3 weeks. Kappa
  1. xSaix's Avatar
    This looks fantastic! I wonder why they changed her eye color though?

    All the virgins commenting about her being chubby or wanting her to have a huge ass/boobs really don't surprise me, though. Don't change a thing, Blizz.
  1. cuafpr's Avatar
    looks nice but the animations will make or break this for me as to rather or not the revamp is even worth it. I want body sliders, like ESO, FF and other modern MMO's so i can be truely unique.. at least a few different builds and heights for each race /sigh.

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