Warlords of Draenor Facial Customization: Ready for Your Close-Up

With the incoming of Warlords of Draenor, many players asked during the development if they would be able to change the faces of their characters with the update of the models. Now Blizzard finally gave their answer by a simple word : YES.

Inside the Barber Shop, players will have the possibility to change also the faces of the character. You are a cute gnome and you want to scare a little more? Well it’s possible now!

Face custo

With the availability of the updated character models and animations that are being added with Warlords of Draenor, we’ve seen a question pop up among the community: “Will I be able to customize my face?” The simple answer is “yes.”

We’re pleased to announce that the in-game Barber Shop will be able to provide additional facial-customization options for your character once these art updates are made available. For just a little gold, your character will be ready for any occasion and look their very best for any screenshot.

 

Artcraft – Updated Facial Customization

One of the current issue with the incoming new models for Warlords of Draenor was the faces were too similar between each other, loosing some of the soul that current model have (for instance a more angry looking orc).

A special Artcraft has been published today showing some of the customization that will be possible in the near future, hopefully for the launching of Warlords of Draenor!

Artcraft—Updated Facial Customization

Hello, and welcome to Artcraft! I’m your host Chris Robinson, art director of World of Warcraft, and today we’re going to tackle something I know a lot of you have been looking forward to: facial customization options.

 

When we began working on the updated character models, we knew it would be a huge project, and we weren’t sure we could do it all at once. The idea originally was that a few races would be available at launch, and all the others would be patched in throughout the course of the expansion. While it wouldn’t have been ideal to see a mix of lower-quality and higher-quality models running around side by side, it did seem like the most realistically achievable solution at that time. Since then, though, we’ve committed ourselves to getting all of the original character models in by launch. It’s been a monumental challenge for us, but we think the effort is worth it, and the finish line is nearly in sight.

 

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Our next big focus is doing justice to the facial options. With the original models and their simplistic geometry and low-resolution textures, a lot of facial expressions were simply painted on. Now that we’ve moved to higher-polygon models with lips, teeth, and fully articulated faces—not to mention higher-resolution textures—recreating those same facial options isn’t as simple as painting them onto a flat surface. Previously, to get a sneer out of a model, you’d just paint a sneer on its face, and that was that. To do it correctly now—and make it look great—we have to fully pose a sneer, create a custom texture, and mesh that base pose with all of the existing emotes and animations.

 

These more detailed face customization options were also originally part of our earlier “update-as-we-patch” rollout plan. Our initial idea was to release the new models with their base face, and then add additional options in updates over the course of the expansion. Again, that plan was based on the sheer amount of work involved in creating what are effectively all-new races (art-wise) on top of all of the art a big expansion like this one generally requires. But stepping back, we came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to be a good experience to have everyone playing with the same face geometry and a slight texture change, not knowing what their character would really look like until some later patch. In the end, we decided it would be best to tackle all of a race’s facial options at once. Up to this point, you’ve seen one facial geometry set, but very soon you’ll start seeing more finished products for each option in upcoming beta builds.

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The original Dwarf model (left) has his teeth painted directly on his upper lip to give him a snarl. With the new models, which have fully modeled and textured teeth, a simple paint job just isn’t an option—it would look terrible. In the middle, you can see what that same sneer looks like right now in the beta test; on the right is what you’ll see in an upcoming beta build.

 

 

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On the left, we have a pair of original Orc faces. The second column represents what you’re seeing right now in the beta build, showing texture variation but the same facial geometry. The third column shows a posing rig to demonstrate how we’re customizing each of the face appearances further. On the far right, you can see the final product.

 

We’re working hard to ensure all of the updated character models have the high level of quality you expect from us, and that we expect from ourselves. This revamp is a truly enormous project that we care deeply about, and we know you feel the same. We’re looking forward to seeing all of these new, high-quality, awesome-looking models running around Azeroth, and we hope you enjoy seeing the characters you know and love in a whole new light.

 

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

 

Character Viewer Updated: Undead Male!

The offical Warlords of Draenor website has been updated once again, with this time the male Undead. If you don’t have access to the Beta yet, take a look to see if the new model is more disgusting (in the good way), as the old one!

Character Viewer Updated: Undead Male!

The viewer on our website has been once more updated, this time with the Undead Male model!Our art team and character artists worked themselves to the bone to recapture the creepy feel of the classic model and bring new (un) life to this scion of the Forsaken. We hope you enjoy it!

As development continues on Warlords of Draenor, we’ll show you even more of the updated character models and visuals coming to World of Warcraft. Let us pick your brain in the comments!

 

Artcraft – Female Tauren (Body Moovin’)

Since the last Artcraft about the male Tauren, the wondering about how will look-like the revamp female model was a little silent. Today Artcraft is focus on the female this time!

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We’re here with a brand-new Artcraft! I’m your host, Chris Robinson, senior art director on World of Warcraft, and today we’re showing you where we’re at with the female Tauren.

The original female Tauren had a lot of issues with too-angular geometry and stretched-out textures. It’s not her fault—it’s just what we had available to us at the time. Our new process has allowed us to add a lot of detail to her hair, fur, horns, and hooves, to build a far more detailed and expressive face, and to add a lot of definition to her musculature (while retaining her shape and silhouette).

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One other change of note: Warcraft character design is commonly known for its stylized long arms, large hands, and big feet, but the female Tauren’s hands were just completely out of control. We brought them down to a more consistent size with the other updated models, and were also able to add a ton more detail and dexterity in the process.

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We hope you enjoy her new look—let us know what you think in the comments!

 

Character Viewer Updated: Female Gnome & Male Tauren!

The Warlords of Draenor’s website has received an update. The Gnone female and the Tauren male  have been added, you can have a 3D look of them there.

Character Viewer Updated: Female Gnome & Male Tauren!

We’ve updated the viewer on our website with two of the revised character models you’ll see in Azeroth and beyond with Warlords of Draenor. Meet the new and improved Tauren Male and Gnome Female!

Our character artists strived to recapture the charm of the classic models while taking advantage of the expressiveness of their fluid new animations to bring new life to these beloved characters. We hope you like the new looks as much as we enjoyed making them.

We’ll continue to unearth more of Draenor and the shiny visuals coming to World of Warcraft around the release of Warlords. Keep your magnifiers and spectacles ready!

 

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