Have you ever wanted to give a friend a few Hearthstone Expert Card Packs? Or gift that epic Iron Skyreaver mount to your World of Warcraft guildmate? Good news! We’ve got you covered with one simple solution — the Battle.net Gift Card.
This €20/£15 gift card is now available at a wide range of retailers across Europe. Simply pick one up at any of the stores listed below and give it to a friend. All they need to do is claim the code on the back of the card in order to charge up their Battle.net Balance, which can be used to purchase a variety of Blizzard digital items, games, and services. You can also use the gift card to charge up your own balance.
For a full overview of what you can buy with Battle.net Balance, visit the Battle.net Shop. Here are just a few examples of the cool stuff you can give a friend via the Battle.net Gift Card:
You’ll find a list of retailers offering the Battle.net Gift Card below. Remember that you can also gift your friends specific digital items directly from the Battle.net Shop.
United Kingdom: GAME, Grainger Games, ASDA
Germany, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Denmark: Gamestop
Belgium, Netherlands: Bart Smit, Game Mania
Sweden, Spain: Game, Gamestop
Animation is a big factor for the female Draenei specifically, so it’s important to keep it in mind when comparing the two. The original female Draenei has some fairly extreme posing that happens when she’s animated. If you were to see the static model of the original without any posing you’d see that it looks very similar to the new one. With her pose applied her shoulders stretch backward, her pelvis rotates forward, and her chin lowers—causing her head to angle downwards. The curvature in her lower back, and why the head shape looks slightly different, are also due to the new model not having the same posing applied yet. She also looks a lot taller! Ultimately all of those things will be addressed when we animate the new model, they just don’t take place until she’s rigged and sent on to the animation team.
We hope you enjoyed this super quick look at where we’re at right now, and we’ll continuing sharing more in-progress art as we go forward. The next article in the Artcraft series we’re planning is a look at the creation of the Spires of Arak, a new zone coming in Warlords of Draenor. Thanks for stopping by!
Senior Character Artist Joe Keller did the majority of the work on this revamp, with direction from our Lead Character Artist Tyson Murphy (@tysmurph), and myself (@artofcgrobinson).
After touching up the pose, we move on to re-animating the standard idle motion. Slight changes on how muscles move, limbs are carried, or feet hit the ground can get across a better sense of weight for whatever creature it is we’re animating. Tweaking the male Tauren was a lot of fun because we were able to add a lot more weight than the previous model had and make the Tauren feel bigger and beefier. Another thing that stood out was the lack of motion on the nose ring, braids, and especially the face. With the addition of a facial rig, we were able to get his brows, nostrils, ears, and cheeks to react with his breathing motion. Getting these subtle motions to work added so much to the simple standing pose, I imagined the Tauren looking up at me and saying "thank you."
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the old and new models.
Next up is Kevin to talk about the face rig and what that process entails.
We also create a “face fileFace File
This file holds several expressions and phonemes for the player model.” with several preset expressions the animators can use while working. It’s a lot faster than creating a new pose from scratch. If they need a sad or angry face, they can start from the preset ones, and then adjust from there to make it more unique.
We also create several mouth shapes, or phonemes, for use in talking animations. Again, posing the face is time consuming, so having a jump start is extremely helpful. It also makes the character feel like it was animated by one person, when there’s actually a big group of us working on them at one time.
Once we had identified what needed polishing we went straight into Maya and got to work. A popular method of cleaning up locomotion animations would be saving the contact poses, major breakdowns, deleting the in-betweens, and smoothing out the motion from there.
Emotes were also super fun to work on. We would often times shoot video footage of ourselves acting out emote animations for reference—and no you don’t get to see them. We’d then use that reference as a jumping off point for setting key frames in Maya.
All of our character animations are hand keyed, and not dynamically simulated within the game engine or created through motion capture. This allows us to have complete control in shaping the movement and style for each character, and it adds a unique life to the characters you can’t really get any other way.