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.
Looks good and professional, as usual. The smoothness caught me off guard... But damn, in motion the new model shine.,
Those smirks! I can't wait for the femtaurs <3
for this, i think i will re-roll to horde again...:)
The hump on the back of his neck looks too high and "pointy" to me. :-(
this looks amazing, very nice work on the model
The models, especially in movement, look amazing. The pics alone don't do it enough justice for me, but the movement and the fluidity of the animation sells it for me. Can't wait to see the rest of them.
I really can't wait to see the female tauren! I bet they will be adorable :)
That six-pack making me wet already :-)
Nice to see that the tail is no longer connected to the cloak!
The second I saw the new Tauren model I immediately wanted to go make one. So pumped now to see what the rest of them will look like.
Wow, really impressed with this. I initially made a Tauren male because I adored the hulking/raw features; I love their model and I'm really happy with how the updates are going.
I have question. Will they redesign Druid forms too?
Congrats, kudos, props, and all exclamations of compliments to you Art Team. These Tauren models are brilliant. Just look at the spell casting animations. You have added so much animation to the hands and it is all worth it. And that isn't the only thing, but I'm not going to list everything here because it would be too long. And this is coming from someone who doesn't play Tauren at all really, but that doesn't mean I can't be impressed. Keep up the good work guys!
While I like the updated models so far, their just throwing the old animations back on rather bothers me... wtb new ones...
This makes me beyond happy! Great job Blizz :)!