View Full Version : Espen's Blizzard Art Contest Submission

09 September 2006, 10:51 AM
Hello everybody,

I finally decided to take part in the Blizzard Art Contest. Better late than never - that's what I thought, and there are two weeks left to finish my WARCRAFT: 3D Character submission. Playing a Gnome myself in World of Warcraft I decided to create a useful Gnome inventor gadget/character mixture. This is the actual sketch for what I am going to do:

The Idea behind this sketch is that Gnomes should have the possibility to make their inventions at any time they like. This mobile inventor station is equipped with lots of useful stuff and there is even a telescope attached to its roof. The double headed ogre is controlled via a mind controlling apparatus worn on the gnome's head and transmitted via the two antennas directly into the little brains of the ogre.

After one day of work in modo I came up with this WIP mesh.

So stay tuned - there is more to come soon! I am happy about comments/critique - it is most welcome as always.

Best Regards

09 September 2006, 11:56 AM
great idea, it's quite out of the ordinary. my only crit so far would be that the polycount of 3000 for the ogre seems a bit high, given the overall limit of 5000... anyway. looking forward to the full model.

09 September 2006, 01:57 PM
I like the idea,
compared to your sketche, the orcs heads are a bigger.
Are you going to normal maped this model, or are you planning to make a "wow rendering" ?
The 5k tris will be a good challenge for such a "thing". I dont know whats the politic of Blizzard, if the limit can be outpassed with that type of character.

Good luck ! Day -13

09 September 2006, 04:51 PM
We are waiting for the textured model now ;)

09 September 2006, 07:33 PM
I demand more images! :)

(even if you havent done anything new)

09 September 2006, 12:02 AM
Here comes a little update from todays work.

weasel.acuh5o: I am at 4230 tris right now and I guess it will be tough business to crush the ogre and the inventor station on his back below 5000. To realize this AND to model the gnome rider within the given range seems to be completely out of range unless I reduce the quality of the meshes of what I have done so far. I think I will do the ogre as shown here alone with below 5000 and add around 2500 polys to the gnome character - in the end there are two characters in the picture, right? - and the gnome is merely decoration. A difficult decision...

jocz: Thank you for c&c! Yes, the heads were to big. I made them smaller. Check it out. I planed to do normal maps for that fellow but I am not that sure anymore... The texturing style definitely has to be like in World of Warcraft: painted by hand with vivid colors and high contrast. I am not so sure if this works together with normal mapping - but I will make some test in this direction soon.

Publici: Well, first things first. I also have to do the UV layout - the part of work I most dislike...

Oink: Granted! Here we go...


c u

09 September 2006, 09:06 AM
I am at 4230 tris right now and I guess it will be tough business to crush the ogre and the inventor station on his back below 5000. To realize this AND to model the gnome rider within the given range seems to be completely out of range unless I reduce the quality of the meshes of what I have done so far. I think I will do the ogre as shown here alone with below 5000 and add around 2500 polys to the gnome character - in the end there are two characters in the picture, right? - and the gnome is merely decoration. A difficult decision...

yeah, since it's just a 'mount' it sounds very reasonable to do so. blizzard should have given some more info besides the '5000 polygons', it's a bit hard to judge what counts towards the count and what is just mere decoration/things for scale etc. good going so far, and I'd really like to see it done without normal maps tbh. everybody seems to be doing some zbrushed model for this contest, it'd be nice to see something that could be thrown into WOW right away.

09 September 2006, 11:27 AM
Ah Espen you roxors my world. Nice stuff. I would'nt do the normal map personally. I think their goal was to see what people could do that fits into their world. If they didnt want it to jive with their tech I doubt they would have had any poly limit etc. Then again its mainly for fun anyways so why not do what you want... wow a new record I waffled in my first reply. Anyways, great start so far, cant wait to see you hit up that texture.


09 September 2006, 11:42 AM
Hello wanderer,
I bring you the latest updates on my Blizzard Art Contest submission. It does not look so different on first sight to the stuff I posted earlier this week, but believe me it is... so be invited to have a second look. Because what I did was: increasing detail level and reducing poly count.

weasel.acuh5o: I finally decided about the poly count. I was working hard the last day to crunch the poly count down while modeling more details. I took out a lot of the ogre's polygones especially in the face/head area and with his other accessories to bring the whole scne as you can see it now down to 3992 tris. That gives me around 1000 tris to model the gnome what is a task that might be done. I will start this work today and hopefully tonight the whole ensemble is ready. So the submission will be below 5000 tris in total and there will be nothing to explain what is the best I think. As for the normal map issue I am not decided jet. I think I will start the other way around, doing the color map first and deciding then if it needs more enhancements. Maybe I should put my effort into color map and specular map only to bring the whole style more into the original WoW direction.

JamusT: Thanx for the roses. So you also think that I can go without a normal? I am not sure yet, it seems to be such a standard nowadays.


09 September 2006, 11:48 AM
I think so Espen. Let your textures do the talking... after all thats what blizzard has always been about right? Ultra low poly with great paint. Its not just making the awesome art work I really think they want to see stuff that captures their current specs and follows their IP style. I may be in the minority on that view but Im pretty sure that it's the way to go.


09 September 2006, 12:51 PM
Nice work Espen! :thumbsup:
I would only notice the way that the 'inventor station' hangs from the ogre's back, In my opinion is hard to make it fit there naturally. Anyway, once the model is posed you can always tweak that, so that's not really a problem. We want to see it textured now! You can always start with just a difuse and later decide if it's worthwhile to do a normal and specular map. Go for it! :)

09 September 2006, 03:50 PM
Awesome. I like your execution and I hope you will finish this in time. The model definitely reminds me of a mix of OgreMagi & the new character in Dota mod version 6.36 named the Alchemist (pretty much the same conceptual idea).

All right lets see here. Poly's are too high high. You can easily collapse a lot of the poly's in the ogre especially the face and still maintain a perfect pallet for some nicely painted textures. The back pack and straps have a lot of unneeded poly's also, you can make those planes and use alphas for the detail in the back pack, way too many polys in that back pack man (sorry dont mean to repeat myself). Cut that down and you will have the polys needed for the gnome.

Keep going ... updates.

Good luck.

-Mind Traveler

09 September 2006, 12:23 AM
this was though. but here comes the little lady. the complete scene is at 4974 triangles right now and I think I will save the remaining 26 polys for means of texturing if I need some cuts here and there. tomorrow I will do the mapping and research reference for the color texture so that I can start painting on friday.

isn't she cute? post loveletters here..

c u 2morrow

09 September 2006, 07:56 AM
Great work espen. Hope you get it done in time

09 September 2006, 08:16 AM
Right she's cute! :thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 12:38 PM
This is great! I can deffinitly, and actually really want to see this in WOW, I think it would be a really cool epic mount for engineers. Can't wait to see the texture applied.

09 September 2006, 12:55 PM
Nice job on the Gnome. I winced when I thought of you doing her in less than 1k. I think 1200 is about the lowest I have gone, and granted it was awhile ago but I recall it being quite an exercise in frustration. heh. Looking good though. You still have enough poly's to do the chains on his wrists? I really dig that detail in the concept.


09 September 2006, 03:28 PM
Great work. Very original concept and the 3D adaptation is nicely done. Now rock them polys with textures!

09 September 2006, 04:44 PM
Whooo!! The girl is looking sweet. Now that is the blizzard style my friend. Commence wisely with some beautiful textures. This work makes me wanna go ahead and crack out a model for the comp. Good job man.

-Mind Traveler

09 September 2006, 06:11 PM
Love the concept! Looking great so far. I don't know if this is a dead issue, but I agree with the others on not normal mapping what you have, especially Jamus. You've got a great idea here and looks like it could be dropped right into WoW. Can't wait to see it textured! :thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 09:45 PM
yo Espen, what r u doing in modo there? Maya is not your friend no mo?
Anyway, great concept and I can already see this in action. I just thought
that maybe since this ogre carries this machine probably for quite some time
already, maybe his bindPose should not be so straight and this machine lying
a bit more on the back of the ogre, you know moebelpacker-style?
Anyway, just a thought, keep it coming!
captain kirk

09 September 2006, 10:50 PM
after I took a little break for other things I started to work on the color map. Well, all this is very rough right now, but I want to share the process with you anyway. There is some fantastic artwork already finished for the contest in this forum and I hope that I will find the time to also finish my piece and catch up.

In the face of my little gnome lady you can already see the amount of detail and style that I am heading for. The rest of the mesh is just painted to find possible colors - there are no details, highlights, structures jet whatsoever. To decide about the colors is always so difficult, so if you have any comment on that I will very much appreciate your suggestions. There is one week left and I hope to also wind the time to do a color map and to do the final posing and e nice rendering of everything...


and thanx a lot for all your comments. I don't have the time to answer in detail right now, but I will come to that as soon as possible. But the painting has to be done first... time is ticking away you know....

09 September 2006, 03:39 PM
I am loving the direction your work is head towards. You mentioned it is just the rough in to gain an understanding ... well with said all I have to say is make sure you get some contrasting details in there to really break of all the shapes. Other than that i am really loving it, so finish up and goodluck.

-Mind Traveler

09 September 2006, 04:05 PM
I kinda get the idea with the practical clothing approach on the gnome, but I would consider giving her a shirt or smth... for some reason I do not really like the half-naked look to much. other than that I really like it, looking forward to the result.

and yeah, the end is drawing near. gotta go back to unwrapping myself, gl getting it all done in time.

09 September 2006, 06:46 PM
Hi Espen,
I like the clear defined colored areas on your texture. But the overall color composition needs some work imho. im sure you have all textures in layers, so you can easily change them. I suggest, to take a rendered image and experiment a bit with your graphics tablet.

09 September 2006, 12:51 AM
hi folks,
I was quite busy today with the texturing and I have to say: this takes longer than first expected. This is because, well, it's actualy three characters that I have to do and I decided to do all the shading by hand. But I guess that within two more days things will be fine. This is were I am right now:

GemoRat: thx. that's what I also hope.

Danko: glad you like her.

BenEoff: thanx man. this was my intention. I am playing a gnome myself on a German RPG server.

JamusT: not sure about the chains. I do have some polys left (36 to be exact) but I am not sure jet about how to spend them... not enough for the chain I guess - only if I do it with planes, but this won't be so cool I guess. What do you think?

Psyk0: rock 'n' roll!

Mind Traveler: did you start with something? I'd love to see it! about the contrasting details - I tried to set better contrasts within the actual version. That what you mean?

JimmyMac: thanks for c&c. yes, I finally decided to do a color texture only and pint all the highlights, shadows and stuff into it.

Buexe: nice to see you around here. you are damn right with the pose. I thought about making a simple rig in maya for posing reasons only. and yes "modo" absolutely rocks - but I am still in love with my old girlfriend maya... it's complicated you know...

weasel.acuh5o: very good comment! as you can see I chnaged that right away. it realy looked kind of weird. thanks a lot!

antweiler: great to get your feedback here! yes you are right - colors were kind of weak in the last post. hope this changed to the better... what do you think?

c u tomorrow

09 September 2006, 09:50 AM
Hey man, very nice work, sorry I haven't been able to reply earlier.. I do have a few suggestions.

- I like the horn on the left head, why are the teeth of the 2 monsters that white? They should AT LEAST be yellow, with maybe a little dried blood as well if you want them to be carnivorous ;)

- Also, the face of the left head looks a bit... Dunno how to put it in words... Dull. You might want to tweak the texture a bit, I do like the right head's face a lot though, very nice work on that.

- The thing on the back looks almost untextured, but as it's a WIP I guess you're still working on that ;)

- You might want to add some color variation to the helmets, they look really, really clean now, and I don't think you'd want that ;) Stains, rust, blood, mess it up! :scream:

- I like the definition you gave to the bicep, but I think you overdid it just a tiny little bit, it looks more like a line now... Also, you might want to smudge the 2 lines on the deltoid(s?) shoulder musle a little more, as it looks kind of misplaced. Also, the hand could use some more work, but again, it's still WIP ;)

I guess I really nitpicked... But I think you'll want the maximum quality out of your piece, as it could look even better (and that's positive for a contest, right?). Good luck on finishing it, I love the style you gave to the piece! :thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 12:15 PM
here comes the latest version. check it out!

I am experimenting with BG color schemes right now. What do you think of this one. I also thought about giving the BG some texture with painter, but I'm not sure yet...

Stefander: thank you so much for your comments! some of the issues you mentioned are already corrected I guess. I am not sure whether I should give the materials more structure or not. The original Warcraft style means to me that there are clean and simple textures painted by hand - I am afraid if I make things more dirty it will go away from this hand painted style... but I will experiment with this... I will use at least some leather and metal struktures in the end I guess...

5 more days..


09 September 2006, 12:35 PM
Both characters look great, one comment though: The machine on the back of the ogre's needs some work on the texturing, it's way to 'clean' now.

09 September 2006, 04:02 PM
Skills ... you've got them! Only suggestions would be to add a little bit of detail to the hair of the gnome to further enhance the form/ same thing goes for the Ogre shorts/ of course as you already know the that machine neeeds some dirt :) Just overall I guess you could really add some variety in the shading (lights and darks) on alot of stuff (like buckels and rings, etc) to help turn the form even more.

It's looking wonderful though ... and you are making great time.

As for my entry ... I just did'nt have anytime :( I'm having a hard enough time making time to work on current projects. Thanks for asking though.

-Mind Traveler

09 September 2006, 01:16 AM
well, I made some progress today and I'm pretty confident by now that I am going to make it in time and that I manage to work on further details like hair, shading and materials ...

Ah, I almost forgot. A question to all English native speakers: is my title OK or does it sound stupid? Do you have an alternative title for my picture? This would help me a lot! Thank you guys!

I'm so tired right now and have to get some sleep... Thanx for the feedback on my last post Mind Traveler and NOVA_TheCrew - all the stuff you mentioned will be done soon.

See you tomorrow.


09 September 2006, 03:26 PM
coming along nicely. I'd love to see a bit more detail and contrast on some parts of it, but I think you're going to take care of that anyway. the backpack (ahem) feels a bit boring at the moment, maybe you should add some stuff to the textures. like, blueprints nailed to it (think post its), maybe some ventilation hole...

totally dig the mindless expression on the ogres, great job there. :)

09 September 2006, 04:10 PM
Well, if their mind control helmets get damaged, I'd call it a gnome launcher.. :)

09 September 2006, 07:42 PM
Hmm. I like how it is going so far. I agree its at that detail point but Im sure you can do it. As for the name... I dunno, I think it works alright. If you still want suggestions how about... The Hunchback of Gnomer Dame? Heh. I should really sleep before I think and type.

09 September 2006, 10:00 AM
You hit the bull's eye with that submission. Really really WOW Style!

09 September 2006, 05:39 PM
It is done.This is my entry to the Blizzard Art Contest 2006. Enjoy!

Thanx again to everyone who gave critique and comments to my work and helped me to finish this low poly character(s) the way he/she/it is now.

Hope to see all of you soon in Espen's Creature Club (!

Best Regards

09 September 2006, 10:51 AM
nice idea, i like the details, for example the bird in the cage lol, is sweet :).

good luck for the contest


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