Jump to content
FORUMS
Sign in to follow this  
Stan

Recreating the Night Elves in Warcraft III Reforged

Recommended Posts

NVLVnyw.png

The art team's behind-the-scenes preview of how they recreated the Night Elves in Warcraft III Reforged.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

An avalanche of work goes into reforging even a single Warcraft III model. First, concept artists scour real-world history, World of Warcraft visuals, and original Warcraft III concept art for inspiration. Fueled by this research, they create several concepts for review by the entire art team. The art team chooses their favorite parts from each concept: the pose from A, the eyebrows from B… the shoulder-spikes from C, the toe-structure from D… 

When the finer (spear)points have been agreed upon, a 3D model is constructed. The art team reviews each model from every angle, evaluating scale, color, readability, and silhouette. Each model goes through several rounds of exacting polish. Then it’s on to the animation phase, where the movement of fabrics and body parts is polished for realism and personality. Every new model goes through the full process, whether it’s Prince Arthas or a humble cactus. And there are a lot of new models. Over 700, in fact. 

All that work paid off. In Warcraft III: Reforged, orcs, humans, night elves, and the undead have been brought to life in higher fidelity than ever before. Across this article series, we go behind the scenes with the art team to discover the secrets of each reforged race—beginning with the ancient, reclusive Night Elves. 

The Night Elves were the first race to study magic and let it loose throughout the world nearly ten thousand years ago. They barely managed to banish the demons of the Burning Legion from the world, but their wondrous homeland was shattered, and the Night Elves went into hiding from the rest of the world atop their holy mountain, Hyjal.

While redesigning the Night Elf units, the artists really captured the essence of the Night Elves: that nature is a constant in their theme and function. Wisps bend branch and root into Ancients, and many night elf units, like the Dryad, literally bridge the divide between forest fauna and elf.

HEROES

Illidan (Demon Hunter)

Demon Hunters are dark, shadowy warriors who are shunned by the greater Night Elf society.

They wield demonically-charged warblades in battle, call upon fel energies to augment their formidable combat skills, and now have a chance to appear in either male or female variations during multiplayer matches.

Illidan Stormrage’s classic fel tattoos are more elaborate channels for demonic power, and his model’s been retooled with all the musculature he’ll need to support future wings and horns.

Cenarius (Keeper of the Grove)

The enchanted Keepers are the favored sons of the demigod Cenarius and possess strange powers over nature and animals.

These ranged spellcasters complement the ranged Night Elf army, rooting any enemy that gets near, or using Treants to push attackers back.

The wood of the reforged Keeper’s clawed hand is much more defined and noticeable; you’ll have a chance to summon either this multiplayer model or the mighty Cenarius himself in competitive games.

Cenarius is draped in ivy as with his original model, but the competitive play Keeper has his own look with a number of variable outfits. He’s a few millennia short of 10,000, so his antlers and ivy haven’t fully grown in yet.

Tyrande Whisperwind (Priestess of the Moon)

The Priestesses of the Moon epitomize the power and grace of their race's ancient Moon Goddess, Elune.

The Priestesses ride the fearless Frostsaber tigers of Winterspring into battle armed with magical energy, and improve the damage of ranged units.

In reforging Tyrande’s model, we opted to give Ash’alah armor to set her apart from the average saber cat—she is the High Priestess’s right paw, after all.

Maiev Shadowsong (Warden)

The mysterious wardens serve as the night elves' police force in Kalimdor, employing a number of supernatural powers that enable them to recapture their target and mete out justice.

Maiev’s reforged model is quite distinct from her multiplayer sister, who wields a chakram but lacks her distinctive bladed cape and crescent back piece.

UNITS

Archer

The first rank of the Sentinel army is comprised of Archers who are able to Shadowmeld at night and attack from stealth.

Archers are staples of the Night Elf army. They can cause serious damage with a Priestess of the Moon, and become even more effective as Hippogryph Archers later in the game.

Whether looking at concept art from Warcraft II, looking at bows in WoW, or the Improved Bows upgrade—which we ultimately drew inspiration from—we do a healthy bit of research before creating each unit. The bows of Archers in Warcraft III: Reforged have a more traditional, pointed recurve where the string attaches.

Dryad

The enchanted Dryads are the daughters of the Night Elf demigod, Cenarius. Though they abhor unnecessary violence, the Dryads will defend the wildlands of Kalimdor with their lives if need be.

Dryads are excellent at chasing fleeing units and debilitating enemies with their Slow Poison. While the original Dryad model looked like she was dragging around the top of a tree because of the quantity of leaves in her spear, the Reforged Dryad reduces the focus of the spear let you take in the entire unit’s details, and her colors have been changed to more closely match a fawn. The character of Lunara (from Heroes of the Storm) was definitely an inspiration here—her fawn coloring felt more alive, in contrast with the dominant grayish-purple coloring of the original, which was almost undead in nature and at odds with this vivacious, fearsome forest fawn.

Druid of the Claw

These ancient Druids have adopted the totem of the bear, and use its powers to defend their society from any external threats. Their magical spells augment their allies' fighting skills and bravery as well.

The Druid of the Claw, acts as a powerful advanced melee unit when he assumes bear form. This Druid has always worn furs and other accoutrements of the bear he transforms into, but the redesigned unit more clearly distinguishes the outfit from the druid, and his face is more that of a stoic night elf and less like a bear mid-transformation.

But what about those claws? Are they gloves, or part of the druid? Lead Producer Pete Stilwell suggests that insight can be found in the single-player campaign: ”…having gone a bit native, [the Druids] attempted to grow their nails a bit more aggressively than your average elf, but, disappointed in the result, they strapped some giant claws on anyway.”

Mountain Giant

Benevolent and solitary by nature, the mountain giants have awakened to find that the tranquil world they once helped to shape has become a hectic battlefield of fire and sorrow.

These massive melee units can take incredible amounts of punishment from attackers. The improved Mountain Giant has better-defined crystals on the shoulders, and the grass placement makes it look less like a tunic and more like an actual mossy rock. Multiple concept art pieces were reviewed and the best parts of each were combined to create the version below.

We hope you enjoyed this look at the Night Elves. Join us soon for the next installment of this series, where we’ll be giving you a closer glimpse at the reforged Undead. 

Warcraft III: Reforged launches January 28, 2020, and there’s still time to prepare to join the fight on launch day. Pre-purchase now and gain instant access to the multiplayer beta!

Latest Warcraft III Reforged News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      The latest preview of the art team covers how they tackled with Orcs in Warcraft III Reforged. Notable Heroes include Samuro, Drek'Thar, Rokhan, Vol'jin, and Cairne Bloodhoof. The game releases on January 28.
      Blizzard (Source)
      A rugged, hardy people known for unbridled ferocity in combat, the orcs of Warcraft III dress in simple furs and spiky hide armor. When reforging the heroes and units of the orc army, the Warcraft III: Reforged art team strove to capture their raw strength and valorous battle scars. “Our artists take the epic quest to add to the hallowed pantheon of Orc heroes as a sacred one,” says Lead Producer Pete Stilwell. “The challenge is to do justice to millions of players who know every tusk, whisker, and wrinkle on their faces.”
      HEROES
      Samuro (Blademaster)
      Blademasters from the Burning Blade Clan are the orcish Horde’s most skilled and seasoned warriors.
      Warcraft III: Reforged introduces multiple models for the Blademaster, including the white-haired veteran Samuro (who assists Thrall and Rexxar in Frozen Throne’s single-player orc campaign) and a hulking chaos orc—though the art team has taken great pains to ensure that the silhouettes of both Blademasters are recognizable, so that players can understand the foes they face at a glance.  
      Drek’Thar (Farseer)
      These powerful shamans ride into battle astride snow-white wolves.
      Particular attention was paid to replicating the decorative feathers that came to define the blind farseer Drek’Thar’s garb in World of Warcraft. Drek’Thar serves an important role both in Warcraft III’s orc single-player campaign and in multiplayer, where (as the Farseer hero unit) his spellcasting abilities can be put to devastating effect.
      Cairne Bloodhoof (Tauren Chieftain)
      Elder Tauren warriors lead their tribes in daily life as well as battle.
      The Tauren Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof was instrumental in the orcish Horde’s survival during Warcraft III’s single-player orc campaign. As with many heroes, multiple Tauren Chieftain models will be available in multiplayer. Significant detail has been added to each model’s twin totems and ceremonial warblade.
      Vol’jin and Rokhan (Shadow Hunter)
      Reclusive, mysterious Shadow Hunters support the Horde with cunning voodoo magic.
      Troll Shadow Hunters like Vol’jin and Rokhan are powerful allies to the orcish Horde in Warcraft III’s single-player campaigns. Rokhan’s reforged model retains his signature beard, but gains an imposing mask and more detailed wooden armor. Vol’jin’s reforged model adds fearsome war paint fitting of a Darkspear chieftain.
      UNITS
      Grunt
      Grunts are the courageous backbone of the orcish Horde.
      When it came time to reforge the orc army, the art team began with the most fundamental orc unit: the Grunt. Modeling this iconic warrior laid the groundwork for everything else. For inspiration, the team turned to the 2012 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Cinematic Trailer.
      “The origin of our whole look was the stylized realism of Mists of Pandaria,” says lead environment artist Dave Berggren. 
      This artistic direction is clear when you examine the Grunt’s new model, which features stylized colors and proportions, but realistic flesh, clothing, and metal textures. 
      Shaman
      Orc Shamans are dependable spellcasters who draw their power from the natural world.
      When reforging the Shaman’s model, the art team sought to balance the number of bones and other details against the need for an instantly recognizable silhouette.
      We hope you enjoyed this look at the reforged Orcs. Want to see more of the new models? Check out our previews of the Night Elves, Undead, and Humans!
      Warcraft III: Reforged launches January 28, 2020, and there’s still time to prepare to join the fight on launch day. Pre-purchase now and gain instant access to the multiplayer beta!
      Related News
      Recreating the Humans in Warcraft III Reforged Recreating the Night Elves in Warcraft III Reforged Recreating the Undead in Warcraft III Reforged
    • By Stan
      Here's yet another behind-the-scenes preview of how the art team recreated the Humans in Warcraft III Reforged. Of note are Arthas Menethil, Jaina Proudmoore, Kael'thas Sunstrider, and Muradin Bronzebeard.
      Blizzard (Source)
      The Human Alliance of Lordaeron has existed since the Orcs first came through the Dark Portal. Resilient and courageous, they face their enemies clad in imposing armor and armed with sharp steel. The Warcraft III: Reforged art team took inspiration from many sources to capture the human spirit and tenacity, including cinematic trailers, original and new concept art, and more.
      HEROES
      Arthas Menethil (Paladin) Empowered by the Light, the mighty Paladins brandish both warhammer and holy fire in battle against all who would trample the meek and innocent.
      When the Undead Scourge threatened to destroy his homeland, Prince Arthas Menethil was willing to pay any price to save it—but he never looked this good. Arthas and other paladins you played in Warcraft III® are amplified by keeping the aesthetics just like you remember: imposing shoulder pads, towering war mauls and bulky librams. Glorious!
      Jaina Proudmoore (Archmage)
      Hailing from the magical kingdom of Dalaran, the Archmagi represent the pinnacle of arcane power.
      Though all she wanted to do was to study, Jaina Proudmoore found herself embroiled in a war against an enemy she was woefully unprepared to deal with. The reforged Jaina sports flowy, elaborate robes, her signature staff (inspired by World of Warcraft®’s rendition), and some new surprises.
      In multiplayer, the erstwhile “Antonidas” Archmage received an updated model that brings out the small details we could only imagine displaying with ~700 polygons. The new model boasts 15,000 polygons and detailed aged skin, a long, flowy beard, an ornate circlet adorning his head, and much more. Not into that? Don’t worry. In multiplayer matches, your archmagi may very well end up being someone else entirely.
      Muradin Bronzebeard (Mountain King)
      The Mountain Kings, or 'Thanes' as they are known in Khaz Modan, live to test themselves against worthy opponents.
      A founding member of the Explorer’s League, Muradin Bronzebeard went to Northrend searching for Frostmourne, a mythical runeblade with a terrifying history. Muradin’s imposing beard and distinct helm are heavily inspired by his Heroes of the Storm™ rendition.
      The stout Mountain King redesigns for multiplayer draw inspiration from World of Warcraft®’s iconic dwarven look. Clad in scale armor and furs, these Thanes sport large, intricate dwarven shields while keeping their undeniable Alliance troth evident and intact.
      Kael’thas Sunstrider (Blood Mage)
      Refugees seeking to increase their remaining magical powers at any cost, the Blood Mages’ passions lead them close to the darkest depths of madness.
      Long before he had any setbacks in Outland, Kael’thas was already determined to save his people at any price. His updated model reflects his regal status and terrifying arcane might.
      While the aesthetics of High Elven civilization weren’t yet clearly established when Warcraft III was released—the High Elves used mostly Human architecture buildings—years of characterization in World of Warcraft guided the art team in recreating the Blood Mage’s look. This undeniably elven spellcaster now has the slender gait that you’d expect from a Quel’Thalas native, and the intricate, ornate, and monumental shoulder pads you’d expect from members of the Alliance.
      UNITS
      Sorceress
      As terrifying as they are vain, elven sorceresses whimsically turn the tide of battle by slowing the fabric of time around their enemies, or turning them into helpless sheep. Baaaa!
      The new Sorceress proudly displays her allegiance and the Eye of Dalaran on her cloak, and wears stylish, beautiful armor. But a Sorceress isn’t just content with manipulating space-time; it’s important to do so while looking fabulous. She goes as far as checking her nails while idling to ensure that her fashion sense is as devastating to her enemies as her spells.
      Mortar Team
      The fearless Dwarven Mortar Teams are masters of explosive devices, and they all share a common passion: pounding fortified enemy emplacements to dust.
      To reforge the Mortar Team, the developers looked at concept art that was drawn by Samwise Didier for the original release of Warcraft III. These concepts showcased what the Mortar Team was supposed to look like—a crack commando unit specialized in demolitions—and the new model can finally bring that concept art to life, from the thick mortar shells to heavy artillery pieces and safety equipment.
      Gryphon Rider
      The Wildhammer clan of Aerie Peak, armed with lightning-powered Stormhammers, ride proud and implacable gryphons into battle and instill fear in the Alliance’s enemies.
      While the mount half of the original model was much more prominent in order to keep it unambiguous on a chaotic battlefield, the reforged Gryphon Rider affords much more detail on the dwarf. Zoom in close enough, and you’ll recognize the Wildhammer clan’s unmistakable tattoos on the shirtless rider. A small buckler and awe-inspiring hammer complete this fearsome warrior’s look.
      We hope you enjoyed this look at the Humans. Join us soon for the next installment of this series, where we'll be giving you a closer glimpse at the reforged Orcs. Want to see more of the new models? Check out our previews of the Night Elves and Undead!
      Warcraft III: Reforged launches January 28, 2020, and there’s still time to prepare to join the fight on launch day. Pre-purchase now and gain instant access to the multiplayer beta!
      Related News
      Recreating the Night Elves in Warcraft III Reforged Recreating the Undead in Warcraft III Reforged
    • By Stan
      Go behind the scenes with the art team and uncover what it took to reanimate the Undead in Warcraft III Reforged. Side by side comparison of notable Scourge Heroes and Units included!
      Blizzard (Source)
      The demonic armies of the Burning Legion might lack subtlety, but none can deny their status as the most ruthless killing machine Azeroth has ever seen. When reanimating the Scourge, the Warcraft III: Reforged game team used bone, torn flesh, and burial wraps to maintain a consistent, hellish identity across a diverse army of necromancers, demons, beasts, and reassembled monstrosities.
      Tread with Caution: Spoilers for the Warcraft III Story Campaign Below!
      HEROES
      Arthas (Death Knight)
      With vampiric runeblades and shadowy steeds, Death Knights serve as the Scourge's mightiest generals.
      By the time Arthas Menethil first appeared in-game as a Death Knight, he had committed several atrocities, completing his transition from noble paladin to sneering villain. With this model, the Warcraft III: Reforged art team strove to capture Arthas’s newfound darkness, along with the wear and tear his cape and armor sustained whilst butchering innocents.
      While all Death Knights in the original game shared the same model, Warcraft III: Reforged introduces an additional, female Death Knight model, supported by a suite of new voice lines.
      Tichondrius, Mal’Ganis, Varimathras, and Detheroc (Dread Lord)
      Dread Lords are incredibly powerful demons, tasked by Kil’jaeden to watch over the Lich King Ner’zhul. 
      Warcraft III’s original Dread Lords were differentiated mainly by color. Because Tichondrius, Mal’Ganis, Varimathras, and Detheroc have such varied personalities, the Warcraft III: Reforged art team added a unique model for each one. Tichondrius has an imposing beard and green-tipped horns befitting of his immense power. Scheming Mal’Ganis has a hairless face with a wrinkle for every treachery he’s committed.
      “Detheroc seems the schemer of the three brothers,” says Lead Producer Pete Stilwell, “waiting in the wings for opportunity. That sloth over thousands of years resulted in him… putting on a few ‘eL Bees.’”
       What about Varimathras?
      “Varimathras was the vainglorious brother,” says Pete. “His pride keeps him in shape. Definitely not a demon to skip leg day. There was also a trading card version of him with an exquisite pair of mutton chops that we couldn’t keep off his face.” 
      In addition to their single-player campaign appearances, all reforged Dread Lord models will be available in multiplayer.  
      Kel’Thuzad (Lich)
      Immortal, undead liches serve the iron will of Ner'zhul with frost magic and necromantic spells.
      The sardonic necromancer-turned-lich Kel'Thuzad, beloved by Warcraft fans everywhere, proves that you can be evil and still have a sense of humor. In addition to amping up Kel’Thuzad’s horns, tusks, and ornate armor, the art team iterated extensively on the chains that float around him, altering their flow and fine-tuning their size, ensuring that they augment his intimidating appearance without detracting from visual legibility.
      Anub’arak (Crypt Lord)
      These ancient behemoths ruled the subterranean kingdom Azjol-Nerub before their defeat and resurrection by the Scourge.
      Anub’arak’s many eyes and teeth have been modeled in meticulous detail, along with the spines, wings, and armor that adorn his carapace. As with many hero units, multiple Crypt Lord models will be playable in multiplayer.
      UNITS
      Meat Wagon
      The Meat Wagon strikes fear and woe into the hearts of even the most resolute defenders.
      It was hard to make out what the original Meat Wagon flung from its patented Meat-A-Pult™. For better or worse, the reforged Meat Wagon boasts much greater fidelity, allowing you to view its arm-flopping corpse-projectiles in all their gory glory. 
      Crypt Fiend
      These aberrant creatures summon swarms of vile insects and expel webs to incapacitate their enemies.
      Technical limitations prevented Warcraft III’s modelers from replicating the eight-limbed design depicted in the original Crypt Fiend concept art. The reforged Crypt Fiend regains its missing legs, along with burial wrappings to represent its mummified origins, and a truly terrifying visage.
      Frost Wyrm
      Skeletal dragons that radiate cold power and think of nothing other than serving their dark master.
      Initially, the Warcraft III: Reforged art team modeled the Frost Wyrm with realistic (aka massive) wingspan. The model looked great by itself, but gameplay testing revealed that several Frost Wyrms now obscured view of everything beneath them. As with Warcraft III’s other flying units, the artists ultimately sought to strike a balance between winged majesty and visual clarity.
      We hope you enjoyed this look at the Undead. Join us soon for the next installment of this series, where we'll be giving you a closer glimpse at the reforged Humans. Want to see more of the new models? Check out our preview of the Night Elves!
      Warcraft III: Reforged launches January 28, 2020, and there’s still time to prepare to join the fight on launch day. Pre-purchase now and gain instant access to the multiplayer beta!
    • By Stan
      Warcraft III Reforged Beta starts this week and Blizzard has posted a list of known issues on the official forums.
      The game was unveiled at BlizzCon 2018 and will release on or before December 31. Two editions are available for purchase. The Standard Edition costs $29.99 and Spoils of War costs $39.99 and comes with in-game bonuses in other Blizzard games.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Before reporting any issues, please update your drivers.
      Below you can find a list of the current known issues for Reforged Beta:
      Windows 7 Machines with 4 GB or less of RAM will freeze or crash when loading maps; larger RAM capacity will occasionally experience this problem as well. If a player on a team in a custom or versus game loses their town hall, all players on that team receive the message that you will be revealed. Performance on Low spec machines is not optimized. Remaining players are notified that “Blizzard” has left the game when a player leaves the match. Loading assets for the first time in HD can cause performance drops. Disabling V-sync may increase your performance. The confirmation dialog after changing your resolution shows internal strings. Tavern (neutral) heroes have a variety of different art and animation bugs. Weather, Rain, or other ambient sounds may be very loud in specific areas. Music may be enabled when launching the client or switching focus even when it is set to be disabled. The Gamma slider does not control the brightness of the game. The Far Seer’s Spirit Wolves aren’t “spirits” and do not display team color well. When upgrading a Town Hall or Keep, it appears to initially have the model of the original structure below it. There are no spell effects when resurrecting a unit using Ancestral Spirit. Dark Ranger and Pitlord do not display spell effects on their model (level up effects, debuffs, etc.). The spell effect for Batrider’s Liquid Fire isn’t visible on most structures. Sorceress’ invisibility plays the sound twice. Structures or units that go through an upgrade or transformation do not abide by the rules of ally color mode. Using the Berserker ability “Berserk” does not play a sound.
    • By Stan
      Warcraft III Reforged Beta begins this week with limited access to the orc and human races within 1v1 & 2v2 matchmaking. The two other races will be available in the coming weeks. Invitations will be sent out primarily to players who have pre-purchased Spoils of War edition of the game, the next waves will include players who have pre-purchased the standard edition of the game.
      You can find a list of known issues here.
      Blizzard (Source)
      The multiplayer beta for Warcraft III: Reforged begins this week* with limited access to the orc and human races within 1v1 and 2v2 matchmaking. The undead and night elf races, and more game modes will be added in the weeks ahead.
      Invitations to the multiplayer beta will be sent out over the coming weeks. Initial invitations will go out in waves to those who have pre-purchased the Spoils of War edition of the game and subsequent waves of invitations will go to additional players, such as those who have pre-purchased the standard edition of Warcraft III: Reforged. 
      The Spoils of War Edition
      In addition to access to the beta, owners of the Spoils of War edition get a few additional perks.
      Beyond the Meat Wagon mount in World of Warcraft; Thrall, Anub’arak, Jaina and Tyrande in Heroes of the Storm, and the Third War card back in Hearthstone, the Spoils of War edition also contains:
      Warcraft III: Reforged Skins–Champion of the Horde Thrall, Emerald Nightmare Cenarius, Fallen King Arthas, Daughter of the Seas Proudmoore
      Overwatch
      Player Icons: Human, Orc, Undead, Night Elf and Lich King
      Animated Sprays: Footman, Grunt, Ghoul, and Archer
      Diablo III: Mal’ganis pet
      StarCraft II Console Skins
      StarCraft: Remastered: Spoils of War Console
      Charging Towards Battle
      Learn more about Warcraft III: Reforged on our official site.
      We’re looking forward to the clash of mighty armies, to hearing your reactions, and facing off with you online!
      *Beta schedulemay vary between regions.
×
×
  • Create New...