How’s About Some Tiger Toes?

Latest Patch Notes over at World of Raids includes another form-change for druids!

I popped on this morning to get my daily dose of Big Bear Butts (why does that sound dirty to me?) and saw he’d posted info on a glyph for us whisker-wiggling druid types! If you don’t want to dig through the immense glut of information I’ll post the important part:

Red Lynx hmm? you mean one of these?

If it doesn’t have horns I’m not interested. But seriously, I love my horns /headbutt. I’ve seen the poler bear glyph, I’ve seen this glyph, but I haven’t seen any screenshots of the actual forms in-game. Hopefully this means that Blizzard is hard at work customizing them to each faction.

The way I see it, there’s one of two things that could happen.

1) Druids get a cornucopia of ‘new’ and tasty forms, Lynxes, Leopards, Tigers etc etc. The models are simply re-textured (maybe) ports of their more mundane Azerothian counterparts.

2) Druids get a smaller amount of new form options. Perhaps only one or two options per form, but said new forms not only have vastly superior and detailed textures, the models themselves are more customized for each race.

Now, from my experience with 3D assets I know that it’s immensely easier to re-texture an already textured model than it is to even tweak or add polygons to an already existing model and make new textures for that. Here’s a little breakdown of the modeling and texturing process (this doesn’t include rigging and skinning and animating)

– Model the polygons in 3D modeling application of choice (3D Studio Max or Maya is most common)

– Use either built-in unwrapping tool or an addon to flatten out the polygons and create a texture map. For the uninitiated, on a beastie think of a bearskin rug, everything is flat, but if you had a styrofoam bear you could put the pelt on the bear and it would be a nice 3D bear. It is the same concept with 3D art.

– In most cases a procedural texture is applied and the model is checked over to make sure there’s no unwanted deformation of the texture. (I’m not sure how careful Blizzard is about this because I find PLENTY of funky deformed textures in WoW, but that’s a tale for another day) If everything is looking honkey dory then continue on to the next step.

– Once model has been Unwrapped (technical term there) a screenshot is taken or (more common) the unwrapped Mesh is exported at a high resolution as an image file, most likely a .tiff or .png. (In my experience)

– Exported image is opened in another program (most likely Photoshop) and painted on! Paint paint paint. This step is where I love having my dual-monitor setup. I’ll have 3D Studio Max open on one screen and Photoshop on the other, it’s easy to paint a section, save out a .tif file, then hop over and take a render of the textured model so far. It’s just common sense and makes things easier in the long run.

– Once the texture is painted to everyone’s satisfaction then some magical process takes place that loads all the assets into the game and blah blah blah… (can you tell my training didn’t cover this step?)

ANYway! If all you’re doing is re-texturing an old model all you have to do is grab the old texture.psd and modify that. If you move any polygons or even add a necklace or horns or big floppy ears you’d have to go back, edit the unwrap map, export it again, and paint from scratch. New models are much more labor-intensive than new textures.

I’m still hoping for new models. If I was asked, however, I might have a hard time choosing between finally being able to have actual TIGER FEET and having a spiffy new model with my oh-so-lovely horns. I think, in the end though, I’m rooting for the horns.

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  • Comments (2)
  1. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed… The red lynx models are probably one of my least favourite cat models in the game – I was hoping for something more interesting / exotic.

    Sadly, also, I reckon it’ll be a ‘replace model x with y’ and all druids will look the same, even cross-faction, as it’ll be ‘easier’ for ’em to implement.

    I would hope there will be more skins, though I somehow doubt there’ll be more than a few or other classes would start crying about druids having more options than they have.

    /hug
    /vanish

    • Tigerfeet
    • August 13th, 2008

    Yeah, I’m sadly in agreement with you Aurik. Unless the new forms have horns I won’t likely be using them.

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