Swordmaster (hero+unit)

This bundle is marked as approved. It works and satisfies the submission rules.
"The Swordmaster can often unleash a fury of deadly attacks before his enemies even have time to raise their weapons."

Technical info:
  • Contains only in-game mesh and textures.
  • Contains additional custom animations.
  • Contains a custom portrait.
  • The size of the models is optimized.
Author's notes:

If you would like to follow my thoughts during creation or see more details, please read this post.
Feel free to use/edit the model but give credits!

Keywords:
Alliance, Blademaster, Captain, Champion, Human, Swordsman, Swordmaster
Previews
Contents

Swordmaster.mdx (Model)

SwordmasterUnit.mdx (Model)

Reviews
General Frank
An interesting model edit of the blade master. Good use of textures. It would have been cool to have the mouth move and visible during the talk animation, but it is serviceable as of right now.
Level 28
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
257
Hello there, long time no see, guys! I'm glad to say I had time to make a model.
PostMain.gif
PostMain2.gif

I want to share with you a hero that includes a custom portrait, animation and thoughtful re-wrapping, all done in the classic style of Warcraft.
If you want to know more about my attempt to create a fitting two-handed fencing master for the Alliance (without going too much into technical details) you can open this spoiler below. Hope you find it useful and interesting to read!

Stage 1 - Blademaster Swordmaster
To speed up the process we should find another model that will be the basis for future work because it contains mesh and animations and, sometimes, even a portrait. We already said this somewhere, right?

And here is our hero! (Literally and figuratively.)
1Swordmaster.gif

Good. Ujimasa Hojo definitely knows what to do with re-wrapping, but we are also not so bad ourselves.

Stage 2 - Image
We need to visualize an image of an Alliance hero that contains some iconic traits... Ideally.

A fact number one: while Orcs love to wear stupid holey rags, our brave knights and paladins wear freshly ironed cloaks with fancy crests.
2Swordmaster.gif

Ok. Now the back has some Alliance fashion.

As you can see, we took the banner with its bones and transformed it into a cloak, quite artfully. Despite the fact that the animation of the cloak is far from ideal, we already have a chain of working bones connected with mesh. Let's save this handy thing for later.

Stage 3 - Dressing room
It's not easy to deftly swing a huge two-handed sword in heavy plate armor, isn't it?

Our hero is a grand fencing master, so it would be nice to provide him with lighter armor on his legs and arms to increase his mobility (lore-wise):
4.png
3Swordmaster.gif

Good! This Paladin's leather texture helps us keep the heroic style familiar to our eyes. In addition, the new solid chest plate looks lighter and more fitting. We should admit that the golden stripes alternate well with the armor patterns.

To further support this color scheme we can offer our hero a sword with a fancy blade edge that also has a nice gold line:
1.png

We stole this texture from Admiral Proudmoore to make the sword look more heroic. Not bad!

It woudn't hurt if we also put on a cloak with gold edges and a shiny crest:
4Swordmaster.gif

Great! The cloak now looks complete and visually enhances the hero. We additionally re-wrapped the boots so that they are gold, and the soles no longer flicker while moving (because we have a thing about it).

Let's pause and take a look at our renewed armor from afar to appreciate its integrity and, of course, to praise ourselves:
5Swordmaster.gif

The whole picture can help us summarize the result and see if we can improve or change something. So, let's take our time here.

The flexible and hard armor pieces logically work well, for example, iron gloves protect hands without shields, and leather parts of the armor allow the hero to perform a more graceful battle dance. The team-colored parts are clearly visible and do not oversaturate the picture. The color scheme is well respected in a variety of gold and silver details. The hero does not wear a helmet because, according to the lore, he is not afraid to open his head before any enemy in the same way as paladins and other commanders. However, we added a specific armor piece to protect the neck. The last two changes will help us to put more emphasis on the portrait and thus make our hero more unique. Darn, what a huge block of text.

Stage 4 - Face
It's time for some plastic surgery.

How about turning this orc into a human? Easy. At first, we cut off the ears, kek. Then, we try to shape the skull...
6Swordmaster.gif

Here we removed some orcish traits and prepared the face for a skin graft. Let's try the Knight texture.

Good! When applying the skin, we see that the face of our hero is not much like the faces of other heroes from Warcraft:
7Swordmaster.gif
6.png
7.png

The face has a sharp human nose now, deep eye sockets and expressive eyebrows. The shaded parts repeat some facial folds, which is quite important for facial expressions.

Here we took the jaw from a Knight because its model has a mustache and fitting texture pieces:
8Swordmaster.gif
8.png

Great! It looks like the hero's wide cheekbones and a massive jaw add a lot to his stern look. The golden circlet fits well with our color scheme and, as a status item, gives more meaning to the face. In addition, his strong armored neck goes well with his massive shoulders and a broad back.

Let's apply all texture layers and find some good camera angles:
2.png

Fine! Now we can confirm the completion of the head.

Stage 5 - Animation
Or may the gods of Lordaeron help us, if there are any.

It’s not that we are afraid to do this, it’s just that the work ahead is quite complex.
9Swordmaster.gif
10Swordmaster.gif
11Swordmaster.gif

Here we'll have to get rid of glitching through the armor, animate the portrait, re-animate the cloak, add new fitting animations in Blizzard-style and fix many other issues such as the disappearing sword, shaky body parts and so on.

Ok. A few moments later we successfully removed the glitches, "reinstalled" the cloak and improved the geoset visibility.
12Swordmaster.gif
13Swordmaster.gif
14Swordmaster.gif

Now the existing animations look smoother, the cloak obeys the laws of physics and the Ribbon Emitter with the sword are at place.

Here we reconnected some of the old facial bones to make the eyebrows, mustache and cheeks move:
15Swordmaster.gif

Looks good, but to create a really living face we should put more effort.

Here we created and implemented more bones to move the eyelids and pupils under the eyebrows:
16Swordmaster.gif
17Swordmaster.gif
18Swordmaster.gif

Excellent! The face looks live now and, what is more important, it has unique expressions in Blizzard-style.

Stage 6 - Special moves
We have to admit that any self-respecting Warcraft hero should have Spell and Stand Channel animations, right?

Let's see:
19Swordmaster.gif

This is our Spell animation taken from Stand-4 but it doesn't look special.

A little bit of magic and we can see really good changes:
20Swordmaster.gif

But what did we do? We took the thigh armor pads, the cloak and worked with them: we made them move up and and shake, as if a powerful air current was coming from below. We also stole a Paladin's spell Particle Emitter, made it move up the blade of the sword, thus emphasizing the role of the sword and supporting the Alliance spirit of our hero.

And what about a new Stand Channel sequence?
3.png
21Swordmaster.gif
22Swordmaster.gif

Here we can see a posture full of pathos: the hero stands just like a classic Alliance statue from Warcraft. Then we animated the thigh armor pads and the cloak again. And in the end we turned to the spell Particle Emitter again to increase the expression of the animation.

Oh, take a closer look at these:
23Swordmaster.gif
24Swordmaster.gif
25Swordmaster.gif
26Swordmaster.gif

Here we can observe the unity of colors. It is based on the Blizzard color scheme we took from the Attack-Walk-Spin-Whatever animation. We also applied lavalamp.blp texture for the particle emitter: it is bright in the center and has smooth red edges outside. Pretty satisfying, isn't it?

Thus, our hero has original "flavor" in terms of colors: not only do they resemble the light of a paladin, but they are also juicy and reddish enough to indicate the hero's dangerous and aggressive special moves.

Stage 7 - Final round
Fight!

5.png

Whoops! A bit of work here obviously wouldn't hurt.

Hm. The Overhead attachment point doesn't seem to be at place... Generally speaking, for us it's always best to remember to double-check the positions and timings of objects, no matter how great we think the template model is. We should also remove the unused objects, for example, the unit version of our model shouldn't have a Dissipate sound (because it doesn't have a Dissipate animation, right?).

A few moments later we streamlined the list of animations so it will be easier for us and some other guys to change things in the future:
27Swordmaster.gif

After that we want to change the Blood Splatter to human and the Death sounds accordingly. We want all our sequences to have the proper opening frames, so the model has smooth switching between the animations. We also want the Sanity Checker to be problem-free and have the model optimized for size. We finally want our model to work flawlessly and become a decent template for the future modelers.

That's all! Thanks a lot for reading and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it! 😉
I look forward to seeing you in the next issue of my modelling magazine, whether you are an Orc, an Elf or a Troll 🤝

Many thanks to @Ujimasa Hojo for the template.
Time spent on the models: 8 days (8 hours total).
 
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Level 28
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
257
I just came , to say great work !
The portrait and the Stand Channel is outstanding ! Adds personality to the model and stays true to the style of Wc3
Can t wait to see what other goodies you have for us !
Thank you man 🤜🤛
Hello, Villagerino! Will there be an updated Demonic Brethren in the future🤩?
Hello, Nobel! From time to time I work on a new Demonic Brethren pack (there are already 3 ready-made models). If I'm lucky with free time, I'll upload a new pack next month 🙂
🙌
Yasuo has entered the room
Oh, already quite an old man with a bad back 👨‍🦽
 
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Level 3
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
6
Hello, I'm not good at using English. It's just machine translation. I like this model very much. I would like to give you a suggestion. I hope you can make a version with a helmet for him, like an iron puppet.
 
Level 28
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
257
Thank you!
Hello, I'm not good at using English. It's just machine translation. I like this model very much. I would like to give you a suggestion. I hope you can make a version with a helmet for him, like an iron puppet.
Impressive, but replace the Blademaster Katana with a Claymore, and have someone give your Swordmaster some claymore sword training for animations, such as the attacks and moves. The Blademaster is overused.
- Here are two good examples: the "Plate Armor Knight," and the Swordsman.
Glad you like the model!
I was planning to make a more armored variant of this model with a bigger two-handed sword and helmet based on an iron golem's texture, just need more time, as always 👍
@StonemaulMidget, I understand what you're talking about. Here, at first, I wanted to create a master swordsman for the Alliance, a swift and agile warrior with specific armor patterns belonging to classic Warcraft units rather than a heavy two-handed fighter with some traits of a realistic medieval warrior. However, I think the mentioned above idea of mine may also be to your taste 😉
 
Level 19
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
411
Thank you!


Glad you like the model!
I was planning to make a more armored variant of this model with a bigger two-handed sword and helmet based on an iron golem's texture, just need more time, as always 👍
@StonemaulMidget, I understand what you're talking about. Here, at first, I wanted to create a master swordsman for the Alliance, a swift and agile warrior with specific armor patterns belonging to classic Warcraft units rather than a heavy two-handed fighter with some traits of a realistic medieval warrior. However, I think the mentioned above idea of mine may also be to your taste 😉
If you still prefer an agile warrior, then go ahead and make one. Go for either a High Elf or Night Elf. Elves are your close match.
If you want, make a Half-Elf version. They're half-human, but they can still fill that role for you.
 
Level 28
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
257
My sword is a tool of justice!
Great job as always man
This is very nice model but i think it's better with admiral sword.
Very intriguing.
Big thanks for your commentaries, guys! 🙌
If you still prefer an agile warrior, then go ahead and make one. Go for either a High Elf or Night Elf. Elves are your close match.
If you want, make a Half-Elf version. They're half-human, but they can still fill that role for you.
Ah, this is an interpretation of a Blademaster, anyways, that is meant to fill a niche among the ranks of the Alliance, another fantasy, guess the screenshot hints at this 😉 I also thought about a High Elven swordmaster, but this is another story.
 
Level 28
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
257
Outstanding ! <3
This is just amazing o_O
This model is filled with character, personality and a great set of animations to back it up, brilliant.
❤️
So many models with blademaster animations but this one has stand channel and spell so its neat
Really awesome model, low filesize despite good looking custom anims and stuff.
Damn man good models its good for macro stuff
Your words mean a lot, thanks guys! 😌
Just wanted to say the model looks great and the attention to detail is spot on. Also loved the write up you did was a thoroughly enjoyable read!
I will continue to experiment with additional content and I personally wonder what proportion of people are interested in what is behind the creation of a particular model. This is another challenge for me, not because English is not my native language (eh!), but also because this thing helps me to explore the idea, comprehend the whole process and thus achieve a better end result. I'm happy to see some people like it, it's always a pleasure, friend! 🤝
 
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Level 9
Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
425
Hey, any chance for a lower Z on the head attachment point?
i'm not an expert so i could be doing something wrong, but helmets intended for Villager models get stuck on his forehead like this:

tophat.jpg


i didn't mess with the textures btw, i just loaded it into an existing custom map with a whole bunch of skins already imported. looks kinda cool though imo. bandit version.
 
Level 28
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
257
Hey, any chance for a lower Z on the head attachment point?
i'm not an expert so i could be doing something wrong, but helmets intended for Villager models get stuck on his forehead like this:

View attachment 400664

i didn't mess with the textures btw, i just loaded it into an existing custom map with a whole bunch of skins already imported. looks kinda cool though imo. bandit version.
A nice bandit, reminds me of a Skyrim character 😀
This models has a big round head, this is emphasized intentionally, thus no helmet should be implied.
Can you please check this helmet on, let's say, a Paladin and Bloodmage? If it fits, I will reduce the size of the head, make its Z lower and send you the model 👌
 
Level 9
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Messages
425
A nice bandit, reminds me of a Skyrim character 😀
This models has a big round head, this is emphasized intentionally, thus no helmet should be implied.
Can you please check this helmet on, let's say, a Paladin and Bloodmage? If it fits, I will reduce the size of the head, make its Z lower and send you the model 👌
I think he looks good the way he is without the helm, it's just i had another unit that i wanted to fit in adjacent to him in my map that also uses knight face, so i was looking at differentiating them that way.

Unfortunately the helm looks the same on Pala and BM, abort mission i suppose, heh:



tophat-2.jpg
 
Level 28
Joined
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Messages
257
I think he looks good the way he is without the helm, it's just i had another unit that i wanted to fit in adjacent to him in my map that also uses knight face, so i was looking at differentiating them that way.

Unfortunately the helm looks the same on Pala and BM, abort mission i suppose, heh:



View attachment 400691
Hm, at some point they look alike (the textures can hardly be changed) but the facial geometry is quite different:
Knight&Swordmaster.png
Try out the attached files: I made the heads smaller and adjusted the armor a bit 👌
If the result is close to ideal, just tell me again, we'll make it 😉 or pass me the helmet if you really want to use it.
Files: SwordmasterFace1.mdx, ...2.mdx, ...3.mdx.

P.S. I especially like the Pala 😆

EDIT:
My stupid brain finally came up with a good idea to swap textures with a Bandit Lord, this might work for you:
SwordmasterAlterFace.gif

File: SwordmasterAlterFace.mdx
 

Attachments

  • SwordmasterFace1.mdx
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  • SwordmasterFace3.mdx
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  • SwordmasterFace2.mdx
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  • SwordmasterAlterFace.mdx
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Level 9
Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
425
You are a stud dude, thanks for the help. Alterface / Bandit lord works well for me because of the hair color change, but if you do wanna mess further with it the Face3 is very close, only needs the attachment point to come down slightly:


Villagerino_Swordmaster_shrunkenheads.jpg


i always like it when models fit with villager attachments because it provides a lot of variability. like i could use the open face one as a unit, and then spawn one with a helmet on and different name / boosted stats as a special boss, or vice versa.
 
Level 28
Joined
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Messages
257
Had to rework the geometry of the helmet and get rid of the collar. I also made a talking animation, only one, but it's enough because it's quite long.
SwordmasterUnitTalk.gif
SwordmasterUnitNoGlow.gif

I found a strange glow inside of the helmet, so I decided to make an additional model without it, just in case. Enjoy!
SwordmasterUnitHelmet.gif
 

Attachments

  • SwordmasterUnitHelmetGlow.mdx
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  • SwordmasterUnitHelmetNoGlow.mdx
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Level 9
Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
425
Had to rework the geometry of the helmet and get rid of the collar. I also made a talking animation, only one, but it's enough because it's quite long.

I found a strange glow inside of the helmet, so I decided to make an additional model without it, just in case. Enjoy!
You're a boss man, thank you. Gonna try it out now.

edit. It looks great, but do you happen to have a version without the hero glow? Final request, promise xD
 
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Level 28
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Jul 28, 2021
Messages
257
You're a boss man, thank you. Gonna try it out now.

edit. It looks great, but do you happen to have a version without the hero glow? Final request, promise xD
Oh, I forgot. I will attach it in this post today.
Here you go.
 

Attachments

  • SwordmasterUnitHelmet.mdx
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Level 21
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1,231
very nice. the breakdown is really fascinating.

about the neckguard though - wouldn't that restrict his movement and vision a lot? I feel like an "agile swordsman" really doesn't want to have his field of vision obstructed like that. maybe you could flip it around to the back of his neck.. (if you saw any merit in this point)

another nitpick - the blademaster animations are so overused to death. it's def very well done here, and very warcrafty, but i think tweaking the attack animations just to change them up a bit would go a long way. (although I totally understand the concept of finishing a project and being done with it...)

just my two bits, but really nice model overall.
 
Level 28
Joined
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Messages
257
very nice. the breakdown is really fascinating.

about the neckguard though - wouldn't that restrict his movement and vision a lot? I feel like an "agile swordsman" really doesn't want to have his field of vision obstructed like that. maybe you could flip it around to the back of his neck.. (if you saw any merit in this point)
Thank you! 💛 Yes, a lot of Warcraft armor wouldn't work as intended in reality, but I decided to use this armor for the sake of individuality (my brains tell so). However, I will remove this thing and add a talking jaw in the next update of the pack 🙂 It would be a rather "handy" variation. But I would not make it if there was no due attention to the model. So thanks again for your comment!

another nitpick - the blademaster animations are so overused to death. it's def very well done here, and very warcrafty, but i think tweaking the attack animations just to change them up a bit would go a long way. (although I totally understand the concept of finishing a project and being done with it...)
I really wanted this model to be some sort of an analogue of a Blademaster but for the Alliance. Not for nothing the screenshot contains the orc hero and the name of his model is consonant with his name 😉
While working on the model I also had an idea of creating a heavy-armored hero (with a huge two-handed sword!) that would have more unique animations than the base model. This is another reason I decided to leave this model with animated mesh and some other custom stuff in the classic style as is 👌
Warden.jpg
This is how the concept in my head looked like, more or less. Might be something you were looking for in this bundle.

Pretty neat, if a bit simple. I like the "Stand Channel animation". I would recommend making the eyes a little bit bigger, and possibly removing them outside the portrait. I'm not sure, but they might bug out from the in-game camera due to being such tiny planes.
Yeah, I like to make it look easy, man, but at what cost, at what cost... 😀
Oh, they are not planes. Would they still have a chance to bug out? * writing in notes * Thanks for the tip!
 
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