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Warcraft 3, the series (WoW machinima)

Discussion in 'Modeling & Animation' started by Tauer, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Tauer

    Tauer

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    Hey guys.

    I know it's been some time, and I still haven't finished the Zul'jin. I was insanely busy in the summer.
    I promise I will finish him at some point, but lately I've been playing with something else.

    I've had a dream for quite some time to make an epic machinima, retelling all the campaigns from Warcraft 3 with the upgraded graphics from WoW. Back when I first had the idea, I didn't really do anything about it, because just filming gameplay in WoW and pasting it together didn't feel.. good enough. It didn't look good. So I thought, why not import WoW models into 3DS Max and animate them myself? Unfortunately, my skills at the time were quite non-existant.

    Now, my 3D skills have reached the point where it is actually a reachable goal. It's ambitious, and will take time. But possible.

    Anyway, the idea is that I import WoW models into 3DS Max, re-rig them and add details (better eyes, in particular) and then animate them from scratch, with lip-synced dialogue using sound files from the WC3 campaigns.
    Think along the lines of the new ingame cinematics Blizzard make for WoW.
    And then make serialized episodes consisting of these. Sort of like a TV show.

    This video should give an idea of what I mean:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBZ-GA1P9g4

    Note, this is just a test, not the final result. I will remake the scenes from the campaign and render it all in full HD, and do a lot of post processing in After Effects. So yeah, a very ambitious project.

    I don't know if it's something anybody is interested in, but I thought I'd start posting some stuff here once in a while whenever I feel like I've achieved something cool with it.

    So if you think it sounds cool, feel free to check in once in a while or subscribe to my YouTube channel. I'll be adding test renders and scenes as I finish them.

    Also, hope this is the right forum to post in. It doesn't have to do with WC3 modelling, but I found it more appropriate than posting in the WoW section. If it doesn't belong here I apologize.
     
  2. Imperator

    Imperator

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    Interesting idea. Good luck.
     
  3. Tauer

    Tauer

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  4. paladinjst

    paladinjst

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    hey bro how about u recently ? u have a long time away from hive and it has been a while since we met last time .
     
  5. Heinvers

    Heinvers

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    Hello. Nice to see you back :D

    Good luck with that btw ;)
     
  6. Tauer

    Tauer

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    Hey man, yeah, I've been reeaally busy this summer. We should meet up some time soon!


    Hey! And thanks! :)

    Another video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x03V_eYVHE

    Testing out some more lip syncing for Arthas.
     
  7. PurgeandFire

    PurgeandFire

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    That is awesome! Good luck with the project. I always thought Blizzard should've made a serialized series based off Wc3, it just has great potential since the story was so entertaining. Based off those vids, it seems like your take has great potential too. Hopefully you'll keep on posting whenever you have updates. I'd love to see more dialogue in action!

    How long did that last vid take to animate? I'm just curious, I haven't delved into 3D/animation in general so I have no clue.
     
  8. Tauer

    Tauer

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    Thanks! I agree, the story is just so amazing. Especially for an RTS. This is something I've wanted to do for years, I just haven't had the skills for it until now. The great thing about it is that I can actually do everything myself. The voice acting is all provided via the game files.

    The last one didn't take that long. It kinda depends. As soon as the preparation phase is over, the animation doesn't actually take that long.
    Getting the character fully rigged, creating the morph presets (the facial and phonetic expressions) takes several hours. That's the most tedious work.
    As soon as that's done, it's just a matter of using all these presets and matching it to the sound files. Animating wise, the last one probably took about 20 - 30 minutes to make.

    But still, that's just a 4 second sequence with Arthas talking, and no body animation. It's gonna take a long time to set up the scenes and animate all the characters. Not to mention rendering time and the post production.

    That's kinda why I want to make it serialized. If I had to make a movie, it'd take years before I could finish it. By making it serialized I could at least get something out in the foreseeable future.

    Anyway, hope you'll keep checking in, I definately plan on updating this thread as I go. It's also good motivation if people actually follow what you do ;)
     
  9. Direfury

    Direfury

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    I have to wonder.
    What will you do about the combat scenes? Will they be shortened, or ignored?

    And another little thought. Why not consider skimming through the other campaigns, and possibly the Undead Arthas soundset for minor dialogue?
     
  10. Kyrbi0

    Kyrbi0

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    This is amazing, and also good, and also holy unto me. I love this idea. : )

    Seriously, though, this is a boat-load of work. You should consider outsourcing some of the work; I'm sure there are some budding animators out here (& there) that could help out.

    One question: while in general this whole thing sounds like THE BEST IDEA EVAR, I am curious how you plan to approach the issue of the game itself. That is, as an RTS only a part of the story is told through cinematics... The rest is told via the game itself (& thus, the player (though guided by the designers/story-writers)). For example, even if you machinima-ize Arthas & Jaina hearing about Stratholme and then Arthas disbanding the Elite Four Silver Hand... Welp, it might be a little disjointing. Will you somehow create a cinematic about the events from each Level?

    (Don't let that discourage you; I think this is a great idea)
     
  11. Tauer

    Tauer

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    Oh I fully intend to animate the combat scenes. Also adding special effects for magic etc.

    Yeah, I might reuse some of the soundsets someplaces to make the dialogue feel less empty.

    Thanks :)
    Yeah, I will do what I can to make it feel as smooth and movie like as possible. I plan on animating all cutscenes and also scenes from ingame that contain dialogue. And of course the combat scenes (for example, killing Kel'Thuzad)
    But it will probably in some areas be a little disjointed. This is a little hard to avoid, seeing as it is an RTS as you say, so the dialogue is limited. But mostly, there should be enough dialogue to tell the whole story.

    Any ideas on how to improve this are welcome though!

    About outsourcing, I might try that at some point, if I feel like there is something that I'm not able to do or don't have time to do myself.
     
  12. Direfury

    Direfury

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    I've got a suggestion.

    Check the Evil Arthas soundset. Some of his 'pissed' comments would be perfect for the point where he takes up Frostmourne. Limp-armed, holding his head low, mumbling to himself, "I was a fool to trust in the Light".

    That aside, I'd think you could probably use a few other lines from that soundset and his regular one for combat scenes.
     
  13. Tauer

    Tauer

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    Good idea :)

    Trying it out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQwgK4z8vvI
     
  14. Kyrbi0

    Kyrbi0

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    Verah Noice.

    The only thing bugging me (aside from weird reflections & seams, which I know you'll get to) is those eyes... Not sure why, they just look stark & doll-like. :<
     
  15. Direfury

    Direfury

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    Good job so far, but for the actual scene, I'd suggest you have Arthas' back to the camera. He'd just picked up Frostmourne, and had his own soul ripped from him, he'd be weak, dragging the blade along the ground, atleast until the next battle.

    Body language alone can sell a scene when it's done right.
     
  16. Tauer

    Tauer

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    Yeah, they have some self illumination on them. I was worried that it would look a little fake. I'll have to remove that.

    True that. But anyway, that's probably far in the future. Still in the preparation phase right now, and the scene you're referring to doesn't happen until towards the end of the Human campaign ;)

    Trying out some motion capture:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae7LnaTh8lA&feature=youtu.be

    Seems to be working quite good. This is good news, as it means I can use motion capture files for many animations so I don't have to animate everything from scratch. A lot of them will probably still be animated by me though, not to mention the lip syncing I also have to do.

    But yeah, this should definately lighten the work load a bit.

    Also tried making some effects in After Effects :p

    Bad news is that I recently made the mistake of upgrading to patch 6.02 in WoW. I thought, new character models, that's perfect for what I wanna do! Wrong.. They've changed their file system completely, rendering WoW Model Viewer useless. Getting models from the game is very hard right now, so I'll have to wait until somebody upgrades WMV before I can really move on.
    I did export a few models before patching though, and they still need to be rigged. So I can still work on it.
     
  17. PROXY

    PROXY

    3D Modeling Reviewer

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    Can't you downgrade WoW? I remember doing that myself a couple of years ago, but it might not work anymore.
     
  18. Tauer

    Tauer

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    I probably can, but I'm not really sure how to go about it with the new file system.. besides, there'll most likely be an update to WoW model viewer some time in the near future, and I'd like to get my hands on those new models.

    [​IMG]

    Doing a little model editing. Blademaster of the Blackrock Clan. Some of the characters don't have models in WoW, so I'll have to edit existing characters to how they look in WC3.

    This is basically just a green WoD Kilrogg with Garrosh lower body, new weapon and the necklace thingy. And a few other edits as well.
     

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  19. Direfury

    Direfury

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    What about the flag they tend to carry? Also, the off-hand could use a leather bracer.

    Are you going to make a couple different Blademaster models?
     
  20. Hardtime

    Hardtime

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    This is so hawt. OMG.