Backstage with Tyrande (pt.2)

So, catching up on one of the stages that take actual work in the mesh conversion process. We have textures (that might need further work later) and we have a so-called biped skeleton in place – the former I get via modelviewer, the latter normally needs to be posed to fit the mesh (or the mesh posed to fit it) but in this case I already had one that I could conveniently steal from Te’len Nila as the two meshes are the same size (as opposed to Hani Foonmall who is taller).

The image pretty much speaks for itself, showing how the biped is set within the body and she now has textures with a light map (making the eyes light) and a hair mask (making the edges of the hair transparent). If anything, the hands are different – I’m reusing the already upgraded hand mesh I’ve used for my other poseable characters so far because it’s better. That’s not to say that Blizzard did a poor job, it’s more to say that they sacrificed polygons for the sake of performance, especially in an area that you as a player might not look at in too much detail. Since this mesh is intended for use in graphical design rather than a game however, we kindof need a few more polygons to keep them from utterly deforming during hand gestures. Let me show you the differences.

The two arm alternatives compared to oneanother. Though the wireframes ought to be telling enough, the face/polygon count really does express the difference: 105 versus 213 – I need over twice the polygon count to do something they already do in-game.

If anything, meddling with meshes in this manner has pointed out to me just why Blizzard are the ones who create models like this and I’m most certainly not. I envy their ability greatly.


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