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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Have you ever walked through the town of your choice — be it big cities like Stormwind or Orgrimmar, forlorn capital cities like the Exodar or Silvermoon, or little townships or camps like Nijel’s Point in Desolace or Desolation Hold in the Southern Barrens — and someone walked or flew by you and you recognized them instantly? Maybe you just read their name tag. Hopefully, though, you recognized them by their silhouette (maybe you are like me and have nameplates turned off for both ally and foe).

Silhouettes are an easy way to make an impression. Let’s do a little test, shall we? Here I took a few screenshots of WoW celebrities. Can you recognize all five of them?

(solution: 1. Deathwing, 2. Thrall, 3. Arthas as the Lich King, 4. Kel’Thuzad, 5. Garrosh Hellscream)

Well, how many did you get right? Tell me in the comments. Now back to your regularly scheduled programme.

Of course, silhouettes are not the only way to be recognized. Mixing and matching colours for astonishing-looking armour sets is one of the most fun you can have with transmogrification. In fact, more so than a silhouette, colours make you stand out even more from the croud. If you look at any of the many fabulous transmogrification websites and blogs (Go Mog Yourself, for example) you will see that their primary concern is probably colour matching, not creating unique silhouettes. You can have the most interesting silhouette, and it will make a hell of an impression if you are far away or shrouded in mist or shadow. Once you step out of the shadow, however, you might not have the same impact on people. Or a completely different one:

What has all this to do with anything? Well, Blizzard has shown their tendency towards more asymmetrical armour sets and other little things lately. You just have to take a look at the Mists of Pandaria sets; almost none of those are symmetrical. Here is a quick example:

The upper image is the rogue challenge mode set in a golden tone. The two images below are what the set would look like if it was symmetrical either way. Now you might think “That’s not that bad? I don’t like any of them / I like all of them.” It doesn’t look like there’s much of a difference, does it? Well, let’s see what happens when we simplify these into silhouettes:

Sure, they still all look kinda cool and mysterious. But I would say that the upper image looks way more interesting than the lower two. Don’t you?

As you can see from this short example, an asymmetrical aspect on your armor makes your character quite a bit more interesting. Assymetry in your shoulders isn’t the only thing that can influence your silhouette and appearance. During the last BlizzCon, Blizzard have stated that they will try to make more armor pieces stand out on their own. The first thing we see the effect of this on are belts — belt buckles, specifically. Looking at a few of the new belts, we can see once more how they change your appearance. From the same set of armour as before:


Notice how the upper belt (the rogue Tier 13 belt) has absolutely no impact on your silhouette? Now compare this to the lower belt (the rogue challenge mode armour). What a difference!

Although Blizzard may have gone a bit overboard on the size of the belt buckles (who would wear a belt with a buckle that big? It would slow you down tremendously), it’s nice to see this change. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Imagine a world (of warcraft) in which every piece of your armour looked and behaved like it would in real life. That would be incredible. And nearly impossible to code, I would think.

But we don’t have to have it all in place perfectly. And not all at once. Belts and shoulder pieces are only the first steps into a less flat character silhouette and therefore, a more dynamic character appearance.

I asked on Twitter what some of your favourite armour sets were. Now let me entertain you with what some of these armour sets could look like on your characters. All I did was take screenshots from WoW Model Viewer and paint over them. You might not see much of a difference, but if you look closely, you might see a few surface changes. The red arrows and the few sketches from the side might help indicate changes, too. It’s not much, but it should give you an impression of what your character might look like if Blizzard keeps going in the interesting silhouette direction.

Edit: Maybe I should end on something like a disclaimer: while old armour sets are fun, I don’t think it’s feasible to expect Blizzard to retroactively change old armour sets to fit the “new” model. They would have to redo most of the sets completely. But if we arrive at the point where feathers stand out like feathers, plates are stacked on plates and cloth flows like cloth at SOME point, I’ll be really happy.

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I am so extremely mad right now!

I can’t even tell you how mad. But, since this is a blog post, I will anyway. It wouldn’t be much of a post otherwise, you see.

So, as the eight of my faithful readers probably know by now, I am participating in this years Secret Santa Art Exchange on twitter (hosted by the wonderful Mishaweha this time). For this purpose (and because I thought it made one more post on the blog — which is good since I don’t seem to post much otherwise) I created a post with my references (i.e. to give the artist chosen to create the most awesome piece of art you’ll ever see — no pressure, though — a feeling for what the to-be-portrayed is like).

Now, this post was apparently not only viewed by the aforementioned artist (whoever it is), but also by some student at a college, who promptly commented. I don’t know which college they are from or what they study, but that is not the point here.

The point is that I am angry as hell!

Because this person’s comment, for absolutely no reason at all, landed in my spam folder!

As it turns out I helped them with their college assignment and the stupid algorithm put the comment right into my spam?

WTF?

I mean, if you can’t even thank a fellow student for helping you out without it being considered spam, what has this world of ours come to?

Is a simple “thank you” a valid reason to land in someone’s waste bin now?

I am pissed, WordPress. And Akismet! Really pissed!

And as a form of protest, I will quote this comment RIGHT HERE! How do you like them Azeroth Apples?! (I had to sneak at least ONE link in there, didn’t I?)

However, because the link the commenter provided (no doubt to his project! Why should they thank me and link a random site, right?) seems to be of a rather personal nature, I will omit it. I’m sure they will appreciate the discretion.

Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.

If this isn’t legit, I don’t know what is. My humblest apologies, user they call “Flight simulator games”. I hope your project is a success.

For anyone who is immune to sarcasm (or my bad humour, really) or, for whatever reason, didn’t grasp it, this is not a real complaint. This is a Thank you to WordPress and Akismet who have protected my blog from any spam comments I got, and at the same time is a realisation post (and a warning) that spam bots have gotten really creative and will try any angle with you.

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or

I Couldn’t Be Arsed to Find out about Password-protected Posts and Didn’t Care too Much whether Everyone Knew What One of My Characters Was All About

Edit: I made a separate post with the references when I realized this post became way too long for the poor guy or gal who has to draw my toon. And I didn’t want them to think “My god, when is he finally getting to his references? I don’t want to read through all of this nonsense and whining first.” The references can be viewed here.
Now, after that is out of the way, on to the excitement and whining. And nonsense, but that’s a given with me anyway.

Just a random picture of the Tirisfal zeppelin tower near Undercity.

Wow, that subtitle sounds way less cool and more aggressive than I thought it would. But since the lazyness factor is captured perfectly, I’m just going to leave it there.

What did I want to post about?

Oh, yes.

I’ve recently rekindled my love for drawing (after I had drawn next to nothing for several years), which is probably at least partly because I love experimenting with my (first ever) tablet. I feel like my sketches and “pencil” drawings have become somewhat better, but I haven’t found my “groove” with colours yet (tips are always welcome; I don’t even care if they’re about drawing, writing, behaviour or drinking). I really hope this isn’t one of my squirrelly flavor-of-the-month things and I stick with it, because it’s really fun to just forget your surroundings and problems and indulge in drawing stupid stuff for a few hours. I don’t know why, but writing doesn’t quite do that to the same extent. Maybe because I don’t have to think too much about how particular words and vernacular expressions could be translated from my mother language into English. But it’s probably more the fact that writing doesn’t come as natural to me. I don’t even remember if there was any particular reason why I stopped drawing when I did.

Anyway, a few days ago, I stumbled across this on twitter. The Twitter Secret Santa Art Exchange.It sounded like something I might like to sink my teeth into (which isn’t to say I’m necessarily on Team Edward; well, I’m not really on any Twilight team, but if Cho’gall was an option, he’d be my pick — the dude is big, bulky, has two heads, looks like he can smash you with his pinky, and the eyes all over his body are creepy as hell; when it comes to picking teams, I guess I’m quite the opportunist if I don’t have a strong opinion on any of it) and so, without thinking much about it, I signed up for it.

Oh, the horror! … Not really, but I have to illustrate my self-doubt in an exuberant fashion because otherwise I doubt that I get my point across (I even have doubts about speaking out about my doubts … huh). Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled at the opportunity to create something for someone else than me. And the precise due date will keep me on my toes about it (I hope — I am terrible with due dates). But after I saw some of the previous years’ art (which can be viewed here: 2009, 2010), I became seriously concerned I was going to disappoint whoever had the misfortune of being the artist  I would be drawn to draw for. I’ll just have to give it my best shot and hope I can surprise myself, I guess.

I’m sure it will be fun (I know I did sound more like I was going to kill myself a minute ago, but I’m really psyched — that is a positive word, right? — at the opportunity). Plus, I receive a piece of art myself, drawn by one of the exceptional artists participating in the exchange. And who can say no to that?

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Snippy

Snippy in the Spiritmender set (Spiritmend Robe and Spiritmend Shoulders), probably my favourite non-tier cloth set.

The Character

Snippy has always had a hand for fixing things rather than creating them on his own. As an engineer, that means he was mainly there to repair other people’s inventions and improve their functionality. Since those inventions came from engineering themselves most of the time, he lived a very dangerous life filled with explosions and subsequent shopping tours for new, unburned clothes. Which is why he eventually took up tailoring as his second profession. If he could fix complex mechanical gadgets, how hard could it be to fix his work clothes? Ignoring his initial difficulties, he soon developed quite skillful weaving and stitching techniques (again, based on the ideas of others and refined).

Being good at repairing and stitching things together, it seemed logical for him to pursue the career of a priest when he was enlisted for war. The Light itself has become more of a means to an end and (primarily) a very interesting study case for him. He is not really a devout follower of the Light like many Draenei, but since it seems logical to him that he could only study the Light if he believed in its existance, he believes in it enough to wield it. The fact that this is reverse logic doesn’t bother him at all.

The study of the Light has changed his behaviour quite a bit, even though he is not aware of it. He has gone from the typical gnome (lively, open-minded, overly curious, painfully honest, smiling all day long, and freaking out — both the good and the bad way — about the smallest things) to a much more balanced, calm, diplomatic, and mild-tempered person (still curious, open-minded and smiling a lot, though). This change, however, is not fully carried out, and if his self-restraint fails him he explodes with emotion. He’ll be furious, exstatic or depressed even more than a “normal” gnome in those cases (if any gnome really is normal).

He has a heart for critters and is often seen playing with a moonkin hatchling or an armadillo or has a mechanical pet he’s repairing for a friend next to him.

The Appearance

Snippy is in his late 40s, which in human years equates to something around his mid to late 20s; so he’s quite young still. His face is, for gnome standards, fairly pretty (if no mechanical squirrel has exploded in it) except for the very prominent nose that is the trait of all gnomes, and his calming smile adds to the sympathetic aura he emanates.

Mug shot profile. He doesn't look too happy, does he?

Unfortunately, creating a gnome with a pretty face is an impossible feat in this game. I guess that's what all the facial hair is for.

These are some facial shots so you get an impression of what he might look like.

His very clear-cut hair is more reddish-brown (think fox) than it appears in the pictures, and I imagine his eyes to be azure blue (with a hint of grey) rather than pink (unfortunately, eye colour is fixed to the face).

He is very cleanly and neat (a bit vain, but not overly so), and doesn’t like bad hygiene. He’s a bit of an order (and control) freak and hates irrationality and chaos (which makes him even more angry when he loses his temper and becomes irrational). He shaves daily if there is a possibility to do so (he has had bad experiences with beards and volatile inventions).

He isn’t a very physical person and doesn’t exercise much, which gives him a very lean, but not in any way muscular — almost fragile — look.

The Accessories

Snippy is a gnome of very simple taste. Since he has begun his studies of the Light, he has become more comfortable in robes, to the point where he will wear them almost exclusively (if he’s not tinkering on something). Other than that, he doesn’t wear any necklaces, rings, amulets or other trinkets of sentimental value. It’s just not logical to him why he should overburden himself with things that don’t have a practical use.

Whether you want to portrait him in a tier set-like bombastic and breath-taking outfit or in the simple robes of a priest is entirely up to you. Shoulder pats or no shoulder pats, I don’t care. Most helms I don’t mind. Even hoods that obstruct the view of the face are fine by me. Engineering goggles are fun to look at, and I don’t mind them at all (as long as they fit the picture đŸ˜› ). The only exception is the tier 1 head piece. I don’t want him to have Mickey Mouse ears (the rest of the set is nice, though).

My favourite tier sets are

  • tier 5
  • tier 6
  • tier 8 25 (mouth cloth piece or not, either is fine)
  • tier 11 regular (although I don’t necessarily like the veil in front of the eyes — again, no pratical use)
  • tier 12 regular (this one probably without the fish-bowl-socket-space-suit helmet, though)

Tier sets I don’t quite like as much (I don’t need a list for them) are tier 9 and 10 (they are fine in themselves, I just don’t like how they look on him somehow). But if you can make those look good, feel free to do clothe him in them anyway.

I have attached a few pictures of Snippy in some of his non-set robes below so you can see what he might wear (pictures vary in color, saturation, hue and brightness to better bring out the colours of the dresses- umm…robes; the first one in the series is probably best for skin colour reference and similar things; note that my in game graphics are not very high…poor old machine can’t handle fancy water).

Concerning weapons, you have absolute freedom. I don’t care if its a stick, a dagger, a mace or a wrench. He can have a weapon or have left it at home (he can sometimes be quite oblivious to these things).

ATTENTION! This last one is Not Safe For Work!! Viewer discretion is advised.

YOU WERE WARNED!

The Picture

Not much to say here, really.

Whether funny or serious, fiercely battling or being spit on his head by a troll, in a majestic pose or petting an armadillo, I don’t care, really. I don’t prefer any of these aspects and am happy with anything you can come up. So, no constraints there. Let your creative juices flow!

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