View Full Version : Character Animation - WoW style

03-21-2006, 03:35 PM
Hey all,

My name's Johnny - and I'm a commercial producer in my dayjob, and at night I make World of Warcraft Machinima.

I've made two movies, one called Condemnation that was one of the winners of the BlizzCon World of Warcraft movie contest - and I've also made VC, a winner of the Blizzard/Xfire Movie Contest.

While I've had it in my head that Machinima was the end all be all to making Warcraft movies - until I thought about it one step further to realize that it's really the pre-existing model elements and animations that I'm using.

If I were to be able to completely create a character from the ground up (while so, so, so much work), I'd be able to literally do anything I can imagine, instead of working within the pre-existing limitations that are currently in game.

While it's daunting to think about taking on a project such as this, as I've never touched a 3D program in my life, I'm extremely determined to make an animated movie with the same style and quality one finds in a Blizzard game (the game engine - there's no way I'm trying for a Blizz Opening Cinimatic...).

I just purchased LightWave and it should be arriving some time this week, but in the mean time, I'm trying to soak up as much knowledge as I possibly can, and would like to ask my soon-to-be fellow LightWavers their thoughts on a project such as this.

For starters, I'd really like to know what are some thought on the best way to work up to character modeling and animating?

Thanks for checking out this post all, and if you have a free minute, I'd love to hear from you!


03-21-2006, 04:12 PM
As far as animation goes, you might want to look into the plugin: Maestro. It does autorigging and has a control panel and keyframe editor that make CA in LightWave so much more enjoyable. :thumbsup:


03-21-2006, 04:27 PM
First off, welcome to Lightwave...

Well, if you have it in your head to do character modeling and animation, I would look for tutorials on character modeling to start.

Look at your free resources first:

Lightwave tutorials on the web. Here is the section for modeling humans and characters:

The CGtalk modeling forum. This will cater to more apps then just lightwave but some things hold true across all platforms. Look through this section. I know there is a sticky thread near the top that gives links to lots of modeling tutorials:

There are a few tutorials worth looking at on Newtek's tutorial page here:

A few commercial ventures-

I found this book incredibly useful when starting out. It's a bit dated but the modeling practices are good:

Also, I've heard this DVD series is good:

Inside Lightwave 8 by Dan Ablan is a good book and has a few sections on modeling characters:

A must read for an aspiring animator:

Stay away from this book altogether. It's a sham. Of course, it's glowing reviews will tell you that:

03-21-2006, 04:56 PM
Welcome, and a great introduction!
You've certainly come to the right place if you want advice, and you'll get it quicker here than in any other forum i've been in (other software anyway, us LW users are darned lucky).

I'd recommend having a quick peek over at www.3dBuzz.com, their Lightwave section has never really kicked off, but normally you have to wait in a queue to download the tutorial videos, but due to the fact that the section is lacking, you can get them instantly. They take you through the basics of the program, and also have some more complex modelling videos too. Mr. Busby (?spelling?, the guy who narrates) is a friendly and funny guy too.

It's great that those Blizzard cinematics have brought you over to the 3d software world, they are stunning pieces of work... and everything they have done i have admired greatly.

There's also a book by Jonny Gordon called Cartoon Character Creation by Wordware publishing. The book comes in two volumes, and has some good tips and advice for creating characters and rigging them for animation etc.

If i think of some more links etc, i'll whack them in this thread!

Have fun!! :D

03-21-2006, 05:23 PM
Thanks so much guys!

This was EXACTLY what I was looking for!!

I hope to be able to show you some cool stuff that comes out of this, but, for now, I'll just be oogling over all your works! :)

Thanks so much for the warm welcome, it's a really nice feeling not to be overlooked - being a n00b and all...

Thanks again guys, you're an inspiration of work and coaching that I hope I'll be someday!


03-21-2006, 05:59 PM
Ah, blizzard....

It was some of their cinematics on Starcraft that got me really hooked on 3D graphics. Good stuff.

Ivan D. Young
03-21-2006, 07:51 PM
Rumor has it that Blizzard is contemplating making an all CG movie one day in the future. So keep practicing and send in your reels when that day comes.