Empower and Corrupted: A Night Elf Project

(Joe Tyas) #1

Hey all,

Was meaning to post this last night but I fell asleep! Sorry!


My name's Joe, I'm a recent graduate in Games Art from England. I love all things stylised (what a loose term!) - It's what I do best in my opinion. I haven't had the chance to do as much of it as I would have liked whilst working on my degree.

Starting out

Since the contest was announced I worked on idea generation, not my strongest suite so it takes me a while to create ideas. Although I quickly fixated on the idea of taking existing Warcraft architecture - something strongly related to a race (night elf, humans, orcs etc) and then 'Legion-ifying' it.

The legion have decided to empower themselves with night elves sacred Moonwells. Invading the lands of Teldrassil, Moonglade and the likes.

Let's take some inspiration -

This is the most 'legion' place in the current expansion in my opinion. Using this area as my basis for 'legion-ifying' Teldrassil and the moonwells.

Initial Concepting

Not a strong point of mine - but here goes!

Here's the initial concept I'll be expanding from. The moonwell is a tough center, resisting the legions influence - but eventually it will fall.

What's next?

I want to get to 3D'ing as quick as possible. But I usually rush too quick! so I'm spending the rest of the day fleshing out this environment in photoshop and such.


Stay Tuned!

(Michael Calvert) #2

This looks great! Excited.

(Joe Tyas) #3

Initial Photoshop Concepting

For an initial sketch in photoshop, I wanted to make sure things work composition-ally. Although 3D Composition is a different beast entirely. I love symmetrical comps - thinking of work of Noah Bradley and such, as well as the work of the late Frank Frazetta (his famous triangle composition that he repeatedly used). I want to work to something similar.

In addition I need to think about the main colours that appear in Night elf, and legion structures.

For night elves we have the cyans of the water in the moonwell, the light greys of the rocks and the green of the surrounding environment. For legion we have very vibrant greens which contrast with harsh dark versions aswell. In addition from what I have seen of fel-architecture and such there is a lot of dark colours in general. So I would like to use the light cyans with the greens to contrast against the dark colours of fel-architecture.

Also I want to make sure the emphasis of story and spreading of the legion in my piece so I have to keep that in mind!


Love the sketches! Keep up the great work!

(Joe Tyas) #5

Screenshot Painting

To help give myself a better idea of how this construction will work - I journeyed my rogue to the nearest moonwell ingame and took a screenshot, and proceeded to paint over it!

I'm pleased with the result, but I need to push further! I will split up the environment and concept individual pieces now.

(Mikebarrington) #6

Good start, I'll have to make sure to mix mine up a little so they aren't so similar. =D

(Joe Tyas) #7

Sculpt Art Testing

I figured that I must make sure I can achieve what I want to with this project, I need to test that I remember how to do the 'blizzard' art style. I decided to test create a pillar that will be used as part of the moonwell.

The darker parts are masks that I'm creating to later create the 'night elf' motives.

(Mikebarrington) #8

I think it is a good start. Do you plan on baking down maps for handpainting or going with more of a PBR style for this? Make sure that the indents (assuming those markings will cut into the rock) are nice and chunky and not so clean. Give some nice bevels so the edges really pop. Also in regards to bevels, the creases on your rocks feel very pinched at places. Depending on your texel density they may not bake down as crisp as you want. Make sure all your edges are wide enough so the detail can properly bake down (regardless of hand painting or PBR). Keep it up.

(Joe Tyas) #9

I am going with hand painted - Diffuse only - following Fanny Vergne's rough pipeline.

Low Pillar Testing
by JoeTyas
on Sketchfab

This is just a test, I have a ways to go - and the texture is too high res. I'm getting a feel for how I want to go about this project.

(Joe Tyas) #10

Planning and the future

I'm planning a bit more, blocking out where I want to go with the scene.

I think i'm nearly done with my pipeline - although some assets will require special attention.

(Joe Tyas) #11


Just blocking in more sections, I have a good idea where I want to go with this now, but I'll wait till tomorrow to continue (few illnesses starting up again, sad times).

The project will get a lot more extensive - just hope I can stay well enough to continue working <3 x

(Joe Tyas) #13

Struggling on

My TMJD (Jaw/Ear problems) are in full flow, so I'm constantly in pain. Still have to work though!

Just some composition/blocking updates.

(Liemnguyenart) #14

Liking the progress and process! I'm happy to see someone else blocking in zbrush!

(Joe Tyas) #15

Sculpting Away

Got a lot of boring tasks out the way today. Working on my 'blizzard feel' in my sculpts firstly.

Will probs redo the first pillar on the left at some point. Just cracking away.


(Joe Tyas) #17

More sculpts

Just been hammering away!

Not really sure if I'm doing 'well' in this task, but... I'll keep going.

Got a bit more to do to the stand things, but they are coming along.

(François Leroy) #18

i love the sculpt mate ! i think it will be great stuff !

(Daniel Di) #19

Problem is, no one really knows what was the reason. Theories suggest either Old Gods, Burning Legion (Sargeras in particular) or Neptulon was behind it. The Eye of Sargeras enters the picture centuries later (10000 years to be exact), and is found by Illidan with the aid of the naga.

(Joe Tyas) #20

I'm going to be honest, I'm not sure if you have replied to the wrong thread o.o

(Joe Tyas) #21

Slogging On

Still rather ill, but I want to do my best in this competition!

I did a lot of research into how Blizzard does their textures for World of Warcraft over my years of study at University, and refreshed myself over the last week or so during this competition.

I - personally - feel that if this is a World of Warcraft competition that I should stick to how World of Warcraft is textured, no PBR, no normal maps, only diffuse, alphas and emissives. I may not be 100% correct on that (understanding how wow is textured) but from everything I have read, this is the case.

Also because I'm following roughly how one of my favourite artists and inspirations - Fanny Vergne - pipeline I made sure I checked out all of her posts to get an understanding.

From a ZBrushCentral post a while back.

Here is my improved pipeline in effect - demonstrated on one of the 'totem poles' as I call them for the moonwell.

I'll be sizing down the texture for the final submission but there it is for now. The top and bottom are not going to be seen really, and I will probably delete the faces when I have time / need to.

How is the rest of the scene going

Well, I think it's going okay.

My progress is being impeded by illness slightly, but I feel I'm doing alright.

I hope you all are well,

I appreciate feedback / support. It does mean a lot.

Cheers and good luck all


(Joe Tyas) #22

Small Asset Update

High poly of the bottom 2 thirds sections.