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Posts with tag artists

Blizzard wants you to Ask the Artists this BlizzCon

BlizzCon thunders towards us like some great thundering thing. This year, BlzzCon will include a chance for you to ask questions on the forums and have them answered at the convention.

BlizzCon: Ask the Artists - Zarhym
At this year's BlizzCon we have a stage dedicated to featuring Blizzard artists of all disciplines and styles, from Glenn Rane (Digital Painting, Creative Development) to Samwise Didier (Traditional Drawing, StarCraft II). Whether you're attending the event or watching from home, we're giving you the opportunity to ask a question of the artists in this thread. All you have to do is list the discipline and/or category below which best fits your art-related question and ask away. If selected, your inquiry will be read and answered live from the Artist Stage at BlizzCon!

Head over
to the BlizzCon forums for a list of disciplines and categories including 3D modeling, trading card art, Cinematic Matte Painting and my personal favorite, Environment Concepts. I'd love to hear about the design process for WoW zones or the new Diablo III.


Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup cohosted by Wowhead, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Events, News items, BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: A love letter to WoW's texture artists

Blizzard texture artists -- you are my heroes. Prepare yourselves for a sappy love letter to whom I believe are the hardest-working people behind some of the most intricate content in the World of Warcraft.

My love and appreciation for the WoW texture artists began with one texture. This one texture made me appreciate what textures were capable of. Love at first sight. The gates of Orgrimmar, to me, are the single most beautiful texture in World of Warcraft. The sense of depth and scale that the gates of Orgrimmar convey are absolutely astounding for what the actual object is made up of. The wall itself is flat. Going up close to the wall is like pulling back the magician's robe -- the trick is just a trick. Looking at the Ogrimmar gate from afar is the real magic.

If you haven't seen the gates of Orgrimmar, it is practically a giant rectangle polygon wrapped with this extraordinary texture. Back in 2004, I (like many fervent WoW fanatics) was engaged in wars of internet-epic proportion on forums and message boards about how terrible and cartoony World of Warcraft looked compared to Everquest 2, the graphical competition at the time. Every time the graphics argument came to a head, my answer was always the same -- WoW's texture artists make this game ooze with flavor, style and depth, and Orgrimmar's gate was my proof. WoW's textures compensate for many of the engine's flaws, even in the midst of complaints of new models' being needed for many of the races.

With Cataclysm approaching sooner rather than later, and with my boy Garrosh Hellscream taking over my capital city, I am losing my favorite texture in the game. I am losing my ace in the hole, and it will be sorely missed. Thank you, WoW texture team, for putting out the best art in video games.

The art in WoW has obviously affected me in and out of the game. What are some of your favorite textures or art pieces in the world that actually have crossed the game's boundaries? Have you ever been amazed at how textures in WoW can make a five-year-old engine look this good?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Samwise's best memory of the last five years of WoW

Our good friends over at the Orange Country Register have jumped in on the fifth anniversary interview extravanganza, and they've posted information from a short chat with none other than Samwise Didier, Blizzard's primary artist. They asked Samwise for a crazy memory from the last five years, and he came up with a time when he was rolling through a Pollo Loco drive-through, and the guy behind the window called him out by name and said he "liked your show." Which show? Didier is of course the lead singer of TAFKAL80ETC, a.k.a. The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, Blizzard's in-house rock band. Pretty awesome that a video game artist is now literally a rock star thanks to this game.

The OC Register (don't call it that -- did you think I'd get through a post about them without saying that?) is also looking for memories from fans as well to be printed in their paper -- you can jump in the comments on their site and share some memories of your own. We'll also be celebrating the game's fifth anniversary here on WoW.com, so stay tuned around November 23rd for a nice look back at where this gigantic game has accomplished in the past five years.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Blizzard announces holiday card contest

Blizzard has made it a holiday tradition to release a holiday card every year (usually drawn by Samwise), but this year they're putting a little twist on it. They're running a contest asking the potential artists among you to submit your own original Blizzard-themed holiday card. Download their template, fill it up with Diablo, Starcraft, or Warcraft-related holiday art (no Lost Vikings or Rock N' Roll Racing art, apparently), submit it on the contest page before December 7th, and you can win a whole slew of prizes from Blizzard and Razer, including a mouse, keyboard, and headset, as well as a signed copy of Blizzard's 2009 holiday card from Samwise himself.

So artists, get to, um, "art"-ing! We can't wait to see your rendition of Deathwing as Santa Claus, Kerrigan as the Mrs., and a whole tribe of Fallen Ones standing in for the little elves.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Contests, Lore, NPCs, Fan art

Richard Knaak signing in the Midwest, Blizzard artists' forum at UC Irvine


Stuck in the Midwest and didn't have enough money to go see all the fun at BlizzCon 2009 this year? We've got a little (very little) bit of condolence for you: Richard Knaak, author of the Warcraft novels, is doing a signing tour this weekend around the Midwest in Missouri and Kansas. Blizzplanet has all of the dates and places -- he'll be in St. Joseph, MO on Friday (today), and then in Overland Park, KS and Lawrence, KS on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Not quite as fun as seeing Ozzy, but if you're out in the middle of the country, there's your chance at a little facetime with someone helping shape the WoW universe.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck in Chicago, and -- oh wait! I moved to Los Angeles last weekend, which means I'm actually going to get to go to this artists' forum down at UC Irvine in California. Where I am (it's still a little weird to say that). The Laguna Art Museum (which has an ongoing relationship with Blizzard) will be hosting some of Blizzard's and other artists on October 1st, and they'll be talking (we presume) about creating art and other media for games and digital entertainment. Usually this is the part of the post where I'll ask you to send us pictures if you go, but what the heck -- I'm in the neighborhood (not really, but closer than Chicago), so maybe I'll get a chance to go and check it out for myself. See you there?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items

Sons of the Storm to appear at BlizzCon, unveil another member


The Sons of the Storm is a kind of artists' collective connected with Blizzard -- they're responsible for the majority of the concept and game art coming out of Blizzard, from the Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo series. They count Samwise Didier and Chris Metzen in their ranks, along with many of Blizzard's most popular artists. And apparently their ranks are growing -- on their latest website update, they have posted a new group picture, along with a mysterious "eighth son" that they say they will introduce sometime later, possibly months after BlizzCon. From left on the picture above, you can see Samwise Dider, Chris Metzen, René Koiter, Travis Thammer, Glenn Rane, Peter Lee, Mark Gibbons, and the Eighth Son, who a commenter over at Blizzplanet speculates may be Wei Wang.

Speaking of BlizzCon, the Sons site also says that all of the seven current sons will be signing at the convention, so be sure to bring your TCG cards, Warcraft novels, art books and anything else these guys may have worked on. We're sure there'll be a line, but if you're willing to brave the wait, you might get to meet some of the most creative minds behind Blizzard's beloved universes.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Galleries, BlizzCon, Fan art, WoW TCG

Blizzard legal censures Shakes and Fidget

First the legal crackdown on fan-made iPhone apps, and now this: German-based webcomic Shakes and Fidget, a longtime sight in our Sunday Morning Funnies column, has apparently been smacked with a cease-and-desist by Blizzard. Our German isn't that great (and we've reached out to the comic's creators for further comment), but a translation of this forum page tells us that Activision-Blizzard's legal department suggested to them that there was enough similarity between the official game and the unofficial comic to cause a problem, and while they believe that they're covered under parody laws, they decided to take the "offending" comics offline anyway, and are apparently currently working on editing them so that they can be put back up without any issues.

Obviously, since the comics are offline, we have no idea what material Blizzard objected to -- you could argue that depictions of certain gear created by Blizzard artists in the game or specific names are under trademark and thus could be protected under copyright law. But even then, Shakes and Fidget is one of many, many fan-made webcomics to obviously depict World of Warcraft and Blizzard-designed items specific to the game, and we haven't yet heard of any other webcomics that have been approached in this way.

Still, as they might say in Germany, wir riechen eine ratte. Without knowing the exact nature of the comics that Blizzard had an issue with, this seems like a complete overreach on their part, especially considering that it's some of their biggest fans who are making these comics, and that many artists have portrayed many videogames in webcomics without anyone confusing the issue of whether they were official or not. We'll keep an eye out for more information (and we've also contacted Blizzard for comment) -- if you know of any other webcomics or fan artists who've been approached by Blizzard in this way, definitely let us know.

Thanks, Henry!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Comics, Fan art

WoW zones in real life


Aurdon over at I Sheep Things spotted this great collection of comparisons between real-life environs and the in-game places that they inspired. Not all of the comparisons are pitch-perfect, obviously (there are no Nagrand-esque floating islands in the real world, and the Crystalsong Forest picture shows trees covered in ice rather than the mystical wood that grows in-game), but lots of the pictures are really dead-on, and they show you really well how Blizzard uses a kind of hyper-realized version of Earth to create what seems like a very real Azeroth.

We've posted before how the architecture of WoW mirrors real-world places and culture, but even the natural world of Azeroth uses lots of Earth's real-life elements. And it would be cool to know where these pictures actually come from -- some of them are recognizable (obviously, Stranglethorn Vale is based on parts of the Amazon, and The Barrens represents Africa's savannahs), but even Icecrown and Zangarmarsh are represented (in slightly less mythical form) on Earth. It would be interesting to know exactly where.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Screenshots, Wrath of the Lich King

New Druid looks are still incoming

Hidden deep in this thread, under layers of back and forth about the 1000g dual spec charge, whether it will ruin the economy, and Zarhym's worries about getting four of his wisdom teeth taken out (get well soon, buddy -- make sure to ride the great drugs they give you for as long as you can), is this little nugget: new Druid form models are still being worked on.

It's definitely been a big request for a long time, and surely even the devs have seen the awesome work of artists like Andrige to update and enhance the models currently in the game. Zarhym says artists are "very actively working" on redesigning the Druid models, and that "it's way beyond being an idea at this point." He doesn't think they'll show up as soon as 3.1 (and neither do we), but he says that it's in progress. You have to think, then, that there's concept art, if not working models somewhere ready to go into the game in the future. Excellent news for Druids seeking a slightly more updated look than what they've had since the game began.

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Classes, Fan art

Blizzard helps host art show at Laguna College of Art and Design


The Laguna College of Art and Design has worked pretty closely with Blizzard in the past -- some of Blizzard's employees are on faculty there, and they've sent artists over to work with students before. They've also put on art shows there, and this week, they're putting on another one. The exhibit will open on October 1st and last through the rest of the month, and they're having a reception event on October 23rd (it's open to the public, and you can bet that there will be more than a few Blizzard artists there to say hi to).

Sounds like fun. Here's a slideshow of student art scheduled to be in the show -- none of it looks to be strictly Warcraft-related, but there is a little Blizzard flavor in a few of them (especially this one, I think). It all looks well done -- maybe we'll see some of this stuff exhibited at BlizzCon as well. If you're in the area and you do go see it, make sure to tell us what you think.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Fan art

Samwise and other artists hold book signing


Today's the day for Blizzard art news, it seems -- next Saturday, Blizzard is holding that Art of Blizzard benefit show, but this past Saturday, Samwise Didier and a few other Blizzard artists stopped by the Barnes and Noble in Huntington Beach, California to sign copies of Upper Deck's The Art of the Trading Card Game book.

Glenn Rane is the other artist sitting next to Samwise (who you may also recognize as the frontman for L70ETC), and also in attendance were Tom Bava, Randy Gallegos, Terese Nielsen and Justin Sweet, along with Ben Thompson, who we're told was a big part of putting the book together. I suppose it's too much to ask for Blizzard to leave sunny Southern California sometime to do these signings and meet some of us who aren't lucky enough to live there? It is? Oh well -- at least it keeps them close to their real work.

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends, Blizzard, WoW TCG

WoW TCG World Championships wrapup


Upper Deck's first WoW TCG World Championships are over, and the $100,000 winner is Guillame Matignon, who crushed his opponents (including the US Champ Brad Watson) with-- what else-- a Blood Elf Paladin. Unfortunately, it looks like UD's Ben Drago was far too busy to blog, but UD's official site has lots of great information and recaps.
All of Upper Deck's coverage is available on their website. Odds are that you didn't win the tournament, but worry not-- WoW Insider has your chance to win another WoW TCG prize later this week. Congrats to all the winners in San Diego, and cheers to Upper Deck for putting on what sounds like a terrific TCG event.

Filed under: Paladin, Events, Fan stuff, News items, PvP, WoW TCG

MMO Art expanding, artists wanted

Our good friends at MMO Art are growing, and if you're an artist that's interested in working on commissions of MMO characters, they might be looking for you. They're working on a site called MMO Art Studio, which will consist of a stable of artists selected by Jomaro Kindred (glad to hear he's back) to work professional commissions under the MMO Art banner.

To submit, they're looking for a couple of examples of your work, sent in via the web form. We've linked to their gallery before, but you can see examples of exactly what they're looking for over there. And even if you aren't an artist, their work is worth a look, and they've got some new art up as well. Unfortunately, most of it is City of Heroes-- WoW is woefully underrepresented, which I guess means that WoW players aren't commissioning portraits that much.

But it's still great art, and the Studio site offers a pretty unique opportunity to get paid professionally for something you might already be doing for free.

Filed under: Virtual selves, News items

World of Warcraft TCG: UDeck Cover Art

With the World of Warcraft trading card game due for an October release, we're starting to get more and more information on it. Today, WoW TCG News posted scans of the eight different UDeck covers, each one done by a different artist. The UDeck is a plastic card case that you'll get when you purchase a starter deck and the outer artwork will be customizable with the options you see here (and, no doubt, more to come). And even if the idea of a trading card game isn't your thing, Upper deck has a great line up of artists on the project.

Filed under: Odds and ends, News items

Blizzard Art Contest


Starting July 31st at midnight, Blizzard will begin accepting art submissions for their 2006 art contest.  They accept 2d or 3d artwork, from amateurs or professionals, in four categories: Diablo art, Cinematics art, Starcraft art, and Warcraft art.  The four grand prize winners will walk away with loot worth over $10,000 - including a trip for two to Los Angeles for lunch or dinner with the Blizzard art team.  So if you're the creative type, now's the time to get to work!

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