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Lots of new Diablo IV character design details

Lots of new Diablo IV character design details Fortnite - Trials: Dance Between Three Ice Sculptures

Blizzard has published another quarterly progress report on the development of the isometric action RPG Diablo IV. This time, the entire article was about character design, including classes and monsters. This was covered by Art Director John Mueller, Lead Character Artist Arno Kotelnikov, and Assistant Art Director and Character Designer Nick Chilano. You can read the full article in Russian on the official website, and here we have compiled a short summary with all the important information.

  • The character designs are still not final, but reflect the overall concept.
  • At the very beginning of development, the team sought to draw the characters as picturesquely and professionally as possible, using the latest methods and tools.
  • The idea of ​​the final result changed over time and eventually settled in its current form.
  • The developers wanted to use the latest technologies, but tried to avoid excessive bias towards realism. The starting point was the Diablo III cinematics.
  • The team had to completely rebuild the rendering engine and development tools to get things done.
  • To create the characters, a top-notch team of artists, tool designers, riggers, lighting and surface experts were assembled.
  • Several unique characters can be customized in many different ways:

Lots of new Diablo IV character design details Fortnite - Trials: Dance Between Three Ice Sculptures

  • The detailing of complex materials and surfaces such as leather, fabric simulation, hair, wool, metal has been improved – down to the smallest details like glare in the eyes and rivulets of sweat.
  • In the so-called Lair, players will be able to customize the character of the character in a new fitting system, which allows you to combine hundreds of pieces of armor, unique for each class. Here you can also choose a color palette to create a character according to your ideas about the class. Below are screenshots of the Lair:

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  • One of the advantages of the new character development system is the ability to render most of the plot videos in the engine itself, using game models.
  • The robber announcement trailer was created entirely in the game engine:

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  • The small details of the characters and their combination were created to look good with an isometric camera:

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  • Taking a closer look, you can see that the armor is made up of large pieces, with redundant details removed. According to the developers, they found a balance where details do not clutter the image and look good against the background of the environment.
  • Diablo IV will have the most advanced character customization system in the series. You can change the character’s face, hair, beard and eyebrows, add jewelry (nose piercings and earrings), makeup and body markings (tattoos and coloring). You can also choose the shade of skin, eyes, facial and scalp hair, and body markings.
  • Only some classes have some customization options to highlight the difference in their life experience and background.
  • All characters in Diablo IV are drawn according to PBR (Physically Correct Rendering) rules so that they look equally good in daylight and in a dark dungeon.
  • Thanks to the dyeing system, you can change the color of the armor. Any piece of equipment can be repainted, including a helmet, bib, gloves, pants, and boots.
  • An example of a barbarian in armor with different color options:

Lots of new Diablo IV character design details Fortnite - Trials: Dance Between Three Ice Sculptures

  • An example of an enchantress armor in three different color palettes:

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  • Despite the isometric camera, in the game the character will be seen from many angles: in the character customization window, in the inventory, in the communication windows with other players and in real-time cutscenes, where he is often shown in a larger shot.
  • To improve the clarity and detail of the main texture layer, the developers added another one – the overlay of details, that is, a fine repeating mesh over the main material.
  • Each armor set in Diablo IV is designed for two body types. Below is a set of barbarians, where the two options differ with minor changes:

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  • Two variants of the figure of the robbers with two different sets of armor:

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  • Below you can see the slow motion footage of the robbers recorded on the engine in real time. Pay attention to the details, customization elements and light reflection:
  • Another slow motion recording, but now with the barbarians:
  • The developers talked about their vision of the monsters. First of all, players should be pleased to kill them. The monster should blend in with its surroundings and resemble a demon or other monster.
  • Blizzard’s goal was to create a unique design that players have never seen before, while bringing in elements of something familiar and giving it a Diablo feel.
  • The Bloody Bishop was conceived as a magician who releases spells and throws bombs with a radius of destruction, leaving players with less and less free space. His visual design emphasizes that he is a powerful boss with elements of vampirism and blood magic:
  • The dead Skeleton Lord is made from a solid mass of bone and flesh, joined by blood and sinew. Although the character model was created in the first place, the designers used this theme to create an interesting battle:
  • The creators are always trying to make the monsters look great in isometric perspective and boast great detail up close.
  • The spider below devours a bloated corpse and spawns from it its offspring. Small details are visible from the player’s point of view thanks to clear shapes and color combinations:
  • The succubus below is also an example of an interesting and thoughtful design that suits the game task. Small details do not blur the image, but only improve the quality of the graphics:
  • A top-notch team has been assembled to develop monsters and demons to take Diablo’s graphics to the next level.
  • Thanks to PBR, the team can paint surfaces and materials that realistically reflect any type of light. Leather looks like leather, metal looks like metal, and organic materials seem soft and fleshy by comparison.
  • The knight below is covered from head to toe with cloth and metal armor, which react differently to lighting:
  • The game engine accurately renders organic surfaces. Wool, bone, flesh and blood are clearly visible and reflect light correctly:

The release date for Diablo IV is still undecided, but it is already known that the Diablo II remaster will be released on September 23, 2021. In the next quarter, the developers promise to share new details of the fourth part.

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