Posted Mon, Oct 17, 2005 by Boomjack
LotRO Goes Canadian.
The official Lord of the Rings Online site has posted a developer diary featuring Jill Harrington. Jill is the lead technical artist on the title. We called the Canadian embassy in Slovakia to see if they would comment on this story, but they were busy making pancakes and could only utter the following statement:
You may have noticed an eerie Ringwraith or two lurking in some of our screenshots. While our talented modelers, texture artists and animators truly bring these creatures to life, I thought it might be interesting to give you a peek behind the scenes – or, rather, behind his robes – to talk about another important step in bringing characters to life: the character setup process.
I am the lead technical artist on The Lord of the Rings Online and one of the most important parts of my job is to set up finished models so that they can be animated. Anything in the game that moves – whether it be a hobbit, a door, or a Ringwraith – has a skeleton built for it by a technical artist. We then attach the model to the skeleton (this is called "binding the skin"), and make sure that it deforms properly when the skeleton is posed (called "weighting" – as each point on a model has an amount of "weight" for each bone that affects it). We set up control boxes to make the animators' jobs easier, then pass the character on for animation. The software we use for this process is Maya, by a company called Alias."
You can read the entire Lord of the Rings Online Developer Diary at The Official Site.