For the Record: Interview with Jurij Rogach (model specialist)
Source: render.ru via wot-news Hello everyone, Jurij (Yuri) Rogach is the lead modeller for World of Tanks and recently, people from Render.ru portal managed to make an interview with him. I’ll be summing up the information contained in this interview (just like I did it with Ola before), because translating literally is too slow. - he comes from a small town in western Belarus, has two children - he joined Wargaming in July 2009 to start working on World of Tanks as Lead Tech-artist and in 2010 he moved on the position of “3D outsourcing manager” (managing 3rd part modellers, working on tank textures etc) - the amount of employees of WG is flowing, but it’s roughly 2000 people by now - WG will be hiring new specialists, but will be moving to another office, as the current offices are too small Regarding the process of making tank models and maps: - map and tank teams are separated, but they are linked not only by the fact they are situated in the officess across the hall, but also personally - a tank starts being developed in a historical department, where the history consultants prepare drawings and references - the materials then go to to 3D modelling experts, who create textures and models for the vehicles - during this stage (modelling, texturing), the models are several times rechecked by historical experts and model/texture experts, who write detailed comments on them - after the models are made, the collision model (armor thicknesses) is developed, plus the interface (icons and such) - after that, the model is exported into the game engine for testing - at that point, the first vehicle balance works are initiated, as well as its optimization (LOD), the destroyed tank model is made - after all that is done, the vehicle is compiled and again exported into the game engine for testing - maps also begin by collecting various locality references (photos, videos) - after the objects (hills and such) are collected, the map department creates a simplified map with all the objects and works on it for a very long time, improving its playability and terrain flow - at the same time, vegetation, textures and other objects for the map are gathered - when the textures and vegetation references are gathered, they are passed to the map graphics people, who are professional artists - the process of creating the map visually is long, historians are sometimes being consulted on the realities of the era - when all that is done, the finished map is sent to testing and tested especially for the playability (play comfort) and to check whether the two teams are balanced - there were cases when the mapmakers made beautifully looking maps, the work taking months, only to be sent to archives (scrapped) because of the playability issues - a lots of tank references were taken in Kubinka and on the Stalin Line complex, where military objects are available to see - the modelling work is apparently done on Autodesk Maya software, along with applications written in Python-e and MEL. - the export of models from Maya to the game engine works in three steps: 1) first, they export an animated skeleton using Python, that models the suspension and such 2) after that, using MEL, they create lists (directories) with needed changes in game application structures, they align key procedural points and call the BigWorld engine interface plugin 3) after that, the model itself is exported from Maya to Bigworld, with shaders and such being already made using Bigworld instruments - apart from Bigworld, Wargaming also has an engine called Influx, that was used in previous WG games and is currently somewhat compatible with Bigworld - the main advantage of Bigworld are the networking technologies, because apparently no other game transfers so much info during a battle, the graphic effects in this case are secondary, but Bigworld is and will be developed further. There was a lot more and if you are interested, you can check the original link, I didn’t translate everything (some parts are obvious, some not important). Also, I am not a programmer or an IT guy, so I simply don’t understand the terminology the guy used, I hope it makes sense.