WMV Guide 2.7 About

Not much here to look at.

  • Language: Displays a window to select the language the application is presented in.
  • Help: non functional
  • About: Info on all the contributors to the project
  • Check for Update

WMV Guide 2.6 Effects Menu

The Effects menu allows you to display enchant effects. Clicking Apply Enchants will open a window to select an Enchant effect:

Right Hand / Left Hand: which weapon hand will have the effect.

Enchantments: Scroll and select the effect you want.

WMV Guide 2.5 Options Menu

The Options Menu is pretty basic:

  • Always show default doodads in WMOs: Leave this checked unless you need to show a bare WMO object. WMOs are very large model files (buildings, towers, vehicles) and usually crash WMV.
  • Settings…
Settings…General Tab

Settings…General Tab

Adjusts display options in the canvas:

  • Show Particle: turns particle effects on for fire, enchants, glowing effects for helmets/shoulders/etc.
  • Zero Particle: assuming this minimizes the amount of particles displayed or turns off particle effects completely.
  • Random Skins: may pull a random skin, if multiples exist, so the first time you load an imp it might be green, another time red, another time grey.
  • Display Items NPC’s IDs in lists: If you need an ID (for looking up in wowhead, etc.) check this

Game Path: Normally the default path is C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Data\

If you have a custom install, you will need to enter it manually. Remember to include the trailing backslash.

Folder to explore for additional files: This is the custom game data folder. Yes, you can create custom skins. There is a tutorial on the subject which basically involves creating a similar folder structure and putting new model skins (e.g.: infernal with tan skins).

Conflict policy: When it finds two items of the same type, which should be the one WMV picks. Usually just leave it with Keep game files.

Apply – remember to click the Apply button with any changes you make here.

Settings…Display

Settings…Display Tab

OpenGL Display Mode: Allows you to set the color depth and other rendering features. Usually, the default settings are fine.

Field of View (in degrees): default is 45°

Field of View (or FOV) describes how wide the audience can view from their perspective. The angle of FOV is half to the left or right  so 45° is 22.5° to the left or right. This also affects how the model is rendered and distorted to give the appearance of depth.

qv: https://vr-lens-lab.com/field-of-view-for-virtual-reality-headsets/

Field of View for Humans vs Animals with side facing eyes (like Murlocs and bunnies)

Humans typically see with about 110°-115° FOV. You can experiment to see if you like the perspective.

Additional Options

There are several checkboxes to turn various graphic shaders and renderers on/off. I typically leave these alone but feel free to experiment.

Settings…Export

 

Initial Pose Only Export: For certain 3D programs (Maya, Cinema4d) you may have reason to check this and click Apply.

 

WMV Guide 2.4 Lighting Menu

Lighting is set up using the View…Light Control toolbox. The Lighting menu allows you to load and save specific lighting placements for other uses.

  • Save Lighting: saves the settings on the 4 light objects (positions, target locations, colors, etc.) as a lighting file (.lit).
  • Load Lighting: allows you to load a previously saved lighting configuration file.
  • Render Light Objects: checkbox toggles on/off the visibility of light objects, set as Relative. You can’t drag/drop them so you will still need to set coordinates using the light control toolbox but it can help identify where the light(s) are eminating from on you models.

The next four options affect the quality and complexity of light and shadow on a model.
I’m not an expert when it comes to what these do. True lighting is most likely the most complex and ‘realistic’.

I would expect true and ambient would provide an, indirect, diffused or generic lighting effect. Model lighting would only provide lighting as drawn on the textures themselves and be somewhat dark. Again feel free to drop me a note with your experimentation and I can update the guide. Most of the time, you’re going to rely on lighting effects in a more robust graphics or 3D program.

  • Use true lighting
  • Use dynamic light
  • Use ambient light
  • Model lights only

WMV Guide 2.3: Character Menu

The Character Menu is one of the most used menus; it consists of:

  • Load Character

    WMV save a custom XML text file ending in .chr. These files contain the IDs of all settings and equipment for the character as seen in Figure 1:
    A character consists of a character model and custom settings for skin, hair, and other features.

    It also provides equipment slots to outfit armor, weapons, tabards, etc. These can be saved separately as an Equipment (.eq) file.

    If you have already saved a character file, click Character > Load Character and select the file you want.

  • Import Armory Character

    This is probably the MOST important feature since it save a huge amount of time. This feature was broken until version 0.8.5_sslfix for Warlords of Draenor and has been working through the Legion alphas (0.4 Alpha works).

    Characters will have whatever armor they were wearing on the last logout so make sure if you are pulling armory profiles to wear whatever is appropriate.

    You will get a prompt and need to enter an URL from the Armory at worldofwarcraft.com:
    An armory URL follows this convention:
    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/SERVERNAME/CHARACTERNAME/simple

    Where SERVERNAME is the name of the warcraft realm your character is on (use dash instead of a space if your servername has one) and
    CHARACTERNAME is the name of your character. You may notice foreign characters use what is called “HTML Encoding” where characters are replaced with % and a value.

    An example URL would be:
    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/bleeding-hollow/grimprobable/simple

    If your character has transmogs, an alert will notify you that WMV has detected those and will use the transmogs for equipment.

    Once your character is loaded and appears correct, SAVE the character to a file.

  • Save Character

    Simply prompts you to create a character (.chr) file of the current model and settings. It is highly recommended after getting a character just right to save it (you can always overwrite it later if you need to update).

  • Eye Glow

    Turns on/off eye glows for Undead, Death Knight, and elves.

  • Show Underwear

    If you really want to you can turn off the rendering for underwear textures to show your figures au naturale. What you do is your own business, I just write comic books and guides.

  • Show Ears

    Turn on/off ear models, especially useful for helmets where bits of the ear geometry poke through.

  • Show Hair

    Turns on/off hair geometry, especially useful for helmets where bits of the hair geometry poke through.

  • Show Facial Hair

    Turns on/off facial hair/beard geometry, especially useful  where bits poke through.

  • Show Feet

    Show/hide the foot armor texture making it look as though your character is barefoot.

  • Auto Hide Geosets for head items

    If wearing a hat, especially wide brim hats on gnomes causes ears to disappear, UNCHECK this to prevent ears from mistakenly being removed. Another way to resolve this is to re-click the ear geometry on the model control to toggle it back on.

  • Sheathe Weapons

    Puts weapons/shields on back or in hands. Some weapons don’t work very well and wind up projecting from the hips. The only thing you can do is manually assign the XYZ coordinates and rotation of the weapons (discussed later). This is useful on mounts or when your character isn’t ready to kill something.

  • Save Equipment

    All of a characters equipment slots can be saved to a separate (.eq) file. This is especially useful for uniforms where many different characters are wearing the same gear. It is also helpful to categorize different gear for events (winter gear, raid gear, unarmed, casual, no_helm, etc.)

  • Load Equipment

    Locate an equipment (.eq) file and it will replace the current model’s armor, weapons, and tabard with the type specified in the file.

  • Clear Equipment

    Clears the current equipment loadout on the model.

  • Load Item Set

    Allows you to load a complete armor set (such as raiding gear). Choose or search from the dialog box:

  • Load Start Outfit

    You can select a specific class starter outfit (this doesn’t seem to work so well in the Legion build). Pick the class and your model will be outfitted with the same gear a Level 1 class would have.

  • Mount/Dismount

    Allows you to pick any mount in the game for your model. You can filter between Player and Creature models as well as type to find a matching name. Selecting a mount automatically puts the character on the mount in the seated position.

  • Randomise Character

    Randomises the settings for the skin, face, hair color, style, and facial features. Great when you need a quick NPC. Do keep in mind that any race that can be a Death Knight will have half of it’s available face settings/colors for DKs.

WMV Guide 2.2 View Menu

The Application Menu consists of several drop down menus that handle preferences, file management, and effects. The Applications Menu consists of:

  1. File
  2. View
  3. Character
  4. Lighting
  5. Options
  6. Effects
  7. About

The View Menu manages the model, display characteristics, and toggles the tools windows.

  • View NPC/ItemUsed to view non-player characters or items (such as a sword) from WoW. You can search for the name of the model or import from Wowhead.com. Checkboxes by category can narrow your search by double-clicking to select the specific category (i.e.: Critter).Typing a search term in the Filter box will show match based on what you entered. Searches do not need to be explicit so searching for ‘horn’ will show matches for ‘thorn’. Double-clicking the selection will display it or single-click and press OK.Importing from URL:
    You can search for an NPC from wowhead.com and copy the URL of the page it is located on. Pasting that URL and clicking Import should display the model correctly.

 

  • Show file list
    Displays the file list of models from the WoW database. You can choose to filter what objects appear in the list by typing in the box at the top of the window. This will display all matching object names.Pressing clear resets the filter to show all items.You can select the object type at the bottom however they may not display or simply crash WMV. Typically WMV displays Model (*.m2) files fine.
  • Show animation control
    The animation control consists of a basic view and expanded animation view. The expanded animation view is activated when Lock Animations is unchecked. You will be able to set poses for Body, Torso, and Head separately with varying results.Basic Animation Controls

 

The Base Animation dropdown is the first box which shows a description of the animation and an ID number.

The skin dropdown allows you to choose from several texture variations (if applicable) for the model. Some textures are light reflections and other effects maps.

The next three controls do not appear to do anything; at one time they were used to add multiple animations in a chain (up to 10, numbered 0-9). The Add button allowed you to add the selected animation to the chain. The Next Animations checkbox function is not known. Again, these do not appear to be working at this time.

Animation Player Controls:
Play – plays the animation
Pause – holds the animation at the current frame
Stop – Halts the animation
Clear – Might have cleared sequences of animation; not sure
<< – Rewind – scrubs back several frames
>> – Forward – scrubs forward several frames

Auto Animate: When checked, selecting an animation will immediately play the animation
Lock Animations: Opens animation controls for Torso and Head movement/poses

Frame slider: Allows you to slide/scrub to a specific frame position in an animation. Essentially a fine-tune control for capturing a movement or expression.

Speed: Changes the speed the animation plays at.

  • Show character controlModel Customization Controls: Sets the various custom options for a model. Incompatible choices will show a 1/0 and if selected will crash WMV. The Randomise button scrambled the various choices using RNG.Equipment allows you to pick gear, weapons, and tabards from the game, including some that are NYI (Not Yet Implemented) or not available to players. Clicking a slot will open a search menu that allows you to filter by armor/weapon type and matching search term.You can recolor weapons/armor IF they have a dropdown box next to them (usually 0-3 for LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic grade).Tabard controls are similar to the control in game.It is highly advisable to export a suit of armor/gear as an eqiupment file if you plan on using a character in different environments (think of it as a xmog file set).Mounts permit the character model to appear on a mount of choice.
  • Show light control: Reveals the light control box. You can have 4 separate lighting effects (colors). A Light object can be one of 3 styles of light: Position, Spot, or Directional.
    Position: More general lighting, less about where the light is located
    Spot: Very localized (like a torch or candle light)
    Direction: Large light source affected by location more than Position
    Lights have 3 characteristics:Ambience: Shadows color
    Diffuse: Color of exposed surfaces (non shadow/edges)
    Specular: Color of intense reflections such as metal/glassAn example of how Ambience and Shadows affect a model are:You can see the blue ambience in what would fall under shadows, green over more prominent exposed surfaces, and reflective/shiny surfaces (the top edge of the axe) in red.You can experiment with positioning in an XYZ coordinate and aim the light at another position, namely the XYZ position of your model.

    To see your lights, make sure Relative is checked, then check the box under the Lighting menu… Render Light Objects to see the light. The light objects take whatever color you chose for Diffuse lighting.

 

A rendered light object will look like a big circle or similar object (no that’s not his balloon).

  • Show model controlAllows you  to control the positioning and rotation of a model in X, Y, Z axes:

    The X-Axis rotates the model as if it’s doing a cartwheel

    The Y-Axis rotates the model as if it was an ice skater twirling around

    The Z-Axis rotates the model as if it was rolling backwards in a somersault

  • Show model bankThe model bank can store camera positions/angles of a given model. Store a camera position by typing a name like ‘CameraOne’ and click Add. You’ll see it appear in the list. Change angles, distance, etc. and type another name, ‘CameraTwo’ and click add. Now click ‘CameraOne in the list and click Display. This can be useful if there are several angles/shots you want to revisit or adjust.
  • Background color…
    Used primarily for chroma keying or “bluescreen/greenscreen” effects. Ideally, the model should have none of the color of the background so you can easily remove it with a graphics program.Use bluescreen – a background color of Red 0, Green 0, Blue 255 on orcs, goblins, and trolls who have green shading. Greenscreen color of Red 0, Green 255, Blue 0 on any others. Use your best judgement if armor have strong blues and greens.NOTE ON GLOWS, SPELL EFFECTS, FIRE, PORTALS, ETC.:Use a black background and using Gimp/Photoshop, set the blending mode to Screen. This will knock out the dark background and let the luminous glow appear naturally in your image (you might have to play with the levels a bit to get it just right).
  • Load BackgroundYou can add an image (photo) background. I personally like to do that in a graphics program but you might prefer to do it all in WMV. Click Load Background… and select the image.If you want to remove the background image, just Load Background… again and it toggles off.This is useful when you are trying to position two or more characters to appear to face each other. You can load a previously screenshot character as a background, adjust the current character, then Load Background again to remove the background image.
  • Skybox
    Loads special effects from World of Warcraft sky graphics such as Aurorae, and different sky art from zones around Azeroth.An example using Ice Crown Sky.m2
  • Show Grid
    Helps align perspective by showing a black and white checkered floor.
  • Show Mask
    Shows the model as a white silhouette against a black background.
  • Camera…Changes the camera view in the canvas to some default positions. They are somewhat useful.
  • Set Canvas Size…Sets the canvas size to a specific resolution or aspect (height to width). I usually manage that when saving a sized screenshot unless your canvas resolution is big enough to suit your needs (such as avatar and portrait views).

WMV Guide Part 1: Introduction

Introduction

WoW Model Viewer is a 3D modeling editor allowing you to view, pose, animate, and export 3D assets from World of Warcraft. It is used in machinima and as a tool to generate images for other digital presentations relating to that gaming universe.

Versions

I’m demonstrating two versions because they worked – newer ones may be available. Warlords of Draenor Version is 0.85sslfix and Legion is 0.84 ALPHA 4.

Always keep proper backups of your game, operating system, and hard drive. You agree to hold the author harmless by following this guide, proceed at your own risk.

Installing

You will need a legitimate, working copy of World of Warcraft. Download a version of WMV that works from this location: https://wowmodelviewer.net/wordpress/?page_id=27
making sure it’s compatible with the WoW software you have (WoD, Legion).

Once complete, double-click the downloaded file. It will open an installation wizard.
Click “I Agree” for the GNU Public License and proceed to install in the default location.

Starting

When you begin, you may be prompted to locate your copy of World of Warcraft. On PCs this is typically in C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft.

Load World of Warcraft?

You will be prompted to load World of Warcraft – this loads the assets into the system for use, not to play WoW. Click Yes to continue.

 

Loading the assets will take several seconds, depending on how fast your computer is. Once the message box disappears, you’re ready to create.

 

The Interface

I’m going to break up the interface into its windows and then get into specifics for each one.