IronStylus on new Diana skin, challenges of making skins for certain champs, and more!

Posted on at 12:39 PM by Moobeat
How's an all IronStylus and all skin discussion red post collection sound? 
Continue reading for more on a new Diana skin, a few challenges artists run into when making skins for certain champions, and more!

New Diana Skin in the Works
After reminding summoner's that a Diana skin is indeed in the works, IronStylus commented:
"REMEMBER! "In the works" can mean months out from actual release. We aren't yet to model with this skin yet, so depending on prioritization, could be a little while. However, we're cognizant of the fact that she hasn't gotten a 3rd skin post-release."
He also commented on the skin itself, saying:
"Next skin will be a bit more.. pretty(?) than DV. Little less dark, a little more elegant.

That ok?"
IronStylus also let out a few hints about the skin:
"I didn't put a helmet on this one, but I gave some headdress stuff to it. And yeah, I wen't more cloth."
Why Doesn't X champion have a new skin yet??
He also commented on why Rumble doesn't have very many skins.
"So, not to derail this thread, but I can offer some insight on this. If we're going to make any skin for Rumble that involves anything that isn't his current wonky mech, we have to essentially completely remake his rig and animation sets. This is one of the reasons it's been difficult to get the bandwidth for a Rumble skin that isn't just a geometry shift. 
There are tons of amazing pieces of fanart I've seen of Rumble skin ideas, and some fantastic ideas! The only catch with putting Rumble inside anything from a high-tech mech, to a Sherman tank, or any other contraption, is that he's almost a completely new champion in terms of rigging and animation. That aspect of a champion, or skin, is a lot of work. It's presented problems in the past when we had more restrictions on bandwidth.

Fear not though, we have something in the works. Animation right now is going to have the bulk of the work for any subsequent Rumble skin however."
Following the trend from above, IronStylus brainstormed up a list of champions who don't have many new skins and shared his thoughts on why they can be so challenging to make skins for.
"Oh, that's a really great question. Skarner isn't as hard as you might think. You can make him into pretty much anything, from a bug, to a lobster, to a robot. Not sure the particulars as to why he hasn't gotten a skin yet, though. 
Hmm, actually it's sort of multifaceted. Because there's champions who are hard to make skins for logistically (lot's of assets/models/particles/etc to make), conceptually (base lacks large silhouette landmarks, "big hook", etc), or technically (older champions, outdated rigs, etc). 
So, here's a list of what just comes to mind for various reasons: 
  • Evelynn - Technical.; Outdated model/rig/animations/etc
  • Fiora - Conceptual. Lacking large visual landmarks, she's mostly just a lady in a costume.
  • Hiemerdinger - Technical. Mostly, outdated.. everything.
  • Lissandra - Logistical. Holy ****, so many particles! All of those particles are separate models with seperate, and possibly, custom animations on them.
  • LeBlanc - Conceptual. She's actually one our most standard of standard human females.
  • Malphite - Technical. Not so much unusable rig, but still has it's challenges.
  • Master Yi - Technical. Pizza feet...
  • Rumble - Technical and logistical. As stated.
  • Shyvanna - Logistical. Basically two champions in one.
  • Sion - Technical. Yikes..
  • Sivir - Technical. Outdated model/rig/animations/particles.. So yeah, rework first.
  • Swain - Technical. Outdated assets, basically also two champions.
  • Taric - Technically outrageous. Outdated assets.
  • Teemo - Existential. Every subsequent skin we make for him unlocks another gateway to hell.
  • Twitch - Technical. Very outdated assets, he's actually missing legs I think.
  • Udyr - Technical and Logistical. Fairly outdated, but pretty much 4 different champions depending on complexity.
  • Varus - Conceptual. Dude with a bow and purple pants.
  • Xerath - Logistical. Piles of particle work and strange rig voodoo I have no idea how to even describe.
  • Zac - Conceptually and logistically. Virtually no differentiated landmarks on skins, pretty much all texture or animation behaviors can be leveraged.
  • Zilean - Outdate assets, but not really an animation nightmare. He floats.
  • Zyra - Conceptually and logistically. On her body, not a ton of distinquishing landmarks. All of her plants require new models and new animations.
REMINDER! The above list doesn't mean these champions a) will not have a skin for them any time soon b) are huge challenges to overcome c) don't already have stuff in the works despite challenges listed. This isn't a blacklist, this is just what comes to my mind when I think of champions we've had challenges with. Each of these challenges can be solved in it's own particular way. Things are solved sometimes in just updating the assets, like in the case of Tyrant Swain or Battlecast Urgot, or sometimes with a complete rebuild like any relaunch/VU we make. Very much depends on the champion and what we have to work with."
Building off this, he commented on why it's hard to make a skin for the champions who don't have many landmarks and are just "normal".
"It's actually not. Blank slates and little to no silhouette landmarks or big geometry to glom onto leaves them in a very odd and nebulous zone where most of what we can do to them feels like color/model swaps. They also don't have any extremely compelling animations, particles, pose, etc. The closer it is to a standard human, the harder it can be to make skins depending on the champions. Women especially. That comes down to mostly costume change which doesn't always provide the most impactful of changes. Depends though."
When asked how Sunbathing Leona ( a skin that sprung up earlier this year at PAX East ) is coming along, IronStylus answered:
"It's coming along nicely :)"


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