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Episode Recap: The Art of Warcraft

The artists must choose World of Warcraft's most memorable creatures and bring them to life! Special Guest: Rob Kazinsky (Pacific Rim).


Journey into the land of Orcs, Draenei, Tauren and Worgen and don't forget your battle axe, magical poultice and key-tapping fingers as we enter Azeroth, the World of Warcraft! Riding the wave of excitement for Summer 2016's big-screen version of this classic massively-multiplayer game, the artists will take one of the Warcraft races and transform it into a flesh-and-blood Azerothian.

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Here to guide their designs is World of Warcraft Senior Art Director, Chris Robinson. He vibes off Melissa's super nerd-out session for her druid Worgen, a werewolf-type creature (she LOVES WoW and considers this her dream challenge). He answers Mel's barrage of questions about her Ttroll (she's never played the game in her life). He urges Walter to go 'death knight' on his Draenei (how do you describe Draenei? They're super-cool tentacled dudes). He counsels Yvonne to keep her girl Goblin cuter than you might expect. He exhorts Rob to "Remember the hump!" for his Tauren, a bull-like character. Then he spirits away on the wind, swift as any warlock.

Melissa and Mel help each other with their hands –- they both have three-fingered characters –- but they go horribly wrong for both of them. Mel decides to scrap them and just wrap her model's hands with fabric that will stand in for Troll skin and then paint it, but the paws are crucial to Melissa's werewolf character. She dumps time into making them work and knows she'll sacrifice paint time for it. The paws for the model's feet are key as well ... and take even more time that she just doesn't have. This was her dream challenge –- a Worgen druid! –- and it’s slipping away from her in the most disappointing way. When McKenzie calls her name on the reveal stage, she's not surprised to be on Bottom Looks.

Mel’s lack of game knowledge may be working in her favor as she overachieves her way to a gravity-defying mohawk for her Troll and a color pairing of turquoise and electric tomato that looks like it's right from the game. Add in some signature voodoo vibes and a gnarly but flexible expression and you've got yourself a Top Look!

Rob, another Warcraft newbie, is excited about sculpting a cowl that will bring home the hump-backed silhouette for his battle-scarred Tauren, but getting the proportions of his cow snout right is a battle in itself. He focuses on the face, knowing he can fabricate the hump later ... but later never comes, as the horns he molded refuse to be popped. No way, no how, they are not coming out of that mold! This is Rob's nightmare –- a really cool vision that meets every obstacle and winds up looking like a cow man. He walks on the reveal stage in utter (hee hee) shame, but is surprised when the judges love his work! Three out of four judges, that is: our series judges are joined by actor and erstwhile WoW competitive champion, Robert Kazinsky. Robert, who stars in the upcoming Warcraft film, thrashes Rob for missing the Tauren profile.

In contrast, the judges are sorely disappointed with Melissa's Worgen, as is Melissa herself, but Robert finds her Worgen very convincing ... which is not something you hear every day. Still, she's on Bottom Looks, and it sucks.

Walter is also a WoW lover (please use that as a pull quote for your website, Walter) and churns out material at a constant breakneck pace this week. He sculpts a face and cowl, fabricates four tentacles and a giant tail, and nails the paint job for his death knight Draenei. The series judges are floored by his output and the subtle beauty of this undead priest, and Robert agrees this is where accuracy and vision meet. Walter wins this challenge and will use this momentum going into the semi-final challenge.

Yvonne struggled to get her Goblin to the right balance between cute and, well, Goblin-ish. How do you make a creature's eyes both charming and ghoulish? Their mouth both coy and evil? It's a tough job, rest assured. The ears weren't doing her any favors, either. Have you seen those things in the game? They could pick up satellite cable! She hemmed them in to somewhat more human proportions but they're still big dinner plates right by the cheeks. Ve's chief complaint was the 'pea soup-green' color, made worse by a last-minute gloss in the paint job. With such strong showings this late in the competition, the work has to be flawless, and Yvonne's Goblin just wasn't. She goes home, but she has a lot to be proud of.