suramar in realistic engine

Suramar Just Got Even More Beautiful

Reddit user Lornek has showcased his recreation of the already phenomenal Suramar city using a realistic engine. Everything from the lighting to the water was updated. The city is as grand as ever, with the purple avenues of trees reminding me of the Warcraft movie. You can check out Lornek’s instagram account to see updates to the ongoing build.

How was it Done?

The process was possible because a player named Marlamin wrote an application which loads WoW install files. From there, it extracts models, textures, and placement data from the game. Lornek used this to get the spreadsheets for Suramar, detailing orientation, position, and scale.

Then, Lornek used Houdini for the 3D application, Python for programming, and RedShift for rendering. From there, it was a long process of loading object files, finding scripts, and creating details.

Once the model and instanced objects were wrapped up together in a proxy file, RedShift saved their information. Now in one file, Lornek will use the .rs file for the final layout. Afteward, it is a simple process of doing the above functions thousands of more times for each location within the city. And Suramar is a huge city.

Luckily, Lornek has Python to script this. The program would look through the entire directory, and every time it found an .obj file, it would do all the heavy lifting. Once all the .rs files were added, it was time to include the game’s main map. Here is the skeleton of the terrain and city foundation.

suramar base

Finally, Lornek just had to light and render everything. He used a ‘simple sun and sky lighting setup with some volumetric atmosphere added.’ Then, he took the final renders and applied film grading techniques to make it look cinematic.

suramarThe results are exceptional and definitely worthy of more than a few shares from his Instagram account. Lornek and others prove with their passion projects that the most successful games are those which motivate art. Even after all this years, WoW is still a source of inspiration.