The StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Art and Technology Panel at BlizzCon 2011

Blizzard’s Allen Dilling, Steve Provost, Dominic Filion, and Phill Gonzales discussed the artistic and technological future of StarCraft II on the Panel Discussion stage this afternoon at BlizzCon 2011.

Lead 3D Artist Allen Dilling kicked off the panel with a look at Blizzard’s art style, and then jumped right into StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, showing off the development of the look and feel of zerg units such as the viper and swarm host. This was followed by a detailed examination of two more new units: the protoss tempest and the terran warhound.

3D Artist Steve Provost then talked about how the team built the various environments under development for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, demonstrating the range of possible landscapes with a comparison of color palettes. New and improved lighting and shading effects allow the StarCraft II development team to realize more complicated animations and deliver a stunning player experience when moving from one position to the next. Lead Graphics Engineer Dominic Filion looked back at the evolution of StarCraft II graphics with a video that included sample footage from way back in June 2005, and displayed examples of the game’s style and overall progression from one iteration to the next over a six-year span.

Finally, Senior 3D Artist Phill Gonzales capped the panel with a rundown of Blizzard All Stars. With dozens of example images, he showed the audience everything from Mega-Minion concept art to the development of the heroes themselves. This culminated in a sneak peek at 30 heroes under consideration for Blizzard All Stars, including World of Warcraft characters such as Tyrande Whisperwind, Genn Greymane, and Kel’thuzad, StarCraft characters such as Jim Raynor, Gabriel Tosh, and Ghost Kerrigan, and Diablo characters such as Tyrael, Azmodan, and The Butcher.

What do you think of the look of StarCraft II and the forthcoming Blizzard All Stars? Let us know in the comments below!