Behind the Scenes of 3D Modeling, League of Legends Battlecast Illaoi

Behind the Scenes of 3D Modeling, League of Legends Battlecast Illaoi


The first step into making the final product within the game begins with proper 3D modeling, and this is the process that the champion has undergone for her latest skin.

“Once the concept was nearly finalized, we took a look at it from a 3D perspective and made some adjustments for readability both in shapes and colors,” said Riot Games’ SilverUnicorn. “We got rid of the white paint markings both on her arm guard and the robot head because they were starting to read as highlights and were causing some confusion. We consolidated the materials, brightened up the head, hair, and goggles, and cooled off the greens that were fabrics (the leather greens are warmer).”

With a few design flaws, the team noticed that the original markings on her face had to go – it looked too much like an extra set of eyes. Though that could have looked cool, it wasn’t exactly what they were aiming for here, “When we start the modeling process for the skin, we’re restricted to using the base rig, or the skeleton for the champion. We started off by taking the old Illaoi model and ripping out parts to build a base body for the new skin. We began this process before the concept was locked-in because it can take a long time. We couldn’t start working on everything for the skin though, so we started off by modeling the parts we were most likely to keep.”

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Making the fundamental model took a touch of finagling; in any case it expected to fit in with how the champion moves during the match. The skin needs to coordinate with both who the character is and how she’s apparent by different players. On account of that – base model should have been great. Once that was good to go up and prepared to go, the time had come to move onto a bit of refining:

“Once the model was done, we set up her smoothing groups, which will take her from a blocky model to something more refined for in game. Afterwards, we did what’s called an “ambient occlusion bake,” which is how we start building-out textures. Textures are 2D images that wrap around the model and bring it to life with vibrant colors and details—for example, you see this in fabrics, such as cloth, leather, and gold.”

“Once the ambient occlusion bake was done and the concept art was finalized, it was time to start adding colors and details. The first step in this is to add some flat colors on a Hard Light layer, which is a base layer of color we can then add more details to. We like to use a Hard Light layer because it can really bring out the colors and make them richer.” After the ambient occlusion bake, the shading procedure really started. From painting the darker skin tone, to what the protective layer would resemble – it was a mind boggling balance between making her resembling the champion she is, while additionally remaining consistent with the Battlecast idea outline.

There’s still some texturization work needing to be done, and final tweaks are still being made. At the time of their blog post, the model was at about 40% complete, so don’t judge her quite yet by how she looks at the top!

The team finally wrapped up their inside look at some other brainstorming ideas as far as this champion’s kit goes. From FX, to animation, here’s how they closed:


  • Separate sound effects for hitting the clone created by her E
  • Partial process VO on certain words, especially when mad


  • E – Pulls out a hologram- or scanline-type thing that smokes and sparks when hit or has a chromatic shift
  • E – Wires come out all snakey and form over each other and then grab
  • R – Jetpack for the dunk
  • R – Burst, electricity, smoke, or wires
  • R – Crack on ground that’s a target or a symbol of the Resistance
  • Rumbling pipes in the totem
  • During activation, totem opens up
  • When cursed, there’s a hacky screen overlay
  • Electricity going through the wires in the totem


  • Recalls:
    • Tweak totem to project the Resistance symbol
    • Sneaks into underground bunker
    • Slams Viktor’s bunker and beats him up
    • Turns totem upside down and uses it as a salsa bowl
    • Turns totem upside down and plays with the wiring
    • Throws totem down, stands on it and pulls out a Resistance flag
  • Dance: Puts totem on her head and dances the robot
  • Death: Illaoi takes out a bomb and explodes
  • Totem cries out in pain when hit
  • Totem laughs at jokes
  • Jetpack for homeguard