Feb 8, 2018 | By Tess

Remember back in October when video game developer Valve Corporation gave Shapeways and its customers the ability to customize, 3D print, and sell 3D models and 3D prints based on its video game franchises? I do. And I certainly expected some pretty awesome makes to come about from this agreement.

What I didn’t quite expect, however, was to see something of the scale that WhiteClouds has produced.

The Utah-based 3D modeling and printing specialist recently unveiled its DOTA 2 3D Map Model, an expansive and finely detailed 3D printed terrain based on the popular multi-player online battle arena game setting.

The impressive 3D printed diorama apparently took six months to design and construct, and required the dedication and hard work of eight WhiteClouds designers. In terms of 3D printing, the team used WhiteClouds’ fleet of full-color sandstone 3D printers to complete the task—a process which reportedly took 30 hours (followed by 32 hours of manual assembly).

The detail on the DOTA 2 terrain is truly impressive, and the amount of hard work and care that went into the project is amazing. According to WhiteClouds, the 3D printed terrain consists of 381 individually designed elements inspired directly from the DOTA 2 game.

Athena Perkins, the project’s Lead Asset Sculptor, shed some light on what the design process entailed: “Designing 3D models for printing is quite different from designing them for a game. Oftentimes video game assets are optimized for a single view. You know—you’re expected to look at them only in this specific direction. And that means that oftentimes there are areas that are not fully realized or detailed.”

“As a designer, we have to change that from a flat plane that has little definition to something that's completely 3D from all perspectives,” she continued. “We spent a lot of time trying to make everything as close to the original game design as possible. We would have the game running on one screen, and screenshots for reference on a second screen, and would use those together as we sculpted and created 3D print-ready models.”

There are three different version of the DOTA 2 3D Map Model: the DOTA 2 Full-Size Model, the Radiant Model, and the Dire Model, each of which comes built into a stained hardwood frame with an acrylic cover.

Priced at $4,795 and measuring 36” x 35” x 10" (91.4 x 88.9 x 25.4 cm), the DOTA 2 Full-Size Model is easily the most impressive as it includes an electric light box that lights up and highlights various elements of the 3D printed map, including lava flow, crystals, towers, the Ancients, and more.

The slightly smaller Radiant and Dire models—measuring 14.5” x 14.5” x 6” (36.8 x 36.8 x 15.2 cm)—still possess the same level of artistry and detail as the full-size model but without the added light box. Both base models can be ordered for $699.

“The DOTA map has a lot of 'minor' elements that might not be immediately obvious,” commented Dusty DeWitt, the project’s Art Director/Lead Designer. “Generally they are tiny, oftentimes you barely even notice them. There might be a pile of bones next to the path or a group flowers or, the blades of grass or really just any little details like that—a crack in the dirt, a little bit of lava or light peeking through. Adding these sorts of details really makes the map model feel like a true DOTA experience.”

And while I could go on for ages about the tiny details on the DOTA 2 3D Map Model that have enraptured me, you can take a look for yourself in the video below. Whether as the centerpiece of your gaming room or used as one of the most badass coffee tables, WhiteClouds’ 3D printed DOTA 2-inspired terrain case is an incredible piece of video-game furnishing.

The 3D modeling and printing company also adds that customers can request to have certain things customized. You can find more information about the DOTA 2 3D printed map here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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