DIGITAL PUPPETS UK
On the planet of animation and digital avatars, creating life like and stylized characters is an important talent. I’m Antony Evans, the co-founder of Digital Puppets, an animation studio within the UK specializing in character design, animation, and digital avatars. I’ve labored as character designer for a few years for studios resembling Disney, Warner Bros, and the BBC.
At this time we’ll take you thru the method of making “Lil Lewis Capaldi“ for TikTok social media content material. In Half 1, we’ll display tips on how to construct the character utilizing Character Creator 4, and in Half 2, we’ll delve into the animation workflow we employed in iClone 8.
Half 1 – Creating the rigged Lewis Capaldi 3D mannequin
On this video, we’ll information you thru the levels of reworking the character right into a extra cartoony model by adjusting proportions and options. Utilizing the instruments obtainable in Character Creator 4 (CC4) , we are able to simply remodel the bottom mesh right into a customized design, and nonetheless retain the facial features and animation rig.
Headshot AI plugin for Character Creator 4
To start, we utilized a web-based picture of Lewis Capaldi and imported it into Headshot, the ai face creation plugin for Character Creator 4. When working with Headshot, it’s important to make use of a high-resolution picture with even lighting. Often, changes could also be mandatory for the picture, and you need to use Photoshop to handle points, as we did on this case (involving the elimination of the perimeter).
Headshot is a good way to create a likeness from a photograph, it does job of matching the proportions and provides an important base for creating your character. We’re trying ahead to working with Headshot in our upcoming initiatives and being able to work with scanned 3D heads, particularly now that there are some nice apps you need to use in your telephone to get spectacular scans.
ZBrush and GoZ
We’ve discovered that the Character Creator GoZ function is especially useful for quickly making mesh adjustments and sending the mannequin forwards and backwards. This permits us to check out the general look of the character earlier than entering into the finer particulars. The identical consequence may be achieved utilizing the edit mesh and morph instruments in Character Creator 4, so it does come all the way down to personally desire. We’ve got been working with ZBrush for a few years now, so this workflow works greatest for us, however that’s one of many issues we love about Character Creator is that it could match right into a workflow that works greatest for you.
Hair and Clothes
We needed to maintain this video quick so we didn’t go into SkinGen and including clothes as there are already detailed movies on the market on how this works and can also be very straightforward to make use of. However SkinGen is one other highly effective pores and skin texture plugin for Character Creator 4, it’s a useful gizmo we use on a regular basis so as to add these remaining refined particulars, including parts like pores and blemishes to the pores and skin actually assist to provide your character extra life. Additionally, with the hair and clothes we labored with the default gadgets from the Reallusion content material library so as to add a easy t-shirt and denims to the mannequin. For the hair and eyebrows we used Luis Duarte’s La Familia Content pack.
On this 1st tutorial, we’ll conclude by loading the unique mannequin we created. The mannequin within the video will finally match the earlier one however requires repeating the steps beforehand proven within the video, tweaking proportions in ZBrush, and utilizing the Edit Expressions sliders till it exactly resembles the unique. We didn’t need to undergo all of the steps in attending to that unique design as it’s only a case of repeating the forwards and backwards to ZBrush.
Half 2 – Animating Face and Physique of Lewis Capaldi 3D Mannequin with iClone
In Half 2, we’ll break down how we animated the unique video. We’ve arrange the scene as a template, permitting us to create new movies swiftly. As soon as the character is rigged and configured, we are able to effortlessly insert a brand new music and matching animation—ultimate for producing content material for platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts.
For facial expressions and lip sync, we select to make the most of the iPhone and LIVE FACE plugin for iClone. Whereas AccuLIPs can be utilized with an audio monitor with solely vocals, we’ve discovered it faster to sync the lip actions in actual time with the music. For those who’re accustomed to the whole music, it makes the method even simpler. Nonetheless, we work line by line, recording every line individually after which merging them collectively. This methodology works exceptionally effectively for syncing with rap music.
The animation’s movement is comparatively easy, because it primarily entails the character singing in a single spot. We work rather a lot with the preset animations and motions we discover on the ActorCore web site. On this video we simply needed so as to add an idle animation to carry some life to the character, so he was simply stood nonetheless on the spot, so we used the breath animation that comes included in iClone. We then present how we added attain targets to connect the fingers to the microphone, which allowed us to animate the fingers and arms transferring by transferring the microphone round. The attain software is a really highly effective software when working with characters interacting with objects.
When establishing lighting in iClone we all the time begin out by making an attempt all of the preset lights, as soon as we’ve one that appears good or near what we’re after we are able to then teak by including or eradicating the lights till we get what we’re after. We additionally like so as to add in some volumetric lighting, as this actually provides to the environment of the scene.
On this video we’ve saved the digicam work fairly easy, you will get some nice outcomes with simply a few cameras and effectively timed digicam cuts. When working with a music monitor we attempt to time the digicam cuts to the adjustments within the music. You possibly can add heaps or cameras and attention-grabbing pictures, however with this explicit video we needed to maintain the deal with the character and maintain a slower tempo.
The video hopefully reveals a workflow that demonstrates how shortly you’ll be able to create a customized character and animated content material. With platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts demanding speedy content material creation, this methodology has confirmed efficient for us.
As soon as the template is about up, you’ll be able to allocate time every day to create a brand new video or spend a day crafting a number of movies for scheduled releases. Character Creator and iClone options, resembling Goz, LIVE FACE and preset animation content material can actually velocity up your manufacturing, which permits you extra time to make extra content material.
Be part of our Discord channel at https://discord.gg/28DNM9A94P in case you’re an iClone, Unreal Engine, Character Animator, LIVE2D person, in search of recommendation, or eager to share your work. We hope to construct an energetic neighborhood and welcome animators of every kind to affix us, share your most popular applications, and foster a studying setting for everybody.