How I Render Sensible Character Animation with Unity HDRP and iClone

Jasper Hesseling

Hello there, my title is Jasper Hesseling and I’ve been working as a solo 3D artist for over 15 years. I’m based mostly in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and I am going by the title “Mayonnaise”. Why Mayonnaise? Properly, it’s partly due to my Dutch roots – it’s a highly regarded sauce right here – but additionally as a result of I typically really feel like I’m creating the “visible sauce” for ideas and concepts. As an all-around 3D artist, I perceive find out how to leverage some great benefits of every 3D device and assemble them into the perfect character animation pipeline. My background is definitely in movement graphics, however I transitioned to 3D artwork and animation as a result of that’s the place my ardour lies.

A few of you’ve got already seen my profitable entry Jessica Rabbit within the earlier lip sync animation contest, and I demonstrated how I did it with an article publish. Jessica was a pure iClone render challenge. However since Reallusion introduced the Auto Setup plugin for Unity, I made a decision to offer it a go and created this Lynn challenge. See why I created this challenge and the way I mix my workflow with the Reallusion pipeline beneath.

Why I selected Reallusion Software program

Previously, I’ve been working with a whole lot of characters that had been personalized on my own. It’s good, however I don’t at all times have the time to create every part wanted for a purposeful face rig, not to mention the rig itself with all that additional facial functionality, like facial mocap and retargeting choices. However with my earlier expertise, I do know Character Creator and iClone will likely be my resolution for this.

So I shortly began concepting and customizing the key agent character, Lynn, for this challenge. The entire Lynn character relies on CC4-based mesh, and I made the outfits from scratch in Marvelous Designer. After doing a retopology and uv format I made the textures in Substance Painter. I wished her to have some recognizable gadgets, so that’s the place the NIKE’s got here in. And the remainder of the gadgets, I borrowed a bit from certainly one of my favourite animator collection: ARCHER.

Q: Hello, Jasper! Thanks for the fantastic challenge background introduction. You might have each experiences in Unreal and Unity. Are you able to briefly share your expertise with each engines, and inform us why you selected Unity for this challenge?

I really like 3D animation and graphics as a medium to specific my creativity. What I don’t like is ready on renders. Because of this I’m at all times looking out for real-time rendering options. With this in thoughts, I’m exploring the chances of each Unreal Engine and Unity3d.

Whereas I discover Unreal to be an attention-grabbing choice, Unity’s open setup and forgiving nature enchantment to me extra. Although I need to admit, if severe methods to compile errors are required, Unreal often is the more sensible choice. As for my experience, I’m not an knowledgeable in these areas. That being mentioned, after seeing the HDRP render, I couldn’t resist diving into it as soon as once more.

After seeing what folks like Sakura Rabbit and Little Mountain might get out of Unity, I wished to see what I can obtain with the HDRP engine. So I selected Unity for this challenge and determined to push myself additional for high-quality visuals.

Lynn in Unity HDRP Surroundings

Q: So after deciding on Unity, are you able to inform us extra about your findings in Unity HDRP, and the way it may be integrated with the Reallusion Auto Setup Plugin?

I used to be very impressed with the render outcomes of the HDRP engine in Unity. The Reallusion Auto Setup Plugin was an enormous time-saver in organising characters in Unity with all of the rig and shaders you want within the HDRP atmosphere. Particularly it makes a really reasonable show of Digital Human Hair, Eyes, Skin, and Teeth nearly with none tweaks.

Use the built-in Preview Instruments for expression examine

One other fascinating characteristic that I discovered is the built-in preview tools. As soon as the shaders are routinely assigned to Unity, I can use it and shortly apply totally different seems to be and expressions on Lynn, and instantly see the facial features outcomes below the Unity atmosphere. That is one other time-saving characteristic on lookdev duties, permitting me to focus extra on the inventive course of.

Throughout manufacturing, I additionally seemed into Victor Soupday’s Reallusion forum post. Victor is the unique designer of the CC to Unity AutoSetup device, and he helped me significantly after I ran into some technical points. His insights have assisted me to repair a number of errors on the go, too.

Q: Are you able to discuss your character animation workflow within the Parkour Pack?

I began out with a tough blocking animation in Cascadeur and imported that into iClone. In iClone, I polished the animation and added additional particulars like hand and finger animation in addition to facial expressions.

Bringing all of the animated information in iClone

I might additionally place constraints for when the character makes contact with the atmosphere just like the leap over the railing. With the motions accessible within the Parkour Pack I might actually develop on the animation and the final half is completely created with motions from that very same pack. I additionally discovered the overview created from Libertas movies useful, and recommend you may also dive into that overview and have a look.

This iClone-to-Unity pipeline is a feast to work with, and I really feel actually liberated as a solo inventive. And I see solely extra prospects on the horizon.”

-Jasper Hesseling, Freelance 3D Artist

Q:  In your opinion, are you able to share with us how your workflow can encourage Unity sport Builders?

I imagine that with this workflow with characters from iClone or CC4 Unity, builders have higher entry to superior character fashions and animation for his or her video games. Since there’s a whole lot of element within the fashions, character animation in cutscenes might add to the storytelling of any sport. And beneath is the supplies that we have to gather to brighten your story. We’ve executed this earlier than so we generally is a bit extra inventive with the supplies!

Comply with Jasper’s work: