Welcome to WarLord’s Workshop – Reallusion Journal

Tutorials, Ideas & Methods, Interviews, 3D Animation

Good day everybody. I’m M.D. McCallum also called WarLord, a longtime iCloner relationship again to model one. For a few years I used to be one of many few customers who produced tutorials on iClone. Primarily the fundamentals and the best way to get issues achieved rapidly with as little effort as attainable. Not as a result of I used to be lazy however as a result of manufacturing schedules could be stress-packed with seemingly inconceivable deadlines requiring shortcuts within the technique of manufacturing significantly regarding previz.

I retired from full-time animation a number of years in the past however nonetheless maintain busy with iClone on an virtually day by day foundation when attainable as these are thrilling instances to be an iCloner. Reallusion has at all times packed rather a lot into its mid-version updates and much more into their main upgrades. Having been given a small glimpse of their launch roadmap, I can safely say that you just haven’t seen something but.

Once I first stumbled upon iClone virtually twenty years in the past it was a really totally different product with a simplified interface and no free cameras as they have been all preset dolly and pan-type cameras with built-in paths. I noticed a number of movies, largely dance movies which I’ll talk about shortly, and it was sufficient to intrigue me as some customers have been saying these movies have been produced in minutes to hours, not days to weeks or extra.

As a 3D digital freelancer, I used to be at all times looking out for any device which may assist with the tedious nature of animation again then. There was no timeline in model one, however I knew if it may do movies, it may do picture renders and I wanted customized photos for the storyboarding I used to be doing on the time.

Left: ZBrush KitBashed Mesh, Center: Character Creator Rigged Mesh, Proper: Substance Painter Easy Texturing

iClone was an ideal match with its premade library of props, motions, cameras, and results. It wasn’t versatile in any respect method again then, however it was fast and when you should flip round a storyboard depicting a revised shot checklist… you want it as rapidly as attainable. It turned a professional device for me virtually instantly although it was far faraway from right now’s model.

One different factor about model one. It had an extremely highly effective image-to-face device that formed the pinnacle together with mapping the picture to the face mesh. Anybody may use this device even in case you had by no means used an animation device in your life. Reallusion made it straightforward.

In actual fact, Reallusion made it really easy they included a big library of dance strikes… therefore the early label of dancing video maker, a reputation that iClone has lengthy since shed however together with these dancing motions turned out to be a shrewd transfer as they began popping up on YouTube and different media internet hosting websites sparking discussions about iClone and Reallusion.

Sure, as onerous as it might be for a few of you to consider, with out these dance movies, iClone could have by no means drawn the early person base that it did. They introduced consideration to the truth that individuals who had no concept what Maya, 3DS Max or rendering have been about had created animated movies in such a short while and… by themselves!

It was low poly and a bit crude in comparison with right now’s iClone, however it was enjoyable!

Left: iClone 8, Proper Unreal LIvelink Earlier than Lighting

That’s proper… enjoyable. A phrase not normally related to laptop animation on the time. Difficult, intriguing, experimental however not enjoyable. In actual fact, again then it might be very tedious. Ready in a single day or days, possibly weeks, to see some rendered work was a standard factor. iClone real-time playback modified all that too. iClone has matured into a robust animation software over time. Future upgrades and releases is not going to disappoint as they supply some very helpful and time-saving instruments although iClone is filled with instruments and options now. Whereas loaded with options, you don’t have to make use of every part till you might be prepared and that’s one other nice facet of iClone.

It is just as difficult or so simple as you need it to be. You don’t have to make use of every part till you get extra accustomed to the instruments and ideas as the educational curve lessens. Don’t consider the place you might be right now in case you are simply beginning. As a substitute consider the place you may be 3 months, six months, and a 12 months or extra down the street while you do have the abilities to make use of all these instruments.

My mission right here, my little nook of the Reallusion universe, is to deliver the “customers’ perspective” together with my years as an animation grunt and challenge supervisor to give you extra details about iClone and Character Creator.

Considered one of my duties will probably be to offer evaluations of Reallusion merchandise. These evaluations normally revolve round some check scenes constructed for the product in query. These exams will probably be rather a lot like what many people do after we get a brand new asset, dive proper in and begin pushing the bounds. Perhaps this can make the choice simpler for a few of you in relation to pulling the set off on new belongings or merchandise.

Left: Easy scene setup in iClone (Rookies Stage), Proper: Picture render from iClone.

Whereas there are quite a lot of tutorials on the market for iClone, many are geared for intermediate to superior person options leaving extra primary options to be explored for these simply beginning of their animation journey. With this in thoughts I will probably be offering extra primary tutorials, each written and video relying on the topic, to assist much less skilled customers catch up rapidly in order that they can also benefit from the superior options and instruments in iClone.

Additionally… and it is a favourite of mine, I get to experiment with iClone and Character Creator to proceed to push the boundaries as so many customers do. We’ll take a look at kitbashing, utilizing different instruments corresponding to ZBrush and Substance Painter to create fashions within the thousands and thousands of polys that we are able to optimize and bake down to be used in iClone. We’ll slice and cube motions, use animation layers and different instruments whereas diving into manufacturing pipelines that may result in skilled work or a extra polished video.

I’ll additionally delve into Omniverse and Unreal Engine to realize extra cinematic renders utilizing iClone because the underlying animation device whereas off-loading the render work to those functions. All of the whereas attempting to maintain the tutorials as quick and easy as attainable.

Twenty years in the past, it was paper and digital notes filled with workaround directions as a result of the 3D apps on the time have been missing in options and instruments. These workarounds needed to be documented so we may use them in future work and that was very time-consuming. It was an actual downer for the inventive spirit at instances.

Now we simply load up iClone and begin animating.

Can iClone make nearly anybody an animator? Sure, it may possibly. Whether or not or not you’re a good animator is as much as you.