Skip to main content

Learning Reallusion's iClone 5: Part 1 - Creating a Scene

With iClone 6 (check out the embeded video at the bottom of this post) currently in development and me having bought iClone 5.51 in December of last year I thought it was time to start learning the software. Especially now that my confidence with Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 2 is much higher and in a more stable place.

Note that if you've found this post expecting tutorials, I'm sorry, you won't find them here. This is my journey and experience of learning iClone 5.5 for anyone who may be interested in buying the software but aren't sure if it's going to be too hard to learn. This will probably turn into a series of articles as I'm writing it during my process of learning and not after the fact. I can only write about what I've learned.

If you do have iClone 5.51 and want to follow along I'll be working my way through iClone 5's series of Quick Fix starter videos.

From Reallusion's website: iClone 5.51 is a real-time 3D animation tool with digital actors, environments, visual effects, drag & drop editing, powerful physics and Microsoft Kinect-ready motion capture; designed for rapid production, creative education and cost-effective pre-visualization.

What that means is, just like CrazyTalk Animator, it comes with existing content (and a market place that you can buy more content from) that you can either use as is or modify as much as you need. If you really want to you can even bring in 3D models made entirely from scratch in other third party software.

Watch the video below to really get a feel for what iClone can do.



Personally if you're a fan of 2D animation but would like to dabble in 3D I'd highly recommend iClone as the perfect companion to CrazyTalk Animator 2 (which is, of course, focuses on 2D animation).

Not only are the user interfaces very similarly laid out - learn CTA2 first so iClone will seem less complex - but you can drag and drop motion files from iClone directly onto your characters in CTA2. Something I found very useful when I needed a character in CTA2 to dig a hole with a shovel. I saved a lot of time just by buying an Occupations iClone Motion Content pack.

But I digress, getting onto learning iClone, I began with How to set up a scene. Watch the video at the link if you want to run through the tutorial. Here's the scene I set up, after watching the video to see if I could remember everything I learned.

My first iClone 5 scene.
Although my scene is made up entirely of existing content I wanted to explain a little about what that means. Otherwise you may get the impression that all I did was drag and drop things into place - which I did, but there's more to it than that.

Unedited Combat Zone Stage.
The city scene its self is a war ravaged environment that looks like the image on the right when you first add it to the stage. Notice that there is no water at the end of the central road.

To begin getting the scene to look like my image I had to add in the orange sky.

Next I added in the water which, at first, flooded the entire scene prompting, a change in setting so it would only fill the area at the end of the road.

I wanted the scene to look like it had stood in ruin for a long time so I added an appropriate looking tree and placed it on the road its self and surrounded it with grass.

Next I placed the monster into the scene. Originally he was quite small so I scaled him up to make the image seem like perhaps he had something to do with all the damage.

Finally I adjusted the lighting and shadow settings and changed the light from a white light to something more orange to match the light that would be cast from an orange sky.

Admittedly, all this is not complex. It's merely a case of adding things and adjusting settings but what I want to emphasize is that all of it is about creative choices. That's the real strength of iClone. It lets you concentrate less on the technical side of creating a 3D environment and more on the creative side of how things will look.

My last creative choice was moving the camera around to take a good picture for this blog post. iClone lets you take a snap shot of any angle of your scene with just one click.

When you see the scene animated the water is rippling automatically and the leaves on the tree blow in the breeze. Though I didn't include video of the scene here because I couldn't add any animation to the monster. Usually you can just drag a motion file onto the character and it'll add that motion to the character but for some reason, not this particular character. I'll look into that more later.

I'll leave it there for now. The next tutorial is about how to make your own character which I will most certainly write a post about. In the meantime enjoy the video below which is a preview into what's coming in iClone 6.


Comments

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET
20% off TODAY ONLY! Use code 20ALL

Popular posts from this blog

Eric W. Schwartz: Cartoonist, Animator and Amiga Die Hard

American Cartoonist, Eric W. Schwartz, (whose unofficial Amiga Icon, Amy the Squirrel, is pictured on the July 92 edition of CU Amiga cover on the right) is my only real animation hero. Sure there are the big names like Disney, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and even Preston Blair whose influences can all be seen in my own cartoons but Eric did what none of the others could. He showed that really great 2D computer animation was within my reach with little more than an Amiga Computer, a copy of Deluxe Paint and Moviesetter.

This was at a time when computer based animation was in its infancy (outside of computer game animation) and Flash was something that lights did.

There were many great Amiga artists but Eric was really the only one consistently making very funny, traditional style animations. His humor and drawing style is heavily influenced by classic Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons but he managed to build on this, creating something that was recognizably Eric's own style.

I've…

Review: CrazyTalk Animator 3 vs Moho Studio Pro 12

Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Smith Micro's Moho Studio Pro 12. Which of these 2D animation applications is right for you?

Regular readers of this blog will know I'm a strong supporter, and fairly proficient user of CrazyTalk Animator since version 1. It's a great piece of software for producing 2D animations from purchased content quickly and, with version 3, is easier than ever to create animations from your own art.

Lesser known is that I first purchased Moho Studio Pro 12 (then known as Anime Studio Pro 9) back in October of 2012 and have been upgrading it to the latest version ever since because I believed in it as an application for creating great 2D animation to TV quality standard. As such, it's a much more complex application than CTA3 that I only got around to learning properly late last year. I'm still in the process of blogging my progress.

Despite this I feel I've learned enough of Moho to compare it to CTA3 to help you determine which …

Voice All Your Own Animated Characters with Voice Changer

Voice Changer by AVSoft is real time voice manipulation software that can be used for a wide range of purposes including (according to their website); Voice-over and voice dubbing for audio/video clips, presentations, narrations, voice messages, voice mails, E-greeting cards, broadcasting, etc.; mimic the voice of any person, create animal sounds, change/replace/remove voices in songs, videos,etc.

I bought it for the specific purpose of changing my own voice, to extend my vocal range, for voicing characters in my own animations.
I was fortunate enough to get this software at a significant discount that made it difficult to refuse, given that I'd never tried it, or even heard of it before. I'm not sure if I would have bought it at the full price given that much of what it can do (for my needs) can also be done with the freeware audio program, Audacity.
Voice Changer is relatively easy to install and set up. Once installed simply change you default microphone to the installed AV…

Quickly Create a CrazyTalk Animator G3 Character From Original Art

Creating a character rig from original art can seem like a daunting task in CrazyTalk Animator 3. Especially if, all you really want to do is put together a quick animation with characters you may never even use again.

Here's how to rig a CrazyTalk Animator 3, G3 human character, with the fewest components, whilst still being compatible with G3 character motions, and having a face capable of lip syncing and character expressions.

You should be able to do this in under an hour - assuming you have your artwork ready to go.

Review: Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 - Taking a Step Back to Move Forward

CrazyTalk Animator 3's bold claim is 'The One-for-all 2D Animation'. Does it deliver? Could it be your 'go to' 2D animation tool of choice? Before I explore those questions I feel a bit of backstory is necessary.

I've been using Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator since its original incarnation that promised quick and easy, 2D animation creation. An idea that was relative depending on what kind of animation you wanted to do. Since my focus has largely been on original character animation my experience with CTA is relative to that.

If you wanted to create animated characters from your original artwork, quick and easy didn't really describe the time and effort involved. There was a lot of preparation and considerable time spent rigging its G1 characters.

Review: Motion Den - DIY Video Intros and Slideshows

Motion Den claims to be the world's simplest video maker of intros and slideshow style animated videos. I needed an animated slide show to promote my etourist Skateboards online store, which I planned to make myself with one of the many video editing applications I have, but, after being directed to Motion Den by a spammy, completely unrelated comment on this very blog (which I've since deleted), I thought I'll give them a try.

The site is free to sign up and make videos with. Any published videos will have the Motion Den watermark. If you wish to remove this you can purchase individual videos or sign up for one of their plans, which give you a certain amount of credits each month to purchase videos with. Note that you can't actually do anything with a published free video other than view it in your account. There are no share options and you can't download it (making the watermark almost pointless).

The Dork Knight Remade in CrazyTalk Animator 3 - Revisiting a TET Original Animated Short

The Dork Knight was one of the very first animations I created in 2008 on the then very new GoAnimate (now known as Vyond) website and animation studio. At the time it was featured as a Staff Pick and spawned two 'sequel' animated shorts.

A very loose parody of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dork Knight reimagines Bruce Wayne as a preteen nerd who thinks he can be a superhero. This version of the character is rich enough to have a butler (Alfred) but lives a more suburban lifestyle with his 'Batcave' being his mother's garage.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, over the years I've bought probably thousands of dollars of CrazyTalk Animator content packs that I've barely used. I really want to do more animation that doesn't take months to complete and is just made for the fun of telling a story.

Remaking my old GoAnimation shorts is something for years I thought would be a fun challenge so I finally decided to give it a shot. Rather than use…