Learning Reallusion's iClone 5: Part 3 - Customizing Motion and Instant Animation

I've been blogging my progress at learning Reallusion's iClone 5. This post I'll be looking at the next 3 tutorials in Reallusion's iClone, Quick Fix Tutorial series. If you haven't read my previous posts, click these links for Part 1 and Part 2.

Remember these blogs are simply my progress at learning the software and are not tutorials in themselves. I would recommend you watch the actual tutorial series if learning iClone 5 is what you really want to do.

Customizing Motion Parts 1 and 2

The next Tutorial is titled Layering Animation Part 1 and looks at using the Body Puppet panel from which you can directly control your actors using your mouse (just like an actual puppet) or create customized motions by adjusting sliders for different settings.

Creating a custom walk using the sliders
in iClone's Body Puppet panel.
There's not much to say about this tutorial. It's really just a case of bringing up the panel and messing around with the settings to see how they affect your avatar. CrazyTalk Animator 2 has this exact same Body Puppet panel and it works exactly the same way. So I'm right at home here.

I will say, in CTA2 I tend to be controlling my characters more directly with the mouse than I do using the slider adjustments because I'm often trying to match body movement to what a character is saying. Which is much easier if you can just listen to the voice then literally puppet the character to match.

In the animation below you'll see the first part is a customized walk motion that I modified from the included basic walk.

Layering Animation Part 2 demonstrates how you can mask out parts of your avatar's body to keep existing motions whilst adding new motions to those areas left unmasked. I masked out my avatar's lower body so he'd keep walking, then added a new talking motion to his upper body.

Using the mask editor to preserve the lower body
walk action whilst adding new talk actions to
the upper body.

The whole process is very simple to do and allows you to create all kinds of motion combinations. Again, the exact same feature is part of CTA2.

The second part of part 2's tutorial shows how you can drill right down and modify motions right down to adjusting a finger tip using the Edit Motion Layer panel. You use this panel when you've got your overall motions  right but need to refine specific details to suit your animation's needs.

iClone's Edit Motion Layer panel lets you adjust
poses right down to a finger tip.

I made my avatar raise his arm and point as he his talking, as well as making him look for a moment at what he is pointing at.

The closest thing that CTA2 has to the Edit Motion Layer panel is it's own Edit 3D motion Layer panel. I have to say, iClone's is much easier to use because you can make adjustments directly on your avatar rather than on a 3D representation of your Avatar as per CTA2.



Instant Animation

The Quick Fix Instant Animation Tutorial is simply a demonstration of how you can use predefined motions contained in the Avatar Action Menus (which appear when you right click on the avatar).

It's the kind of thing that you can get the hang of right away if you've used CTA2 for any length of time, as you can do the same kind of thing there. The tutorial combines choosing actions then using the time line to either loop or time shift (speed up or slow down) motions.

There's not really anything to learn so I put the animation below together just for fun using instant animation techniques and some of the scene making techniques I learned back in part 1.



Every bit of this animation is done using the Action menu. If you want a character to walk you just select 'walk' and click where they should walk to. If you want them to look at another character just select look and then click the character they should look at. It's all very easy.

There aren't too many actions to choose from so instant animation can become limiting really quick but it is a good way to quickly implement some very common movements.


The next tutorials deal with some of iClones physics animation so you can realistically animate things like cars crashing into objects. Should be fun.
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