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Reallusion iClone 6 - My First Animation

Late last year Reallusion released iClone 6 which was both great and annoying at the same time to me as I'd finally worked my way through the basics of iClone 5 after purchasing that the year before. Naturally I upgraded and promptly discovered my laptop running iClone 5 wouldn't run iClone 6.

Reallusion did release a patch shortly after that enabled iClone 6 to run on my laptop but it basically scaled back the software so that you couldn't use any of the powerful new features.


Fast Forward to June of this year and I decided to finally splash out and buy a desktop computer system powerful enough to take advantage of the full capabilities of iClone 6. Things like the new, enhanced G6 human avatars, access to the Indigo Render Plug-in for more realistic output, along with other features like tessellation, that take full advantage of DirectX11. (I really have no concept of what tessellation is and why I need it but it sure sounds important).



To be honest, I mainly bought iClone 6 to remain current as I intend to offer the power of iClone to my Animation4Business clients.

Much has changed with iClone 6's user interface. Initially it looks very different to iClone 5 but once you familiarize yourself with where the tools you use most often are, the new layout makes sense and it's not hard to find lesser used tools as they're logically located.

My first project with iClone 6 is a short 30 second promotional video for my Animation4Business website using my custom designed ToonMaker 2 Avatar.

Promotional Animation using my Custom
ToonMaker 2 Avatar in iClone 6.

Although it's a fairly simple video with just a single character talking to camera I did storyboard out the key moments of the video as a guide. It's been really useful working from the storyboard, recreating actual key scenes, rather than making things up as I go along (which is often my default working process).

I've also discovered it very easy to make simple custom props. In the image below you can see my character holding up a play icon that is made from a primitive box shape that I simply resized then edit the texture image in Serif's PhotoPlus X5 to be red with a white triangle arrow.

In the main window you can see my custom Avatar
surrounded by custom made props.

5 If you look closely you can also see an invoice prop created from an iProp blank piece of paper prop that I simply edited the texture to include the invoice printed on it. Took me about 10-15 minutes to create.

Thus far I've worked on this animation over 5 non-consecutive days averaging about 3-4 hours each day, including writing and recording the audio script and hand drawing the storyboard. Most of the character animation is completely from scratch using motion key frames.

I'm hoping to finish the video within the next couple of days. All I have left to do is one specific scene that shows a selection of different characters just standing around as a camera pans across from left to right. Then I'll refine some of the details of the entire animation and add some music.

Usually you wouldn't do an entire animation in one iClone file but since this project is so short and doesn't really do anything iClone isn't capable of it's makes sense to keep it all within the one program.

By my next post this animation should be finished. Look forward to seeing it along with a scene comparison with my storyboard and how the scenes actually look in the animation.


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