Skip to main content

Reinventing Bat Storm - Muvizu to iClone (Part 1)

Bat Storm Muvizu (left)
In development Bat Storm iClone (right).
If you've been following my work for a while you'll be familiar with my Batman parody character Bat Storm. The character first appeared as a GoAnimate Comedy World design. When GoAnimate dropped all its fun themes in favor of Business Animations I moved the character into the 3D realm of Muvizu shortly after I purchased a license for it in 2016.

I really love Bat Storm's look in Muvizu. The thing is, as easy as Muvizu's developers claim their software is, I find trying to do any form of character animation with it to be infuriating. Which is why you haven't seen a single Bat Storm animation created in Muvizu so far.



My Muvizu Bat Storm
Character.
Lately I've been experimenting with Reallusion's 3D Character Creator 2 for iClone 7, which is soon to be released as a stand alone application in version 3. Although I haven't done a lot of 3D animation with iClone I actually know my way around the software enough to get by thanks to the User Interface and character animation process sharing many similarities with CrazyTalk Animator 3 (2D Animation App).

I already toyed with the idea of animating Bat Storm in iClone using a modified Batman character rig I purchased but the realistic human proportions weren't inspiring me. I really liked my Muvizu Bat Storm character designs.

Over the years I've purchased a lot of content for iClone and Character Creator because I really want to try Pixar style animation. Initially I bought the Toon Maker packs for iClone because the character styles were clearly intended for that type of animation. However the limited range of body types left the idea a little flat.

Character Creator was generally for making more realistic, human characters so I didn't do a lot with it. Then iClone Content creator TokoMotion released his stylised human morphs for Character Creator and finally the application had the ability to create more Pixar like character designs.

I've had TokoMotion's morphs for a while but it wasn't until recently that I decided to really take a serious look at reinventing Bat Storm in iClone using these morphs in Character Creator.

My goal isn't to recreate my Muvizu design exactly. What I want to do is create similar cartoonish proportions but with improved, more detailed designs that come with a more advanced 3D animation studio like iClone.

What's really great about Character Creator is that almost every aspect of your character, down to the smallest detail, can be adjusted just by moving sliders backwards or forwards. It looks daunting at first because there are just so many settings (it's got to be in the thousands per character) but once you narrow it down to just the part of the character you're trying to modify, it becomes much more manageable to play with each slider to see how they affect the character.

Character Creator 2 settings can look daunting.

I haven't finished my Bat Storm character yet but I wanted to show you where I started to where I am now just by playing around in Character Creator.

1. TokoMotion Ramon
Character Base.
Here is the TokoMotion stylised character I used as a base (see image 1). This one I felt had the real top heavy look that I wanted to maintain from my Muvizu design. Initially I removed all his clothes so I could just work with getting the body proportions right.

My goal was to transform this body into a more muscle bound look, with longer legs. When it came to his face I wanted something that looked a little more handsome with a really strong, Batman like, jawline because Bat Storm pretty much wears his cowl 24/7.

2. Bat Storm Base Mark I
Here's what I came up with after a couple of hours of tweaking (image 2). I also dressed him in clothes that I felt I could modify into a Bat suit with minimal texture customization. The shirt he's wearing used to be black with lime green highlights. I liked the texture of it but changed the colors to Bat Storm grey just through using the sliders.

The character is also wearing boots, a belt, and gloves from a pirate character Reallusion gave away free with Character Creator 2's release (I think).

3. Bat Storm Base Mark II
After even more tinkering, this is how the character looks (image 3). I've dropped the pirate belt in favor of the belt he already had on his pants (because I worked out how to tuck is T-shirt in). I'm still working on reducing the distortion of his belt - it's reduced quite a bit but I'm sure I can probably fix it more.

I also just bought an Apocalypse Combo Character Pack that contains a lot of accessories that wouldn't look out of place on a Bat suit - such as better boots and gloves, and more Christian Bale Batman style armor.

The Extraordinary Tourist.
Now with long coat.
This pack also includes a trench coat that I've been waiting for Reallusion to make so I can finally complete my iclone The Extraordinary Tourist avatar and start making animations with him.

So that's where my iClone Bat Storm character is at the moment. I'll continue to tinker with him, and will bring you an update when I arrive at the final, full costumed design.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

The Extraordinary Tourist Classic Coat outfit created using Reallusion's Toon Designer for CC3. I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996. It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it. But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm ). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs . Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures , and Toon Hair , designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker. The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that w

Create 2D Animated Characters with 3D Character Creator Tools and Artistic Filters

3D CC3 TET Character, based on my Oppa Doll Avatar, used as the base for a 2D CA4 character. One of my favorite things to do is to create characters with any type of Avatar/Character creator app. In fact the first test I usually try with these tools is, can I make an avatar of me (or at least my The Extraordinary Tourist persona). Previously I've used 2D character creators like Oppa Doll as a source of artwork for some characters I've made for Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 animation studio but 2D character creators are limited to... well 2D. 3D Character Creators While you may think 3D character creators have no place in creating characters for 2D animation there are quite a number of advantages including: No drawing skills required. Render characters in any style. Use an art filter or even hand trace into line art. Need to animate the character in a specific pose or angle? Render out an image of the character in the required angle and animate it in 2D. Quicker to crea

Artbreeder - Using AI created Character and Background Content in your Animations

A selection of User/AI generated images from Artbreeder. If you're looking for an endless supply of 2D character and background images for your animations then Artbreeder , an online Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generates image mash-ups you can tweak as much as you like, could be the ultimate content library. What is Artbreeder? Artbreeder is free to use though there are various paid plans, that give you additional features, such as higher resolution download images or more settings to play with. All images created on the site are Public Domain (CC0 License) and can be used in commercial projects. Using Artbreeder's online app you can generate head shot portraits, full body characters, landscapes, and other scenes simply by choosing two or more existing images to mash together then, using a series of sliders, to select which traits from each image you wish to lean toward in the final image. Photo Comparison - Top is my original uploaded photo. Bottom is Artbreeder's ap

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 determ

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

GRRR Dog by TET. Can I animate  this guy in CrazyTalk Animator 3? 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.

Three Image Overlay Apps. Do More with Your Reference Images While You Work

PureRef's image overlay in action with Cartoon Animator 4. One thing Cartoon Animator 4 still does not have in stage mode is the ability to onion skin previous and next frames.  For those complete animation newbies among you, onion skinning is the ability to see through the current frame to your previous and/or next keyframes so you can see the progression of your character or object's movement as you create and adjust each keyframe. Usually the previous and next frames appear lighter so your current frame remains the key focus. This prompted me to look for a tool that could overlay an image over my work to use as a reference while still allowing me to work on the app underneath the overlay. I had seen, and even used such apps in the past but it had been some time so I decided to see what was out there, preferably free and/or open source, with versions for Mac and Windows. Overlay 2 There are actually a number of apps that do nothing more than overlay an image but the only one

Stylish Stick Figures for Cartoon Animator 4.2 - New Characters by TET

Stylish Stick Figures by TET. Animating stick figures is almost a right of passage for any animator who has ever made an old fashioned flipbook or discovered the free stickman animator app, Pivot Animator . There's also the hugely popular viral stick figure animation, Animator Versus Animation  and its sequels by Alan Becker that continue to inspire variations more than 12 years later. Back when Vyond was GoAnimate they had a stick figure theme that was popular site wide despite having many other themes with much more refined Saturday morning cartoon style characters. I even had my own stick figure series, Harry Chalk , on GoAnimate. Long story short, I was looking through the Reallusion Cartoon Animator Marketplace and discovered there really weren't any well designed, traditional looking stick figure characters. That's not to say there weren't any at all but I wanted something similar to GoAnimate's stick figures which included full facial features and male and