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iClone 4.31 3D Animation

Book Description

Animate your stories and ideas to create realistic scenes with this movie making application geared towards new and inexperienced film makers, video producers/compositors, vxf artists and 3D artists / designers.

  • Create unique scenes, characters, and digital art for animated movies or images

  • Scale, move, animate and manipulate scene assets including props and actors

  • Step by step instruction with screen shots, project assets, challenges, and quizzes

  • Helpful tips and information about working with iClone from experienced iClone gurus.

  • In Detail

    Reallusion’s iClone is an animated movie making application that allows hobbyists, machinimators, home-based animators, and professionals to visualize their story or an idea by seeing it in action. Years ago, creating animations and single images would require a team of trained artists to accomplish. Now, iClone real time rending engine empowers its users to instantly view what is loaded into the 3D workspace or preview it as an animation, if you have the precise instructions.

    The iClone 3D Animation Beginner’s Guide will walk you through the building and animating of a complete scene and several one-off projects. First we create a scene with sky, terrain , water, props and other assets. Then add two characters and manipulate their features and animate their movement. We will also use particles to create the effect of a realistic torch and animate cameras to give different views to the scene. Finally we will see how to quickly import images to enhance the scene with a mountain, barn, and water tank. It will cover some fun stuff such as playing with props, characters, and other scene assets. It will also demonstrate some advanced topics such as screen resolution, formats and codecs but mostly it will deal with doing hands on animation with precise instructions.

    Starting with a blank project using stock and downloadable assets you will learn to lay out and animate a scene and export that scene to both a single image and a movie. The main project will demonstrate many common and undocumented techniques, while each project introduces and examines tools and techniques for successful and fun animation of ideas or scripts.

    Each project of the book including the main project is designed to cover the aspects of 3D animation in a manner which anyone with basic computer skills can follow. You will discover the importance of lighting a scene including daytime scenes. The concept of the timeline and key frames will be covered in detail and other topics such as rendering (exporting), character modification and prop placement all have their own sections with step by step instructions followed by an explanation of what just happened. Good animation habits and project basics are stressed throughout the book interspersed with time saving tips and techniques gained from years of experience with iClone.

    When you have finished The iClone 3D Animation Beginner’s Guide you will have a solid foundation in the basics of iClone by having animated a scene with multiple characters and props that involves dialog and interaction with other characters. You will have the knowledge to create new animation projects to hone your skills, tell your story, educate students or sell your product.

    Table of Contents

    1. iClone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's Guide
      1. Table of Contents
      2. iClone 4.31 3D Animation
      3. Credits
      4. Foreword
      5. About the Author
      6. About the Reviewers
      7. www.PacktPub.com
        1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers and more
          1. Why Subscribe?
          2. Free Access for Packt account holders
      8. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Time for action - heading
          1. What just happened?
          2. Pop quiz - heading
          3. Have a go hero - heading
        6. Reader feedback
        7. Customer support
          1. Downloading the example code
          2. Downloading the color images of this book
          3. Errata
          4. Piracy
          5. Questions
      9. 1. Installing and Configuring iClone
        1. Installing the program
        2. Time for action - installing iClone 4 pro
          1. What just happened
        3. Time for action - installing related iClone content
          1. What just happened?
        4. Time for action - exploring iClone options
          1. What just happened?
        5. Configuring work environment
          1. Setting up the 3D grid
          2. Controlling display information
        6. Exploring real-time render options
          1. Choosing the shader
          2. Manipulating objects
        7. Locating Custom Content folder
        8. Installing new content
        9. Using drag-and-drop
          1. Importing new content
          2. Working with zipped files
        10. Welcome to iClone
        11. Interacting with the iClone community
          1. Free iClone assets
          2. Exploring the Reallusion Content Store
          3. Discovering the Reallusion Marketplace
          4. Downloading your trial and purchased items
        12. Time for action - download and installation steps
          1. What just happened?
        13. Exploring the iClone user interface
          1. Exploring the workspace
          2. Selecting objects in the workspace
          3. Pop quiz
        14. Summary
      10. 2. Creating Your First Scene
        1. Let the animation begin!
          1. Exploring your virtual studio
        2. Exploring the 3D workspace
        3. Time for action - creating the outdoors
          1. What just happened?
          2. Working with Live Plants
        4. Time for action - creating virtual foliage
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - clear the meadow
        5. Adding props to the scene
        6. Placing props
        7. Time for action - house building
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - modifying the scene
        8. Manipulating props
          1. Selecting the tools
            1. Manipulating objects directly
            2. Manipulating with precision using gizmos
            3. Handling direct input
        9. Working with iProps (interactive props)
        10. Time for action - placing the iProp
          1. What just happened?
          2. What just happened?
        11. Animated props
        12. Time for action - importing animated props
          1. What just happened?
        13. Creating props from building blocks
          1. What do you see in a primitive?
        14. Time for action - building a gazebo without hand tools!
          1. What just happened?
        15. Diffusing opacity and other maps.
          1. Exploring the mapping channels
        16. Time for action - painting the gazebo
          1. What just happened?
        17. Time for action - correcting the texture mapping
          1. What just happened?
          2. Painting option
        18. Time for action - adding fire effects to the grill
          1. What just happened?
          2. Creating see through material
          3. Turning nothing into something
        19. Lighting in 3D animation
          1. Light types and shadows
          2. Understanding ambient light
          3. Manipulating the lights in the 3D workspace
          4. Setting the mood with lighting and atmosphere
        20. Time for action - setting the ambient light
          1. What just happened?
        21. Time for action - working with shadows
          1. What just happened?
        22. Time for action - manipulating the atmosphere
          1. What just happened?
        23. Time for action - lighting up the grill
          1. What just happened?
        24. Summary
          1. Pop quiz - face-off
      11. 3. Adding and Customizing Characters
        1. Developing unique characters
        2. Time for action - loading characters
          1. What just happened?
        3. Customizing character features
        4. Time for action - loading a face image
          1. What just happened?
        5. Time for action - correct the lighting
          1. What just happened
        6. Time for action - customizing our character
          1. What just happened?
        7. Time for action - customizing the head of the avatar
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - customizing the avatar's face
            1. Experimenting with model detail
        8. Time for action - giving your character a new do!
          1. What just happened?
        9. Time for action - customizing the eyes and mouth
          1. What just happened?
            1. Skin
          2. Have a go hero - loading and customizing a female character
            1. Positioning the characters
          3. Using character accessories and attaching props
        10. Time for action - can't be cool without shades!
          1. What just happened?
        11. Time for action - shading the glasses
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - attaching the fork prop
          1. What just happened?
          2. Interacting with the iProps
        13. Time for action - grabbing a beer
          1. What just happened?
          2. Altering the characters' clothing
        14. Time for action - altering female avatar clothing
          1. What just happened?
            1. Altering clothing using color
        15. Time for action - altering the male avatar's clothing
          1. What just happened?
        16. Time for action - modifying the avatar's pants
          1. What just happened?
        17. Basics of character dialog
          1. Lip-sync
          2. Adding dialog
            1. Creating dialog using the interface
            2. Recording dialog using a microphone
            3. Inserting audio files
              1. Finding voice actors
        18. Summary
      12. 4. Animating the Characters
        1. Using motions versus animations
        2. Introducing the timeline
          1. Controlling action on the timeline
        3. Time for action - the timeline concept … A mini-tutorial
          1. What just happened?
        4. Time for action - adding basic camera movement
          1. What just happened?
        5. Time for action - changing the speed of the animation
          1. What just happened?
        6. Adding motions to characters
          1. Applying motion clips
            1. Adjusting the motion
          2. Controlling facial expressions
          3. Invoking hand motions
          4. Manipulating character's fingers
            1. Using paths to move objects
        7. Time for action - adjusting the starting frame
          1. What just happened?
        8. Time for action - animating the hands
          1. What just happened?
        9. Customizing animation using the motion editor
        10. Time for action - animating the male character
          1. What just happened?
            1. Turn the character
        11. Time for action - animating the turn
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - closing the grill cover
          1. What just happened?
          2. Animating the limbs
            1. Setting the starting point key frame
          3. What just happened?
        13. Time for action - animating the arm movement
          1. What just happened?
        14. Time for action - scaling and moving the grill
          1. What just happened?
        15. Time for action - copying and pasting the key frame
          1. What just happened?
        16. Time for action - closing the grill
          1. What just happened?
        17. Time for action - finishing out the movement
          1. What just happened?
            1. Blending motions
        18. Time for action - animating the female avatar
          1. What just happened?
        19. Time for action - add more time to the animation
          1. What just happened?
        20. Adding more motion to the female avatar
          1. What just happened?
        21. Time for action - creating new motions
          1. What just happened?
          2. Building our custom motion library
            1. Saving custom animations as motions
        22. Time for action - saving single clips
          1. What just happened?
        23. Time for action - collecting and saving multiple clips
          1. What just happened?
        24. Time for action - using the Absolute Bone method
          1. What just happened?
          2. Manipulating transitions
        25. Time for action - polishing character moves
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - experimenting with curves
            1. Animating paths for smooth movement
        26. Time for action - using a path to animate Benny's walk
          1. What just happened?
          2. Using alternative methods of character movement
        27. Time for action - point and click movement
          1. What just happened?
        28. Time for action - using director mode
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - using the alternatives
        29. Animating character dialog
        30. Time for action - using dialog with characters
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - adjusting the conversation timing
        31. Summary
      13. 5. Enhancing Animation with Particles
        1. Using special effects (FX) wisely
        2. Exploring iClone particles
          1. Breaking down an iClone particle
          2. Extending particle usage
        3. Using iClone particles
        4. Time for action - cueing mother nature
          1. What just happened?
        5. Time for action - configuring particle settings
          1. What just happened?
        6. Time for action - coloring mother nature
          1. What just happened?
        7. Attaching iClone particles to props
          1. Creating a torch
        8. Time for action - creating the torch handle
          1. What just happened?
        9. Time for action - loading and manipulating the particle
          1. What just happened?
        10. Time for action - adjusting and texturing the torch
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - save the torch!
        11. Time for action - setting up the smoke and fire particles
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - adding the fire particle
          1. What just happened?
        13. Adjusting iClone particles
        14. Time for action - controlling the fire
          1. What just happened?
        15. Time for action - adding a smoke particle to the smoke stack
          1. What just happened?
        16. Time for action - positioning the smoke stack particle
          1. What just happened?
        17. Using visibility with particles
        18. Time for action - setting the timing for the emitter
          1. What just happened?
          2. Using particles with paths
        19. Time for action - creating a magical swirling effect
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - creating a fireball
        20. Summary
          1. Pop quiz - particles
          2. Pop quiz - attaching particles
      14. 6. Working with Cameras
        1. Creating cameras
        2. Time for action - creating our first camera
          1. What just happened?
        3. Renaming your cameras
        4. Time for action - naming the camera
          1. What just happened?
        5. Time for action - creating and renaming another camera
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - creating and renaming more cameras
        6. Using character/object cameras (Follow Cam)
          1. Using the Actor Cam
        7. Time for action - setting up the Actor Cam
          1. What just happened?
        8. Time for action - converting Follow Cam to a permanent camera
          1. What just happened?
        9. Time for action - setting up the Face Cam
          1. What just happened?
        10. Time for action - viewing the character from above
          1. What just happened?
          2. Pop quiz - using follow cams
          3. Understanding the camera lens
        11. Time for action - creating new cameras and picking the lens
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - setting up our main camera angle
          1. What just happened?
        13. Time for action - setting up a lens only camera close up
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - creating a lens only pullback shot
          3. Pop quiz - testing our lens knowledge
          4. Focusing with depth of field
        14. Time for action - creating a depth of field camera
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - exploring depth of field
          3. Creating more cameras
        15. Time for action - creating the Benny cams
          1. What just happened?
        16. Time for action - creating a wide angle camera shot
          1. What just happened?
          2. Selecting cameras for filming
          3. Creating a shot list
          4. Understanding camera cuts and timing
        17. Time for action - setting up the camera switch
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - adjusting the camera switch settings
          3. Filming through walls and objects with camera clipping
        18. Time for action - Using camera clipping
          1. What just happened?
        19. Summary
      15. 7. Enhancing Scenes with Images and Videos
        1. Using the 2D drag-and-drop menu
        2. Adding details with planes
        3. Time for action - creating an image plane
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - adding another mountain
        4. Billboards
        5. Time for action - working with billboards to add an old barn
          1. What just happened?
        6. Time for action - working with billboards to add a water tower
          1. What just happened?
          2. Pop quiz
          3. Have a go hero - adding the wishing well
        7. Image layers
        8. Time for action - driving down the street
          1. What just happened?
        9. Time for action - using multiple image layers
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - adding more clouds
        10. Using 2D with special effects
        11. Time for action - using planes to mimic volume effects
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - adding mountains
          1. What just happened?
        13. Using video to enhance scenes
        14. Time for action - adding video to props
          1. What just happened?
        15. Creating and using popVideo
        16. Time for action - playing with popVideo
          1. What just happened?
        17. Summary
      16. 8. Rendering our Work
        1. Understanding rendering
          1. Rendering in iClone
        2. Exporting single images
        3. Time for action - rendering our first image
          1. What just happened?
        4. Time for action - rendering an action shot
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - rendering more images
        5. Exporting image sequences
        6. Time for action - exporting our first image sequence
          1. What just happened?
        7. Exporting videos
          1. Understanding video
          2. Codecs versus formats
          3. Formats available in iClone
            1. AVI
            2. RM
            3. WMV
            4. MP4 for PC
            5. Flash video
          4. Using good video rendering habits
            1. Determining end usage
            2. Setting screen resolution as soon as possible
        8. Time for action - rendering our main project video
          1. What just happened?
          2. Rendering popVideo
        9. 3D rendering… got glasses?
          1. Understanding 3D stereoscopic rendering
            1. Anaglyph
        10. Time for action - setting up the scene
          1. What just happened?
        11. Time for action - rendering the scene
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - experimenting with the convergence distance
            1. Side X Side
            2. Top Down
            3. Two Files
        12. Summary
          1. Pop quiz
      17. 9. Animating Outer Space
        1. Reviewing the project assets
        2. Laying out and planning the scene
          1. Determining the purpose of the scene
          2. Determining render resolution
        3. Time for action - setting the resolution
          1. What just happened?
          2. Determining the scene animation
          3. Determining the particle effects required
          4. Laying out the scene tasks
        4. Tweaking the project assets
        5. Time for action - adjusting the existing scene
          1. What just happened?
        6. Time for action - turning outer space into live space
          1. What just happened?
        7. Time for action - lighting the scene
          1. What just happened?
        8. Time for action - importing scene assets
          1. What just happened?
        9. Storyboarding with iClone
        10. Time for action - creating our initial storyboard frame
          1. What just happened?
        11. Time for action - storyboarding the action at mid-scene
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - storyboarding the shuttle escape
          1. What just happened?
        13. Time for action - storyboarding the explosion
          1. What just happened?
        14. Time for action - storyboarding the shuttle leaving
          1. What just happened?
          2. Analyzing our storyboard
        15. Time for action - setting up the animated shuttle path
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        16. Time for action - adding particles
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - adding more particles
        17. Setting up the shot list
        18. Time for action - deleting an existing camera
          1. What just happened?
          2. Creating cameras for the shot list
        19. Time for action - creating cameras
          1. What just happened?
        20. Setting up the camera switch
        21. Time for action - setting the camera order
          1. What just happened?
        22. Last minute tweaks
        23. Time for action - adjust the movie length
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - making the scene your own
        24. Rendering our scene
        25. Time for action
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - promotional stills
        26. Summary
      18. A. Using Personas, iProps, and Helpers
        1. Understanding AML
        2. Exploring personas to animate a character
        3. Time for action - loading a Persona
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - experimenting with perform motions
        4. Using AML templates
          1. Implementing character interaction
        5. Time for action - placing and using character interaction dummies
          1. What just happened?
        6. Time for action - applying the kick me AML template
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - using the hit me template
          3. Using operate dummy props
        7. Time for action - Using the character interaction templates
          1. What just happened?
        8. Time for action - using the grab it AML template prop
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - using the other operate dummy props
        9. Working with iProps
          1. Exploring the home iProps folder
        10. Time for action - getting in and out of bed
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - sitting down on the iprop chair
        11. Time for action - using the iprop door
          1. What just happened?
        12. Working with vehicle dummies
        13. Summary
      19. B. Animating with iClone Physics
        1. Understanding iClone physics
          1. Working with simulations
          2. Baking the physics
            1. Testing versus saving simulations
          3. Touring the physics menu
        2. Understanding soft bodies versus rigid bodies
        3. Rigid bodies
          1. Setting the state of the object
          2. Object properties
          3. Bounding settings
        4. Soft bodies
          1. Preset
          2. Property
          3. Collision settings
        5. Time for action - dropping the ball
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - setting up the physics
        6. Time for action - setting up the wall
          1. What just happened?
        7. Time for action - knocking down the wall first run
          1. What just happened?
        8. Time for action - fine tuning the first run
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - finish the scene
        9. Time for action - batting the ball
          1. What just happened?
        10. Time for action - setting up the physics
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - experimenting with the settings
        11. Time for action - changing the impact object angle
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - adding the aiming site
          1. What just happened?
        13. Time for action - crashing the jeep
          1. What just happened?
        14. Time for action - duplicating rows of boxes
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - driving through again
        15. Time for action - setting up an ejection sequence
          1. What just happened?
        16. Time for action - setting up the eject physics
          1. What just happened?
        17. Time for action - attaching the character
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        18. Time for action - creating a chain action
          1. What just happened?
          2. Colliding with characters
            1. Attaching dummies
        19. Time for action - preparing a character collision
          1. What just happened?
        20. Summary
      20. C. Exploring New Features
        1. Discovering new visual enhancements
          1. Understanding ambient occlusion
        2. Time for action - using ambient occlusion
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - experimenting with ambient occlusion
          3. Exploring the toon shader
        3. Time for action - enhancing the existing scene
          1. What just happened?
        4. Time for action - setting up the toon shader
          1. What just happened?
        5. Time for action - - exploring the NPR post effect
          1. What just happened?
        6. Time for action - exploring the toon shader
          1. What just happened?
        7. Removing skin color
        8. Time for action - tooning the characters
          1. What just happened?
        9. Time for action - skinning the character for tuning
          1. What just happened?
          2. Using post effects
        10. Time for action - applying blur
          1. What just happened?
        11. Time for action - testing the other post effects
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - adjusting the overall post effect
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - experimenting with the scene
          3. Setting the light with the multiplier
        13. Time for action - using directional versus spotlight
          1. What just happened?
          2. Pop quiz
        14. Discovering the performance enhancements
        15. Improving usability features
          1. Using the tree brush
        16. Time for action - planting and felling trees
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - cutting paths in the forest
        17. Using soft cloth
        18. Time for action - testing a cloth
          1. What just happened?
        19. Time for action - creating a ghost effect
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
          3. Exploring soft cloth options
        20. Summary
      21. D. Discovering New Animation Tools
        1. Exploring the modified timeline
        2. Mixing moves the easy way
        3. Time for action - using MixMoves
          1. What just happened?
        4. Using the motion puppet
        5. Time for action - animating Gwynn
          1. What just happened?
        6. Time for action - smoothing the transition between motions
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - adjusting the presets
        7. Time for action - walking with the motion puppet
          1. What just happened?
        8. Time for action - stopping the foot sliding
          1. What just happened?
        9. Understanding Human IK (pose and reach target)
        10. Time for action - setting up a two-handed rig with Human IK
          1. What just happened?
        11. Time for action - hooking up the dummies
          1. What just happened?
        12. Time for action - using the two handed rig for movement
          1. What just happened?
        13. Time for action - using locking dummies
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - experimenting with the three way rig
        14. Time for action - setting up the unicycle
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - operating the unicycle
        15. Manipulating Direct Puppet
        16. Time for action - puppeteering the character's movements
          1. What Just Happened?
          2. Have a go hero - experimenting with Direct Puppet
        17. Time for action - climbing with Human IK
          1. What Just Happened?
          2. Have a go hero - moving the character further up the pipe
          3. Pop quiz - Pinning versus Lock To
        18. Understanding device Mocap (Kinect)
        19. Time for action - installing the Kinect plugin
          1. What just happened?
        20. Time for action - starting the Mocap Device Plug-in
          1. What just happened?
        21. Time for action - cleaning up the Mocap
          1. What just happened?
        22. Using motion capture effectively
        23. Using the Prop Puppet
        24. Time for action - building the tank turret
          1. What just happened?
        25. Time for action - animating the radar
          1. What just happened?
        26. Time for action - animating the turret
          1. What just happened?
        27. Customizing the transition and time warp
          1. Have a go hero - using the transition and time warp curves
        28. Using the Prop Look At
        29. Time for action - grasping the basics of Prop Look At
          1. What just happened?
        30. Time for action - using a practical example of the Prop Look At
          1. What just happened?
        31. Applying iClone 5 techniques to Chapter 4, Animating the Characters
        32. Time for action - animating the grill with new features
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero - - adjusting the hand position
        33. Summary
      22. E. Pop quiz - Answers
        1. Chapter 5, Enhancing Animation with Particles
        2. Chapter 6, Working with Cameras
        3. Chapter 7, Enhancing Scenes with Images and Videos
        4. Chapter 8, Rendering our Work
        5. Appendix C, Exploring New Features
        6. Appendix D, Discovering New Animation Tools
      23. Index