05
Sep
08

Attaching 3D models to the Jaw node in iClone 3.0

Arabic characters beard model attached to the Jaw Node in iClone 3.0

Arabic characters beard model attached to the Jaw Node in iClone 3.0

Today’s tip shows just how easy it is to attach 3D models to the Jaw Node, which is great when you require an object to react to the facial animation of a character. In iClone past, there was really only one way to create any sort of facial hair, this was by painting it directly onto your head images. This method is still great for things like stubble or mustaches, but for “Santa Claus” caliber beards you needed a little more then what texturing the iClone avatars head is going to give you. This requires a Beard Model created in some other outside modeling software such as 3D Max or Maya or even Sketchup, but once the model is created and converted into a .VNS file it can now be attached directly to Jaw Node in iClone 3.0. Here’s the benefit, where as before the model could have been attached say as a head accessory but would have remained static when facial animation was added to the character, now with this new feature the model will animate along with the movement of the Jaw. This is a super fast attach and position process as well and very easy to complete.

  • Load an Avatar you wish to have facial hair
  • Go to the Set tab
  • Click the Props button
  • Load the Beard Model into the scene
  • Right Click the model
  • Choose the Attach option from the right click menu
  • Click the avatars Head and wait to see the bounding box flash to indicate the attach function has completed
  • In the Modify panel use the attach fly out arrow to select the Jaw Node
  • Use the Move and Scale tools to Position the beard model
  • Go to the Animation tab
  • Click the Facial Animation button
  • Add a animation clip to the avatar
  • Click Play from the bottom toolbar
  • Notice the Beard Model will now animate with the Jaw bone

Attaching 3D models to the Jaw Node is really the one feature that separates being able to have avatars like skeletons vs. talking skeletons, or robots vs. talking robots, and so on and so on. Using this tip along with CloneBones will surprise you at how many character options you really do have available to you in iClone 3.0. Facial hair has always been something most iCloners have always found creative ways to work around or texture and use the facial feature editing options to make it work, but now there is a functional solution that is meant to eliminate the need for that previous work around. All the sudden I feel the need to shave, weird huh? Below is a high speed video that showcases this little tip in action on a traditional Arabic avatar. Enjoy!

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