Designing Simple Sets for your Shots in iClone3, Reservoir Clones Part 2

Only 6 props total make up this entire scene and keeps polygon counts low

Only 6 props total make up this entire scene and keeps polygon counts low

Hello my real-time accomplices, todays tip is Part 2 of Reservoir Clones, Designing Simple Sets. Why is this important to you? Your asking yourself, what makes this topic worth a tip at all? Well, the answer is simple, I, like other iClone film-makers out there I’m sure, have been guilty of the crime of over-producing scenes. It’s true. Ask yourself this question. Have I ever created something for an iClone project, spent some serious hours putting the set together and not have 90% of my work end up in the final camera angle? Well, if the answer if yes, then this is a good tip for you. Why go through the trouble of creating a city when all you need is an alley, get the idea? This will keep your polygon count low and ensure that real-time playback and production are functioning at a highly efficient level for you. Not to mention, this is the way things have been traditionally done in Hollywood scene the golden age. Why should the virtual age be any different? In this example I have created only what I need for the Fan Film recreation shot of the cult classic Reservoir Dog intro set. That included 1 Floor plane, 1 City Street Prop, 1 3D Block, 1 Sky Dome, 2 wall props, and 5 custom automotive props. That’s all that was required to give the accurate illusion that the characters in this shot were in fact in a city complete with animated traffic. Follow the steps below to create a Simple Set like the one in this tutorial or watch the high-speed video build below.

  • Go to the Set tab
  • Click the Props Tab
  • Select the Custom tab
  • Begin to build the scene with a floor, use 3D Blocks to create your own or use default content from a Reallusion content pack, for example I use a Floor prop for the City Elements pack
  • Add a new Texture if you would like
  • Click the Open icon and select a custom image to edit any props texture map
  • Place some wall props into the scene, for this example I use the same wall with 2 different textures of brick to create diversity in the shot
  • Click the Sky button
  • Select a Sky dome to place into your scene
  • Again click the Props button
  • Click the Template tab
  • From the City Elements pack, place the Bonus City Street prop to create a “large city” feel
  • Then from the 24 Modern Urban Cars pack, take a few cars and place them around the street
  • Set transformation keyframes for the cars you wish to animate
  • Use the Zoom, Pan and Orbit tools to set up your shots and begin to animate your characters

Designing Simple Sets for your Shots in iClone is a must if you want to optimize your real-time performance. You will be surprised if you have not already began to build your sets with this notion in mind how much of a difference it will make in your overall start to finish production time. When I chose to re-create the Reservoir Dogs intro I first found the clip on YouTube that contained only the shots I wanted to develop and then took inventory of exactly what I would need to pull off a believable Fan Film that would pass for a virtual version of the original. Diving directly into iClone can sometimes be fun and can still enable you to make cool movies, really fast. But, if you begin your production with a bit more of a conceptual approach, you will see that your audience will still accept the suspension of disbelief in the shots you create and it will totally appear as if they have been filmed on massively epic stages. When you and I will know the truth. Parts 1 and 3 to the Reservoir Clones Tips will accompany this method directly, and when the 3 techniques are used together you will automatically gain powerful film-making aspects in your next machinima feature and hopefully find it a little easier to convey your stories in the real-time environment. Below is a high-speed video build of the simple set used to create the Reservoir Clones Fan Film. And don’t forget to stake out your next caper before the action begins! Enjoy!

Watch for comparison to the Fan Film render.


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