21
Nov
08

Absolute Bones, make no bones about it in iClone3

FIRE BAD...Absolute Bone Settings GOOOODD!

FIRE BAD...Absolute Bone Settings GOOOODD!

Hello iCloners, much like the late, great Phil Hartman I too share a love for the electroshocked undead monster from the mountains, Frankenstein. What does the lovable lug of a creature and Setting Absolute Bones have in common? The answer lies within today’s tip and the signature walk of the world famous character. Almost everyone has witnessed Frankenstein walking stiff legged as he makes his way through the village or the castle where he was created. But it’s the trademark extended arms that seems to be leading this character down his path of destruction as he strolls along. So what would be the best way to recreate this stiff armed effect in iClone if you wanted to match this style of walk cycle. Simple, use Absolute Bones, this feature in the newest version of iClone maybe should have been called Lock Bones or Bone Lock because really that is what seems to be happening here and it’s really easy to edit any default motion you have in your library using this technique. Here’s what you do, apply a walking motion to a character then access the Adjust Motion Layer Menu. There you will find both Select Bones and Set Absolute Bones options. Select Bones is meant for positioning your character to edit the pose and Set Absolute Bones is directed more for locking appendage’s in place in relation to the preset motion animation. The Frankenstein example mentioned above is a great case study for a good use of this feature, by “locking” or setting the selected bones to and “absolute” position in relation to the existing animation data. Follow the steps below to execute this method on your own or watch the high-speed video built provided.

  • Go to the Actor tab
  • Click the Avatar button
  • Load an Avatar into the scene (Frankenstein from the Classic Horror Movies content Bonus pack)
  • Select the Animation tab
  • Click the Motion folder
  • Select a Walking motion looping or point to point is fine either way ( for this example I use Walk Frail from the Mega Motion Pack V2 )
  • Locate the Adjust Motion section of the Modify Panel and click Edit Motion Layer
  • Use the Select Bone section and the IK abilities to extend the arms using the Move Tool
  • Click the Set Absolute Bone button ( notice the dummy avatar will now change to a golden tone )
  • Select the bones you wish to lock ( for this example I lock both arms from the shoulders down )
  • To save your newly edited motion, click the Add button in the Content Manager
  • Name the new custom motion file for future use

Utilizing the Absolute Bone settings in iClone is a great way to find solutions to otherwise time consuming simple animations. Frankenstein is a good example, but to simplify this even more imagine you would like to have a businessman carry a briefcase or a woman carry a handbag, but don’t want to animate the entire motion yourself. Then use Absolute Bones, choose a walk cycle and then simply edit the arm position to correspond with carrying the bag. Motion animation problem solved. This is a great technique to use when populating busy backgrounds such as city streets because the motion animations of your extras doesn’t have to always be spot on, it just needs to show believable character movement in most cases. Use Absolute Bones to make changes to a few default motions and before you know it you will have a wide range of custom motion to choose from you have developed with this feature to thank. Below you will find a rendered example of a default motion with and without Absolute Bones editing applied and a high-speed video build showcasing how to use Absolute Bones for yourself. Remember, FIRE BAD, Absolute Bones GOOD! Enjoy!

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2 Responses to “Absolute Bones, make no bones about it in iClone3”


  1. 1 Geoff
    November 21, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Excellent tutorial.
    There is so much in Iclone and often the manual states facts but does not explain or suggest possibilities. Thank you so much for sharing your skills and helping to make things clear in a most positive and practical manner.

  2. November 21, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Hey Geoff,

    Thanks for the compliment, I try to help break down features and functions to a more applicable level for all users to interpret into their individual projects and movies. I hope many of the coming tips continue to help enlighten all iCloners as to the endless amount of possibilities the the real-time stage offers to us all. Thanks again.


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