Archive for May, 2009


Flying Machines of War pt. 1 Standard Fighter Controls in iClone 3.2

Combat or Non-Combat...that is the question.

Combat or Non-Combat...that is the question.

What’s up iCloners, so I am back with lots of new content in my sights. Today’s tip focuses on the Machines of War content pack for iClone. This pack is chalked full of assets that are of course iProps and iAnimation ready for your War-time productions. The pack includes 5 Interactive Tanks – 3 Interactive Vehicles – 8 Interactive Fighter Planes – 2 Characters – 7 Accessories – 12 Motions – 31 Props – 4 Effects – 4 BONUS Terrains and some of the best iProps interaction I have ever seen in iClone. We are going to take a test flight with the AIR FORCE folder in particular, I’ll be showing users the difference between the standard Fighter Plane iProps provided and those marked as COMBAT ONLY content. Sound’s pretty straight forward right? One’s for combat animation and the other is not, but wait there’s more to it than that you see. These iProps are equipped with preset Perform and Move clips that make the animation you want to create as simple as right clicking the prop and choosing the action that fits the scene your working on. Did I lose you? Ok, here it is in a nutshell…let’s say you want to include and controls the rotation of the propeller, Gear Up/Down, opening or closing of the cockpit and open fire. With this packs iProp design , users can arrange and compose the animations anyway they want to fully enjoy the play to create experience. Follow the steps below to animate the  standard Fighter Plane using the Right-Click menu and Terrain click options, or watch the video provided at the bottom of the post with the new and improved iClone Certified Training format to receive first-hand virtual tutoring for the Machines of War content pack.

  • Open iClone
  • Select the Set tab
  • Click the Props button
  • Locate the Template tab
  • Choose the Machines of War folder
  • Expand the list until you see the Air Force folder
  • Double-Click a Fighter Plane to place it in your scene (note: select any plane that does not have COMBAT ONLY in the file name. For this example I use the Spitfire Fighter)
  • Right-Click the body of the Fighter Plane to activate the iProp interactive menu options
  • Scroll to and Click the Perform option
  • Select the “Toggle Engine On” iAnimation (note: This will apply a rotation animation automatically to the Spitfire Fighter)
  • Move forward in time in your project then Right-Click the body of the Fighter Plane once again
  • Scroll to and Click the Move option
  • Select the “Taxi” iAnimation (note: This will only apply a movement animation automatically to the Spitfire Fighter if you have a Terrain model in the scene as well. Place one in the scene if you do not have one already by going to the Terrain tab and Double-Click one from the Template tab)
  • Click the point on the Terrain model in the scene you wish the Fighter Plane to move to
  • Return to and Click the Perform option and Repeat the application of iAnimations as they apply to your project
  • Apply additional iAnimations such as Gear Up, Fly, Gear down, Land plus more

The Machines of War Fighter Planes are the BF109 and FW190 from Luftwaffe, Spitfire from Royal Air Force and P51 Mustang from USAAF and they come production-ready to take on your most fersome of flights. From Take off to Taxi to the landing strip, you can use iAnimation clips to create endless combinations of aviation oriented animation without all the hassle. If you can move props in iClone you can create convincing flying animations utilizing the highly effective built-in tools found in the Machines of War Fighter Planes. Part 1 of this 2 part tip covers the insertion and application of the Machines of War NON-COMBAT Fighter Planes iAnimation clips, but revisit iClone Certified Training again tomorrow for the follow up, Part 2 Machines of War COMBAT ONLY Fighter Planes tip. The video below shows you step-by-step how you can add these awesome assets to your scene and quickly create War-time animation with the best real-time content pack War-bonds can buy. Enjoy!


Acting Workshop, Natural Facial Performance in both CrazyTalk and iClone 3.2

Your move Einstein

Your move Einstein

Guess who’s back? That’s right, your favorite insane iClone insider is back and with more goodies than ever to share with you, the iCloners of the world. Today’s tip focuses on the new Acting Workshop, Natural Facial Performance content pack by Reallusion. Think of this adding this content pack to your library the same as adding the ability to apply instant emotion to your characters in any project in both iClone and CrazyTalk. Sound good? Well it should because the new Acting Workshop, Natural Facial Performance content pack contains 43 useful common human expressions that according to your performance type and audio, you can insert any facial expression clip that you like during the performance to enable your avatars to perfor and emote accuractely. This pack will let you create high quality CrazyTalk5 movies much easier than before hands down. But in this iClone Tip of the Day I will show you how to use this pack to create high quality Facial Performance in iClone and CrazyTalk. It breaks down like this, first you start with the audio you want to create facial animation with, then you simply apply the expression to match the look and feel you wish for your character to portray using Motion Clips. Follow the steps provided below after purchasing and installing the Acting Workshop, Natural Facial Performance content pack here.

  • Open CrazyTalk
  • Select the Model tab
  • Click the Import Image icon from the top of the left-hand toolbar
  • Fit the Image
  • Refine the Feature Points
  • Select the Script tab
  • Load or Record audio data to the Timeline
  • Click the Motion Clip tab
  • Locate and select the Acting Workshop – Natural Facial Performance folder
  • Choose an Expression folder
  • Click and Drag a Motion Clip to the Timeline where you want that Expression to take place in the facial animation
  • Scrub the Timeline or select Play to review the Natural Facial Performance expression animation
  • Add or Adjust each Motion Clip according to the audio in your project for the best results
  • Click the Add button under the Content Manager
  • Name and Save the custom Natural Facial Performance  CrazyTalk script
  • Open iClone
  • Load an Avatar into the scene
  • Click the Animation Tab from the top
  • Select the Facial Animation button
  • Choose the Custom tab
  • Double-click the Natural Facial Performance  CrazyTalk script
  • Click Play to review the new facial animation and make adjustments if needed in CrazyTalk

Adding the Acting Workshop, Natural Facial Performance content pack to your iClone and CrazyTalk assets is killing two birds with one stone. You get the ability to add this content in countless combinations via Motion Clips in CrazyTalk, instantly giving your actors and avatars the perfect expression line for line, motion for motion. This movement will also carry over to your iClone avatars, actually effecting the mesh and the morphing of the geometry itself, plus the animation data is instantly saved into the iClone library the moment it is saved in CrazyTalk. With over 43 expressions to choose from, the more time you spend on the Timeline in CrazyTalk the more it will pay off in your iClone projects I promise you.

Below is something a bit new to the iClone Certified Training Blog, ME. Well, my iClone identity anyway to give to all my readers a virtual face to attach to both iClone and CrazyTalk training and your overall expirence here at the Blog. The video format is much the same, however there will be a new intro clip with every video from here on out giving a more graphic example of what to expect in and from tip to tip. For today’s tip the video example provided below shows users step by step how to apply the Acting Workshop, Natural Facial Performance content pack to both iClone and CrazyTalk avatars. It’s good to be back! Enjoy!