Facial Animation Part 1: Creating Basic Scripts in iClone 4.0

Back to Basics with iCT4

Back to Basics with iCT4

Well iCloners the wait is over, by now the truly hardcore have downloaded, installed, updated, resource packed and cracked open iClone 4.0, the hottest new tool in the real-time universe. If you haven’t yet, then what are you waiting for go download it now and get started, however, if you have then you will be interested in today’s tip, Creating Basic Scripts in iClone 4.0. What is a Basic Script anyway? Well, a Script file is what iClone will use to create the Facial Animation algorithm, and there are 4 basic ways of creating this Script. The 1st is to use the TTS or Text-To-Speech editor in iClone which allows you to directly type in the text or dialog you want your character to say. Fun and easy to master this is the most basic of ways to create Facial Animation. Let me go on record right now though by saying , I encourage the use of TTS for robot avatars, and maybe a couple of other character designs, but if your really looking to impress with your Facial Animation I say stick to the next 3 options. The 2nd option is to Import a WAV file directly into iClone and apply it to your character. This is an appealing option to the advanced user and beginner for sure, but to those of you out there who record your audio in an audio editing external program anyway to achieve a higher level of control over your audio, you will find that this is a life saver and you will enjoy the same results, if not better, than if you would have recorded directly into iClone 4.0. The 3rd mode of creating a Basic Script is by Recording your own voice directly inside of iClone, you’ll need to dust off the old microphone and clear your throat to match the performance level you will instantly get by recording your Facial Animation in this way, I promise, and for you old iClone-Pros out there (you know who you are) I strongly suggest you give this a try, never before have I seen a more perfect live-record playback in the actual Facial Animation itself in iClone, this is going to blow you away I assure you. And for the people that are new to iClone, I recommend you use this technique as well almost everytime.  The 4th and final option is by Importing a CTS file from CrazyTalk 6.0, btw don’t forget that iClone 4.0 only interfaces with CrazyTalk 6.0 so if you haven’t upgraded your version of CrazyTalk from 5.1 then you should go and download that now.   To begin Creating Basic Scripts in iClone 4.0 choose your method of script creation and follow the steps below or check out the new and improved iCT4 training video at the bottom of this post.

  • Add an Avatar into the scene
  • Click the Animation Tab from the top
  • Select the Facial Animation button
  • Notice in the Modify Panel on the right all 4 Basic Script creation options are available to you
  • To create Facial Animation using TTS click the TYPE button to open the Text-To-Speech Editor
  • Type your desired dialog into the Text field
  • Click OK to apply it to your Character
  • To create Facial Animation by Importing a WAV file click the OPEN button in the Modify Panel
  • Navigate to your file destination
  • Select your WAV file and then click OK to apply the audio to your character
  • NOTE: this will apply Facial Animation data to the Viseme Track in the Timeline
  • To create Facial Animation by Recording your own voice click the RECORD button to open the Record WAV menu
  • Click the RECORD button once again in the editor and then speak into your microphone
  • Click the PLAY button to review
  • Select the OK button to apply your voice to the character
  • To create Facial Animation using a CTS file click the IMPORT CTS button
  • NOTE: this will apply Facial Animation data to the Viseme Track in the Timeline
  • Navigate to your CTS file destination
  • Select the OK button to apply the CTS file to the character
  • NOTE: this will only import the Viseme and Expression Track data to the Timeline and CrazyTalk motion clips will be viewed as an Expression clip, and no head movement data will carry over from CrazyTalk

Creating Basic Scripts in iClone 4.0 is fun and easy to acomplish, but to then take that Facial Animation to the next level of detail you need to apply the use of the Puppeteering Panel and the Face Key tool. Facial Animation Part 2: The Puppeteering Panel cover how you can now take full advantage of live Puppeteering abilities, which to CrazyTalk 6.0 users should be a breeze, in iClone. That’s right, be sure to check out Part 2 for more on that here at the blog. And following that, you guessed it, Facial Animation Part 3: Face Key creation is also coming your way with a new function explination you’ve all been waiting for…Animated Facial Morphing abilities with Face Bones and the Facial Layer. Create keyframes for the shape and morph of a characters head, using Front and Profile key selection tools. You don’t want to miss this, but first check out the video for Part 1 below and say “Hello” to your new site host iCT4. Here we go again!


4 Responses to “Facial Animation Part 1: Creating Basic Scripts in iClone 4.0”

  1. 1 afterThought
    October 7, 2009 at 6:37 am

    Hi James – great to see you back! I’ve got a question for you – do you foresee in the future anyway to convert your existing CrazyTalk 5 scripts into an iClone 4/CrazyTalk 6 compatible format without having to purchase CrazyTalk 6 ie. a script converter?

    I ask because the only reason I purchased CT5 was so that I could do the facial animations on the iClone characters. I also purchased several CT5 packs to that end ie. Natural Facial Performance. Now with upgrading to iC4, all of my purchased packs and all the custom scripts I created in CT5 are now inaccessible. It is really not worth the cost for me to upgrade to CT6 just to get those scripts back, especially now that the puppeteering feature is included in iC4. Any suggestions?


    • October 8, 2009 at 4:24 am

      Hey aT,

      Just off the top of my head I would suggest rendering out all the data into WAV files and backup all old CTS data. That way you can still use all the scripts but you will also be in a position to reuse your 5.1 content if Reallusion develops a solution for that. But you know, with the new Puppeteering abilities you will want to create more facial animation in iClone than ever before, promise. Check out today’s tip for more on that. And thanks, it’s great to b back. More to come!

  2. 3 Ricky Grove
    October 7, 2009 at 6:54 am

    Very nice Tut. And like afterThought said, welcome back, son.

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