A detailed new Creature Base (iClone + 3DS Max + various add-ons) official tutorial


Jill’s day

A day in the life of Jill of London, all done as animated info-graphics. Looks like it was done in Flash/ToonBoom, but those animations of exploding / cross-sectioned models seem as though they could be done with moderate ease using iClone (although not with the toon shading and outlines)…

Click to view/play.

With the ease of selecting and grouping parts in the new 3DXchange, making a load of bolts simultaneously fly away from a model (as in some of the models in Jill) should now be much easier. Or, in iClone, you could also highlight a number of prop elements in the “props-in-use” box, then duplicate them with a | click+drag | on the yellow scale-root box — and then fly them all out.

HD character design with iClone – videos

Even more newly-posted official 3DXchange 4 videos:

The 3DXchange4 Quick Tour

Character Designer’s Resource Pack Demo

It seems the .fbx import and extra models / templates are to be restricted to the $99 Pro version, which comes with the Character Designer’s Resource Pack as a bonus.

3D Painting iClone content using Photoshop Extended. (PS Extended link)

Sculpt & re-shape an iClone Character in Argile, and later bring back to iClone. (Argile link)

Scupt a head-morph in ZBrush, and import into iClone. (ZBrush link)

3DXchange4 – Old Shaman demo clip

“This is a high realistic version of an iClone character after editing with sculpt and paint using ZBrush […] to refine the real-time 3D character. Though both characters are in the same polygon count, the Old Tribesman shows much higher detail using normal map and texture paint generated from ZBrush.”

3DXchange4 – Fantasy Beast demo clip

“Modeled & animated in Maya, then detailed in ZBrush, the Fantasy Beast shows visual quality and custom animation with several motion segments include walk, run and attack all combined for a unique iClone character.”

The beast has six legs, so presumably 3dXchange Pro will have no problem with handling animated insects.

How long a way iClone has come since I first tested and rejected it in version 3.0 circa 2008…

Mmm, silky…

Amazing demo video of a new NVIDIA-powered clothing physics system, currently in beta. It’s apparently being developed as part of a consumer-friendly(?) offshoot of the monthly-subscription space-sim EVE Online (*)…

* (be warned, if you were thinking of using it as part of a sci-fi movie, it has a learning-curve as a steep as a space elevator. Sadly its nearest single-player rival X3 also has a similarly ludicrous learning-curve. Oh, for the days of Elite…)

Maya/Blender/DAZ rigged characters to iClone – video tutorials

A new batch of official iClone 4 tutorials arrived today, showing how to import free rigged biped character models — using the shiny new 3DXchange v4.0 Pro. The free Blender, the free DAZ Studio, and the rather more expensive Maya are all covered. No coverage of 3D Studio Max, yet. Being able to export your character as an .fbx file from each application is a given, it seems…

* How to import a rigged Maya character. Including face animation, it seems.

* How to import a rigged Blender character.

* How to import DAZ human figures (you’ll need the $100 DAZ .fbx export module).

So we should in time see Victoria 4 (albeit at a hefty 133,000 faces), and all her free DAZ/Poser friends in iClone! With animations. Yay! This screenshot shows Victoria 4 inside iClone…

I’m not sure if someone who’s converted a free DAZ figure will then be able to give away those figures to other iClone users. I guess not, since although they’re free they’re not Creative Commons. Maybe DAZ will be kind enough to add a couple of iClone-converted freebies on the free figures page, as a heads-up for their .fbx converter? But before you go dashing off to buy the converter, keep in mind that DAZ’s Carrara 6 Pro (recently given away free as a PC version with 3D World magazine) can load Poser and DAZ character files, and has a .fbx export as standard. It doesn’t export the animations, though. Although that may not matter — if you intend to add animations in iClone?

It looks as though DAZ characters might have at least a basic capability for facial animation in iClone…

There’s also a new set of seven starter tutorials on using 3DXchange 4.0…

Basic Lesson 1 – Import a Model.

Basic Lesson 2 – Custom Alignment.

Basic Lesson 3 – Resize & Scale with Dummy.

Basic Lesson 4 – Reset Scale & Transform.

Basic Lesson 5 – Single or Multiple Mesh Select. (New feature)

Basic Lesson 6 – Rename and Exclude to Downsize. (New feature)

Basic Lesson 7 – Export Selected Model.

And a set of four new advanced “getting the model prepared for animation” tutorials…

Animation-ready Lesson 1 – Reduce Face Count. (Auto-removal of Sketchup back-faces)

Animation-ready Lesson 2 – Make Sub Group. (Logical re-naming and grouping of parts)

Animation-ready Lesson 3 – Edge Smooth. (Select certain edges to smooth — presumably for less jaggies at render-time?)

Animation-ready Lesson 4 – Pivot & Animation. (Set correct pivot-points for part-groups! /MyClone jumps out of chair and punches air/)

Superb work!