Clone Bone competition

Advance news in this week’s Wolf & Dulci Hour show that there’s going to be a Clone Bone Character Creation Competition in coming weeks. The Clone Bone figures are a bonus content item for those who purchase iClone. If you don’t have them, go to your Account and find them in the “Bonus & Upgrade” section for iClone 4. Here’s a full tutorial on how to use the Clone Bone character as a skeleton base to build a Star Wars Battle Droid, which shows you all the basic principles of use…

CTA props combo pack

My previous Odd Job Jack CrazyTalk Animator props packs and projects are now superseded by a single combined pack, with the items converted as props and in proper themed folders. Simply extract and then copy the folders to your C:\Users\Public\Documents\Reallusion\Custom\CrazyTalk Animator Custom\Props folder.

Download here (7Mb)

All props are licenced as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic. If you use these then please credit Smiley Guy Studios and the fine artists of Odd Job Jack in or alongside your movie, comic, illustration, or videogame, and include the original licence details.

Future proofing your graphics for mobile devices

Considering using Reallusion’s royalty-free content assets for mobile interactive content on the iPad or iPhone and their clones? Then Total Eclipse Games has a useful and clear tutorial on graphics assets settings, scalings, and future-proof versioning for different handheld devices. Also some handy tips on file-naming conventions for keeping track of large numbers of graphics assets when developing a point-and-click game. Their latest game is the steampunk-ish hidden objects adventure The Clockwork Man

Xonotic GPL game demo released

Nexius GPL was a free first-person shooter in the style of Quake and Unreal Tournament, with the whole game including all its art assets freely licensed under a GPL licence which allows commercial use. The game is currently being remade commercially for consoles, rebuilt with the CryEngine and re-skinned with new style and full art direction. This doesn’t affect the public domain nature of the original, though. The maker community was up-in-arms, however — spooked by what they saw as the “sale” of their game. This panic then caused what’s called a ‘fork’ (an alternative version), to a new free GPL version called Xonotic. The Xonotic developers released a preview version at Christmas 2010, under a GNU General Public Licence v2, and are plugging in much higher quality art and character models…

Nice. The art roadmap is here. I downloaded a trial .blend file of a character, and was able to get it to 3DXchange via .fbx — but as usual, Blender’s .fbx export is crap and mangles parts of the model. Still, the Xonotic project looks like one to watch, and I look forward to the implementation of a fully browsable models and art assets repository.

250 professional backdrops for CrazyTalk Animator – free

My new pack of 250 quality professional animation backdrops for CrazyTalk Animator, converted from Odd Job Jack to .jpg and sorted into new themed folders. This is my selection of straight backgrounds, those which I think are worth having and usable, chosen from the 7,000 .png files in the ‘camera’ folders of the Odd Job Jack Season 3 art assets release. The original assets are freely and officially available in a torrent at if you want even more.

Download my CTA pack here (68Mb)

All backgrounds are licenced as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic. If you use these then please credit Smiley Guy Studios and the fine artists of Odd Job Jack in or alongside your movie, comic, illustration, or videogame, and include the original licence details.

* To install:

Extract, copy all folders and paste them to your CTA ‘Background’ folder at…

C:\Users\Public\Documents\Reallusion\Custom\CrazyTalk Animator Custom\Background

* To use in CTA:

Find this pack here in CTA…

Important! Ensure that all the thumbnail previews fully load in your chosen backgrounds folder, before trying to drag a background to the Stage — or else you will crash CTA.

Thanks also to the developer of the Windows utility Extract All Files, which enabled the automated extraction of 7,000 .png files from thousands of otherwise very fiddly camera sub-folders in the Odd Job Jack assets archive, which meant they could then be quickly scanned by eye for suitable images. Thanks also to Adobe for the automated .jpg mass conversion utility in Photoshop CS3. And finally thanks to BlueMidget, who originally tipped me off about the Odd Job Jack art assets release torrent, and to Smiley Guy Studios for releasing it to the public for free usage.

3D Creative launches new low-poly character tutorial series

The May 2011 issue of 3D Creative magazine launches a new in-depth tutorial series, on low-poly character modelling and hand-painted texturing. If you know how awesome a professional videogame character model can look, and yet still fit in just 15k with costume, then this four-part series may be one to follow. Teacher Tamara Bakhlycheva works in Maya, ZBrush, Deep Paint, and Photoshop.

“In this series Tamara will show us the entire process she uses to create the images from the concept through to the final production of the image.”

Reallusion Summer Sale – 20% off

The Reallusion Content Store has started its summer sale for iClone content packs. 20% off everything, if it’s a standalone official pack. For those in the UK, that basically means it’s a VAT (sales-tax) free purchase. Includes CrazyTalk Animator packs. Ends June 15th 2011.

Keep in mind that the painfully-slow Element 5 ecommerce service may need a few reloads to make it apply the discount code to more than one pack at a time.