Chuck & The Neighbours pack now available

Chuck & The Neighbours pack now available on the official iClone store. You also get a natural base (i.e. nude) version of the new G5 characters that ship free with iClone 5. $99 until 31st Dec 2011.

21 thoughts on “Chuck & The Neighbours pack now available

  1. It is a very nice set, but have to say the $199 price tag is going to stop me buying them any time soon. Even the $99 offer is too much for this time of year. I feel the new RL price hike needs some justification as a character used to cost around $10 – $15.

  2. I must say I did rather splutter in my coffee when I saw the $199 tag. Still, if you reckon on $10 per character, plus $25 each for the G5’s, that’s $90…

  3. Yes, expensive stuff. I am not very happy with the Reallusion pricing policy in general; for example, with Daz Studio have some free versions but they charge for the models. OK. In versions that cost, they have import of FBX and some other goodies for free. But Reallusion charges for the main program, for models and separate software for imports. iClone is a great piece of equipment for independent, “one man band” animation, and is far more useful for animation than Daz Studio. But it’s better not to even think about iClone unless you have $1000 for some semi-advanced useful add-ons…

  4. Yes it is too expensive. Movie-making software is born out of games used to make movie,s as we all know… but let’s look at that. The Sims would have been THE BEST machinima software IF there were a mod or a built-in feature for lip-sync. Hands down, it would be the best. And look at all you get in Sims for the price of $30 to $40 USD. You get the ability to build and furnish great sets and environments. You get great animations of interaction between characters and picking up props. Customizing characters with different outfits and stuff is SO MUCH easier and expansive than iClone. So, iClone should seriously model themselves after The Sims. The Sims have add-on packs, but they too cost $30-40 USD. Although there are some nice improvements to iClone 5, it feels like Reallusion is stringing people along, and are more interested in money than truly being the best piece of software.

    Even if Reallusion charged slightly more, but still modeled themselves after The Sims, in terms of being able to DO IT ALL in the main app, it would be better. It would be better for efficiency in movie-making. At this point, they aren’t really interested in being the top movie-making software app, because they have built in obstacles for the user to overcome… having to line up external models, characters, textures, motions, props, terrain, etc. (I know they include some stuff, but you surely know that The Sims more honestly and more thoroughly includes what you need). Top athletes know how to go from good to great, and Reallusion must push themselves to be the greatest.

    The IDEAL MACHINIMA software program is still in the future…it is waiting to be discovered. Will it be by Reallusion? By the SIMS building in an English lip syncing mod? By someone altering the Unreal Engine? Another Engine? Will Moviestorm grow up? Will Muvizu wake up and allow props to be handled? Will Tom Jantol document step by step his Motionbuilder workflow? The jury is out.

  5. That pack price was higher than expected. While its certainly true that cheaper priced Reallusion products would be nice, I’d rather have them financially sound than struggling for survival with a weak or non-existent budget. The start-up cost can be high, as mentioned, but Reallusion does try to get a lot of bundled content into newbies hands at a discount price. How usable that content is to any given newbie could be debatable.

    Reallusion has had incredible growth, and such growth has been steady and financially sound. If you try to change a working financial model, in the hopes of reaching more users, then if your gamble fails you take the chance of undoing everything and weakening the company to a point-of-no-return. A company continually changing business models is a sign of distress, and we all know of a good machinima tool that could be great if it had a better financial model. The fact that Reallusion keeps plugging on, with solid earnings and product growth, points to good overall management.

    My IDEAL MACHINIMA program would work via neural socket to the brain cortex putting on the screen what I see in my mind. Now that isn’t asking much is it??? Oh… and that’s after they’ve thoroughly tested the neural socket on OTHER people.

  6. Warlord, I’m inclined to agree.

    I think part of the spluttering at such $199 prices (which is as much as the iClone 5 Pro regular price! Maybe $129 would have been more sensible) is to do with the fact that we as a society have not yet really got our head around the concept of value in virtual goods. At the back of our minds we still covertly assume: “it’s digital, it doesn’t really exist, so it must be free or micro-cost”. We have to start seeing virtual/digital more like electricity – we can’t see it, we don’t know really how it reaches us, we can’t touch it, but we still value it and pay for it.

    That said, Reallusion still offer great value compared to the $1000s for pro animation software, and a ‘staggered’ buying process where you only get the bits you need, when you can afford them. They are even good value when compared to the annualised costs of Poser Pro / Daz Advanced + plugins + model purchase costs.

    And there’s always the games and FRAPS, if someone wants to go back to doing “old school” machinima🙂

  7. Yes, after all, expensive or not, it is what we get for the price what matters. And by that I don’t mean just models, assets, or packs. There is this abstract value that can be major turn on or off — things like people, forums, help from manufacturer, dedicated blogs. Plus the very important fact that, as Warlord said — the psychological ease of continuity, knowing that software will be here and grow. If to the value of iClone we add factors such as this blog, a helpful forum, quick response from Reallusion, many tutorials, then the price is much better.

    And then there is one more thing, very important for me. And not just me, I am sure. This is the “smiling effect”. Something that make you smile when you open software and start to play with it, some mix of intuitive ease of use, power and good vibe. iClone5 has this, and I will continue to pay for smiling, even I cry at the buying🙂

  8. If these packs are selling, then yes RL have made the right move for the company. I can only speak for myself, when I say I used to buy nearly every new pack RL produced sooner or later. The new $199 price tags on motions and characters has stopped that. It is my hobby, and the $199 price tag does not fit into that any more. I will continue to support RL with new versions of iClone and 3DXchange, but find myself out priced on the official content packs such as these.

    If I am (as it may be) one of a very few who feel this way, then iClone will continue development at a rapid pace and I am happy with that. If I am not, then RL may have to rethink the price.

    Only time will tell..

  9. For simple enjoyment-of-use then iClone is worth every penny. It’s like being a kid with a grown-up Lego set.

  10. You have very valid points, Blue Midget. I’m inclined to agree with David on the pricing for the high end too. For a hobbyist, with things the way they are now around the world economically… I certainly understand the problem with the pricing of the two latest packs.

    Reallusion is getting to a point where iClone is precariously placed in at least two buying groups now… the casual home user to serious director, while at the same time appealing to professionals for actual pipeline work. This is going be a tough juggling act going forward, as there will be increased expense as layers of complex tools are added. Plus, I don’t think Reallusion will forget the market that got them here. They are very much aware of their user-base, and seem to be planning controlled growth for both markets. A tough task for the best of managers.

    I really like the SMILE FACTOR thing. Thats a great statement. When I pull out Studio Max, MotionBuilder, and now even softimage I do not smile. It is work, and it has been work for many many years. When I open up iClone… even for work… I do have that SMILE on my face.

    That will probably change, the more I use iClone for work — but I do enjoy using it, and the only high end app I enjoy using is Vue Infinite (which has gotten squirrely again since version 9) so that leaves iClone for hassle free work or play.

  11. Well…several things.

    All musings and jokes aside, the IDEAL MACHINIMA software program is still in the future. It might be a future version of iClone, or something else.

    Yes, the price of iClone add-ons is frustrating for me. However, what is more frustrating for me is the fact that iClone is in different parts. Dropping large amounts of money hurts, but fighting a toy is more frustrating. It is a joy to dress sets and characters in The Sims, and it is good that it is all-in-one. That when I feel like I’m a kid… the only let down is that it isn’t a movie-making program.

    At the very least I wish Reallusion would offer a $500-700 dollar Super Pro version that allowed you to truly create your own stuff in the one program, without having to buy bits here and there or wrestle with Sketchup to 3DXchange. That’s fine, I’ll deal with it, but it’s a little frustrating.

    Tom Janitol, I am confused. From your appearance on a podcast I assumed you ONLY used a Daz-to-MotionBuilder workflow. I am curious about what that workflow is. Have you shared your MotionBuilder workflow in any interviews? And while I’m curious about that, I’m also curious now that you’re praising iClone a lot. Do you only use iClone now?

    Thanks everyone.

  12. Ren:

    But, as I understand it, The Sims is just about the industry paradigm for having add-on packs and expansions?

    Personally I like the modular aspect of iClone. What I think they do need is a “pick and mix” discount-bundle shopping-cart discounter system. Many of the bundles I see don’t have the right combo, even if the price is tempting. If I was starting over, to tempt me away from going to Amazon UK for the core iClone box first, I would want to be able to assemble my own base config set of software and packs at Reallusion. Perhaps they could do that at the $999 price point?

    • The Sims does have expansion packs, but their main program has a lot of stuff. You could really have a whole world, and then with an expansion pack… you get another whole world. (Also, for not that much money). They are thorough, is my point. And customizable… iClone is too, but not quite like this.

      Now don’t get my wrong, I don’t mind it if iClone charges slightly more, but at least have a system a little more like The Sims where I can dress the set and characters with ease.

      But I like your pick-and-mix idea. The DA Points are meant to sort of be like that, but there’s so many amateur items in the Marketplace that it’s hard to sift through all the mess to find the gems. They shouldn’t let weeds grow in there, and should be very top notch all the way through.

  13. Ren, yes, I used MotionBuilder and DazStudio in all my movies. Combination that’s works almost perfectly. And I will continue to use this combination, but I will heavily include iClone in the pipeline. With iClone I have love and hate relationship from the very first version. I don’t know how many times I installed and uninstall iClone on my computer. Version 4, and now 5, I will keep installed because it is mature enough. It has lipsync, physics, clothes, water, particles, wind, things that MotionBuilder doesn’t have. To put it simply, it is now far more versatile that MotionBuilder and DAZ Studio together.

    The next 3DXchange will have export of animated characters, so it will be rather easy to incorporate iClone in that pipeline. But, it is not “one, or the another” problem. If you heard some of my interviews, you pretty much know that I am often talk about ‘Anymation’, sort of a technical (and not just technical) framework about… “who cares about software, rendered or real time, 2D or 3D, get anything what you need to tell the story? The story will determine what software it needs, not you”.

    This is where iClone fits wonderfully in MotionBuilder pipeline. (I made music video for one Canadian singer that illustrate this combination pretty good, if I may be so humble: http://vimeo.com/27726242. Main characters are Daz, all backgrounds are iClone, all is assembled in MotionBuilder.)

    MotionBuilder will not continue to develop into an ‘all round’ animation software. It is basically motion capturing and previz software, and is not pretending to be anything more. It has no real competition, in terms of what id does. But iClone will continue to develop as animation tool, and I hope that soon the $200 iClone will completely replace the $4,000 Motionbuilder as my main animation workhorse.
    Not yet completely, but soon.

  14. Sorry, I forgot to describe my Daz Studio > MotionBuilder workflow. Well, there is nothing to describe really. MotionBuilder can import everything from DAZ Studio: animation, morphs, animated morphs. Then all you need to do is to play with the camera in MotionBuilder…🙂

  15. Thanks for describing the workflow, Tom. I wonder, since Reallusion and Autodesk have a partnership, if we will ever see MotionBuilder importing iClone projects like it does for DAZ?

  16. Ah, yes. And other way around, together with morphs. This is very close to my animation ‘wet dream’. But, it is actually very close, with this the promise of the new 3DXchange. FBX can handle everything we need. (Just to be clear, MotionBuilder can’t import native DAZstudio scenes, everything is via FBX). Next year we will be living an animation dream. (Wet, morphed or motion captured, I don’t know, but dream never the less… :))

  17. Thank you Tom! Very interesting. I had somehow assumed you did the animating inside MotionBuilder, but you assemble it and do camera work there instead. Do you mind saying how you animate? Is it by hand or by motion files or a combo?

    Thanks.

  18. No, no Ren. You were right. Most of the animations I make with motion-capture files and keyframings inside MotionBuilder. I just wanted to present a simplified description of a workflow. To illustrate how easy is to use MB and Daz Studio. Sorry for confusion, I wasn’t realised how detailed you want me to describe the process.

    So, here it is…

    In Daz Studio I make all morph animations, meaning the face mimics and lipsyncing. In MotionBuilder you can further toy with these face (or body) morphs, because FBX export from Daz Studio will carry over all morph animations [if you bake to keyframes, Ed], including all morph channels you tell it to, for making additional morphs animations in MotionBuilder. All these morph, animated or not, will be present in MotionBuilder as easy-to-use sliders, ready for further keyframing, timewarp, etc.

    Now the skeleton stuff.

    FBX will carry over all character animations made in Daz Studio, and if these are alright with you, you can leave it this way — even toy with keyframes of that animation in MotionBuilder.

    But, if you need to use powerful bone animation tools inside MB, or use some of the files from huge motion-capture database, then a character from DazStudio must be exported in a T-pose and then “characterised” [rigged] in MotionBuilder, meaning, assigning MB skeleton bone names to the skeleton imported from Daz Studio.

    It is a process that literally takes a few seconds, just a matter of dragging the right bone name to the right bone. Bone structures of DAZ character and MB skeletons are similar, so it is piece of cake. And you must do it only once. MB will then make template for all next Daz Studio characters and automatically assign all right bone names.

    MotionBuilder has a very powerful StoryTool, like a timeline on steroids, where you can orchestrate everything, character animation, keyframing, cameras, constraints, timewarps, shaders — you can even make different timings flow for different parts of the scene or the body. Imagine hands in slow-motion, and rest of the body in normal speed, driving on a train that’s going at a fast speed!?

    There is much, much more in MotionBuilder, I could go like that for hours, but in short this is it.

    Hope it helps, and sorry again for simplifications from the previous posts.

  19. Thank you very much Tom. No need to apologize. That’s a fascinating process. I can see the value in Motionbuilder because it ties so much together, has animation curves that are more powerful than iClone, and probably renders faster than Maya or even Daz would. I see why you are liking iClone more and more, because it renders quickly too and has a lot that can be done with its timeline (it just needs customizable animation curves). Thanks again, much appreciated.

  20. Sure, Ren, if you need anything else regarding this pipelines, I am here. BTW, B., I didn’t forget that UDK and Crytek Sandbox comparison-test we were talking about. But I had, and still have, a frantic period of making television nonsense for elections in Croatia, various deadlines, etc. It is about time for Crytek to publish an additional, dedicated tool for machinima – and I would try to learn it fast, just for you. Well, not just for you, but it sounds good…🙂

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