3DXchange 5 – the official character-conversion videos

Reallusion has released a number of tutorial videos to go along with the new 3DXchange 5 release.

Here are the new videos that show the Pro version (can import FBX, BVH motions) in action, importing characters from some of the other major 3D applications…

1. Importing Maya Characters to iClone:

2. Importing DAZ Studio Characters to iClone:

3. Importing Motion Builder Characters with Motion to iClone

4. 3DXchange5 Tutorial – Importing Blender Characters to iClone – YouTube

There’s also a further “Pipeline” version, due for release in June 2012 at $500, which will have the ability to export FBX files from the iClone assets.

The making of… The Pilot’s Dilemma

The making of… “The Pilot’s Dilemma”

Click on the picture for the full-size version.

The secret is not to do it all in iClone, but to use iClone to rapidly make a picture library of quick approximately-lit prop candidates, with each prop isolated against a green and blue-screen. The picture is then put together like a jigsaw in Photoshop, bringing in each prop one at a time on a new layer, and cutting it out. When all the prop pictures have been swiveled and nudged into the right place, to make a good composition around the central photo, then the prop elements are color-shifted and faded out — to give a sense of distance and to start to unify the colour. At no time did I automatically “colour-match” layers, it was all done by eye. No filters were used. Then I brought in special FX such as mist and fog layers. Finally I got the Photoshop brushes out and blended, blurred, smudged, painted and generally fixed some of the details and errors.

With a stronger light source you might have more problems keeping the light direction looking consistent. That’s possibly where more pre-Photoshop work in iClone could help, making a more iClone heavy base-layer to start from. Or a quick “lighting sketch” to work from as reference.

I prefer to cut out in Photoshop as I have a plugin for that, and it gives me more control over semi-transparent bits. But I seem to remember that iClone can also output images that have “hard edge” embedded alpha channels, which should save time if you’re not used to cutting out. Reallusion’s popVideo software can also cut out from green-screens.

Time was about eight hours.

Making 2D Web games with HTML5

Considering making 2D Web games with royalty-free iClone and CTA assets/sprites? There’s a short new book, Introducing HTML5 Game Development, that’s a basic beginning introduction to coding an HTML5 Web game, using the $99 plug-in-less impact.js engine. A more advanced follow-on book might be Pakt’s HTML5 Games Development by Example: Beginner's Guide

Also interesting, though perhaps more for inspiration, is the new book Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form

“You might not expect it to be so heartfelt — even inspirational. Equal parts autobiography, ethnography [the close study of a culture] , and how-to manual, this book concisely makes the case for the unique power of “zinester” games — independent video games made primarily by one person. For newcomers to video games, it’s a great introduction; for established video game designers, it’s a wake-up call. If you’re teaching a course about video game culture or video game design, this book deserves a spot on your syllabus.”

iClone 5: Constraint Types, Part 2 video from Reallusion

A newly posted Reallusion iClone 5 training video, “Constraint Types, Part 2”. This introduces another three basic constraint types: point-to-point, cone twist, rope. A project based example is used, showing these in action with their settings…

This video follows on from a basic iClone5 Tutorial – Basic Constraint Workflow; video, and the two training videos I recently posted here on: “Constraint Types, Part 1” and “Constraint Types – Multiple Constraints”.