Monday, August 31, 2009

Animating with iClone

Work on my first iClone short is in full swing; the title is "Let the Fun begin" and it's about.... nah, I'm not sayin' - you didn't really expect that, did you? :p I'm just extremely superstitious about talking too much about my stories before I release them - and always afraid I'd give away too much...

Currently, I'm trying to bend the iClone animations features, especially pre-formed or collected moves and fiddling with bones; to my will. That's not easy - every bone-move change you make has an influence on everthing that comes thereafter... with results which sometimes have me giggling, at other times pulling my hair in frustration... and I still haven't found out how to make a character shake his head in a simple "no" movement. Nodding is no problem, but shaking? I'd be grateful for any hint as to how accomplish that!

Another thing that I find hard to get rid of is the foot-sliding, or "moonwalking". Maybe that will be easier to get rid off once I have more experience with the program - at the moment I am able, with a lot of fiddling and trial and error, to get rid of most of it - but not all..... thank the goddess that I'm not a foot-shot fetishist.. :D (at least not for this movie!)

Despite the extra time spent on these things, work is progressing nicely. I have always been a fan of learning by doing, and it has always been easier for me to try to make scenes fit to a definite vision I have in mind, instead of just playing around for learning purposes. Besides I think the story will be fun to watch - it's back to the roots, so to speak... ;)

Below is a screenie of a scene which I think came out very well. More news soon!

7 Kommentare:

Killian said...

The "moonwalk" is one of the really irritating things about iClone that bugs me (along with the old "head flick" of MS); both really jar on me when watching a movie, so I can only imagine the screaming abdads you must be having about them! ;)

Like the screeny, and looking forward to your next magnificent octopus :)

Oliver a.k.a. "omanuel" said...


After surfing several machininma sites, I was eventually led here. I recognized your work on TMunderground...and look forward to seeing your talents with iClone. I've been using iClone for about 6 months and been hooked myself and may also be able to answer your head shake question.

1. Select the Motion Layer in the timeline or the under the animation menu.

2. Select the Edit Motion Layer button in the Modify section (right hand side of interface)

3. This should bring up a floating window with a Dummy model in it. Select the head and then select the Rotate feature (I hit the "e" key on keyboard)

4. This should bring up a rotation axis. If you've been able to keyframe head nods you probably know how to do this already but if you RIGHT CLICK on your mouse, this will change the rotation axis to left/right, tilt, or back to up down head nod.

5. Setting keyframes at different points in the timeline with the head in different positions should give you the head shake.

Hope this helps...I can go in more detail if you like. My profile name is "omanuel" on the Reallusion forums if you need to contact. The people on there are helpful to me too. Cheers


IceAxe said...

Well I've downloaded iClone too, but haven't launched it yet. The head flick thing in MS that Killian mentions is probably the thing that's pushing me to at least check out other options, but the moon-walking thing sounds a bit concerning too. Plus, I've only seen a handful of movies done in iClone that have genuinely impressed me. Probably though that is more a reflection on the director than the software though. I am going to check it out!

sisch said...

@Oliver - thank you very much! :)
You know, I never even tried the right mouse-button... I KNEW it was a little thing I was over-looking!

IceAxe, the "moonwalking" might just be me not setting the keyframes right. Don't give up too early when trying iClone out - that was basically what I did first time round.
The learning curve is much steeper than MS - but then, you can build whole motion cycles from scrap, the lighting is very sophisticated.. etc.
I strongly recommend you read Animatechnica's Production Diary on the Reallusion forums:
- he has opened my eyes to so many possibilities, it's great!

And yeah, Killian, you should hear me scream... :p

Chat Noir said...

Something about iClone that annoys me the most is the stiffness of motion. It makes a lot of iClone movies really difficult for me to watch. But when that is improved, the early adopters of iClone will get their rewards. In the mean time, using pre-formed moves seem to help (Some part of Dulci's The Small act of War look amazing, and I am guessing she used some motion packs), and there seem to be ways to make things look less jarring (I think Lizard pulled it off quite nicely.)

I'm sure, Sisch, you will surprise me once again.

WarLord said...

The stiffness of motion is a major drawback as it takes time to try to smooth things out as best you can. Its a lot better that it was in version 1 but is still lacking. It is being worked on though as the folks in Taiwan do listen. Great to see more fabulously talented people get involved in iClone. Hope its not too frustrating for you Sisch as I really think you'll be surprised once you get under the learning curve. I'm slobbering now just thinking how much you are gonna raise the bar for all of the iClone users... no matter how long we've been using it!

sisch said...

Thank you for your faith in my abilities, Black Cats and Warlord - eek, now the pressure is on... :)

I can just hope that I'll be able to meet expectations! *gulp*

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