iClone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's Guide


iClone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's Guide
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Overview
Table of Contents
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Sample Chapters
  • Create unique scenes, characters, and digital art for animated movies or images
  • Scale, move, animate and manipulate scene assets including props and actors
  • Step by step instruction with screen shots, project assets, challenges, and quizzes
  • Helpful tips and information about working with iClone from experienced iClone gurus.

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Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 508 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : October 2011
ISBN : 1849691789
ISBN 13 : 9781849691789
Author(s) : M.D. McCallum
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Other, Beginner's Guides, Web Graphics & Video

Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1: Installing and Configuring iClone
Chapter 2: Creating Your First Scene
Chapter 3: Adding and Customizing Characters
Chapter 4: Animating the Characters
Chapter 5: Enhancing Animation with Particles
Chapter 6: Working with Cameras
Chapter 7: Enhancing Scenes with Images and Videos
Chapter 8: Rendering our Work
Chapter 9: Animating Outer Space
Appendix A: Using Personas, iProps, and Helpers
Appendix B: Animating with iClone Physics
Appendix C: Exploring New Features
Appendix D: Discovering New Animation Tools
Appendix E: Pop Quiz Answers
Index
  • Chapter 1: Installing and Configuring iClone
    • Installing the program
    • Time for action – installing iClone 4 pro
    • Time for action – installing related iClone content
    • Time for action – exploring iClone options
    • Configuring work environment
      • Setting up the 3D grid
      • Controlling display information
    • Exploring real-time render options
      • Choosing the shader
      • Manipulating objects
    • Locating Custom Content folder
    • Installing new content
    • Using drag-and-drop
      • Importing new content
      • Working with zipped files
    • Welcome to iClone
    • Interacting with the iClone community
      • Free iClone assets
      • Exploring the Reallusion Content Store
      • Discovering the Reallusion Marketplace
      • Downloading your trial and purchased items
    • Time for action – download and installation steps
    • Exploring the iClone user interface
      • Exploring the workspace
      • Selecting objects in the workspace
    • Summary
    • Chapter 2: Creating Your First Scene
      • Let the animation begin!
        • Exploring your virtual studio
      • Exploring the 3D workspace
      • Time for action – creating the outdoors
        • Working with Live Plants
      • Time for action – creating virtual foliage
      • Adding props to the scene
      • Placing props
      • Time for action – house building
      • Manipulating props
        • Selecting the tools
          • Manipulating objects directly
          • Manipulating with precision using gizmos
          • Handling direct input
      • Working with iProps (interactive props)
      • Time for action – placing the iProp
      • Animated props
      • Time for action – importing animated props
      • Creating props from building blocks
        • What do you see in a primitive?
      • Time for action – building a gazebo without hand tools!
      • Diffusing opacity and other maps.
        • Exploring the mapping channels
      • Time for action – painting the gazebo
      • Time for action – correcting the texture mapping
        • Painting option
      • Time for action – adding fire effects to the grill
        • Creating see through material
        • Turning nothing into something
      • Lighting in 3D animation
        • Light types and shadows
        • Understanding ambient light
        • Manipulating the lights in the 3D workspace
        • Setting the mood with lighting and atmosphere
      • Time for action – setting the ambient light
      • Time for action – working with shadows
      • Time for action – manipulating the atmosphere
      • Time for action – lighting up the grill
      • Summary
      • Chapter 3: Adding and Customizing Characters
        • Developing unique characters
        • Time for action – loading characters
        • Customizing character features
        • Time for action – loading a face image
        • Time for action – correct the lighting
        • Time for action – customizing our character
        • Time for action – customizing the head of the avatar
          • Experimenting with model detail
      • Time for action – giving your character a new do!
      • Time for action – customizing the eyes and mouth
        • Skin
        • Positioning the characters
      • Using character accessories and attaching props
      • Time for action – can't be cool without shades!
      • Time for action – shading the glasses
      • Time for action – attaching the fork prop
        • Interacting with the iProps
      • Time for action – grabbing a beer
        • Altering the characters' clothing
      • Time for action – altering female avatar clothing
        • Altering clothing using color
      • Time for action – altering the male avatar's clothing
      • Time for action – modifying the avatar's pants
      • Basics of character dialog
        • Lip-sync
        • Adding dialog
          • Creating dialog using the interface
          • Recording dialog using a microphone
          • Inserting audio files
      • Summary
        • Chapter 4: Animating the Characters
          • Using motions versus animations
          • Introducing the timeline
            • Controlling action on the timeline
          • Time for action – the timeline concept … A mini-tutorial
          • Time for action – adding basic camera movement
          • Time for action – changing the speed of the animation
          • Adding motions to characters
            • Applying motion clips
            • Controlling facial expressions
            • Invoking hand motions
          • Manipulating character's fingers
            • Using paths to move objects
        • Time for action – adjusting the starting frame
        • Time for action – animating the hands
        • Customizing animation using the motion editor
        • Time for action – animating the male character
          • Turn the character
        • Time for action – animating the turn
        • Time for action – closing the grill cover
          • Animating the limbs
            • Setting the starting point key frame
        • Time for action – animating the arm movement
        • Time for action – scaling and moving the grill
        • Time for action – copying and pasting the key frame
        • Time for action – closing the grill
        • Time for action – finishing out the movement
          • Blending motions
        • Time for action – animating the female avatar
        • Time for action – add more time to the animation
        • Adding more motion to the female avatar
        • Time for action – creating new motions
          • Building our custom motion library
            • Saving custom animations as motions
        • Time for action – saving single clips
        • Time for action – collecting and saving multiple clips
        • Time for action – using the Absolute Bone method
          • Manipulating transitions
        • Time for action – polishing character moves
          • Animating paths for smooth movement
        • Time for action – using a path to animate Benny's walk
          • Using alternative methods of character movement
        • Time for action – point and click movement
        • Time for action – using director mode
        • Animating character dialog
        • Time for action – using dialog with characters
        • Summary
          • Using iClone particles
          • Time for action – cueing mother nature
          • Time for action – configuring particle settings
          • Time for action – coloring mother nature
          • Attaching iClone particles to props
            • Creating a torch
          • Time for action – creating the torch handle
          • Time for action – loading and manipulating the particle
          • Time for action – adjusting and texturing the torch
          • Time for action – setting up the smoke and fire particles
          • Time for action – adding the fire particle
          • Adjusting iClone particles
          • Time for action – controlling the fire
          • Time for action – adding a smoke particle to the smoke stack
          • Time for action – positioning the smoke stack particle
          • Using visibility with particles
          • Time for action – setting the timing for the emitter
            • Using particles with paths
          • Time for action – creating a magical swirling effect
          • Summary
            • Chapter 6: Working with Cameras
              • Creating cameras
              • Time for action – creating our first camera
              • Renaming your cameras
              • Time for action – naming the camera
              • Time for action – creating and renaming another camera
              • Using character/object cameras (Follow Cam)
                • Using the Actor Cam
              • Time for action – setting up the Actor Cam
              • Time for action – converting Follow Cam to a permanent camera
              • Time for action – setting up the Face Cam
              • Time for action – viewing the character from above
                • Understanding the camera lens
              • Time for action – creating new cameras and picking the lens
              • Time for action – setting up our main camera angle
              • Time for action – setting up a lens only camera close up
                • Focusing with depth of field
              • Time for action – creating a depth of field camera
                • Creating more cameras
              • Time for action – creating the Benny cams
              • Time for action – creating a wide angle camera shot
                • Selecting cameras for filming
                • Creating a shot list
                • Understanding camera cuts and timing
              • Time for action – setting up the camera switch
                • Filming through walls and objects with camera clipping
              • Time for action – Using camera clipping
              • Summary
              • Chapter 7: Enhancing Scenes with Images and Videos
                • Using the 2D drag-and-drop menu
                • Adding details with planes
                • Time for action – creating an image plane
                • Billboards
                • Time for action – working with billboards to add an old barn
                • Time for action – working with billboards to add a water tower
                • Image layers
                • Time for action – driving down the street
                • Time for action – using multiple image layers
                • Using 2D with special effects
                • Time for action – using planes to mimic volume effects
                • Time for action – adding mountains
                • Using video to enhance scenes
                • Time for action – adding video to props
                • Creating and using popVideo
                • Time for action – playing with popVideo
                • Summary
                • Chapter 8: Rendering our Work
                  • Understanding rendering
                    • Rendering in iClone
                  • Exporting single images
                  • Time for action – rendering our first image
                  • Time for action – rendering an action shot
                  • Exporting image sequences
                  • Time for action – exporting our first image sequence
                  • Exporting videos
                    • Understanding video
                    • Codecs versus formats
                    • Formats available in iClone
                      • AVI
                      • RM
                      • WMV
                      • MP4 for PC
                      • Flash video
                    • Using good video rendering habits
                      • Determining end usage
                      • Setting screen resolution as soon as possible
                  • Time for action – rendering our main project video
                    • Rendering popVideo
                  • 3D rendering… got glasses?
                    • Understanding 3D stereoscopic rendering
                      • Anaglyph
                  • Time for action – setting up the scene
                  • Time for action – rendering the scene
                    • Side X Side
                    • Top Down
                    • Two Files
                • Summary
                  • Chapter 9: Animating Outer Space
                    • Reviewing the project assets
                    • Laying out and planning the scene
                      • Determining the purpose of the scene
                      • Determining render resolution
                    • Time for action – setting the resolution
                      • Determining the scene animation
                      • Determining the particle effects required
                      • Laying out the scene tasks
                    • Tweaking the project assets
                    • Time for action – adjusting the existing scene
                    • Time for action – turning outer space into live space
                    • Time for action – lighting the scene
                    • Time for action – importing scene assets
                    • Storyboarding with iClone
                    • Time for action – creating our initial storyboard frame
                    • Time for action – storyboarding the action at mid-scene
                    • Time for action – storyboarding the shuttle escape
                    • Time for action – storyboarding the explosion
                    • Time for action – storyboarding the shuttle leaving
                      • Analyzing our storyboard
                    • Time for action – setting up the animated shuttle path
                    • Time for action – adding particles
                    • Setting up the shot list
                    • Time for action – deleting an existing camera
                      • Creating cameras for the shot list
                    • Time for action – creating cameras
                    • Setting up the camera switch
                    • Time for action – setting the camera order
                    • Last minute tweaks
                    • Time for action – adjust the movie length
                    • Rendering our scene
                    • Time for action
                    • Summary
                    • Appendix A: Using Personas, iProps, and Helpers
                      • Understanding AML
                        • Exploring personas to animate a character
                      • Time for action – loading a Persona
                      • Using AML templates
                        • Implementing character interaction
                      • Time for action – placing and using character interaction dummies
                      • Time for action – applying the kick me AML template
                        • Using operate dummy props
                      • Time for action – Using the character interaction templates
                      • Time for action – using the grab it AML template prop
                      • Working with iProps
                        • Exploring the home iProps folder
                      • Time for action – getting in and out of bed
                      • Time for action – using the iprop door
                      • Working with vehicle dummies
                      • Summary
                      • Appendix B: Animating with iClone Physics
                        • Understanding iClone physics
                          • Working with simulations
                          • Baking the physics
                            • Testing versus saving simulations
                          • Touring the physics menu
                        • Understanding soft bodies versus rigid bodies
                        • Rigid bodies
                          • Setting the state of the object
                          • Object properties
                          • Bounding settings
                        • Soft bodies
                          • Preset
                          • Property
                          • Collision settings
                        • Time for action – dropping the ball
                        • Time for action – setting up the wall
                        • Time for action – knocking down the wall – first run
                        • Time for action – fine tuning the first run
                        • Time for action – batting the ball
                        • Time for action – setting up the physics
                        • Time for action – changing the impact object angle
                        • Time for action – adding the aiming site
                        • Time for action – crashing the jeep
                        • Time for action – duplicating rows of boxes
                        • Time for action – setting up an ejection sequence
                        • Time for action – setting up the eject physics
                        • Time for action – attaching the character
                        • Time for action – creating a chain action
                          • Colliding with characters
                            • Attaching dummies
                        • Time for action – preparing a character collision
                        • Summary
                        • Appendix C: Exploring New Features
                          • Discovering new visual enhancements
                            • Understanding ambient occlusion
                          • Time for action – using ambient occlusion
                            • Exploring the toon shader
                          • Time for action – enhancing the existing scene
                          • Time for action – setting up the toon shader
                          • Time for action - exploring the NPR post effect
                          • Time for action – exploring the toon shader
                          • Removing skin color
                          • Time for action – tooning the characters
                          • Time for action – skinning the character for tuning
                            • Using post effects
                          • Time for action – applying blur
                          • Time for action – testing the other post effects
                          • Time for action – adjusting the overall post effect
                            • Setting the light with the multiplier
                          • Time for action – using directional versus spotlight
                          • Discovering the performance enhancements
                          • Improving usability features
                            • Using the tree brush
                          • Time for action – planting and felling trees
                          • Using soft cloth
                          • Time for action – testing a cloth
                          • Time for action – creating a ghost effect
                            • Exploring soft cloth options
                          • Summary
                          • Appendix D: Discovering New Animation Tools
                            • Exploring the modified timeline
                            • Mixing moves the easy way
                            • Time for action – using MixMoves
                            • Using the motion puppet
                            • Time for action – animating Gwynn
                            • Time for action – smoothing the transition between motions
                            • Time for action – walking with the motion puppet
                            • Time for action – stopping the foot sliding
                            • Understanding Human IK (pose and reach target)
                            • Time for action – setting up a two-handed rig with Human IK
                            • Time for action – hooking up the dummies
                            • Time for action – using the two handed rig for movement
                            • Time for action – using locking dummies
                            • Time for action – setting up the unicycle
                            • Manipulating Direct Puppet
                            • Time for action – puppeteering the character's movements
                            • Time for action – climbing with Human IK
                            • Understanding device Mocap (Kinect)
                            • Time for action – installing the Kinect plugin
                            • Time for action – starting the Mocap Device Plug-in
                            • Time for action – cleaning up the Mocap
                            • Using motion capture effectively
                            • Using the Prop Puppet
                            • Time for action – building the tank turret
                            • Time for action – animating the radar
                            • Time for action – animating the turret
                            • Customizing the transition and time warp
                            • Using the Prop Look At
                            • Time for action – grasping the basics of Prop Look At
                            • Time for action – using a practical example of the Prop Look At
                            • Applying iClone 5 techniques to Chapter 4, Animating the Characters
                            • Time for action – animating the grill with new features
                            • Summary
                            • Appendix E: Pop Quiz Answers
                              • Chapter 5, Enhancing Animation with Particles
                              • Chapter 6, Working with Cameras
                              • Chapter 7, Enhancing Scenes with Images and Videos
                              • Chapter 8, Rendering our Work
                              • Appendix C, Exploring New Features
                              • Appendix D, Discovering New Animation Tools

                              M.D. McCallum

                              M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord in the iClone community, is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years and includes over one hundred individual and team-based awards. M.D. has worked freelance for animation companies, 3D application companies, game development studios, and indie film and animation studios. His experience with computers dates back to home-built kits in the late 1970s. M.D. is the author of eleven whitepapers for the Reallusion iClone Developers Center and has been selected twice as a Reallusion Featured Developer. M.D. has been a loyal user of iClone since version one and is a Certified Content Developer and Reallusion Director. M.D. was previously published as an outdoor writer in national magazines before turning his attention to full time digital freelancing. M.D. operates a freelance production studio in partnership with other highly skilled freelancers across the world to provide web- and television-based commercials, product presentations and visualization. He also creates and provides quality iClone props including his innovative Destructible line of props and iClone freebies and tips at www.iclonerevolution.com.
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                              What you will learn from this book

                              • Install and setup iClone preferences as per your needs
                              • Quickly create and populate scenes
                              • Modify characters and clothing
                              • Fit facial photos to characters
                              • Work with animated and interactive props
                              • Pace multi-character dialog using the built in lip sync feature combined with the timeline
                              • Apply special effects such as fire, rain, fog and other particle-driven effects
                              • Set up cameras and multiple camera shots
                              • Create and export single images and animated movies in multiple formats
                              • Build timeline-based character and prop key frame animation

                               

                              In Detail

                              Reallusion’s iClone is an animated movie making application that allows hobbyists, machinimators, home-based animators, and professionals to visualize their story or an idea by seeing it in action. Years ago, creating animations and single images would require a team of trained artists to accomplish. Now, iClone real time rending engine empowers its users to instantly view what is loaded into the 3D workspace or preview it as an animation, if you have the precise instructions.

                              The iClone 3D Animation Beginner’s Guide will walk you through the building and animating of a complete scene and several one-off projects. First we create a scene with sky, terrain , water, props and other assets. Then add two characters and manipulate their features and animate their movement. We will also use particles to create the effect of a realistic torch and animate cameras to give different views to the scene. Finally we will see how to quickly import images to enhance the scene with a mountain, barn, and water tank. It will cover some fun stuff such as playing with props, characters, and other scene assets. It will also demonstrate some advanced topics such as screen resolution, formats and codecs but mostly it will deal with doing hands on animation with precise instructions.

                              Starting with a blank project using stock and downloadable assets you will learn to lay out and animate a scene and export that scene to both a single image and a movie. The main project will demonstrate many common and undocumented techniques, while each project introduces and examines tools and techniques for successful and fun animation of ideas or scripts.

                              Each project of the book including the main project is designed to cover the aspects of 3D animation in a manner which anyone with basic computer skills can follow. You will discover the importance of lighting a scene including daytime scenes. The concept of the timeline and key frames will be covered in detail and other topics such as rendering (exporting), character modification and prop placement all have their own sections with step by step instructions followed by an explanation of what just happened. Good animation habits and project basics are stressed throughout the book interspersed with time saving tips and techniques gained from years of experience with iClone.

                              When you have finished The iClone 3D Animation Beginner’s Guide you will have a solid foundation in the basics of iClone by having animated a scene with multiple characters and props that involves dialog and interaction with other characters. You will have the knowledge to create new animation projects to hone your skills, tell your story, educate students or sell your product.

                              Approach

                              This book is a part of the Beginner's guide series, wherein you will quickly start doing tasks with precise instructions. Then the tasks will be followed by explanation and then a challenging task or a multiple choice question about the topic just covered.

                              Who this book is for

                              Do you have a story to tell or an idea to illustrate? This book is aimed at film makers, video producers/compositors, vxf artists or 3D artists/designers like you who have no previous experience with iClone. If you have that drive inside you to entertain people via the internet on sites like YouTube or Vimeo, create a superb presentation video, showcase a product or create a movie, or get a fast start on the iClone program, this Beginner’s guide was written with you in mind.

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