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iClone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's Guide

Beginner's Guide
M.D. McCallum

Animate your stories and ideas to create realistic scenes with this movie making application geared towards new and inexperienced film makers, video producers/compositors, vxf artists and 3D artists / designers with this book and ebook.
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849691789
Paperback508 pages

About This Book

  • 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.

Images

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.

Table of Contents

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
Exploring real-time render options
Locating Custom Content folder
Installing new content
Using drag-and-drop
Welcome to iClone
Interacting with the iClone community
Time for action - download and installation steps
Exploring the iClone user interface
Summary
Chapter 2: Creating Your First Scene
Let the animation begin!
Exploring the 3D workspace
Time for action - creating the outdoors
Time for action - creating virtual foliage
Adding props to the scene
Placing props
Time for action - house building
Manipulating props
Working with iProps (interactive props)
Time for action - placing the iProp
Animated props
Time for action - importing animated props
Creating props from building blocks
Time for action - building a gazebo without hand tools!
Diffusing opacity and other maps.
Time for action - painting the gazebo
Time for action - correcting the texture mapping
Time for action - adding fire effects to the grill
Lighting in 3D animation
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
Time for action - giving your character a new do!
Time for action - customizing the eyes and mouth
Time for action - can't be cool without shades!
Time for action - shading the glasses
Time for action - attaching the fork prop
Time for action - grabbing a beer
Time for action - altering female avatar clothing
Time for action - altering the male avatar's clothing
Time for action - modifying the avatar's pants
Basics of character dialog
Summary
Chapter 4: Animating the Characters
Using motions versus animations
Introducing 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
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
Time for action - animating the turn
Time for action - closing the grill cover
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
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
Time for action - saving single clips
Time for action - collecting and saving multiple clips
Time for action - using the Absolute Bone method
Time for action - polishing character moves
Time for action - using a path to animate Benny's walk
Time for action - point and click movement
Time for action - using director mode
Animating character dialog
Time for action - using dialog with characters
Summary
Chapter 5: Enhancing Animation with Particles
Using special effects (FX) wisely
Exploring iClone particles
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
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
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)
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
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
Time for action - creating a depth of field camera
Time for action - creating the Benny cams
Time for action - creating a wide angle camera shot
Time for action - setting up the camera switch
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
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
Time for action - rendering our main project video
3D rendering… got glasses?
Time for action - setting up the scene
Time for action - rendering the scene
Summary
Chapter 9: Animating Outer Space
Reviewing the project assets
Laying out and planning the scene
Time for action - setting the resolution
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
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
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

What You Will Learn

  • 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.

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