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Controlling Motions, Lights and Cameras using iClone 8 Device Live with 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse


My name is Antony Evans and I work for Taiyaki studios and run Digital Puppets animation studio, where we specialize in digital avatar creation and animation. In this video I will be showing how I used 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse®, along with iClone 8’s new Device LIVE hot key triggers, and the Motion Trigger plugin, to create a real time animated character scene.

What is iClone 8’s Device LIVE?

Device LIVE is part of iClone 8’s new feature that offers the ability to use various hardware devices to control elements of your scene to improve efficiency and make your workflow easier. There are several different devices that can be used from, Xbox controllers, to MONOGRAM Creative Consoles, Elgato Stream Decks and more, which you can learn about here:

In this video I am working with the 3DConnexion SpaceMouse as this device gives you customizable buttons and a movement control they call the cap. The cap allows for smooth real time camera movement or can be used to move and rotate objects in your scene.

How I used the SpaceMouse

For this scene I wanted to create a real time setup that can be used for live streaming. I needed the ability to control everything in my scene easily, so I could also concentrate on other elements of running the live stream.

In the video you can see that the character is being animated using the Motion Trigger plugin. This is a great tool for adding keyboard triggers for your characters animations, allowing you to trigger gestures and movements in real time while also having the iClone LIVE FACE plugin with Motion LIVE to control my facial capture.

The SpaceMouse was then setup to control my camera movements and the lighting in the scene. With the new updated Hotkeys in iClone 8 I was able to set up buttons on the SpaceMouse to do exactly what I wanted, I also set the buttons in the places under my fingers so I could comfortably move the camera using the cap and press the buttons without to much movement from my hand, this makes it a lot easier to remember where the trigger buttons are.

What Hot Keys did I use and how I set them up

The hot keys that I used in this scene were, Change Camera, Look-at Camera and turn On/Off Collection.

One thing that really helps with engagement in a scene where the character is talking to the audience, is Eye Contact. In the custom hot key options, there is now a selection for look at camera, so when its triggered, the character will look in the direction of which ever camera is in use. The space mouse has some great options for creating custom buttons, and any button on the device can be customized.

I wanted the Look-at Camera hotkey to be triggered at the same time the camera changed. To do this I had to set up a macro in the space mouse custom settings.  For example, I had the hotkey for change to camera 1 set to (shift + 1) and the look at camera key set to (Shift + 5) using the macros I set a single button on the space mouse to select (Shift + 1 Shift + 5) simultaneously, and did the same for the other cameras, so every time the camera changed the character was still looking at the audience.

The next hot key I used was the show/hide collections, anything you put in a collection can be triggered on or off, so you can setup completely different lighting for your scene and change them in real time. This could also be done for objects or scenery placed in those collections.

Similar setups can be achieved with the other available devices, you could use something like the MONOGRAM Creative Consoles, or the Elgato Stream Deck to control your camera or lighting or even the motion trigger animations. What I liked about the space mouse was the camera movement using the cap. Once you the camera was switched to the free camera, I was able to move around the scene with the smooth cap movement, giving a handheld feel to the camera.

Though this scene was setup with real time streaming in mind, it’s worth mentioning any camera movement or camera switching is recorded on the timeline. It also records the look at head movement on the constraints track, so any live recording you make will keep all the animation data on the timeline.

Final thoughts

Reallusion’s iClone 8 with Device LIVE and the new hotkeys adds the ability for users to really customize the way they work. Having triggers at your fingertips helps you efficiently navigate your projects in a way that works best for you.

iClone 8 Device Live :

Motion Trigger plugin :

3Dconnexion SpaceMouse :

Taiyaki Studios :

Digital Puppets :

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