Two-way Synchronized Character Animation Workflow Empowers NVIDIA Omniverse™ in Real-time Crowd Generation for Digital Twins and AECO.
Reallusion releases the latest iClone Connector for NVIDIA Omniverse™. The updated Connector enables a two-way real-time USD synchronization between iClone 8 and Omniverse, empowering users with a straightforward character animation pipeline to Omniverse applications.
John Martin II, Vice President at Reallusion, explains, “The iClone Omniverse Connector simplifies character facial morph animation, body animation, props, cameras, lights, and scene setup for creating inside Omniverse. With Live Sync to Omniverse, users now enjoy seamless two-way USD data transfer and have more intuitive control over the creation process, resulting in a significant reduction in workflow and increased productivity. This proves especially beneficial for industrial visualization projects involving large 3D crowds and animations.”
The Latest Innovations
Building on the foundation of a full 3D animation system integrated into NVIDIA Omniverse™, the iClone Omniverse Connector brings even greater productivity with its new Live Sync feature, offering real-time animation preview and a seamless two-way workflow. The powerful combination of iClone and Omniverse empowers individuals and design teams to effortlessly create, animate, and deploy 3D characters for digital twins and business simulations, all while fostering seamless collaboration within the Omniverse platform.
Unprecedented Productivity with iClone
Experience a remarkable surge in productivity with iClone, the fastest real-time 3D animation software, empowering users to effortlessly produce professional animations for films, previsualization, simulation, videos, and games. The seamless integration of facial performance, character animation, mocap production, scene design, and cinematic storytelling within iClone’s environment makes 3D production on the Omniverse platform accessible to creators of all skill levels. With just a few clicks, users can establish live sync between iClone Connector and Omniverse, witnessing immediate and gratifying simulations at their fingertips.
Real-time Preview & Full-frame Transfer
Motion Editing & Preview
Simultaneous real-time live preview for animation editing of the face and body.
Animate by applying iClone’s premade motions or use the handy editing tools.
Character or object interaction are made simple with Reach Target constraints.
Full-Frame Animation Transfer
Happy with your animation? Selectively send animations to their respective objects when you are ready.
Supports bone and morph animations for 3D characters.
Animate transformations for props, lights, and cameras.
Intuitive Two-Way Production Workflow
Selectively import Omniverse scene data/props as references for iClone character alignment or object interaction.
Two-way light creation and property control.
Synchronize camera shots and switches in iClone for Omniverse cinematography.
Collaborative Simulation for Businesses
Utilizing iClone Live Sync to Omniverse for deploying digital humans in virtual productions proves exceptionally efficient and productive. Upon entering the completely free and open platform of NVIDIA Omniverse™, users gain access to advanced Ray Tracing, enhanced speed, and seamless compatibility with prominent third-party solutions. The platform also integrates cutting-edge AI technologies like Audio2Face for audio-to-animation, rapid GPU rendering, denoising capabilities, and the real-time SSS shader. Together, these features empower advanced character animation for simulation purposes, making Omniverse a top choice for creators interested in collaboration.
Download iClone 8 for Free
Download the full trial of iClone for easy character animation and start creating Omniverse-ready productions with free online training.
In today’s visually-driven world, explainer videos have become an essential tool for successful communication. As content creators in the digital landscape, our goal is to produce engaging material that effectively delivers our message. This article aims to provide you with a thorough guide on how to create compelling explainer videos for YouTube utilizing Cartoon Animator (CTA).
1) Anatomy of an Explainer Video
Crafting a compelling explainer video requires careful consideration of multiple elements, each playing a crucial role in its effectiveness. By following these steps, you’ll be able to create an engaging and impactful explainer video.
Audience: Your audience is the centerpiece of your video creation process. Understanding who they are, their geographic location, age, gender (Demographics), along with their interests, aspirations, fears, and dreams (psychographics), helps you create content that resonates. The audience-centric approach ensures your video speaks directly to the viewer, enhancing their connection with your content.
Script: A well-crafted script forms the backbone of your explainer video. It’s not merely a narration; it sets the tone, voice, and pace of your video. An engaging, concise, and clear script can turn complex ideas into easily digestible information chunks.
Visualize: Visualizing your video before you start animating is a vital step. Developing a storyboard helps structure your narrative, identify any gaps in the flow, and understand how your script translates visually. It sets the groundwork for the actual 2D animation.
Audio: High-quality audio can significantly enhance your video’s overall quality. A well-recorded, clear voiceover can dramatically impact your video’s effectiveness. Background music, sound effects, and pauses play an equally important role in augmenting your video’s tone and pace.
Animate: With your script, storyboard, and audio ready, you can step into the world of 2D animation. Cartoon Animator offers an intuitive platform to bring your concepts to life, allowing you to create captivating visual narratives with ease.
Feedback: Feedback is a critical aspect of refining your video. Sharing your initial version with a focus group and taking their comments into account allows you to see your work from various perspectives, identify potential improvements, and polish your video.
Publish: Once satisfied with your refined video, publish it on YouTube. The right title, description, keywords, and thumbnails can significantly impact its visibility.
Analyze: Once your video is live, use YouTube analytics to measure its performance. Understand your audience’s engagement and reception, which will feed into future video development.
Iterate: The process of creation is never one-and-done. Analyze your successes and shortcomings to constantly evolve your content. Every video is a stepping stone towards perfection.
Audience engagement plays a pivotal role in achieving success on YouTube. The level of engagement directly impacts how widely your video is shown to viewers by the YouTube algorithm. Higher engagement results in greater exposure, while lower engagement limits the video’s reach. It’s essential to bear in mind that YouTube strives to connect your video with the appropriate audience, and its algorithm works diligently to identify and target those individuals.
Now, the question arises: How can you determine the quality of your video?
It’s common to receive polite responses like “That is very nice!” or “Cool presentation! I liked it” when showing your video to others. However, it can be challenging to gauge their true level of enjoyment. Are there parts of the video that were merely “OK,” while others were dull and in need of improvement? To address these uncertainties, YouTube Analytics provides valuable insights through Video Engagement metrics.
To gain a deeper understanding of audience behavior, Derral Eves presents the “YouTube Formula” in his book “The YouTube Formula: How Anyone Can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience, and Grow Revenue.” This formula serves as a reliable roadmap for success, and it can be summarized as follows:
Try: Create and publish your video content on YouTube.
Fail: Pay attention to how your video performs and identify areas that may not be meeting audience expectations.
Analyze: Utilize YouTube Analytics to examine engagement metrics and gain insights into viewer behavior.
Adjust: Based on the analysis, make necessary improvements and adjustments to enhance audience engagement and overall video quality.
By following this iterative process of trying, failing, analyzing, and adjusting, you can continually improve your videos and better align them with your audience’s preferences.
To analyze your video and understand how your audience received it, there are several factors you should consider. After publishing your video, it typically takes around 48 hours for YouTube to start collecting data. Once you begin getting views, you can access valuable information through a graph. Here’s how you can view audience engagement on your video:
Step 1) Visit your YouTube Channel and click on the “Content” tab located on the left-hand side.
Step 2) Hover your mouse over the video you want to see analytics on, and click on “Analytics”.
Step 3) Click on the “Engagement” tab.
Step 4) Scroll down until you see the video engagement graph.
Here are some metrics to pay attention to:
Engagement: Aim for an Average Percentage Viewed (APV) of 40%. It’s normal for viewers to leave the video midway, but maintaining an APV of 40% ensures a good level of interest and engagement.
Retention: The first 30 seconds of your video are crucial. Aim to retain at least 70% of viewers during this period. This initial engagement is a strong indicator of your video’s overall success.
Dips and Spikes: Review your video’s playback timeline for dips and spikes. These can offer insights into which sections your audience found most engaging (spikes due to rewatching) or least interesting (dips due to skipping).
If the graph shows too many Dips in your video, it means those sections can be improved.
If the graph shows Spikes, it means those parts are interesting and you should do more of that.
The use of GIFs in your video can significantly increase its visual appeal and engagement. There are various resources where you can find GIFs for almost any concept. Custom GIFs can also be created to align perfectly with your narrative.
The type of GIFs you should probably focus on getting are the ones that have a transparent background, that way they can seamlessly be added to your animated projects without any problems.
Freepik.com offers a vast repository of drawings and 2D animation sequences in a single image that can be converted into APNGs using the APNG Assembler. Once ready, they can be easily imported into your CTA project as shown in this tutorial. Images like the following examples from Freepik can be used to create APNGs or Sequences. Like this sequence of a cat running from Freepik:
Can be animated when put together into this sequence:
Step 1) Click and drag all images into APNG Assembler.
Step 2) Select “Delays – All Frames” to adjust the frames per second (fps). In this example, we’ll use 12 fps, so set the delay to 1/12 seconds. Finally, click on “Set” to confirm the changes.
Step 3) Click on the ellipses “…” to access the output options. Next, select “Make Animated PNG,” and you are done!
Now APNGs can be freely brought into Cartoon Animator 5.
You can learn more about GIFS and APNGS in this video:
5) Mastering Sequence Animations in CTA
Sequence animations are a powerful way to make animated video fluid and dynamic. They allow for the smooth presentation of a series of actions or concepts. Learning to create and utilize sequence animations in CTA can add a new level of professionalism to your videos. This comprehensive guide can help you master sequence animations.
Basically, a 2D animation sequence inside CTA is like having several APNGs or GIFS into a single one that you can swap or switch into with ease. It’s very simple. Once you have a sequence created in vector software like Illustrator, you can take it inside CTA and animate whatever sequence you need. For example, these three sets of explosions were added into a single file:
And in Illustrator, it looks like this:
If you pay attention, the layers show the correct structure you need for sequences created for CTA.
And inside CTA, when exported as an SVG, it looks like this:
An animated sequence that can switch between “boom_1”, “boom_2”, and “boom_3” by just right-clicking on it, selecting “Action Menu”, and then selecting one of the options.
To learn more about how to create image sequences, you can check this tutorial:
Crafting a successful explainer video requires more than just technical knowledge. You can use GIFs, APNGs, and image sequences as much as you want, but if you don’t have the correct storytelling, for the correct audience, you will not be able to create a compelling video.
How do you measure how compelling your video is? By uploading it to YouTube and checking the engagement analytics. If you have above 40% retention rate (Average Percentage Viewed) then that means your video is performing really well. The key is to use technology and the techniques you learned in this video in combination with a good story, animation, and audience understanding. If you are interested in seeing how all of this plays out together, you can check out this Webinar where I explain each step in detail.
My name is Mathias Rodrigues Bjerre, I’m a film director and digital artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark.m from Copenhagen, Denmark. I sometimes work on projects as a technical director and I also run a social media profile that features my animations called ZeroSum.G which occasionally receives millions of views.
I graduated from the National Film School of Denmark, specializing in Digital Art and Animation Directing back in 2020. The school offered immense creative freedom, but it did not provide its pupils with any technical curriculum in CG, so I built and learned my digital workflow on my own during my school years.
And after having seen my narratives and technical skills, the school ended up hiring me a month after I graduated to help them ‘refurbish’ their brand just in time for entrance exams. I was tasked with delivering a multitude of shorts, doc-interviews, illustrations, and animations that painted a picture of the different educations the school had to offer. My challenge was not only delivering the visual works but also coordinating with different people under time pressure. I am glad that in the end, I’ve made every individual branch of education (Sound Design, Editing, Directing, and DOP) stand out as a strong unique academia on its own, while I at the same time, made the viewer comprehend that film-production is a team effort and that no part can stand alone in the process of making film and art. (link)
Besides the National Film School of Denmark, my clients also include SONY Music, United Nations, Danish Broadcast Corp, Danish Cancer Society, and AKQA. Besides commercial clients, I’ve also worked on multiple, state-funded artistic projects. As time flew by, I started to develop my own personal style of aesthetics, which I’ve cultivated since 2016 — a form of digital stop-motion. And here are some examples of my work.
Why I created this project?
Around 2 years ago, I contacted the production company Angel Films, seeing we had a mutual interest in creating a new direction for animated content based on new technologies.
As a storyteller, I know one of the most time-consuming aspects of creating animated films consists of designing, modeling, and rigging characters from the ground up. The biggest animation houses here in Denmark can spend up to one entire month just to build a single character. Simply making a 3D character blink, could eat up days worth of production time! I realized this quite early in my life when I first started digging into Maya and rigging as a teenager. I was manually setting up IK controllers and skinning characters, only to realize that my joint placement was wrong and I’d have to redo hours of work. It was grueling!
Yet, Angel Films and I had very steep ambitions…
We wanted to tell stories that allowed for potentially hundreds of unique characters, so it became a very obvious goal for us to find ways to speed up that workflow. According to my friend’s suggestion, I delved into Character Creator, and after having generated only a few actors, I never looked back since then.
Creating the protagonists in Character Creator
For the ‘We Are All Gonna Die lmao’ film, we wanted to create an ambitious animation about an imminent climate catastrophe that hits the world and triggers a panicked and violent reaction from the Danish youth, who end up overtaking the Danish parliament by force, with the goal of forcing the entire country to heavily reduce their CO2 emissions by cutting unnecessary power grids and transportation services. The rest of the movie would follow the new government and all of the ensuing chaos and disasters that would follow such a radical movement.
For such a project, we naturally had to re-invent a lot of things in our technical workflow, since our story required hundreds of unique characters and sets. Having recently discovered Reallusion and their many software solutions, this couldn’t have come at a better time, and was a huge game-changer for us. Character Creator alone allowed us to save thousands of hours when it came to building the characters for our work-in-progress political satirical feature film. Having spent 6 months creating 20 unique characters for my graduation film by hand, using Reallusion cannot be understated as an enormous revolution for my workflow. It’s a game-changer: since 20 characters took less than 5 days to create with this workflow.
We managed to build a key scene from the film that required dozens of unique characters as they stormed the Danish parliament in the wake of the before-mentioned potential climate catastrophe.
Using Character Creator, in combination with the huge Marketplace that Reallusion has to offer, we could quickly build out many different characters from different economic classes and ethnicities, giving them make-up, accessories, and unique features. With Character Creator, we were able to create a 2-minute scene from the movie featuring dozens of unique characters — hippies, politicians, regular joes, etc. all storming a 3D copy of the Danish parliament. We could quickly build out the different characters, changing them on the fly without having to manually rig them afterward. It felt like true creative freedom and allowed me to experiment and use our production time much more efficiently.
From CC to Maya animation and Redshift render
I have a unique style of 3D story-telling that I’ve cultivated throughout the years, that gives my movies a stop-motion-ish aesthetic. By having your characters move in 12 fps instead of 24, the audience automatically lowers their quality expectations, as they are aware that they’re watching something stylized — this is very important if you want don’t want to spend hours animating and perfecting your character’s movement, as you’ll be less likely to hit the uncanny valley that comes pretty easily with janky animation in 24 fps.
Reallusion has very nice pipeline tools that allow me to easily get my characters into Maya and ready to animate. I export the finalized characters as an FBX, and I also export their texture maps via the substance painter export function. I can then easily recreate their shaders with Redshift in Maya from those exported maps. For rigging, I used another external plugin, Advanced Skeleton to easily set up animation-friendly rigs. And with a tiny script I built, we could also set up the blend shapes by just clicking a button. After completing all the necessary steps, including setting up shaders, blendshapes, and rigs, the characters were fully prepared for animation and rendering in Maya. And, It only took approximately 10-15 minutes per character!
We could quickly build out many different characters from different economic classes and ethnicities, giving them make-up, accessories, and unique features — Personally, it felt as easy as if playing a slightly advanced Sims.
-Mathias Bjerre, Filmmaker for Angel Films
Zerosum.G: honoring the new Pipeline
In fact, the speed and expressive workflow that Reallusion helped us foster, allowed me to create a channel I run in my free time named ZeroSum.G. The channel features around 30 unique animated shorts that I’ve made throughout the year, featuring characters made with Character Creator. I’ve also undertaken a political satirical project, where I digitized one top Danish politician a day for a duration of 12 days leading up to the Danish election back in 2022. This was enabled by using Reallusion’s amazing plugin, Headshot, which allows you to build a character based off of a single photo of their face. Besides local Danish politicians, I’ve also made Joe Biden, Trump, John Cena, and even Gordon Ramsay. Some of these random shorts have been seen millions of times on YouTube and TikTok. As of the posting of this article I have accumulated around 110 thousand followers on different platforms in the span of around 4 months of productivity.
I’m a person who enjoys the creative process, but who’s also very interested in optimizing the technical workflow in a production. Because the less time you need to spend with tedious processes, the more time you can spend on the fun parts of film-making. I must say that Reallusion has been a total game-changer for me personally!
Hello, colleagues! My name is Óscar Fernández, and I am a digital sculptor specialized in figures for printing. I would love to show you a workflow that literally changes the game when it comes to producing figures for board games. I’m talking about a new Reallusion plugin called Character Creator Pose Tools, which allows us to connect ZBrush with Character Creator 4 (CC4) to rig our character and pose it with unprecedented ease. What’s more, it preserves all our subtools, subdivision levels, and the ability to continue modifying the character even after posing, making it easy to adjust the anatomy, add details, or incorporate variations.
This will be our complete workflow:
initial Idea / quick 2D sketch
Let’s start the project with a super basic concept of the character. Before we begin sculpting, I have created a quick 2D sketch to bring to life what was once just an idea in my head. This is only an initial concept to get started with, and it will probably evolve as I begin working in 3D.
There are some elements that I am sure will be present in the character’s design, such as:
Horns or a helmet that integrates with the shape of the head.
Armor for the torso with sharp elements to make the character more menacing.
A powerful anatomy that showcases the strength of our character.
Some fabrics to test how dynamics work in CC4.
Three fingers instead of five to test AccuRIG’s auto rigging.
Lastly, bull-like hooves or something similar to give our character a hybrid appearance without being exactly a minotaur.
MODELING IN ZBRUSH / THE HEAD
When starting a new character, I always like to begin by defining how the head and face will look. I usually don’t proceed with the complete development until I am satisfied with the shapes. So, gradually, we will structure the facial anatomy by adding a couple of spheres for the eyes and incorporating other elements such as ears or a beard, which will greatly define our character.
Once all the elements are in place, I begin refining the shapes after performing a ZRemesher and applying subdivision levels. Afterwards, I can add the fangs, beard details, and, finally, the horns.
In the end, I opted for a more organic structure for this part, creating horns instead of a helmet. Once we are satisfied with the head’s shape, we can continue moving forward.
BASE MESH / CHARACTER CREATOR 4
To speed up the process, we will use a CC4 avatar as the base mesh for the body. We put it in A Pose and use the sliders to modify the proportions. Since our character will have 3 fingers, I take the opportunity to create a similar structure that I will later modify in ZBrush. With a simple click, we bring it into ZBrush.
In ZBrush, let’s make further modifications to the proportions and attach the previously created head. By adjusting the size of the head to match the body we brought in from CC4, we ensure that the model’s measurements are optimized for later use in CC4. However, this is something we could easily fix later on if needed.
SCULPTING THE HORNS / ZBRUSH
Indeed, the communication between ZBrush and Character Creator has been available before, but in version 3, we couldn’t modify the topology of the base mesh, which was quite restrictive for character creation. With the arrival of CC4, we can now use all the typical ZBrush sculpting techniques to make any necessary modifications. So, let’s start by applying DynaMesh to create those bull-like hooves and define our character’s anatomy. Having the fingers placed together earlier will also speed up the process of creating the hand.
After achieving anatomical shapes that we are satisfied with, we will merge the head with the body using DynaMesh. Then, we will perform ZRemesher to have a more organized mesh, and we will project the details onto the different subdivision levels. This process will help us create a more refined and cohesive model, combining the head and body seamlessly while preserving the intricate details.
MODELLING THE ACCESSORIES / ZBRUSH
It’s time to create the accessories for our character. We’ll primarily use ZModeler with a low polygon count to achieve cleaner and more polished shapes. Our goal is to design pieces of armor with the intention of 3D printing, so we’ll aim for fully solid pieces whenever possible or with a slightly thicker thickness than they would be in reality to avoid issues with printing and to ensure the piece is not too fragile.
In this case, creating the fabrics is not very complex, as they are just a pair of flaps that cover part of the legs. Using the belt as a base, we apply an extrusion, keep the part we are interested in, and then adjust the shape until we achieve what we are looking for. We will use dynamic subdivision to work with a plane but get an idea of the thickness the final piece will have.
Once the fabrics are made, we have the complete blockout, so if we are satisfied, we can move on to the details. Since we already have a correct topology, it is enough to subdivide where necessary to add imperfections, dents, scratches, etc., and thus give a little more realism to our pieces.
We would only need to add a couple of weapons to our friend, so using the same techniques as for the armor, we will create a battle axe and a shield that are simply… enormous!
UVs AND MAPS / ZBRUSH
Let’s prepare the model to take it to CC4. Although this step is not necessary, it will enhance its appearance in CC4. We’ll start by creating UVs for the different pieces and generating normal maps.
For the UVs, we will utilize the new feature in ZBrush 2023 that allows us to use creases to define cutting lines and create our UVs quickly without needing to leave the program. We will adjust them within the grid and ensure everything is fine by applying a test texture. Once the UVs are set, we can also generate the normal maps.
Auto rigging / accurig
Now we have everything ready to take our character to CC4. Although we can send everything at once, I’m going to go slowly and, for now, I’m going to isolate only the body to send it to CC4 using the “Visible” option. Once the character is transferred to CC4, we see that we have the whole character in a single element, but keeping each of our subtools inside it, so I’m going to load the normal maps to make everything look a little better.
I was looking forward to this moment! Now is when we’ll witness the magic of AccuRIG, the automatic rigging tool in CC4. I must confess that I have no idea about rigging, and this tool seems like pure wizardry to me! We press the AccuRIG button, and the tool starts analyzing the mesh, automatically placing the joint points in a fairly approximate manner… Now, all we have to do is adjust the placement of those points by clicking on each one of them and following the diagrams we have at the top. We can use the symmetry function to work faster or deactivate it if our character isn’t symmetrical. We define the number of digits for our character, in this case, three, and hit “Generate Skeleton,” and voilà! The skeleton is generated in literally 2 minutes.
The next step is to configure the finger layout. We adjust the position of the little dots on each joint and also define the direction of a special point on the thumb that indicates its rotation. We make sure everything is set correctly and then press the “Bind Skin” button. The program will automatically calculate the skin weight around each joint so that all deformations occur smoothly. Once the complete skeleton is generated, we will check it with an animation to see how it behaves. The anatomy of this character is a bit unique, and I think I didn’t place the point of that joint in the most correct position, causing the shoulders to be too forward-heavy, but that’s not a problem; we will accept it.
Using “Pose Offset,” we can further fine-tune those particularities that depend a bit more on the morphology of our specific character. So, I adjust the position of the shoulders, the tilt of the torso, or the separation of the legs manually. Once everything is prepared, we can save our CC4 project.
For someone like me, who is used to working with static figures, seeing your character come to life is truly amazing!
DYNAMICS / BEHAVIOUR OF FABRICS
Let’s continue bringing accessories into CC4 as if we were dressing our character from the inside out, so now it’s time for fabrics. Once again, working with this type of element is super simple. First, we need to work with planes and define the parts that will deform and those that won’t, simply using polypaint. It’s similar to using a mask in Photoshop or Substance. We’ll paint the entire piece in white and protect the parts we don’t want to deform by painting them in black when applying dynamics. Since we are working with a high polygon count, we can achieve smooth gradients by just softening the paint a little. We’ll unwrap the UVs for each piece and create a texture map from the polypaint.
We launch the flaps again using the “Visible” button. In CC4, we can import them as individual accessories and adjust them to the body. We delete the color map, link all the pieces to the hip, and test that everything works correctly. Perfect! Now, we only need to activate the physics for each piece and load the weight maps we just generated with polypaint.
Our pieces now behave like fabrics, but we need to define which parts of the character they will collide with. So, we select the body and define the collision volumes for the hip and legs in this case, deforming the “capsule” with the gizmo.
For now, it’s enough… let’s go for the armor
armor / hard surface accessories
To bring the armor pieces to Character Creator 4, we follow the same process: isolate the pieces we want and press ‘Visible’ again. We import each subtool as a new accessory and then head to the texture panel to load the normal maps for each of them. I must say that this step isn’t really necessary, but it makes everything look a bit better.
Since I’m importing the elements in different phases, I have to position them manually and link them to their corresponding joint, which wouldn’t be necessary if we imported everything together, as the program would calculate it automatically. In any case, it’s super quick… just select each element, press the ‘Pick Parent’ button, and click on the joint to which it should be linked.
We activate the fabrics again to have all the accessories visible and check how they behave with the walking test animation we’ve been using so far. I can’t help but admit that I feel like Dr. Frankenstein: ‘It’s alive!’
To add the weapons, we follow the same process: isolate the axe in ZBrush, make it visible, and then import it into CC4 as a Prop. In this case, we’ll have a single element but with all the subtools inside.
Next, we set the pivot point to the center of the axe, position it in the hand, and check how it behaves during the animation.
Completing the character’s equipment, we follow the same steps for the shield, and now we’ve finished the whole process… everything is ready for playing with poses.
Posing in CHARACTER CREATOR 4 / Freedom has arrived
We all know that posing a character in ZBrush is perfectly possible but can be quite time-consuming and effort-intensive, making it a tedious task to create a set of multiple poses for the same character.
Thanks to CC4, AccuRig, and the Character Creator Pose Tools plugin, we now have seamless communication with ZBrush. Making small changes or creating completely new poses becomes not only incredibly fast but also enjoyable.
In addition to manually posing our figure, we can utilize ActorCore, an extensive library of pre-made movements ready to use in CC4. In our case, we’ll use some animations from this library, and the best part is that we can capture specific frames from the animation to create unique and dynamic poses. We can save those exact frames and create our own library of poses within CC4.
We’re going to use the animation as a general base for our pose, selecting that exact moment we want to immortalize. Then, we make adjustments using the pose editor. I believe it’s worth highlighting how easy it is to pose the hands, moving each phalanx in a quick and super intuitive way. We can even save hand gestures to use them in future poses or directly use any of the ones available in the library to streamline the process.
RETURN TO zbrush
First of all, let’s create a quick base to place the character on. I always try to make the bases tell a story that goes beyond what the character itself conveys, but in this case, we’ll keep it simple just for playing around.
Once we’ve finished the poses, it’s time to bring them all into our ZBrush project—yes, you heard it right, all of them in the same project. We apply the pose, select all the elements, go to plugins, and within ZBrush Pose Link, we choose to send the current pose. Automatically, the plugin starts analyzing the correspondence between the elements in CC4 and the subtools. It’s crucial that none of the subtool names have been changed and that they are exactly the same as in CC4.
All the subtools deform and move to the correct position automatically, allowing us to proceed with the next poses. What’s actually happening behind the scenes is that each pose corresponds to a ZBrush layer created for each subtool, where all the changes are stored. The different poses are displayed in this layer rack, and we can rename them. Clicking on each pose activates its respective layer, showing the changes.
We can individually edit each pose, not only to position it correctly but also to make adjustments to the anatomy or minor changes in the position of accessories. Each of these changes is stored individually for each pose.
Once we save the file as a project, when we open it in a subsequent session, it might seem like we’ve lost the poses. However, we can see that the layer information remains active, and by clicking the refresh button for the pose list, we can have all the poses available again. In the layers panel, we can observe that each subtool has a layer with a name corresponding to the pose, and it will automatically activate when we select the linked pose.
This is the result of our work… Once the figure was posed in Pose A, I think the process of generating the 4 poses and trying out at least ten more that I eventually discarded didn’t take me more than an hour. Additionally, I also created a bust based on one of the figures I already had. Next step: Printing.
Now, we only need to prepare the figures for printing. First, we’ll add thickness to the flaps since, as we mentioned before, physics in CC4 requires us to apply them as flat accessories. Once we add the thickness, we apply the texture, and it’s ready.
Next, I’ll ensure that the entire figure is a solid mesh and that there are no gaps between the different subtools. I’ll convert each subtool into a single polygroup, merge all the subtools into a single mesh using “Remesh by Union,” and then separate the pieces using polygroups. I’ll close any holes that may have remained, and now we can create the joints. Once the joints are created, we’ll slightly inflate the subtools with the male joint and create the final pieces using Boolean operations. We’ll perform decimation to reduce the polygon count and facilitate the transfer to the slicer without any issues. We’ll add a solid defining the scale for all the figures and export them as STL files.
We are going to use Chitubox to add supports and slice the pieces for printing. Whenever possible, I try to add the supports manually. It’s a super boring job, but it ensures that the pieces have fewer marks when removing the supports and that they are only where they are really needed. In case I’m not concerned about marks when removing the supports from the piece, I add automatic supports. Once the printing is finished, we remove the pieces from the printing plate, glue them together with cyanoacrylate, and that’s it!!
This is the final result of the pieces already printed. I have printed the figures at what would be the standard 75 mm size, which is considerably larger than the figures for tabletop games, but it’s a size that many painters demand.
That’s all from me. As I mentioned at the beginning, this workflow can completely change the game when it comes to creating sets or even armies for board games or wargames. One of the things that held me back as an artist was that in previous versions of Character Creator, we were dependent on the topology of the base mesh. But now, with ZBrush+AccuRIG+CC4, we have all the freedom in the world to create our creatures, pose them, and continue creating variations.
Undoubtedly, ZBrush+AccuRIG+CC4 is a fantastic formula for increasing productivity while maintaining complete freedom and creativity.
Hello everyone! I am an action figure collector and 3D animator based in the US.
For over a decade, I have been honing my skills in the mesmerizing art of 3D scanning and animation. Since 2011, I have been pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology, capturing the essence of action figures and bringing them to life in captivating animations.
In 2021 I embarked on a thrilling new chapter, focusing specifically on action figures that have enthralled generations. From the classic heroes like Spiderman, Green Goblin, Wolverine, Batman, and Joker to the ever-beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their arch-nemesis Shredder, I have been meticulously scanning and animating these iconic characters, channeling the magic and excitement of the comic books and animated series.
Make It Move Media
Make It Move Media is a channel I created to showcase action figures and iconic superheroes and villains from comic books and movies. I wanted to do it in a way that leaned into my 3D scanning and animation hobby, bringing a sense of wonder and excitement to our action figure culture.
Ultimately, I want to grow my followers and create content that they want to share and comment on, plus I love hearing reactions from comic book and action figure collectors. The best comments are how the videos I create remind them of their childhood and how they played with their action figures in their head, with their imagination — I want to bring that to life!
I’ve been going at this for over a decade, but have over the last 8 months seen my channels really start to gain a following. I am self taught; Everything from 3D scanning and animation has been learned through YouTube tutorials, long nights grinding on scenes and a passion to make things move (hence the name). I am mesmerized by 3D animation and always have been. I learn a new technique with almost every 10-12 second scene I create. That is part of the fun — finding ways to do what I have yet to learn.
Today, I want to show you how fast and easy it is to bring 3D character scans to life with AccuRIG, a rigging tool by Reallusion. A lot of people have asked me how I animate my action figures. This is one of the tools I go to almost every time I create an animation. Watch my workflow:
Turn Toys into 3D Action Heros
First, I did a 3D scan of the Spiderman toy and loaded it into AccuRIG. This free auto-rigging program is great since it offers many features with a very straightforward interface to navigate the process. Just a few clicks and some minor adjustments, I have got my Spiderman fully rigged – body and hands. This would take hours without this awesome rigging tool. I can then use the preset animations in AccuRIG to quickly test the rigging, and the results are impressive.
Hundreds of Action Animations
I wanted to give my Spiderman some thrilling moves; so I uploaded the character to ActorCore 3D store, with just one click. Over 2,000 motion captures, professionally-made, well-organized by category, are there for me to pick and choose from. I can preview everything right inside my web browser, which is pretty slick because there is no guessing.
Under the category “Action & Adventure”, I can find tons of motions to use on Spiderman. There are also themed packs specifically designed for action adventure movies and games, such as “Packour”, “Run for Your Life”, and “Hand-to-Hand Combat”. After several testings, I can grab all the motions that I want to animate Spiderman with. Download and export the FBX files to Blender. It is that simple.
Animation and Rendering inside Blender
I use Blender for all of my 3D animations. It is an open source 3D software suite with which you can animate and render. Simply locate my Spiderman FBX file inside Blender. I find it ready rigged and with a full mesh. With the imported motion, my Spiderman is animated and ready to roll! And I can continue animating inside Blender to create my next 3D action short.
It’s Pretty Phenomenal
A few years ago — I am talking probably five years ago — this workflow would have been impossible. Three years ago, this would have been hard. Now this thing is ready to rock, fast and easy — thanks to AccuRIG. So I highly recommend it.
I’m Deb Ethier, animator, graphic designer, writer, and musician for Rusty Bolt Theatre and Seat of the Pants Film Lab (which is basically just me!). I started making short and micro-short animations back in 2016 and my films (from comedies to full dramatic narratives) have been honored with awards at film festivals around the world.
I’d like to share a bit of what went into making “Madcap Catnap” featuring Louie the Cat (one of my favorite characters), and how I used several software resources to achieve the finished film.
Turning Realistic 3D Dolls into 2D Characters
The idea of a cat’s dream world allowed me to play with fun concepts. I had used Louie as an animated 2D character before, but never with this many pose variations. The original Louie is a 2.5 inch tall needle-felted character! I often make my characters as real 3D “dolls” so I can photograph them from every angle to process into animated 2D characters.
Using GIMP and png-enhancing software I decide what angles I need and transform those. Louie’s size offered a bit of a challenge, but I finally got the wool texture right so he looked like the tiny, blocky felted creature that he is.
There were eventually several “Louies”; mostly free bone, a couple more traditionally rigged in CTA5.
Creating Facial Animation
His face animation is really important as it needs to show emotion. I prefer morph heads in Cartoon Animator for various reasons, one being that the eyeballs actually sit in the eye sockets giving lots of expression to facial animation.
Morph heads can be tricky at first, but taking the time to do a lot of careful tweaking back and forth between previews and adjustments really pays off.
The dream world had to be surreal. I often get my inspiration from paintings, and partially went with the look of the Post-Impressionists this time, adding my own graphic touch. Layering these in CTA5 with flat color-field landscape elements throws the world further off-kilter.
Animating 2D Characters with Spring Bones
The new features in CTA5 (like Spring Bones) make it a very versatile 2D animation software. Before, I would rig tails as a spine and either keyframe manually or use one of the premade spine animations. However, by rigging the tail with Spring Bones, a lovely, smooth movement was achieved. A banner was also rigged this way. But I think the most fun application of this new feature was in the final chase scenes through the dream tunnel. I rigged the entire front and rear views of Louie with Spring Bones to give that comical frantic wiggly walk-run that cats often do. It gave a great cartoon feel, and I could still add facial animation easily.
Adding Free-Form Deformation Effects on Props
The Free-Form Deformation (FFD) editor was also extremely useful as I was able to make the “crop” of underwear dance in the wind by applying FFD to each pair of shorts (after capturing images of the underwear from various angles in Blender).
Layering and moving the camera along the z-axis (as in Louie’s run down the road) remains one of my favorite original abilities in CTA as I love to push the dimensional boundaries in 2D animation software. For that scene, I simply animated the back of Louie running separately and layered it with the rendered scene so it appears as if we’re seeing it from Louie’s POV.
Rendering Props and Making Effects in Blender
CTA5 was at the forefront in this project, but I also have other tools that work really well with it. Blender is one of these. I’m just a beginner in this 3D software but it wasn’t that hard to get the basics for this project. Manipulating characters and props (either original or from premade models) in Blender allows you to save images at any angle for importation into CTA5 for rigging.
One of the most pivotal things that I found Blender really useful for when it comes to CTA5 is creating rotating or turning characters or props. In this film, I used a propeller and windup key (but there are lots of other possibilities). Animate and render as an image sequence in Blender for input to CTA5. (I use popVideo for input because my image sequences were quite long, but the new version of CTA allows for short APNG sequence import).
You can reverse that workflow too. For the cat food can I animated the label in CTA5, rendered it as an image sequence, and imported this into Blender to be attached to the can. I then keyframed the camera position and rendered out for import back to CTA5 via popVideo. I think there could be a lot of use for this technique.
The dream tunnel at the end is an effect made entirely in Blender, following a tutorial. Load it as a video into CTA and you have a wormhole! I think there is a lot of scope for expanding the play between Blender and CTA5, something I intend to explore further.
When it comes to a video editor, I look for versatility and available plugins. I have used HitFilm Express (with all the add-ons) for a long time, but their business model changed when the company was taken over by Artlist. In searching for a viable alternative I came across Vegas Pro and it seems to be a very good fit. I am just learning its ins and outs, but have found it to be user-friendly with a lot of support available. I particularly liked the fact that it is an excellent host for some of my favorite third-party effect plugins — but Vegas Pro also has a lot of native plugins.
To test its user interface, I created the title sequence for the film with it and applied effects to sets, props, characters, and scenes. I then tested it with some of my favorite effects combinations from Hitfilm. It performed remarkably well. To test it further against Hitfilm, I created an easy blur effect for fast movement without using motion blur (which can really bog down the render). I duplicated the video and applied a long-angle blur to the bottom copy. Stretched it out, angled it correctly, and positioned it against the original, while playing with opacity. It works well in both pieces of software and is a very useful, easy smooth effect to use. Vegas Pro will likely be phased-in as my main video editor.
Although I love integrating other software into my animation workflow, CTA still remains my main tool. It’s very versatile, well-supported, and quite adaptable to my many styles of animation. It just keeps getting better with the addition of new features on every update!
Give Amazing Poses to ZBrush Characters with ZBrushGuides
Hello, my name is Pablo Munoz Gomez, and I’m an enthusiastic 3D concept and character artist who is deeply committed to the spread of knowledge. My expertise lies in 3D sculpting, visual development, and engaging in mixed-media projects. I take immense pride in being the creator of the ZBrushGuides website, the 3DConceptArtist academy, and the 3DSnippets project. These platforms serve as outlets for showcasing my work, sharing my workflows, and assisting fellow artists in honing their skills across a wide range of subjects.
Before we begin, let’s address some preliminary details. This tutorial will demonstrate the process using ZBrush 2022.0.5 version, but the plugin is compatible with newer versions of ZBrush as well. Additionally, I’ll be utilizing the latest version of Character Creator 4 (version 4.3), with which I have already created a Spider-Man stylized character for this demonstration.
The character mentioned here is composed of three separate subtools: one for the body, one for the clothing, and an additional subtool for the zippers.
Typically, I prefer to work with a character in a relaxed symmetrical pose or an “A-Pose”. I utilize sculpting layers to introduce variations to the mesh, including different poses. For example, I can save a “swinging” pose for this character on its own layer. By enabling that specific layer, I can view the pose. However, since sculpting layers are specific to the selected subtool, I need to create a new layer for each subtool and manually toggle them on or off to reveal the corresponding pose for each subtool.
To achieve the complete pose for this character, you’ll need to activate the “swinging” sculpting layer for the body subtool, as well as for the clothing and zippers. While it may not seem too challenging initially, this task can become quite tedious when you have over 10 subtools to manage.
Thankfully, ZBrush Pose Tools can greatly assist you with this task by simplifying the process of storing, editing, and managing multiple poses that involve multiple subtools. It provides a streamlined solution for handling and organizing poses, making your workflow much more efficient.
Pose Tools workflow
After installing the ZBrush Pose Tools plugin, you can locate it in the ZPlugin palette, specifically under the name “ZBrush Pose Tools”. Initially, you might notice that some options appear grayed out since no poses have been created within the plugin yet.
1) Bringing in existing poses
If you have a character with various layers already posed, you can effortlessly transfer all those layers to the ZBrush Pose Tools plugin by utilizing the “Convert Layers to Pose” button. However, it’s crucial to ensure that you have correctly named each layer for every subtool. This naming convention ensures that the entire pose can be conveniently saved within a single “switch” or pose.
By simply clicking a button, the plugin seamlessly transfers all your poses into individual switches. These switches allow you to easily toggle poses on and off, enabling effortless switching between different poses. It’s important to note that the versatility of this plugin extends beyond humanoid characters. You can utilize it to manage poses for any object or entity since it leverages the layer system in ZBrush. Thus, the plugin offers flexibility in managing poses for a wide range of subjects.
2) Refining select poses
Another awesome capability of this plugin is the ability to edit each relevant layer within a pose, allowing you to make precise adjustments and refine the mesh’s appearance. To do this, simply select the desired pose and click on the “Edit current Pose” button. This action activates recording on the layer corresponding to the selected “switch,” allowing you to begin sculpting and make necessary modifications to achieve the desired results.
3) Creating new poses
Certainly, you have the freedom to utilize any tool within ZBrush to fine-tune your poses or even generate new poses directly from the plugin. The procedure for creating a new pose, or a new “switch”, is just as straightforward as editing or converting existing poses. Simply click on the “Record New Pose” button, provide it with a name, and the plugin will automatically create a new sculpting layer for each subtool while initiating the recording of subsequent modifications. This allows you to seamlessly capture and refine changes for the newly created pose.
In the standard workflow, you would begin by selecting or masking the areas of the mesh that you wish to protect. Then, you can employ the Transpose line or the Gizmo 3D to manipulate and rotate the relevant parts of the mesh, creating the desired pose. Once you have completed the pose, simply click on the “Save New Record” button to preserve the newly created pose.
This process can become a bit tedious when dealing with multiple subtools. However, you can simplify it by using the Transpose Master plugin. This plugin, included in ZBrush, enables you to temporarily merge all your subtools, making it easier to manipulate them collectively. The great advantage is that once you’ve finished tweaking the pose, you can save your changes into layers. The procedure is straightforward. Simply open the Transpose Master plugin in ZBrush and click on the prominent “TPoseMesh” button. This will create a new layer with the pose, which you can then transfer back to the Pose Tools plugin.
Now, you can create the pose for your character. When you’re prepared, enable the “Layer” switch and click on the “TPose \ SubT” button. This action will transfer your modifications to the working file, including all subtools and the new pose, onto a layer. Next, simply utilize the “Convert layers to pose” button in the ZBrush Pose Tools plugin to incorporate your new pose into the switches.
4) Saving ZBrush projects
In ZBrush, there are various ways to save your progress. Personally, I find it beneficial to save multiple versions of my tools as I work on developing a concept. It’s worth mentioning that when you save your ZTool and load it again on another day, you might not immediately see your saved poses in the ZBrush Pose Tools plugin. However, there’s no need to worry because your poses are not lost. Simply click on the “Refresh Pose list” button located at the top of the ZBrush Pose Tools plugin. This action will scan the layers of your subtools and reconnect them to the switches in the plugin.
ZBrush to CC4 roundtrip
The ZBrush Pose Tool plugin is an excellent tool for managing poses and it significantly reduces the time required for the process. However, the most time-consuming aspect is actually creating the poses. Luckily, you can leverage Character Creator 4 with AccuRig to swiftly generate a rig for your characters, pose them, and subsequently transfer them back to ZBrush. This integration streamlines the workflow and expedites the posing process.
1) Auto-rigging ZBrush characters
For my Spiderman character, I utilized AccuRig to generate the rig, enabling me to create a series of dynamic poses. These poses were then seamlessly transferred to ZBrush for further editing and fine-tuning. This combination of AccuRig and ZBrush allowed me to efficiently refine the character’s poses and enhance their overall appearance.
I have an extensive video series on my Youtube channel and the Reallusion website that delves into the process of rigging a character using CC4. For now, let’s focus on the steps involved in creating a pose in CC4 and transferring it back to ZBrush.
To begin, in ZBrush, position your character in an A-Pose and click on the “Visible” button located at the top of the Tool palette. This action will send all the visible subtools to CC4, allowing you to commence the rigging process.
In CC4, I already have the rig set up for the character, and this is how it appears:
2) Posing ZBrush characters
To pose the character, select it from the scene tab. Then, open the modify window and navigate to the posing section. Finally, click on the “Edit Pose” option, keeping in mind that this feature is only available once the character has been rigged.
You can use the pop-up window to choose the controllers for the rig and manipulate the limbs to create your desired pose. This aspect of the process is really fun, and you also have the option to utilize Reallusion’s extensive library of premade poses and animations.
Once you are satisfied with your pose, you can take advantage of the convenient ZBrush Pose Link plugin from Reallusion. This free plugin is specifically designed for CC4 and simplifies the process of transferring your pose to ZBrush, automatically saving it into your ZBrush Pose Tools plugin.
To access the ZBrush Pose Link plugin in CC4, navigate to the top menu and locate the Plugins section. From there, you can select the ZBrush Pose Link option and choose “Send current pose to ZBrush Pose Tools”.
The plugin will transmit your pose to ZBrush, generating a separate sculpting layer for each of your subtools and seamlessly converting those layers into a new pose switch within the ZBrush Pose Tools plugin.
That covers the main steps. Now, you can proceed to rename this newly created pose and organize it alongside your other poses within the same ZTool in ZBrush.To conclude the process, select a pose that you prefer among the different alternatives you generated in CC4. Then, employ vibrant and colorful lighting in Marmoset Toolbag 4 to render the chosen pose.
The render is actually something else you can do directly from CC4 and is just a matter of playing with the lights a bit.
I aimed to create a concept that resembled an illustration inspired by the movie “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” To achieve this, I imported the rendered image into Procreate and proceeded to refine the concept further by applying paint over techniques.
That concludes this article, hope you find this breakdown of the process useful!
Hello! My name is Deryck Pelegrini, and I’m a 3D artist from Brazil. I reside on a small island near Sao Paolo, where I find joy in both creating 3D art and indulging in my passion for surfing the waves.
Professionally, my focus lies in developing 3D characters for games. However, in my personal projects, I enjoy sketching and exploring dynamic poses for moving characters. It brings me great satisfaction to see some of my work featured on ZBrushCentral, and I have had the opportunity to discuss these pieces on ZBrush LIVE a couple of times. I am truly passionate about sculpting and using shape and color to narrate stories through my art. Consequently, I love experimenting with “digital clay” in ZBrush, where I can explore fluid shapes and incorporate new techniques into my projects.
Lately, I have been dedicating a lot of time to practicing with new tools. In this article, I would like to share my latest creation, “The Three Dancers,” and discuss how I utilized the new Pose Tool Plugin for ZBrush, developed by Reallusion, the creators of Character Creator (CC). With this plugin, I was able to create a series of unique poses using a single mesh, and I am excited to share my process with you.
The concept behind my latest piece was to create a visually striking artwork that embodies the essence of a museum exhibit. As a sculptor, I thoroughly enjoy experimenting and pushing the boundaries of my craft by exploring new sculpting and painting techniques. One aspect I particularly love to explore is the pose of the character, as it brings the artwork to life and allows me to envision the character in a pivotal moment of action. I strive to create sculptures that possess a sense of freedom and fluidity, leaving room for the viewer’s imagination to fill in the gaps as they observe the piece. This approach enables a more interactive and engaging experience for the audience.
Pose Tools for ZBrush
The plugin’s name is CC Pose Tools for ZBrush. It is a free plugin that enables you to easily create and switch between various poses for your character with a single click. With Pose Tools, you can seamlessly send your model from ZBrush to Character Creator for rigging and posing through Pose Link.
Additionally, you can take full advantage of the extensive library of motions and poses, effortlessly sending them to ZBrush with just a few simple clicks.
My Sculpting Process
Step 1 – References
When I envision dynamic poses and movement, dance is among the first things that come to mind. The graceful and fluid motions of the human body can make it appear as light as a feather and as flexible as bamboo. Here are a few references that have served as inspiration for this project:
Step 2 – Selecting the Base Mesh
To maximize the potential of your sculpture, it is highly recommended to ensure that the mesh has a well-balanced distribution of polygons. This allows for uniform levels of detail when subdividing the geometry in ZBrush. For this particular project, I will be utilizing the “Male Neutral” base from Character Creator, which features a commendable human topology. The mesh consists entirely of quads, making it ideal for subdivision and achieving high levels of sculpting detail. As a result, the base mesh is already prepared for subdivision, providing an excellent starting point for this project.
Step 3 – Sculpting the Base Mesh
Prior to embarking on our initial pose creation, I will begin with a sculpting pass to establish the bone structures and muscles of my character. This initial layer of sculpting will be fairly rough, serving as the foundation for all subsequent poses to be developed.
Step 4 – Creating the First Pose
To commence, we will utilize the Pose Tools Plugin. In order to create a new pose, we will employ the “Record a New Pose” option.
After clicking on the button, we will be asked to name this new pose.
There are various methods available to store your poses using Pose Tools. For this particular project, I utilized Pose Tools in conjunction with the Transpose tool and the Mask Brush to achieve the desired pose.
Once you have moved, rotated, and pulled on the character to achieve the desired pose, it is time to save the pose within Pose Tools. The process is incredibly straightforward, requiring just a simple button press and your pose will be promptly saved in the plugin under the previously chosen name.
To revert back to your base pose, simply deselect the Pose Tools pose slot. By doing so, you will seamlessly return to the original base pose, allowing you to proceed to the next pose with ease.
Step 5 – Editing the Poses
However, my pose was not yet complete. As a result of the movements I made on the character, there were several artifacts present in “Pose01”. Fortunately, Pose Tools offers a straightforward solution to address this issue. By clicking the “Edit Current Pose” button, we gain the ability to re-sculpt and modify our mesh, allowing us to rectify any undesired artifacts.
Now comes the phase of sculpting and refining the sculpture. My objective here was to imbue the model with a unique essence, accentuating the bony landmarks to add a certain allure and ensure a clear definition of the character’s shapes. To achieve a clay-like finish, I employed one of my preferred brushes known as “Clay Layer Strong”, crafted by the talented artist Pablo Munoz Gomez.
Step 6 – Creating the Second Pose
To create “pose 02”, I followed the same steps as before:
1. Begin from the base pose. 2. Choose the “Record New Pose” option. 3. Assign a name to the new pose. 4. Utilize the Transpose and Mask Brush to position the character in the desired pose. 5. Save the new pose.
Once the pose was blocked out, I proceeded to sculpt the model once again using the “Edit Current Pose” feature. This allowed me to rectify any distortions that may have occurred due to the initial pose the character was placed in. By employing this function, I was able to correct these distortions and finalize the sculpture with the same level of quality achieved in “pose 01”.
Step 7 – Creating the Third Pose
Following the previous steps, I employed Pose Tools once again to create “Pose 03”. I began by establishing a rough initial blockout for the pose.
Afterward, utilizing the “Edit Current Pose” feature, I addressed any imperfections and completed the sculpture in a manner consistent with my approach mentioned before.
Step 8 – Colors
Lately, I’ve developed a strong interest in incorporating color into my sculptures, and this project was no exception. Another exciting capability provided by Pose Tools is the ability to apply different color schemes to the same mesh using PolyPaint for each pose slot in your file. To achieve this, simply select the desired slot with the corresponding pose, enter “Edit Current Pose” mode, and begin painting the geometry using ZBrush’s PolyPaint feature. By employing this method, I successfully created a series of three poses, each adorned with its unique color scheme, while utilizing the same underlying geometry.
The Pose Tools plugin offers the flexibility to easily manipulate both the pose and color of your model using a shared mesh, allowing for swift changes with just a single click. This highly optimized plugin seamlessly integrates with the ZBrush layer system, delivering exceptional speed, while boasting an intuitive and functional interface. It serves as an excellent tool for generating diverse pose variations of a character and exploring different possibilities within a single piece, all while maintaining editing control. Keep in mind that there are multiple ways to utilize this plugin; the aforementioned approach is just one example. I encourage you to enjoy the creative possibilities it presents!
For a CC-to-ZB Roundtrip Solution
The Character Creator Pose Link is a specialized plugin designed to facilitate the creation of various poses for your characters. With this powerful tool, you can effortlessly switch between different poses with just a single click, streamlining your workflow and saving valuable time.
Pose Tools even offers seamless integration between ZBrush and Character Creator 4 (CC4), allowing you to easily transfer your models back and forth. Furthermore, you can leverage the extensive library of poses available in the CC Pose Library, providing a wealth of options and serving as an excellent foundation for your projects. Transferring these poses from CC4 to ZBrush is a breeze using ZBrush Pose Link. With just a simple click, your selected poses will be stored and easily accessible within Pose Tools.
Mobile scanning provides a convenient and cost-effective method for creating 3D models. However, unwieldy scanning conditions may result in compromised quality. By selecting the effective surfaces, Character CreatorHeadshot 2.0 plugin AI can overcome these challenges by seamlessly filling in the missing areas, such as the ears, skull, and neck, ensuring high-quality results.
In the latest Character Creator Headshot 2.0 plugin release, many people have been curious about how Reallusion managed to create the face scan from an iPhone. Here, we would like to share our own experience with a powerful iPhone 3D scanning app we used in this demo.
While there are numerous 3D mobile scanning apps and AI solutions for converting videos to 3D models available in the market, our production process has been made remarkably easier and the results have been highly satisfactory, thanks to the following key features from SCANDY PRO app:
Accessibility for iPhone Users: This app is specifically designed for iPhone users, utilizing the iPhone’s depth camera for enhanced model precision. Users can easily access the app as it is standalone. Additionally, the app captures color texture simultaneously with the scanning process, ensuring a comprehensive and accurate result. The affordable pricing makes it accessible to a wide range of users, allowing them to own the app , similar to other Reallusion products.
No Cloud Computing Required: Scandy app performs all the necessary calculations solely on the iPhone itself. Users can see the scan mesh progressively being built up in real-time during the capturing process. This eliminates the need to send data to the cloud for computing and wait for results. The real-time feedback provided by the app allows users to confirm the scan results and make necessary corrections with ease. The main challenge lies in ensuring that the subject remains still during the scanning process to obtain an accurate mesh.
Seamless File Transfer: After completing the scan, users can easily send the scan file to their PC via email or use Mac Airdrop if they have a Mac device. No additional registration is required, and users can immediately access the 3D model (OBJ) and texture files (around 1.5k * 1.5k) directly from their iPhone. The polygon count/file size is approximately 50K triangles, and while the mesh quality may not be perfect compared to photogrammetry, it is well-suited for Headshot 2.0 purposes. An important benefit is that users have the option to keep their works private without the need for public display, resulting in a fast turnaround time.
Mesh and Texture Quality: The app also supports multiple file formats, including OBJ and USDZ. The mesh density and vertex color are optimized to ensure high-quality results. While some limitations may exist, such as potential color banding, the overall mesh and texture quality is satisfactory for most applications.