Masterful Poses in ZBrush with Character Creator Advanced AccuRIG and Pose Tools

All-in-one Guide of ZBrush CC Pose Manager (Early Access of CC to ZBrush Posing Pipeline)

ZBrushGuide founder, Pablo Munoz Gomez gives away a whole course in 3D character creation. From concepting in Krita to sculpting in Character Creator 4 (CC4), he takes us on a ride of turning 2D concepts into articulated 3D characters with the strategic use of ZBrush and AccuRig. Explore ways to set up a humanoid character in ZBrush for easy rigging and posing with the ZBrush CC Pose Manager, a free plugin developed by Reallusion in collaboration with Maxon and ZBrushGuide. Don’t wait — get started now with early access to the plugin here!

*Note to readers: Since the publication of this article, the plugin referred to as “ZBrush CC Pose Manager” has been rebranded as “Pose Tools”. All references to ZBrush CC Pose Manager in this article should be understood to refer to Pose Tools or CC to ZBrush Posing Pipeline.)

Pablo Munoz Gomez is a renowned 3D concept and character artist, with a passion for education. 3D sculpting, visual development, and other mixed-media form the pillars of his artistic passion which he channels through the various platforms that he owns, including ZBrush Guides, 3D Concept Artist Academy, and 3D Snippets Project. Thanks to his vast online following, he is able to reach artists from around the world and help them advance in a variety of 3D-related disciplines.

The workflow I’m going to show you through the video series is a real game changer when it comes to posing and managing poses in ZBrush as it allows you to keep all your subdivision levels while testing and prototyping all sorts of poses!

Pablo Munoz Gomez – Founder of ZBrush Guides

This article is a part of a transcript series based on Pablo’s tutorial videos and the following content is presented in his own words.


Design Characters with Thumbnail Sketches

Setup the 3D Concept in ZBrush

Polishing & Remeshing the 3D Sculpt

Auto-Rigging ZBrush Character with AccuRIG

Rig Tweaks and Manging Poses

ZBrush CC Pose Manager for Lightning Fast Posing

Design Characters with Thumbnail Sketches

Let’s create a full-body character project from scratch using ZBrush and CC4!

To start off, I will be focusing on the ideation process and generate some ideas for the character. The goal is to create a character that can be rigged using the CC4 AccuRig feature and test its integration with ZBrush.

I began the process by sketching lots of rough ideas using Krita. I only spent around thirty seconds on each sketch, just enough to get the gesture and the general shape of the volumes, without any detail. You can use any tool you prefer, but I like using Krita because of its experimental brushes. I also use Procreate when I just want to take a more relaxed approach.

The setup is simple, with a light gray background and using a hard brush to sketch pure black on a new layer.

I then did a second pass to figure out the volumes inside the silhouette. I used some tips, such as using “alpha clip” to restrict my brushstrokes to the silhouettes, customizing the brush to add a bit of “wet mixing“, imagining a single key light from above each character, using a slightly darker gray for the foreground, and even at this stage, defining ideas for the materials.

From all the sketches I created, I settled on one silhouette that I felt had a good balance and some areas for extra details. I then refined the silhouette on a larger resolution to use as a reference for the character design.

For those who might not be as comfortable with 2D sketches, I have some tricks to help get started with 3D sketches. You can use CC4 to morph a base silhouette, take a screenshot or render the image directly, fill the layer with black, and paint over it with additional shapes. 

Another option is to put together a ZSphere armature in ZBrush, pose it using the Rotate tool, add primitives, and render a BPR. You can then use the alpha and invert it to black, and start painting on top to refine the silhouette.

Setup the 3D Concept in ZBrush

With a more defined idea of what I wanted to create, I used a base mesh from CC4 just to get a rough idea of the proportions. The goal of the project was to use a different topology anyway, so I ended up Dynameshing and sculpting it in ZBrush.

I split the body into various parts like the hands, legs, head, and body, and then used Dynamesh and sculpting brushes to bring the silhouette closer to the reference sketch. I also added a couple of extra pieces using cylinders for the neck and the wrists of the suit, and defined the cuts and panels with the “cutter brush” from my H.R. Giger tribute pack.

At this stage, it was very sketchy and low-resolution, but I was able to assign polygroups to the body suit based on the cuts I made with the cutter brush. This not only allowed me to test the palette with a quick polypaint color but also guided the ZRemesher process later on.

The next step was to start the polishing process and cleanup of the forms. I increased the Dynamesh resolution of all subtools to add more details and refine the cuts and panels. For example, with the head, I increased the Dynamesh resolution to define the secondary shapes and add folds around the side of the face, neck, and mouth. I then used ZRemesher to generate a cleaner topology for the head and sculpting brushes to add details and polish the head.

The process for the body suit was the same, using the polygroups to guide the loops of the ZRemesher process and then using PanelLoops to generate the cuts inside the panels and polish the surface a bit more. I also used the polygroups to mask some areas and add wrinkles to give a hint of the different types of materials on the suit.

For the final step, I duplicated the entire mesh of the body suit, used selection tools to isolate some polygroups and deleted the rest, and then used Dynamic Subdivision to add thickness to generate the extra hard-surface objects. I used IMM brushes to create the tube connectors, and took advantage of the polygroups to add wrinkles and folds using a custom brush from the Cloth and Drapery pack.

Regarding the design of the space creature, I wanted to push the AccuRig tool inside CC4 and try new things, such as a low center of gravity, three fingers on each hand, and a combination of hard-surface and soft deformation parts. I also wanted to keep the neck piece completely solid when doing the rig.

Polishing & Remeshing the 3D Sculpt

At this point of the process, I’ve completed the setup and sculpting of the character in 3D, it’s now time to move on to the textures. I’ll briefly talk about how I approached planning and baking the high-resolution mesh into the low-resolution mesh and how I used Substance 3D Painter to create the texture sets of the creature.

Let’s start with the planning process. Organizing the assets is an important step to make sure that the baking and texturing stages go smoothly. I started by having a high-resolution mesh with all the details and a low-resolution mesh with UVs. To simplify the process, I tried to keep the number of subtools in both high and low-resolution meshes to a minimum, making sure that they match. I also separated the objects based on the material or texel density to have more control over the details.

An important thing to keep in mind when merging subtools is that in ZBrush, you can only combine objects with the same number of subdivision levels. If you have different levels, you’ll have to make them the same before merging. Another important thing to remember is to make sure that the UVs switch in the Merge section is enabled to keep your UVs. In my case, I had overlapping UV islands, so I used Ryzom UV to pack them and update the UVs of the low-resolution mesh.

Next, I exported the low- and high-resolution versions of the model, keeping the same name on the subtools and only changing the suffix from “_low” to “_high”. In Substance 3D Painter, I used the Match by Name option to bake the details from the high-resolution mesh to the low-resolution mesh.

Once the baking process was completed (just a few minutes of computing time), I generated the base color palette for each piece of the character:

You might have noticed that there are already some details and patterns on this blocking of the color palette. This is because some of the base materials I used are substances that come with certain details like the hexagonal pattern on the green areas or the padded stripes on the abdominal area.

Next, I spent some time adding some wear and tear and adjusting the brightness of the colors. The change might be subtle, but when you add all these subtleties together, you’ll get something pretty cool. I then focused on unifying the base colors and varying the roughness a little bit. My goal was to maintain the bright and saturated colors that I thought would go well with the character’s stylization, but also keep them within the same hue range.

There’s a simple trick that I like to use in Substance 3D Painter, which can override the hue. You can create a fill layer on top of your stack of layers in any texture set you want, and turn off everything but the color channel. Then you can right-click and copy the layer, and go to another texture set, right-click an empty area, and click on the Paste Layer as Instance option. This way, you should have a layer that only affects the color of each texture set, and you can change its settings, and it will update across your texture sets. The other cool thing you can do is change the color and set the blending mode to something like soft light, and then play with the opacity to fine-tune the effect. Just keep an eye on your black and white colors so they don’t get overly tinted with the overlaid color.

For the head and hands textures, I used the Stylised Skin Smart Material resource that I developed for one of my previous 3DSnippets projects (the Viking). I simply tweaked a few settings to adjust the strength of the bumps and the colors. I wanted to keep a very simple and stylized texture for the creature, so I avoided any patterns that could be distracting.

In addition to the smart material, I created three layers (two of which are instanced) to vary the color and add a bit of darkness based on the ambient occlusion. Finally, I added a couple more layers and another smart material to sharpen some of the smaller pores/bumps and make the reds of the base color pop a bit more.

Auto-Rigging ZBrush Character with AccuRIG

So now, I have the character ready with UVs, textures, sculpted details with subdivision levels, and a symmetrical pose. I also have everything that makes up this character in four subtools.

Before we start rigging in CC4, there are a few things to keep in mind. You don’t have to have UVs or textures, but having them beforehand makes the workflow easier.

You need to have CC4 installed and the GoZ connected for sending things back and forth between ZBrush and CC4. And it’s always a good idea to save both the ZBrush files (ZTools) and the CC4 projects as you work, just in case you need to go back to a previous stage.

Now, the first and only step is to click the All button next to the GoZ on the Tool palette. This sends all the subtools, not just the selected one (which is what happens with GoZ). You might have to select the external application if you have more than one connection in the GoZ Settings, in which case, select Character Creator 4.

In CC4, you will see a window and the default settings should be okay. You should only have one action template which is Create Prop because we created the entire character and base mesh in ZBrush. Note that depending on your version of Character Creator, this window might look different, so make sure to update to the latest version.

Once you click Update, you’ll see your character in CC4 with the same subtools as separate meshes in the Scene tab on the left-hand side. The connection between ZBrush and CC4 through GoZ will automatically look for the lowest subdivision level available in your subtools and send those into CC4. If you want to visualize more details, you’ll need to create normal maps and send those over. If you have textures in ZBrush, CC4 will automatically recognize them and plug them in. But if you have maps outside of ZBrush, you need to tweak a couple of things.

Now, for the fun part! Select all your meshes from the Scene tab and in the Modify window, you’ll see the AccuRIG button. Click on it and let’s start the process!

Once you enter the AccuRIG, you can choose to rig all the meshes or just a selection of them. In my case, I’ll use the All Meshes option and click the Create Guides button.

The first step of the AccuRIG process is to place the reference of the joints (the green, orange, and blue dots) on the character. As you place the dots, you can toggle symmetry on or off and mirror the placement of individual joints if you want. If you’re struggling to place the dots, you can turn off the Midpoint Placement option.

Probably one of the most important placements is the joint for the wrist. The correct placement of this point will make your life a lot easier when setting up the fingers.

If you move to the next step and the points for the fingers don’t look quite right, make sure you go back and tweak the wrist:

The next step is to choose the amount of fingers you have on your character. I intentionally designed my creature with three fingers and a thumb just to show you the versatility of this process.

From the Number of Fingers drop down I selected “4”

After you make your selection, you can hit the Generate Skeleton button to create points for the hands, allowing you to adjust the placement of the fingers if needed.

The final step is to bind the mesh to the skeleton you’ve created, which is accomplished by clicking the Bind Skin button. Now you have a rigged character ready for posing. You can use the Check Animation button to preview the deformation, and if you’re satisfied with the result, you can exit AccuRIG.

You can also adjust the skin weights if you want to change the influence of certain joints on the mesh, but that’s a topic for another time. For now, let’s move on to the final step which is sending the pose to ZBrush. Simply find a pose you like from the animations, or edit a pose yourself using the Edit Pose button. Then, select all of your meshes and hit the GoZ button at the top of the UI.

A new window will pop up, and it’s important to choose Current Pose from the bottom and select Relink from the drop-down menu so that CC4 can find and relink the pose to the character in ZBrush, including all subdivision levels and details. If you don’t select Relink, the pose will still be sent to ZBrush, but as a new mesh, and you’ll lose all subdivision levels and details.

Once in ZBrush, we have the pose from CC4, and all subdivision levels and details are preserved. And if you need to make changes, you can easily go back to AccuRIG and reset the pose or create a new one.

Rig Tweaks and Managing Poses

To wrap up this project and make sure you have all the information you need, I want to share some additional valuable tricks to enhance your workflow and the quality of your poses.

First, let’s take a look at one of my final poses in ZBrush. And here’s a quick render in Marmoset Toolbag 4, which was exported from ZBrush:

Now, let’s dive into the ZBrush CC Pose Manager, a fantastic little plugin from the folks at Reallusion. It is the perfect companion for the ZBrush-to-CC4 workflow. The plugin is incredibly useful in automating the process of recording layers on each subtool to save new poses.

The best thing about this plugin is that you only need to click one button to switch between poses, even if you have multiple subtools with multiple subdivision levels. Here’s how it works:

  1. Selects the first subtool from the subtool list.
  2. Go to the highest subdivision level of the subtool (if applicable).
  3. Create and record a new sculpting layer from the Layers subpalette.
  4. Go back to the lowest subdivision level (if applicable).
  5. Move down to the next subtool and repeat the process.

Here’s another pose recorded in a separate layer within the same project:

So once you have your character rigged in CC4 and you want to start playing with some poses, you can send them all to ZBrush and keep them in layers using the ZBrush CC Pose Manager.

To get started, you need to have ZBrush and CC4 open and the character rigged. Essentially, everything we’ve done in this project up to the last update post.

The next step is to create a pose in Character Creator using the posing tools or a pre-made pose from the Content Manager in CC4. You can create any pose you want in CC4. Then, make sure that you have your default A-pose in ZBrush and the ZBrush CC Pose Manager plugin installed. I have the ZPlugin palette docked to the left for easy access.

The plugin is very simple and straightforward. As I mentioned earlier, it just follows a series of steps that can be done manually. In order to bring the pose from CC4, you need to click on the Relink to Add Pose switch at the top of the plugin. 

Once this switch is turned on, go back to CC4 and send your character in a pose to ZBrush using the GoZ button. Make sure to select the Relink option from the pop-up window.

Then, click on the switch from the plugin to turn it off and bring the character pose. Let the plugin do its work, and you’ll have a new pose added in your ZBrush CC Pose Manager that you can turn on or off. This allows you to keep your original symmetrical pose and all your subdivision levels!

You now go through the process of adjusting your pose by sculpting in any of your subdivision levels in a new layer so the entire process is non-destructive.

For instance here are some Before And After comparisons of one of the poses I sent from CC4 to ZBrush and how I tweaked to update the compression of fabric and some little nudges to the geometry around the hands and the head:

ZBrush CC Pose Manager for Lightning Fast Posing

The tweaking of the rig is a bit more tedious and somehow more technical, but nothing too crazy. Once you get your head around the idea of how to edit the weights you can spend a couple of hours refining the rig and then it will make a huge difference when you get to pose your character.

For instance, the creature for this project has some hard surface details that should not deform with the rig. Instead, they should be props or accessories to the rig.

Take the neck piece as an example since it is the most obvious one.

The default rig gives you something like this:

So we can simply edit the weights of the rig to affect less — or more — of a specific area. All you need to do is select the object you want to edit, in my case the “SUIT_DETAILS” object, and then click the Skin Weights menu on the right:

In the image below, I’ve entered the edit mode for skin weights and selected the bone that I want to use to control or move the neck piece: “CC_Base_Spine02”.

You’ll see that it looks like a portion of the neck piece is white and the other part towards the back is black or dark gray. This simply means that pure white will be 100% influenced by the selected joint or bone, and anything that is pure black will be 100% left alone (zero influence over the neckpiece by the selected joint).

So, you can use the icons next to “paint operation” to add or remove white or black to tweak the influence of the joint over the piece or object you want.

In other words, I want the neck piece to be 100% white when I select the “CC_Base_Spine02” bone so that when the character moves the upper torso, the neck piece moves with it and when the character moves the head (a different joint) then nothing moves on the neck piece.

I painted it all white:

That is all there is to it. The hard surface bits should be easier since in most cases they are either 100% white or 100% black in weight mapping.

With all the tweaks to the rig, it was a lot easier to pose the character and simplified the process of adjusting the sculpt once the pose was back in ZBrush. Here are a couple of final renders from my favorite poses of this character:

Thank you for taking the time to read this tutorial, I hope this has been helpful and informative!


Pablo M.

Free Download :

ZBrush CC Pose Manager plugin (Early Access of CC to ZBrush Posing Pipeline) https://www.zbrushguides.com/tutorials/posing-characters-in-zbrush-with-accurig#resource-related

• Character Creator https://www.reallusion.com/character-creator/download.html 

Learn more :

• Pablo Munoz Gomez https://www.artstation.com/pablander

• ZBrushGuides https://www.zbrushguides.com/tutorials/posing-characters-in-zbrush-with-accurig

• Auto Rig Technology https://www.reallusion.com/auto-rig/accurig/

Reallusion sessions at Nvidia GTC 23

Digital Twins are coming alive with characters and animation to power solutions from Bentley Systems, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW Group. Learn about new features of iClone 8 and Character Creator 4 for Nvidia Omniverse creativity that add digital humans to visualizations and simulations for industrial AEC projects. Register to virtually attend GTC for free and get access to this and many other talks including the keynote. Join John Martin and Reallusion for the #gtc23 Avatar Conference Sessions:

How to Start a Business in Omniverse. Wednesday, March 21, 3:00 PM PDT
Developers, artists, and enterprises are moving at the speed of light in their adoption of NVIDIA Omniverse platform. Join this session to see how developers and technical artists have built their businesses.

John Martin II, VP of Product Marketing, Reallusion
Edmar Mendizabal, Omniverse Community Engagement Manager, NVIDIA
Natalia Mallia, Software Engineer – Machine Learning, Smart Cow
Christopher Scott, Evolver Interactive
Kevin Hart, CEO, Aireal
Michael Wagner, ipolog and SyncTwin

Real-time Industrial Simulation and Digital Humans. Wednesday, March 22, 11:00 AM – 11:25AM PDT
Create an industrial visualization with a large crowd of animated 3D people for transportation, building, and emergency management purposes. The project is built inside Omniverse using the simulation technology from Bentley Systems, and 3D animation and avatar creation software by Reallusion.

John Martin II, VP of Product Marketing, Reallusion

Industry: Architecture / Engineering / Construction

Topic: World Simulation and Digital Twins

Crazy, Cheeky Cartoons with Cartoon Animator 5


Nagy Tamás Zsolt started out with the intention of creating fun and engaging animations for children, and ended up finding success when he told the stories of three animal friends travelling across Africa and encountering a series of unusual beasts. Nagy sat down with Reallusion to talk about his projects and how the process of creating a polished 2D animated series has been made easier thanks to implementing Cartoon Animator.

“Cartoon Animator has an easy to use user interface, so if you have the props, actors, motions and the effects for your project you will really enjoy the work. You do not need to spend hours or days with frame by frame animation. If you know what you want you can work fast with Cartoon Animator.”

Nagy Tamás Zsolt – 2D Animator

HELM SYSTEMS – Indie Developer employs Character Creator 4 and iClone 8

We are an interactive software and entertainment development studio, located in the sunny Southeast Florida. Founded in 2005, we have been utilizing the Unreal Engine since its first generation in multiple projects and industries, ranging from video games, VR and interactive entertainment to business, aerospace and digital conference applications. Our work has been featured on international mainstream online and print press, we have received award nominations and recognition for various projects of ours throughout the years. We are passionate about our work, and fully dedicated to creating ground-breaking and innovative applications.

3D Character Modeling is one of these aspects in a game, in which you need to dedicate all your craft and attention to detail. Characters, especially playable or protagonists being featured in cut-scenes and close-ups, will inevitably be the center of attention for the player. And to make matters more complicated, characters (especially main ones) are displayed in multiple different settings, with different environmental conditions, such as lighting, VFX, etc. Add to that the fact that they are animated, and therefore any skinning errors or awkward deformations will instantly take away any levels of immersion or realism achieved in the game.

Whether you are an indie developer or a AAA developer, character modeling is something you will need to invest serious amounts of time and effort into. And in both cases, more often than not, you will find yourself facing milestone deadlines approaching faster than you wished for, therefore feeling pressed to deliver optimal results within a tight production timeline.

A character attracts the eye as the center of our attention, no matter how intricate and detailed the rest of the setting is.

That’s where I find Reallusion’s product lineup to be the best ally a developer can have.

At HELM Systems we have been using Character Creator and iClone for so many years, and they have been a critical component of our production pipeline. Our work is mainly consisted of projects with a photorealistic art direction, requiring us to give an extra attention to detail whether we are modelling and sculpting an environment mesh, a prop or a character model.

We like using a lot of dramatic lighting with high contrasts, and real-time, in-game cinematic cutscenes with plenty of close-up shots, just to give an extra bit of dramatic flair to our characters. We work exclusively with the Unreal Engine, and now with Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite & Lumen capabilities, realism and detail are more obtainable (and possibly required) than ever!

Screenshot from an upcoming, unannounced dark fantasy title of ours. High contrast, photorealistic artistic direction, and in the middle of it all, a character created with the Reallusion toolset.

As an indie development studio, we need to be more resourceful if we are to achieve quality that can compete with both AAA and indie gaming products in today’s oversaturated market. With Reallusion’s Character Creator 4 and iClone 8, combined with their plugins such as Unreal Live Link, LIVE FACE and more, we can put together, high quality, rigged, optimized and game-ready characters in times that are unthinkable of with traditional character modeling pipelines.

We typically start with a base mesh model, modify the plethora of anatomical variables and features Character Creator 4 offers, then we transfer the resulting base mesh over to ZBrush, from which point on, a frequent back-and-forth exchange between the two applications takes place, until we feel completely satisfied with the resulting character. With Character Creator having GoZ fully integrated within the app, these transfers are both easy and quick, eliminating the requirement of time-consuming exporting and importing, as well as eliminating any import/export settings and any possible incompatibilities these could

Showcasing some anatomical finetuning for one of our characters.
Highlighting the symbiotic nature of Character Creator 4 with ZBrush.

In the meantime, Character Creator 4’s rendering capabilities are extremely qualitative, and the different lighting and atmosphere presets available within the application, in combination with the available animations and poses, allow us to constantly test the character mesh under different lighting conditions, different poses that can show us any skinning issues early on, way before we get to the stage where we transfer the character mesh into a project.

Showcasing different poses and lighting conditions, allowing us an accurate and qualitative visualization, prior to transferring the character to Unreal Engine.

While having the completed mesh and the desired anatomical features in Character Creator 4, we keep working on clothing, armor and any other accessories or equipment we want to include in the character’s appearance. Importing said accessories and equipment in Character Creator 4, not only is easy, but we can also quickly attach it to the character, give it the correct parent bone, properly skin it by transferring the appropriate weights, adjust its scaling and conform its collision as to naturally fit with the character mesh.

Showcasing material customization within Character Creator 4, allowing us to easily experiment with different visual combinations for our characters.

While within Character Creator 4, we can also modify the imported accessory’s appearance, both in terms of geometry and material shaders, while once we have properly categorized it, we can store it in our custom library asset for future use on new characters. Good examples of such an accessory would be a pair of boots, a pair of gloves, a shirt, a helmet, or anything else really. In addition to all that, you can also apply different physics settings, if you are working on a cloth item for example.

Highlighting different clothing, armor and gear combination for our characters, allowing us to quickly experiment and expand our creativity.

Reallusion and Character Creator 4, also offer excellent tools to easily add and groom different hair, facial hair and eyebrows to your characters. You can control a number of variables, such as length, highlight color, base color and much more, as to achieve high quality, realistic and natural looking hair.

If you want to go the extra mile and add even more detail, Reallusion gives you full control of your character’s skin details, such as how strong you want the skin’s micronormals to be, whether you want to add important details such as veins, scars, dirt, sweat, wounds or freckles to your character, position them where you want them, have them be as pronounced or as subtle as you want them, scale them up or down, adjust their opacity values and so much more.

Showcasing different hair and facial setups for the same character. This content was rendered inside Unreal Engine.

And while it is easy to think Character Creator 4 is great for producing human models only, the truth is you can produce so much more than that. We rely on Character Creator 4 to build non-human NPCs and enemies, such as undead with corroded and asymmetrical anatomy, monsters with odd anatomical ratios, such as extra long, oversized arms, oddly shaped head features, and so much more.

Showcasing some wild, monstrous creations, created in Character Creator 4 for our upcoming game.

Lastly, but certainly not least, with Character Creator 4 we can quickly optimize our characters by utilizing optimization tools that offer a large array of optimization options, such as polygon reduction, multiple LODs, each with different settings, texture map sizes etc. bone hierarchy optimization and so much more. This not only saves us production time, but most important it provides us with the much-needed reassurance that the character models will not be the cause for framerate reductions or bad overall performance, while maintaining the highest possible quality.

The finished character rigged, animated and transferred into the game, in Unreal Engine 5.

Once we have completed our work in Character Creator 4, we use the program’s built-in functionality to transfer the character mesh over to iClone 8, where we will conduct some animation work, as well as use the Unreal LiveLink plugin to transfer the character over to our projects.

In iClone 8 we can either use animations from our extensive animation library, which can also be enriched with excellent, high quality, mocap animations, available directly from Reallusion’s huge animation library, modify existing ones, or capture new ones. Especially when it comes to cinematic cutscenes with dialog scenes, we prefer capturing the performance within iClone 8, as it has several plugins that ensure compatibility with virtually every mainstream animation capture toolset, be it Rokoko, Xsens, Faceware or Perception Neuron.

We have also incorporated Reallusion’s LIVE FACE app, which we have installed on an iPhone, which connects with iClone 8, and allows us to capture high quality, realistic, natural and convincing facial performances. Prior to capturing any facial movements, we can test, calibrate and finetune the sensitivity of capturing different facial features, such as eye movement, lip movement, head rotation and movement and more.

After capturing or applying an existing animation (body or face) to our character, iClone 8 allows us to finetune it, both through a frame-by-frame timeline as well as through a multitude of tools that allow us to successfully perform numerous changes, such as bone rotations and movements, speeding up or slowing down a selected number of keyframes, and much much more.

An in-game cinematic cutscene that was rendered in Unreal Engine 4. We are currently working on a newer version in Unreal Engine 5, but still relying on Reallusion’s toolsets just as much.

At this point we either connect iClone 8 and our Unreal Engine 5 project through Unreal Live Link, which not only allow us to painlessly transfer our character from iClone to Unreal, but also with the correct material shader settings, thanks to Reallusion’s Auto Setup for Unreal. Once within Unreal, we can also use Unreal LIVE LINK plugin to play animations in iClone 8, which however are replicated within Unreal, allowing us to visualize each animation within the project, with different lighting conditions, prior to transferring these animations in the game.

If necessary, we can still fine-tune different elements within Unreal as well, such as any physics weights for different parts of the character, collision geometry and settings, material shader fine-tuning, etc, as well as use Unreal Engine’s built-in optimization tools.

An in-depth cutscene that was rendered in Unreal Engine 5.
Showcasing different characters in action, captured both in Unreal Engine 4 & 5. All characters were created and imported in-game with Character Creator 4 and iClone 8.

We have nothing but praise for Reallusion and its products. Thanks to Character Creator 4 and iClone 8, we have significantly reduced the time and effort it takes to create high quality, believable and detailed looking, fully animated character models. Our production pipeline has become significantly more efficient and effortless, allowing us to focus on the creative aspects of character creation, while still having complete control over the technical aspects of it, such as optimization and more. Most importantly this great suit of tools, is backed by an equally great and dedicated team, with top notch developer support,
provided by a knowledgeable, professional yet caring team.

Follow HELM Systems:


The SoulKeeper Game:

The SoulKeeper Twitter:

iClone 8.2 Feature Highlights

Reallusion’s latest release of iClone 8.2 and Character Creator 4.2 represents a significant breakthrough for 3D character artists everywhere. With a focus on providing a comprehensive solution, this release introduces an advanced Look-At Mechanism that lets your digital actors express realistic awareness of their surroundings in real-time simulations.

But that’s not all. The new Dynamic Wrinkle System takes character animation to new heights, injecting photo-realistic facial features and expressions into your CC characters. This system breathes life into lip-syncs and emotive performances, adding a level of detail that will set your characters apart.

iClone 8.2 is more than just a visual upgrade; it takes software performance to the next level with Progressive Texture Loading. Animators can now begin editing animations immediately, without having to wait for all the heavy textures and materials to load. This innovative feature not only accelerates the LiveLink pipeline between iClone and Unreal or Omniverse but also sets the stage for concurrent GPU rendering, delivering faster, smoother results than ever before.

As if that weren’t enough, the Auto Setup plugin for Unreal, Blender, and Unity can now import and utilize realistic wrinkle animations from iClone, giving your characters an unprecedented level of detail and realism.

Whether you’re working on a big-budget project or just starting out, iClone 8.2 provides a powerful suite of tools that will take your animations to the next level. With cutting-edge features like progressive texture loading and Auto Setup for wrinkle animations, you’ll be able to work faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Release note: iClone 8.2 | iClone Unreal Live Link 1.2

1. Engaging Look-At Constraints Know More

Morph & Wrinkle Actuate Eye Movement

  • Simulate natural awareness of an object, or maintain eye contact with the camera.
  • Eyelids and eyebrows naturally move with the eyeballs when the character is looking around. Automatic asymmetry helps to overcome the uncanny valley. 
  • Subtle wrinkles are triggered around the eyes and forehead for all types of facial expressions like frowns and smirks.

Eye-Neck-Torso Weight

  • Adjustable look-at constraint ratio between the eyes, neck, and torso can alter the actor’s mannerism.
  • Enhanced morph shapes for head up and down movements.

Keyable Engagement Levels

  • Choose between different engagement levels from quick glances to intense gazes. 
  • Recruit the correct body parts to sell the motion, from isolated eye movements to coordination with the rest of the body. 
  • Set keys to alternate the eye, neck, and torso engagement ranges.

2. Exquisite Expressions with Dynamic Wrinkles – Know More

The Wrinkle System is highly customizable and can simulate exceptional facial expression details in real-time. It can upgrade your CC characters and redefine the realism of their talking facial features by triggering dynamic wrinkles through any facial movement.

Custom Wrinkle Settings

  • Expression Wrinkles are divided into 13 common facial regions that govern the wrinkle lines, crow’s feet, smile lines, and more.
  • Intensify or neutralize any target region of the face, down to the individual channel map like Normals, AO, and Redness.
  • Alter the Rate of Appearance to delay or preempt the micro-movements of the fasciae while the expression-driven muscles are flexed.

Reactive Expression Wrinkles

Upon activation, the expression wrinkles are synchronized with the facial movements that are triggered by a range of animation tools in iClone, including Face Key Editor, Face Puppet, Look-at Constraints, as well as features such as Lip-sync and Facial Mocap.

Works with Any CC Character

  • General Wrinkles are compatible with SkinGen and can be applied to any CC3+ character to naturally blend with different skin tones. 
  • The CC Wrinkle shader supports high-res multi-texture blending without compromising real-time performance.

Unreal LiveLink – Dynamic Wrinkles

  • Look-at constraints can be driven by a camera or animated objects, simulating different levels of alertness and engagement.
  • Dynamic Wrinkles add emotive details to digital human performances and enrich the expressions of stylized characters.

Find the updated iClone Content Resources with the Dynamic Wrinkle System >

3. Progressive Texture Loading – Know More

Realtime Production

iClone 8.2 takes software performance to the next level with progressive texture loading. Animators can now begin editing animations immediately, without having to wait for all the heavy textures and materials to load. This innovative feature not only accelerates the LiveLink pipeline between iClone and Unreal or Omniverse, but also sets the stage for concurrent GPU rendering, delivering faster, smoother results than ever before.

Instant Asset Loading

Get to work right away without waiting. Textures can make up more than 80% of the asset file size. With an adjustable CPU ratio, users can load textures in the background while getting started on scene arrangement and animation. Watch Video >

On-Demand Texture Loading

When “Manual Loading” is enabled, users can press the Load Textures icon overlaid on the viewport to stream in the texture files. The loading speed is determined by your preference settings for the GPU ratio. Watch Video >

Save Untextured Scenes

Enjoy faster performance by working texture-less — and since the textures are never discarded, choose to load them at anytime. Keep the scene untextured when you save and have the texture references stored with the file. Watch Video >

Faster Live Link & Rendering

Reserve GPU Memory for Renderer & Live Link 

iClone is commonly used by studios in tandem with Unreal Engine, Unity, Blender, or Omniverse for final rendering. Progressive and deferred texture loading can keep the iClone scene light-weight while freeing precious system resources for GPU-intensive rendering.

Our unique Progressive/Deferred Texture Loading technology allows users to Live Link animations from iClone without taxing the system resources. Keeping the scene texture-less in iClone frees up graphics memory that can be dedicated to rendering in Unreal Engine.

Get the updated MetaHuman Kit >

Know more: Facial Expression | Performance | Unreal LiveLink

Forum: iClone 8.2 Discussion

Character Creator 4.2 Feature Highlights: One Wrinkle for All Avatars

Upgrade Character’s Realness to the Next Level 

Get ready to unleash the full potential of your digital actors with Character Creator 4‘s Dynamic Wrinkle system! This groundbreaking technology is a game-changer for industry professionals who dream of creating characters with unparalleled realism and personality. With facial expression morphs triggering high-resolution wrinkle maps, you’ll achieve an astonishing level of detail and expressiveness that truly brings your characters to life.

The Dynamic Wrinkle system is intuitive, customizable, and suitable for game and cinematic characters of any gender, age, and ethnicity. You can even fine-tune the nuances that make each character unique, ensuring that no two characters are alike. But what really sets our wrinkle system apart is the combination of two cutting-edge technologies: Flow Map and Wrinkle Constraints. These technologies work in tandem to create realistic and stylized wrinkles, perfect for pushing the boundaries of realism for digital human actors and giving comical expressions to cartoon characters.

With a slew of customization options at your fingertips, you have complete control over the final result. And the best part? The Dynamic Wrinkle system is completely free with the trial or purchase of Character Creator 4. That’s right, you can dip your toes in the water and if you are hooked, upgrade to unlock all of its features when you are ready. So what are you waiting for? Join the revolution and discover the most advanced wrinkle system on the market today! >> Download Here.

Release note: CC4.2 update | Dynamic Wrinkles Arise | Wrinkle Essentials | Where to Find New Wrinkle Assets

See the latest update  in CC4.2:

Wrinkles Magnify Human Expressions – Facial nuances let your characters stand out.

A Universal Wrinkle System – High adaptability for all ages, genders, and ethnicities.

Real Human Wrinkles from 3D & 4D Scans – Hi-res scans 4K Texture Maps, Reactive Expression Wrinkles.

Intuitive Wrinkle – Influence Sections, Wrinkle Texture Set, Custom Design.

Our Proprietory Wrinkle Technologies – Flow Map, Constraint System, Rate of Appearance.

Pipeline-Friendly Dynamic Wrinkles – Unreal Live Link, Unity, and Blender.

Wrinkle Pattern Expansion for All Styles – 10 Expression Wrinkles for Realistic & Stylized Characters, fully customizable.

1. CC4.2 Spotlight 1: Wrinkles Magnify Human Expressions

Facial wrinkles are not just superficial details; they serve a deeper and more fundamental purpose of expressing our personalities. As our faces relax and complexions go blank, these wrinkles dynamically disappear, giving way to other expressions with their own set of unique wrinkles. 

When it comes to digital actors, the inclusion of this complex system of wrinkles can make all the difference in having them appear truly life-like. While wrinkles are often disregarded as trivial, they are actually a crucial part of what makes us human, and their portrayal in digital characters can elevate their believability and relatability.

2. CC4.2 Spotlight 2: A Universal Wrinkle System

Our proprietary General Wrinkle system is designed to seamlessly enhance the appearance of CC3+ characters of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. With our system, you can generate wrinkles that blend perfectly with your character’s skin tone and are fully compatible with SkinGen layer effects. Its advanced CC Wrinkle shader enables high-resolution multi-texture blending, without sacrificing real-time performance.

3. How it’s made: Real Human Wrinkles from 3D & 4D Scans

Our wrinkle texture patterns are meticulously extracted and baked from a full set of high-resolution human expression scans. By creating complementary morph and wrinkle data within the guidelines of our stringent process, we can ensure digital human performances that are nearly on-par with real-life actors.

Experience the ultimate level of detail with our 4K high-definition wrinkle textures. Each set of wrinkles is carefully crafted with diffuse, normal, roughness, ao, and flow map textures, allowing users to customize the blend level of each map for the perfect appearance. And if you need to conserve space or optimize performance, our wrinkle asset library makes it easy to downsize to 2K textures without sacrificing quality.

Upon activation, the expression wrinkles are synchronized with the facial movements that are triggered by a range of animation tools in Character Creator and iClone. With tools that include key editors, puppetry, and look-at constraints to features such as lip-sync and facial mocap, you will never run out of options to bring out the most from your characters.

4. How to use: Intuitive Wrinkle

Influence Section

Expression Wrinkles are divided into 13 common facial regions that govern the wrinkles lines, crows feet, smile lines, and more. Users can intensify or neutralize any target region of the face, down to the individual channel map like Normals, AO, and Redness. The colored regions of the facial diagram indicate the set of texture maps that is currently being controlled for blending.

Wrinkle Sets & Facial Regions

The expression of wrinkles on a character’s face is defined by three sets of wrinkle maps with each set corresponding to a specific wrinkle pattern. When certain expressions are performed, the corresponding texture blends are triggered at the targeted area at sufficient strengths. Learn more about the expression wrinkles and their corresponding morphs by watching the demo video below.

Custom Design: Live & Flattened Workflow

With our innovative flattening technology, you can save and load wrinkle textures and use your favorite image editor to make unique modifications that suit individual characters. You can also modify live wrinkle patterns while ensuring compatibility with all other CC3+ characters. This flexibility lets you bring your creative vision to life with greater precision and ease than ever before.

Wrinkle Crease Profiles

Get the perfect smile for your characters with our specially optimized wrinkle profiles designed for CC3+ facial topology. These profiles enhance the overall appearance of your character’s smile, creating a more pleasant and inviting expression. To ensure seamless compatibility with your existing characters, apply one of these facial profile extensions before making any changes to your character’s expressions.

5. Why it’s important : The Uniqueness of Dynamic Wrinkle System

Flow Map

Realistic facial expressions are all about the details, and that’s why we developed the Flow map. As characters express deeper emotions, their facial muscles contract more, causing wrinkles to spread out over a wider area. With the Flow map, the wrinkle pattern gradually expands outward as the expression morphs intensify, providing an extra layer of realism to your virtual characters. Whether you’re animating a heartfelt conversation or an action-packed scene, the Flow map will bring your characters’ emotions to life in a way that feels natural and authentic.

Constraint Systems

Wrinkle Constraints are a game-changer for creating complex facial expressions in Character Creator. These constraints prevent overlapping wrinkles from conflicting with each other when multiple morphs are activated at the same time. By unifying the wrinkle pattern across facial regions, Wrinkle Constraints ensure that your virtual character’s expressions look natural and coherent, even when displaying extreme emotions.

6. Export to Major Platforms: Use Dynamic Wrinkle with Your Pipelines

Upgrade to Auto Setup 1.25 and gain access to the Expression Wrinkle shader in Unreal Engine, now equipped with advanced features like Flow Map and Wrinkle Constraints. Connect to iClone via Unreal Live Link or export your actors in FBX format from Character Creator to take advantage of these exciting capabilities. With this latest update, you can easily bring your virtual characters to life with even greater realism and detail. >> Free Download Here.

7. Customizable Wrinkles: Wrinkle Pattern Expansion for All Styles

Introducing our versatile wrinkle expansion pack, designed to enhance the realism and character depth of both realistic and stylized characters. With a vast selection of high-quality wrinkle patterns to choose from, you can easily customize and find the perfect fit, regardless of the character’s gender, age, and style.

These wrinkle assets utilize the General wrinkle standard, making them compatible with any existing CC3+ character so you can animate in iClone, export to Unreal, Unity, and even Blender.

Free Download:

>> Auto Setup for Unreal Engine: Release note, Plugin

>> Auto Setup for Unity : Release Note, Plugin

>> Auto Setup for Blender: Release Note, Plugin (scroll down to find the ‘Download’ button)

High-res 4K Wrinkles Scanned from Live Actors

Our high-fidelity source textures for the wrinkles were scanned using advanced photogrammetry and then meticulously refined in Zbrush. These textures are then partitioned into multiple high-resolution texture channels, which work in tandem to push the boundaries of realism.

5 Types of Groovy Notches for Toon Expressions

Wrinkle Essentials comes with a set of 5 wrinkle styles that are dedicated to cartoon characters and each style comes with its own unique groove profile to make them more interesting. >> Learn more about ‘Wrinkle Essentials’.

8. 3D scan & ZBrush workflow: Dynamic Wrinkle Design Guides for Character Artists

Reallusion is working on the tutorial and documentation on how to create dynamic wrinkle assets. For professional character designers or production studios who wish to create unique wrinkle assets for commercial projects. Please contact marketing@reallusion.com for dedicated support.

Website: Dynamic Wrinkle | Free Resource | Wrinkle Essentials | Where to Find Free Embedded Content

Forum: Character Creator 4.2 Discussion

3 Reasons Why Everyone Should Try 2D Animation

This article is featured on MakeUseOf

How do you get people to listen to you? Easy! Don’t tell them, show them!

In this post, you will learn the three reasons why everybody should be using 2D animation to communicate with others. If you want to teach something new, promote a new product, share a new message, spread Bible stories, or talk about personal experiences, animation is something that can make whatever you have to say, much more interesting.

Let’s introduce Dr. Dan, who is proof of that. How do you get a little three-year-old girl to understand that she needs to go to the dentist? You don’t tell her, you show her! This is what Dr. Dan did with one of his patients. He managed to get her to stop hating going to the dentist and started loving it!

Instead of “going-to-the-dentist” day — it transformed into “going-to-see-the-next-animation-he-has-for-me” day.

Instead of her being afraid, she became excited to go.

Sounds crazy? A girl excited to go see the dentist? Read on to find out how he did it.

First we need to understand: Why does animation make your message much more interesting?

Easy! Because 

  1. It’s Easier to Understand
  2. It’s Fun to Watch
  3. It’s Fun to Do


Animation is EASIER to understand precisely because of the principle “don’t tell them, show them.”

Let’s do a quick test.

Which one is easier (and sometimes faster) to understand?

OPTION A (telling):

OPTION B (showing):

(Animated with Cartoon Animator 5)

Be honest, which one would you prefer to see if you were in a class and the teacher was presenting this lesson in PowerPoint, option A or B?


Animation is more FUN TO WATCH and more entertaining, than just reading text.

Here is another quick test:

OPTION A (graphic card):

OPTION B (animated card):

If it was your birthday, which one would you prefer to see in your inbox, option A or B?


Animation is much more FUN TO DO than just writing.

We can all agree that doing an animated video takes more time. But it doesn’t take as much time as you think when you use the right tools! Having the right tools can get the job done really fast — maybe not as fast as just writing something, but it is so much fun to do!

To illustrate this point, let’s go back to Dr. Dan and explain why he started using Cartoon Animator to do animations for his family, friends, co-workers, and patients. He could just write his thoughts on a piece of paper, and instead, he used animation. That took him more time, but why did he do it? “Because animating is fun!” — Dr. Dan.

How a doctor with no 2D animation experience used cartoons to get a ten-year-old patient to love going to the dentist?

Dr. Dan is not an animator, he is a doctor with little time to animate. He got Cartoon Animator and started experimenting with it (today Cartoon Animator comes bundled with Free Courses so beginners can get a kick start).

This story started when a little three-year-old girl came to visit him at his clinic. She was an ideal patient for her age for many sessions. Around session four, Dr. Dan had to give her fluoride and she had to keep it in her mouth for one minute. This is when it started. She started screaming, yelling, and kicking, so they postponed the treatment.

Dan noticed that she had a puppet with her, before she went away he asked: “That puppet you’ve got there, what is her name?” She responded with one word: “Dolly” Dr. Dan then politely asked: “Is it ok if I take a picture of her?” She didn’t mind and Dr. Dan took a picture. Little did she know, Dr. Dan was planning to create a full animation with that picture. This was the picture of the doll with the respective adjustments to make an animated image.

One month later. The little girl comes back, again, adamant and reluctant as last time to open her mouth for the fluoride when Dr. Dan noticed she had another puppet with her, it was not Dolly, but a new one. Before Dr. Dan asked to sit down in the patient’s seat to check her out, he took out his iPad and said: “Remember when I took a picture of Dolly? Look, she prepared something for you” The little girl didn’t smile, and instead squinted her eyes. “What could that mean? Dolly did something for me?” Then Dr. Dan played an animated video of HER PUPPET dancing and singing a song, telling her to take care of her teeth so she could eat better and be happy.

The little girl was so impressed, she could not close her eyes and kept her mouth open the entire time. How was this possible? For her, that puppet was only one of many, and after the animation ended, she stared at the doctor, impressed and with respect.

Dr. Dan said: “If you listen to Dolly, I could take another picture of this other puppet and make another animated video if you promise to come back next month and take your fluoride for one minute.” Her whole attitude changed, she was now very cooperative and excited. She kept the fluoride for one min in her mouth and behaved like a little angel. She has been one of the most exceptional patients Dr. Dan has had.

After that she has never missed a month, always coming back happy and smiling, and always with a new puppet, always curious about the new animation Dr. Dan can make for her. In total, she brought all six of her puppet dolls. And Dr. Dan has created animated images for each of them.

Notice that this is probably not a 2D animation Netflix would put on their streaming channel but WHO CARES! It served its purpose! A little three-year-old got excited to go to the dentist! Not only that, but she now keeps her fluoride in her mouth for one minute without any screaming, yelling, or kicking! Any parent knows how valuable this is!

If a dentist with no experience in 2D animation can animate, anyone can.

Thanks to the advancement of technology, now everyone can do animation when they have the right tools.

Just like Steve Jobs made it possible for every single person to be able to use computers by making devices easy to use, Reallusion has made it possible for anyone to do complex 2D animations easily with a few clicks and drags in Cartoon Animator.

Animation is (1) easy to understand, (2) fun to watch, and (3) fun to do!

You don’t need years of experience to do it, you just need the right reasons and the right tools.

Know more users’ stories:

Reallusion Magazine – Cartoon Animator 

Learn more:

2D Animation Software for Cartoon Maker | Cartoon Animator 5

FREE for 30 days, and get 1,700+ ready-made content:

2D Animation Software Download | Cartoon Animator 5


The original article was written by Mark Diaz and featured on MakeUseOf.

Recreating Star Wars’ iconic “I am your father” scene with iClone 8 and Vicon

The article “Using iClone 8 with Vicon to Recreate the Iconic ‘I Am Your Father’ Scene from ‘Empire'” was recently published on the website Befores and Afters.

Luis Cepeda from Quitasueño Studios in Dominican Republic, provides a detailed step-by-step guide on how his studio recreated the iconic “I Am Your Father” scene from the movie “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.”

Quitasueño Studios is the first studio specialized in film productions  in the Dominican Republic, they offer consulting on everything related to projects (Pre Production, Production and Post Production). The studio has completed over 35 feature films and other different scale productions.

Now Quitasueño Studios opens its brand-new motion capture theatre. A facility with a system that seamlessly integrates in its pipeline iClone 8, Character Creator, Unreal Engine, Vicon, Faceware and Rokoko, as well as many other software allowing Quitasueño Studio to capture +6 actors at the same time, saving time and effort for their clients.

In this showcase they start by introducing iClone 8 and Vicon, two professional animation and motion capture programs. They explain how they combined the two programs to bring the famous scene to life. The article provides a thorough explanation of the various stages involved in creating the scene, including setting up the Vicon system, calibrating the cameras, capturing the motion data, and using iClone 8 to animate the characters.

They break down the technical aspects of the process, explaining them in an easy-to-understand manner. And the accompanying images and videos help to further illustrate the steps involved in creating the scene. The article concludes by showcasing the final product and discussing some of the challenges faced during the creation process.

Overall, the showcase provides a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in using iClone 8 and Vicon optical motion capture to create their own professional motion-captured scenes, providing a clear and detailed guide making it easy for directors, cinematographers, animators and CG artists to learn how to create their own motion picture scenes with iClone and Character Creator.

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iClone 8 User Tutorial : Employing Realistic Reflections inside of iClone 8

Final scene render by Benjamin Sokomba Dazhi
Benjamin Sokomba Dazhi – Professional iClone Animator

Hi, I’m Benjamin Sokomba Dazhi and I welcome you to this iClone 8 (iC8) tutorial where we are going to talk about how to enhance your scenes visually using reflective surfaces in iClone 8.

The new features of iClone 8 includes a Mirror Plane Shader that simulates realistic reflective surfaces that can be applied to mirrors, televisions, floors or windows. You can define the mirror shape by Opacity texture, and adjust the strength and clarity of the mirror reflection with the Material Settings.

Let’s get to it.

Already, I have a character in my scene which I’ve set up with lights placed at different Interior furniture. The goal here is to create reflective surfaces like the mirror and also make the floor reflective.

So the first thing you do is you click on PLANE.  I’ve already imported a Plane to the scene and set it up here. (Fig 1.0)

Fig 1.0

Go to modify.

Fig 2.0

Under Modify, go to Texture Settings. (Fig 3.0)

Fig 3.0

Here, you see the Shader Type is already on PBR. We want to change it to Reflection Surface as shown in Fig 4.0 below.

Fig 4.0

So once you click on Reflection Surface, boom! It starts reflecting as shown below in Fig 5.0. Now you can see the mirror and the characters reflection through it. It’s as easy and straightforward as that.

Fig 5.0

You can also tweak or modify the mirror.

Fig 6.0

This can be achieved by changing the Opacity of the mirror. You can put a different type of Opacity just so it doesn’t look too clean or sharp.

Fig 7.0

Once you play with the Opacity you can put a different Material or Texture to make the mirror look like glass. If you play it you see it’s still reflecting. (Fig 8.0)

Fig 8.0

You can also modify it further by using Diffuse color, Reflection strength, Reflection blur etc… but on this particular mirror surface, you don’t need the reflection to be blurred.

Fig 9.0

Another easy way to create a plane with reflection is to go to Create, then Reflection Surface. Once you click on it you should see a Reflection Surface in the scene right there. (Fig 10.0)

Fig 10.0

Next, resize the Reflection Surface to the shape or size of the object you want it on as in this case the mirror as shown below. Or you can reshape it to what you prefer and place it wherever you want.

Fig 11.0

That’s another easy method that is quite straightforward. We can delete it for now since we already have the reflective surface we previously placed.

Next thing we are going to work on is the Floor. As you can see we just have a basic floor. What we want to do right now is try to make it more reflective.

You might think it’s already reflecting from the image shown below but not quite. It’s only reflecting the light in the scene and has more to do with the roughness of the floor material. (Fig 12.0)

Fig 12.0

Same as before, click on the floor or the plane on the ground.

Fig 13.0

Go to modify. (Fig 14.0)

Fig 14.0

I have my textures already set under modify. So go to Shader Type under texture setting. Click on PBR then go to reflection surface again. (Fig 15.0)

Fig 15.0

As you can see below, it’s already reflecting but in this case you can see its more blur because I tried making it blur so it doesn’t have a water or glass feel. It needs to look like a marble floor.

Fig 16.0

How I did that is I went to the Modify Panel and under Shader settings I played with the Reflection Strength. (Fig 17.0)

Fig 17.0

Just as mentioned, you can increase or reduce the Reflection Strength using the slider highlighted in Fig 18.0 below.

Fig 18.0

You can pick a value of maybe say 47.

You can also increase the Reflection blur from 47 but it shouldn’t be too blurry, but it really just depends on what you’re looking for.  I don’t want it to be too sharp so it doesn’t look like a glass or mirror hence the selected value.

We can also change the Diffuse Color too.

I made it darker but you can make it brighter. I just decided to make it a little bit darker as that’s how you get this particular reflection created in the scene below. (Fig 19.0)

Fig 19.0

Finally, let’s review and see all the effects we have added:

The character is reflecting, everything in the scene is reflecting from the furniture to the ceiling, and the good thing is that you can still see that the material/texture of the floor is still there. From the final scene render, through the camera view I created, you can see that both the mirror and the floor are now reflective.

So this is how you create reflections in iClone 8 to enhance the visuals in your scene. It really gives it more life and realism and makes the whole project more interesting.

I hope this tutorial was straightforward and I hope you can use this to make more beautiful and realistic scenes in your projects using iClone 8.

Thank you for having me again.

Goodbye until next time!


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