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Seeking advice on purchase of iClone 6 and crazy Talk 8 pipeline

Posted By iglov4 3 Years Ago
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Seeking advice on purchase of iClone 6 and crazy Talk 8 pipeline

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iglov4
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Hi, i am purchasing both of these products later today and i was just wondering if people have any advice?
I clone 6 Studio Pipeline Suite ($599) is part of a package which includes a fair bit of stuff including: 3dexchange/pipeline/kinect plug ins/character creator/realistic head/Daz genisis extension/character designers pack etc. Whilst i also intend purchasing Crazy Talk 8 Pipeline. So just some general questions:
1. When i download the packages will some things download automatically to both crazy talk 8 and i clone 6  e.g realistic heads/character creator etc. I gather once you load this stuff you generally work within the package ( hope this makes sense). Put more succinctly, do i download character creator to one and then to the other or does it just go to both.
2. I am also purchasing Garry Pyes comic faces and Animals Bundles with CC essential morphs and Skin (Export Version).
3. I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on some content (animations/character creator etc) that may wish to purchase to enhance the animation experience. I can spend up to another $1000 so i would like to spend it on stuff that will have universal applications.Any ideas opinions/advice would be really appreciated.
Thanks Ian Glover
.
wires
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iClone and Crazy Talk are two different worlds and, with one new exception, do not share any common content. Character Creator only works with iClone, same goes for 3DXchange.
The one asset that can be shared between iClone and Crazy Talk is the heads created using the "Head Creator" add-on available with the CT8 Pipeline version. Reallusion have promised that this option will be made available for use within iClone, without users having to purchase CT8 Pipeline.

The content installers will place all content in the correct folders for each software.

A small note on the Export versions. You only need to purchase these more expensive packs if you intend to export Reallusion content to use in another software package - examples of this are Computer Game making software. If you only wish to render videos of your work then there is no requirement for the export licenses.

I have still no idea of how you intend to use iClone, or what you intend to produce with it as you seem to be posting questions on the same subject all over the place making it a task to follow your intentions. The best advice on content purchase is to search both the Content Store and Marketplace for content fitting your subject matter.. There's no point buying dance motions if you want to produce a Western film, and outfits for business types will look out of place in the Middle Ages.  



Gerry



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iglov4
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Hi Gerry,
Apologies for posting questions 'all over the place', but to be honest i have no idea where i am supposed to put my questions. I was hoping to get a bit of feedback on Reallusion's products. I am new to animation ( as you are aware) and there is no shop front for Reallusion, so i am unable to ask questions of a salesperson as i would if i was purchasing a coffee machine.I generally do not use social media so i am not familiar with the protocols that  apply here.
Anyway, i plan to learn a little about all of the products that i have purchased before embarking on both personal interest and work related tasks using Reallusion products.
I currently teach History at a secondary level so i planned to use animation in the classroom setting. I would like to do short pieces related to historical themes - much along the lines of the television series for kids (Horrible Histories), obviously on a much more modest  scale. To begin with i will focus on the Medieval Period exclusively. The plan is to build up a range of content/characters/animation/settings etc focused on  this period to make the animation process much easier.Then just make short funny animations to keep students entertained e.g Python 'bring out ya dead.'  (using my own ideas not ripping off Monty Python).  I also plan to use Crazy Talk 8 to make short animations using famous people from history. I am not sure if this will work  but i hoped to google caricatures of famous people e.g.  Churchill for WW2, and have the character talk to the class about their perspective on significant events of WW2. I plan to build  content and just roll out short animations using my bank of characters and settings. I also want to familiarise myself with pop video (virtual studio) to have avatars (students) host a TV show related to history. I would love to hear your feedback (and others on the forum) on how i can apply this stuff in a history classroom. I have a modest PD budget so i can get funding from my school to purchase content and  green screens/ video cameras etc etc. ( although i have just purchased close to $1200 worth of stuff at my own expense- no big deal as this is also a hobby).
In future i will focus my questions on the project at hand - CT8, making faces for the history classroom. 

Grimhilda
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Hello Iglov4

Before trying to offer some general advice I need to let you know that I don't know anything about Crazytalk and I'm not the most up-to-date user of Iclone6 either.  But I've built up a good basic knowledge of the world of 3d as used by hobbyists such as myself and beginners for whom everything is new.

You've begun using Iclone at a time when Reallusion has provided us with a new means of creating all sorts of characters using the Character Creator package.  Many users have been eagerly waiting for an update which will permit them to create their own clothing for these characters.  But that is for the near future and for those who are capable of modelling using 3rd party software.

Prior to Iclone6, previous versions of Iclone had their own character bases.  Several generations of them.  The way to clothe these characters in all sorts of styles was to purchase Clone Cloth from Reallusion.

Iclone's earlier characters weren't created as one-piece meshes - they consisted of head, upper body, lower body and so on.  Clone Cloth replaced, for example, a female upper body with an upper body mesh clothed with an outer layer clothing mesh.

If this outer layer had long sleeves, then it could be textured in such a way that the sleeves, for example, could become invisible, exposing the arms.  So the upper body Clone Cloth could be made into a short-sleeved shirt, a vest, a garment with holes in it and so on. It could also be coloured in any way.  Iclone was designed to launch Clone Cloth templates in a paint package of the user's choosing so that the user could paint out the sections not needed and so on.

What I'm coming to is that, if you are prepared to use older generation characters for a while and are prepared to buy Clone Cloth for them, there is a huge marketplace full of clothing available from Reallusion's vendors.

Individual Clone Cloth bases can be bought gradually. but note that there are at least two 'generations' of Clone Cloth to match different generations of characters issued over the years.  I don't  know whether Clone Cloth meshes can be Physics enabled for realistic cloth motion - someone else may be able to say.

The above was just a thought for you to consider.  It may be that you want to be fully up to date and would prefer to wait for vendors to create new suitable clothes for Iclone6.

On the question of creating props, it is possible to assemble objects of your own and animate them just by using the basic 'building block' props that come with Iclone.  Few people choose to do that, however, because it is a primitive and limited way to model; nevertheless some individuals have done so very well as a labour of love.

If you have 3dXchange Pro you can look at the world of DAZ for all kinds of medieval items.  There are many beautiful medieval buildings made for Poser also - but I prefer to refrain from linking to another store when I am here on Reallusion's forum.

If you want to get into creating your own things then you need to look at modelling programs.  I use Hexagon, from DAZ but many people find it to be full of fatal bugs on their systems.  I also use Carrara which is a well featured, all round 3d package but is viewed as being dated with no future (not by me!).  In fact I play with animating in Carrara as often as I do with Iclone.  Wings 3D and Silo are other modelling programs.

Apart from modelling packages, there are sculpting packages such as Zbrush, 3dCoat or the free Sculptris.

Blender is free and can do everything you could wish for but at this stage it would be like trying to swallow a whale.  

Remember that slideshows of still images could work well in a classroom.  You could use these in worksheets, revision notes, etc. and you could get into animating these basic scenes later.

Hope that some of this is of use.

animagic
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Grimhilda (6/25/2016)
Individual Clone Cloth bases can be bought gradually. but note that there are at least two 'generations' of Clone Cloth to match different generations of characters issued over the years.  I don't  know whether Clone Cloth meshes can be Physics enabled for realistic cloth motion - someone else may be able to say.

They can, you just have to enable soft-cloth physics and create a suitable weight map. The weight map is used to anchor the clothing: darker sections help to keep the cloth in place and lighter sections make it move. It requires experimentation, but it is doable. Another feature to help with this are collision shapes. Attached to the body they prevent cloth from penetrating.



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iglov4
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Thanks for the feedback Grimhilda (and animagic). There is lot to take in for animation novices like myself . I have already visited Daz a few times and they seem to have a wide range of content - especially related to the Medieval Period. My interest in animation was piqued by a short animation called Logarama- you can find it on youtube. It is a short critique of modern consumer culture - very impressive indeed and well worth the visit. So my interest in animation is equally weighed between workplace and hobby.
I realise that you are not an 'expert'  although i think you are being a little modest here, but just a question, can you import settings/props etc from Daz (via 3dxchange) or is it only characters?
I am quite prepared to purchase content rather than produce my own as i believe it is very time consuming - as everything animation related seems to be. However i have a few students that i mentor - they struggle with their academic work but they are all outstanding artists and i plan to have them work on developing their own 'rigs', settings etc and at the same time they can help me with some of my own projects - a win win situation.
I already use a lot of visual aids in the classroom and i am closer to my retirement than the beginning of my carer so i am not going to be overly ambitious in what i do, however i think there is huge potential for animation/3d/ gaming/video production in the modern classroom. Like i mentioned in an earlier post- i teach at a disadvantaged school ( High indigenous population) in north Queensland and many students have limited opportunities post high school ( other than tourism - we are adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef  ) and i believe that animation is an engaging platform to teach many things related to the Australian curriculum, and at the same time set some kids up for employment and university placement in a rapidly expanding field.
Anyway a quick summary of some of my projects for the classroom-
=Pop video and virtual studio to set up a class Television channel related to history ( and news media) Maybe up load to you tube at some point in the future.
= Drawing/ story boarding projects for animation. ( This is a small group project with students 'at risk)'.
= On my time as a hobby i will produce some short animation (skits) to include in lessons. Hence my need to source a wide range of Medieval  content (and other historical content as i progress). I gather the more content i have the easier it will be to produce better work in a shorter time frame. At my age (50) i can probably afford the financial burden this will entail.
I promise to be more succinct in future posts; and to the point- however i would appreciate your feedback on any future hitches as they arise. My apologies for digressing but it is just before midnight and i have had numerous 'brain explosions' learning how to use some of the software. Talk about a steep learning curve- this is 'Everest on steroids'.
Cheers Ian


 
iglov4
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Sorry,l meant to mention, in the meantime i will continue with Power points and 'chalk and talk', whilst i inflict some rather lame animations on a captive audience.
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I wish my history teacher was like you, I would have got an A+ 

Good luck on your journey to bring animated storytelling to the classroom. 

Best 

Mobidextrous
Grimhilda
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Thanks, Animagic, for filling out the physics information.  I knew about how  a mesh could be given physics properties and varied degrees of flexibility but wasn't sure whether G5 characters came 'collision enabled' or whether CloneCloth being rigged to the body underneath caused problems.  I must have a play with it.  Clone Cloth was going to be my tool for designing clothes.

@ Iglov4:  I too think that what your doing is highly commendable and that your pupils are fortunate to be introduced to a new, growing industry that will surely capture their attention.  From what you've said and from your question, I'm assuming that you are still picking up the very basics of 3d concepts at this point.

3d software used to create objects outputs these objects in various file formats or types.  You will soon notice that there are .lwo, .obj, .fbx, .3ds files and lots of others associated with the world of 3d.

Iclone doesn't have tools to create objects; it takes them in via 3dXchange from their original format and converts them to its own internal proprietary formats.  Thus, in Iclone your imported files become iprops, etc.  With 3dXchange pipeline you can output iclone files back to the familiar file-types used in other software.

So, if you look at the input formats available, say, in 3dXchange Pro, you will see what files it can accept and convert.  If you have other software, you can see what formats of files that software can export.  To give an example:  In Carrara I can create a mesh and rig it with bones.  Then I can animate it along the Carrara timeline by making adjustments to the bones' positions.  If I then export this work from Carrara as an fbx file, it can be imported to Iclone as an iprop with its own 'perform' animation built in.  I will have made my own iprop.

Problems arise sometimes because files such as .fbx or .obj may have different flavours or versions and this gives rise to compatibility problems.  You will see discussions here along the lines of importing to DAZ from 3dXchange pipeline and so on and so on.  Moving files from package to package sometimes involves issues with scaling or with which direction is up or with how textures behave.  This is all the fun we go through and discuss here.

From the foregoing, you will see that many items can be exported from DAZ Studio, Poser, etc. for use in Iclone.  You need to know what you are attempting to export - make sure you have not selected an entire scene, for example.  The object format (.obj) is common.  This may result in a second file (.mtl) for the textures.  If you move these around your computer, they need to be together, I think.

The video you were inspired by shows the 'look' that appeals to you (non-realistic).  That's a good choice, I think, for what you are aiming for.

I feel the need to mention that DAZ and Poser can be highly realistic in their output and their starting point is the unclothed figure.  Many users don't seem to go far beyond that point and much of the clothing sold for these figures is ludicrously scanty.  I've seen discussions where people have spoken of colleagues or relatives being scandalised by this hobby.  Also I've seen letters to 3d magazines where professionals, such as architects, have complained that they can't have the magazines lying around the premises where clients could see them on account of the 'pin-ups' that inevitably appear.  This is the side of things that could spread in a school and backfire terribly.  I mention this with the utmost respect to you.  I think being a teacher in today's world where everything can be recorded and spread around must be like walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon.

animagic
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Another free source for props and buildings is 3DWarehouse. There's debate about the quality, but I think some of it is quite good. Since, especially in Britain and Europe, many old and even medieval structures have been preserved, people are inspired to recreate them in Sketchup, which is the modeling program underlying 3DWarehouse models.

One developer to check out is Arteria3D, who has done several medieval projects. Some of his work is also available through BigBoss.

DAZ and Poser models are good, but tend to have a high polygon-count. Polygons are the triangles and quads that make up a model and the more you have of those the more precise the model. The flip-side is that it tends to slow down real-time preview if you have a lot of models like that. There are ways to give the illusion of detail without a high-polygon cost and some of that is implemented in iClone.


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