Before I get to my suggestions, I have to say that the Morph Creator and Morph Animator is a great step forward. It is so much easier to create Morph props now as opposed to the work-around method in iClone 6.x which involved making a boned prop and mapping morphs to Expressions. Thank you, RL. Job well done!
Having said that, I believe there are opportunities for improvement moving forward:1. Multi Stage Morphs:Issue:
The iClone 7 Morph Creator suffers from the same issues as the iClone 6.x work-around when making multi-stage morphs (see my you-tube tutorial at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYcOE7hY8QI).
The issue comes from the fact that morphs are always applied in relation to the base object and thus making a second stage to the morph becomes difficult because it is necessary to subtract out the first stage morph. For example, a flattened rectangle object has a morph to turn it into a sphere and then a second stage morph to turn the sphere into a cube. Ideally, one would like to create the second stage cube based on the previous sphere stage but Morph Creator will expect it to be created based on the base object (the flattened rectangle). This means to cause the object to properly transition from the first stage morph (sphere) to the second stage (cube) the second stage morph needs to subtract out the sphere morph and add in the cube morph.Suggestion:
It would be much easier to create multi stage morphs if there was a check-box option to apply morphs based on the current object as opposed to the base object. So if Object 1 had Morph 1 applied and then Morph 2 was applied with this setting turned on Morph Animator would compare the Morph 2 to the Object 1 with Morph 1 applied instead of the base Object 1. In such a case, multi stage morphs can be made more easily because each morph would be created based on the previous stage as opposed to the base object. Obviously this should be a optional setting since in other cases having the Morph Animator compare against the base object is desirable.2. Texture Morphing / Texture Swapping / UV RemappingIssue:
The current morph system addresses morphing the mesh but not the textures associated with the mesh. Consider a werewolf character morph. With Morph Creator it is fairly easy to create such a morph but without a corresponding texture morph the sequence needs to be shot in silhouette or use other tricks to compensate for the fact that the mesh can change but the corresponding texture cannot. As a work around, I have illustrated how one can achieve a texture swapping result (see video tutorial at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-N_eotS3Js)
in iClone 6 or 7 but this is a work-around hack.Suggestion:
Some possible solution are: 1) Allowing texture map swaps to be recorded using key frames or at least 2
) Gradual transition between starting and ending textures or
A related issue which could be solved by Texture mapping / swapping but also different ways is UV reassignment. Consider a coil of rope or tape measure which is being retracted using a morph. In such a case as the object is made smaller by the retracting morph, the texture will compact along with the mesh. This means, for example, that the tape measure will continue to read the same length as the tape is retracted but the divisions will get smaller and smaller. Similarly a retracting rope will get an increasingly denser rope texture. In such case, an option to keep the UV mapping in relation to the base object and re-project them on the morph object would be useful. 3. Morphing Unification
While great Morphing features and options are being added (especially to character morphs) to iClone it seems to me like the added features are a little bit all over the place. There is the Motion Puppet, Edit Motion Layer, MixMoves, FacePuppet, FaceKey, CreateScript, and Morph Animator. Each of these are their own dialog and and typically require moving out of that dialog to use one of the other functions. It would be nice to have these unified into one master dialog where the user could move more easily between each of these modules.Suggestion:
For example, a Morph dialog with tabs for each module. It is not a big deal but it would give iClone a more unified feel as opposed to the feel that iClone is made up of many individual modules.
Once again, these are just suggestions for the future...I do, greatly, appreciate the strides that iClone 7 has made to make morphing easier to use. Good work RL.
"We often compare ourselves to the U.S. and often they come out the best, but they only have the right to walk on the grass while we have the right to smoke it"
Lord Ashes' Original