The iClone Unreal Live Link is a high-end plugin pack that is designed to accelerate virtual production work for studios, pro animators, cinematographers, live broadcasts and more; by fusing iClone’s powerful simplicity with Unreal Engine's cinematic rendering power.
The launch of Unreal Live Link Plug-in for iClone offers a new workflow, delivering two optional paths for anyone using Unreal to get content into the engine.
Reallusion has designed this pipeline to be used by all users from learners, novice to professionals.
Reallusion supports a manual FBX workflow for all users, and an automated Live Link workflow for Studios & Professionals.
1. FBX pipeline (manual import / export)
The existing FBX pipeline of iClone 7, and Character Creator 3 can import to Unreal with everything needed to add Reallusion characters and animations into Unreal projects. The FBX export is the way learners, novice and indie/pros can access the pipeline with the most value, to balance budget and power. Transferring characters to Unreal is an import/export process with this pipeline.
2. iClone Unreal Live Link pipeline (fully automated, direct asset transfer, and live animation)
The new iClone Unreal Live Link plug-in is a workflow accelerator that connects iClone to Unreal to directly transfer assets and then animate with live performance. This plug-in removes the manual steps and lets the character design, and animation, flow directly into Unreal. Use iClone tools for face and body motion capture, then choose to do motion editing inside iClone, before sending live animation data into Unreal Engine. The iClone Unreal Live Link plug-in is a total solution for characters, animations, cameras, and lights - designed to significantly accelerate studio and professional projects.
The primary aim of these special tools is to remove the burden of repetitive tasks like saving, exporting, importing, and shader assignments during professional workflows which can drive costs up for studios with a large number of hourly artists. It is important to mention that these tools are not indispensable for individual animators, as these steps can be done manually when time and budget are not of the essence.
Reallusion Content Auto Setup for Unreal
This plug-in pack includes; the "Character Creator & iClone Auto Setup" plug-in for Unreal Engine, along with the "Unreal Live Link Plug-in 1.0 for iClone".
The Auto Setup automates the process when working with digital human shader assignments and avatar characterization in Unreal Engine 4, as it works with three shader types: Standard (PBR), LW (Lightweight), and HQ (High Quality) Digital Human.
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* The Auto Setup plug-in is designed for both FBX Pipeline and Unreal Live Link Transfer Pipeline, and can be acquired at no cost.
1. Automated Digital Human Shader Assignment
- Automatically assign digital human shaders from iClone characters to Unreal; removes manual work of shader assignment.
- 3 shader types are available: Standard (PBR), LW (Lightweight), and HQ (High Quality) Digital Human.
- Use default HQ shader for imported CC Characters - the skin, teeth, hair, eyes are assigned through advanced Blueprints for adjustment and fine-tuning.
- Store AO, and Roughness textures into RGBA channels for optimized file size.
- PBR shaders are applied to cloth, accessories, and non-CC characters.
2. Automatic Skeletal Mapping
- When a CC Character is transferred from iClone to Unreal Engine, the Live Link plug-in automatically processes the skeletal mapping and bone renaming in UE4.
- Supports Epic IK-bone standard with additional Gun Bones for weapon-holding animations, and Root IK bones for locomotion control. (Coming soon)
- Enhanced content compatibility between the Character Creator and Unreal Asset Stores. CC characters can use UE4 motions, and UE4 characters can use iClone Motions. (Coming soon)
Additionally, Reallusion will continuously be developing for Unreal and realtime engines. This development includes upcoming features including: prop transfer, cloth physics, UE4.23 update, and ongoing patches for Unreal Engine compatibility. (*Roadmap coming soon – see prop transfer test)
* Prop transfer test - Prop transfer works for static props and (non-human) creatures with skin bone animation.
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