Justaviking's iClone 7 corner


https://forum.reallusion.com/Topic331848.aspx
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By animagic - Last Year
Also, with that out of the way, we can perhaps return to this interesting conversation...Cool
By justaviking - Last Year
I wasn't sure where to post this, and then I realized my Corner was as good as any.

I just got an email about the latest Substance Designer update.  Two items in particular caught my eye:
In this new release, you get:
  • An improved navigation within your graph, with badges, Flow Highlight, a better graph search tool and more.
  • A simpler navigation between graphs with better tabs and a breadcrumb
  • An awesome new PBR Render Node, for great renders
  • Faster ray tracing with RTX-powered bakers
  • Great freedom with the broadening scope of the Python API (now you can create and edit data!)

By justaviking - Last Year
animagic (1/21/2018)
Also, with that out of the way, we can perhaps return to this interesting conversation...Cool


So... does anyone else have any "Animating to a script" stories to share?

Successes... failures... challenges... lessons learned... amusing anecdotes... useful tips...  questions???

By wires - Last Year
Mike,

The problems that we ran in to using DRM assets really forced both of us to own the items. 

Alley did all of the final renders and music mixes, I delivered scenes/projects containing DRM locked assets for the final edit. We had decided from the beginning that the final render would be done by one person in order to keep the quality of the video as high as possible, and to avoid any Codec problems. I uploaded all my completed project files for Alley and she needed to have ownership of the content to do the render.

On the other hand she produced scenes that also contained DRM content that I didn't own, so it didn't matter who did the final render - that person needed to own every asset used in the production. Trying to do a preview render of a scene containing DRM locked items isn't possible, so again the person needed to own everything included.

This is one of the greatest problems that prevents iClone from becoming a software for use in truly professional group projects - each and every person involved in the production needs to have a purchased copy of every asset on their PC to make it work.
By justaviking - Last Year
Thanks for the tip on the MSI Desktop Management stuff.  I'll have to give it a whirl.  On some web pages I notice the black text nearly turns red while scrolling.  But more than that is the viewing angles.

Unless you are looking straight-on, you get color shifts. Why-oh-why do they still make laptops with substandard screens?  I got my wife a 10.4-inch tablet for Christmas, and you can view that thing from nearly any angle and it still looks fine.  But a very powerful laptop that costs 4x as much has a problem that should have been abolished at least 4 years ago.  The laptop is already a bit of an unnecessary indulgence, so spending another $400 just to get a similarly spec'd laptop with a better screen is out of the question.

It's getting late here (for me), but I'll explore screen-improving stuff tomorrow and let you know how it works for me.
(KT - Was it the "True Color" stuff you used, or something else that helped?  In what way did you notice an improvement?)


P.S.
There were some great suggestions by an owner in a "User Review" where he suggested a series of adjustments to the voltage and clock speeds.  They would result in a *minor* drop in performance, but the laptop will run a lot cooler, and also quieter since the fan will spin less.  I will explore them, too.

P.P.S.
In case anyone is curious, I got this laptop (on sale) and am nearing the end of my return window.  I'm leaning toward keeping it, but it sure would be nice to run iClone on it, just for comfort sake, before committing to keeping it.
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/msi-gs-series-stealth-pro-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i7-16gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1060-1tb-hdd-256gb-ssd-aluminum-black/5712735.p?skuId=5712735
By grabiller - Last Year
justaviking (1/26/2018)
../.. My point was meant to focus on the "YouTube culture" being a barrier that good iClone films must overcome.  We should not try to make all our iClone movies "cat" and "dumb people hurting themselves" videos.  I've said many times before, a good television commercial can tell an entire "story" in 30 or 60 seconds.  So even a short iClone movie can still tell a good and complete story.  And even "short" videos can have a proper pace, taking the time to pause where they should.

But if you find a random video (as opposed to having a specific recommendation to watch it), and it's 40 minutes long, I think there is a special need to grab your audience's attention early on.  How?  Good visuals?  Beautiful music?  Some flashy particles?  I'm not sure, and of course it depends on the video.

When selecting 30 or 60-minute television shows, or 2-hour movies, that comes with one set of expectations.  But even though it's probably unfair, browsing YouTube comes with another set of expectations, and it's so, so very easy to click on to a different video.  So I think the "need" to hook the audience immediately is heightened in that environment.

So I was lamenting the challenge of getting an audience to watch a long iClone video.


That's an interesting topic indeed. How to find the right balance between the extreme Hollywood blockbuster approach where the goal is to get a maximum number of spectators then incomes and the purest "Author's Film" (not sure if it has the same meaning in English) approach where the director does not give a f..k about the audience and just want to create his Movie, his Master Piece of Art, no matter what.

I believe the first rule to have some acceptance by the audience is to be, as a director, sincere and  honest with your intention. If your intention is purely to entertain, and there is no shame in that, then you have to try to make the best you can, not just take a poor story, put a few explosions and that's it. The audience will notice, obviously. And if your intention is to create your master piece and don't give as f..k about the audience this is still valid, if you know what you are doing, and the audience will notice too. It does not mean either way the audience will like it but my feeling is that the audience almost always can tell if a movie has been made "seriously", with sincerity and honesty or with just some receipt to try to catch attention. The first spectator of your movie is yourself, if you don't like it, probably the audience won't like it too. If you think: "I have a good story but my images are crap*, the audience will probably think so. So it will be up to the audience to forgive you about the images if they think the story "override" that issue. But no matter what, it won't be a good movie. A good story perhaps. It all depends on what you are after. Good story ? Good movie (which includes good story) ? If your sound is crap, same issue. A movie is a "multiple channels" media. The audience expect all those "channels" to be good. Story, performance, camera work, cinematography, audio, etc.. And if you don't have Hollywood resources, that's not an excuse, that's a compromise and you will have to "sell" that compromise to the audience (ex: "REC"). We are in 2018, forgiveness is not expected from nowadays audiences. Your images can be crap if it is on purpose (or supposedly on purpose) granted you have something else strong enough to "sell" (again ex: "REC" among others).

So, granted you like what you have done, that you have done it sincerely and it has some strong points - the story ? the characters performances may be ? why not the audio ? at least all "channels" are quite good even if nothing is "strong" - then your movie "has the right to exist". I'm being rude here, I know.

Then Youtube or not is a secondary issue. 10 minutes or 2 hours, your movie will have some audience. The rest is purely marketing issue. Create a good trailer, make some buzz, social medias, ads campaign on CNN or in the subway Wink Just kidding. Again, if you don't have Hollywood resources, that is to be expected to have less audience than "Avatar". It is just a question of visibility. Personally I don't believe the length of the movie has an impact on its acceptance. If someone stumble on your 90 minutes films and he likes the genre and your movie is good enough, there is no reason that someone will not watch it under the pretext it is too long. He may not watch it immediately but he will surely bookmark it for later screening.

So before worrying about Youtube I believe one has to worry about first making a good movie. And the first enemy is impatience. Finding a good story or a good enough story or at least something you really like is certainly not an easy task. Making it a script or a screenplay is not easy too. Then creating a storyboard or planning camera work, perhaps up until you get an animatic or previz you like and that works is certainly not an easy task too. All that even before having created your first shot in iClone, MovieStorm, Unreal, Unity or whatever. If by impatience you decide to shortcut these steps then it is your responsibility but don't complain later on, because you would have deliberately skipped steps that could have make your movie better. You knew it and you have been warned.

Fighting impatience is very hard, in comparison, fixing technical issues is fun and easy. Smile
By Shadoesword - Last Year
animagic (1/26/2018)
Meanwhile, don't forget to have some fun with your projects too..


That's what it's all about for me. This is my hobby...this is what I do to "find my flow". Sure, I want to learn and get better, but I believe I learn best when I'm having fun. 

I think it's great that Space Rider made a 1 hour animated movie to learn about animation. I hope you had a blast creating it, Space Rider. And along the way, you learned a lot about animation, I'm sure.

I said somewhere else that there's no "wrong" way to approach an Iclone project, by which I meant that everyone is entitled to pursue their projects according to their own priorities. There's nothing wrong with putting "fun" up at the top of those priorities. If someone just wants to use Iclone to play with its different tools, there's nothing wrong with that. When I first got the program, I had a lot of fun just putting animation clips on my custom avatar and watching it jump around. Discovering the possibilities was so entertaining. I still enjoy exploring different content in Iclone, even though I may never use it. 

I understand the desire to create something of a higher quality. I have that same desire. But I'm not willing to push it to the point where my hobby is no longer fun. 

It is fun for me to talk about the hobby with others. And, for sure, I find it greatly beneficial to get glimpses of how the creative spark fires in others. I find it often sparks my own creativity in ways I hadn't considered. 
By justaviking - Last Year
Two random things, but both related to the wonderful world of animation.
I was made aware of both of these from a newsletter recently started by Andrew Price (Blender Guru).

Not directly applicable to iClone today, but we can dream.

AWESOME RENDER OF HAIR:
https://www.artstation.com/artwork/BEmJz

SMART "AUTOMATED" CHARACTER BEHAVIOR:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjTU0yKS00
Jump to the 31-minute mark, and see how characters automatically avoid obstacles, etc.
By justaviking - Last Year
I entered an Issue in Feedback Tracker.
It's my version of a much-discussed issue regarding Preview Window Size and Render Speed




Issue 5415Add option to DISABLE PREVIEW WINDOW updates WHILE RENDERING to IMPROVE PERFORMANCE

PROBLEM:
Many people have observed that the RENDER SPEED is affected by the SIZE of the iClone PREVIEW window. That seems inherently wrong. I am not talking about preview speed.

PRIMARY SUGGESTION:
Add a new option that allows us to DISABLE the Preview Window updates while iClone is doing a Render operation.

If iClone needs to "pretend" it is in full-screen mode, fine. I don't care. Whatever you need to do to the inner workings is fine with me. I just want the option for much faster render times.

ENHANCED SUGGESTION:
Allow options, such as:
1) Preview ON - current behavior
2) Update OFF - requested behavior, above
3) Update every [xx] frames - allow user to specify how often to update the screen - for example update the preview window once every 30 frames if the user wants the comfort of seeing progress - the assumption is there would only be a performance impact on 1/30th of the frames

OBSERVATIONS:
1) The render speed tends to be best when the Preview Window is at a "full size" that matches the output size.
2) It appears as if iClone is rendering twice. Once for the Preview, and once for the Output. That is probably not entirely true, since people have long complained that the Preview Window size would affect the QUALITY of the output (DOF effects, for example) in addition to the render speed. But there is definitely some linkage.

DATA:
Same project, render times range from 5:10 down to 1:57 merely by changing the size of the Preview window. That is over a 2.5x difference.

Picture 1 - iClone is nearly filling my monitor
Render Time = 5:10

Picture 2 = iClone is "maximized" to fill my monitor, so is slightly larger than in Case 1
Render Time = 3:31

Picture 3 = iClone in "Full Screen" mode, Render menu docked, taking up some Preview Window space
Render Time = 4:28

Picture 4 = iClone in "Full Screen" mode, Render menu "floating," Preview Window is "full-size" (1080 pixels across)
Render Time = 1:57



1...
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/4e1d6304-89f0-4721-ab70-9422.jpg

2...
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/6068276d-b23c-4188-94ef-4b31.jpg

3...
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/43ca2858-6d6b-4acc-bd45-1396.jpg

4...
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/757abeb3-4583-4eb5-897d-763f.jpg
By animagic - Last Year
I have a GTX 1080 and a 4K monitor.

I did two tests, one with preview window at maximum and one with the preview window very small. 

Screen captures of the results (I like the stopwatch tool!). The first screen capture shows the output settings.

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/ceb5cc09-477e-4443-a30b-40a2.jpg

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/d0d9b28b-bc31-4e74-bfe2-ae77.jpg

As you can see, I had still nothing after 11 minutes with the small preview window, so I had to kill iClone.

It's an extreme case, but this should NOT happen! It's obviously not the time it takes to render the preview. When I playback the loft scene, I get better FPS the smaller the preview window, which makes sense. So what's happening here?
By wires - 2 Years Ago
Looks like a very serious case of iCloneitis, w00t I'm sure that professional help is available if needed. SmileBigGrinTongueHeheLaughRolleyes
By justaviking - Last Year
Thanks for the replies.

I was trying to quote some of your comments and make specific replies, but the forum is having trouble getting the formatting right (even after pasting into and out of Notepad to remove any text formatting).  So I'll be a bit more random in my responses...



First of all, thank you for the kind comments about the "story" and the "characters."  Although I do care about the technical aspects, I personally put "story" first, and then the remainder usually suffers from a deadly combination of lack of time and lack of skill.  But your ability to endure the technical shortcomings and enjoy the story means a lot to me, so thanks again.

Spiny Normal has a way with words, and made some amusing comments, such as his colorful description of the landscape.  I agree.  There are trees floating a meter above the ground, and other issues too.  That was the first landscape I ever tried to sculpt, and I did manage to make a "cliff by the sea" which was important to the script.  But the rest of it is, once again, only a pre-vis quality.  The road is simply a textured plane added over and over again.  It tells the story, but that's about it.

If you watch some of the exterior scenes at the theater, you might notice a fire escape stairway comes and goes.  I thought it would be a good addition, but I didn't get it added to all my scenes consistently.  This is where the ability to externally reference an object (like we can with some textures) would be great.  Then I could update the master item, and all my scenes would inherit the updated copy the next time I render.  For a while I thought Pinhead should tie a rope to the fire escape and around his waist, in case he fell, (and especially for Alura to hold onto), but thinking about the technical issues of trying to animate a rope took it out of the script.  And there's a bit more peril without the safety rope, so I guess that's okay anyway.

The "singing" idea was chosen as a conscious decision to "do something different."  The movie "Mama Mia" used a similar concept with classic Abba songs.

Pinhead and Viking do indeed have a backstory.  I used Viking (Lars) in a previous Pinhead video, and Viking was literally stabbed in the back and nearly died.  In that story, you learn that Viking was a "special forces" military guy who is now more like a private detective.  It was a lot of fun to reference that, and hopefully I did it in a way that didn't require you to see the earlier movie.  It was also fun to show that they were childhood friends, though it's a bit amusing that they haven't changed clothes in at least 25 years.  LOL.  Once again, time limitations - and the lack of Character Creator - pushed me into simply scaling their bodies a bit.

I'm glad the voice acting was acknowledged.  One of my daughters did the voice of Alura, and I think she did a fine job.  A a coworker (Mo) did the villain.  I recorded Mo in a conference room at work, and in a couple places you can hear the footsteps of people walking by in the hall.  Later, wearing headphones and listening to Mo and me talking between takes, was quite an experience.  The contrast between our voices was so astounding, and wow, my voice sounds so wimpy next to his.  And that laugh of his, piped directly into my ears, I loved it.  I didn't know Mo very well at the time, and was unsure about asking him to do a voice-over for my video (and he's a big, intimidating guy).  As you can imagine, he's been told before that he should do some "voice acting" and was very excited about it.  It was also interesting to "direct" someone I didn't know very well, but I made myself do it, and he responded wonderfully as we did several takes of each scene.  He also provided some great suggestions and inspiration on a couple of lines.  We both got a bit of amusement that he, a black guy, was doing the voice-over of a white character.  His only complaint was he didn't like when I named the villain "Vernon."  I think Mo felt the name was a bit lame.  Oh well.  As an actor, he had to accept it (even though he could crush me with his bare hands if he wanted to, LOL).

Regarding feedback from friends and relatives... I find they can be both your harshest critics and they can also be overly kind.


Thanks again for the comments.  I love conversations like this, including critiques.  I better go eat now before my lunchtime is over.
By uncwee - Last Year
...delete
By uncwee - Last Year
Kellytoons,

Thank you for responding. I need to explain that I have practiced animation for quite some time now.
I know how to animate... secondary motion...with ease.
I'd really like to apply what I've learned.... using iclone animation tools.

My problem is:
Unable to find any... controllers on iclone avatars.
Unable to switch (rotation) Euler to TCB and (position) Position_XYZ to Bezier.

Don't look forward to actually animating.... bone by bone.
Bone by bone would take forever.

Am I missing something here? Is this how one would actually animate (Characters) in iclone?


By CtrlZ - Last Year
Kelleytoons (1/20/2018)
Gerry,

Yipes -- have I been fooled?  Usually I pick up on it MUCH sooner.

In any case, either way, I am done with that particular conversation.

I was thinking the same thing lol but I miss swoope the original 
By paulg625 - 2 Years Ago
I watched several of the Film maker IQ videos, haven seen the Studio binder. thanks. can't ever learn enough.

thebiz.movies (7/26/2017)
Hey JustaViking,
I've also watched that video lately and have been having a good time using LUTs to get a look I want for a desaturated 70 crime klinda flick.  After watching the video I realized I was needing to re texture several of my characters, sets and props.  I felt like such a production designer!

also liked this info graphic from studiobinder (linked)




By Peter Blood - Last Year
Viking: Smile

Very nice work man. You're wiping the competition, and doing it with style.

Cool pete
By Kelleytoons - 3 Months Ago
Lots of ways to defur that feline.  What you have to figure out is what works best for you.

In our 2D animated show we recorded the voices first, cleaned up the tracks and split them out to each character, and then did the lip sync (with the head motionless so easy to do) then added facial expressions (again, with head motionless so easy to do) and FINALLY added in head and body motion.

Assuming you don't have body mocap but DO have Live Face I would for sure capture the face and audio either with or without the head movements.  Then I would clean up the expressions, add/edit head movements, and finally animate the body.  Will this take a while?  Of course -- good animation ALWAYS takes a long time.  The shortcuts there are to add body mocap (you will still need to do edit/cleanup but it will dramatically cut down the total time -- I spend only about an hour on five minutes of animation for total face and body capture now and that's doing the face and body separately.  I'm now experimenting with doing them both at the same time and that should cut that down even further -- perhaps down to 10-15 minutes for every five minutes of animation).

You have to determine what works for you and your setup (and resources).
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
Thanks, Gerry.  I was thinking along those lines.

I'm pretty sure I did have her on my system for a while, but when I noticed she was gone, I was having trouble finding exactly where (which build or email) she came from.  It's not a big deal, as I wasn't planning a major "lady pirate" movie, but I noticed her absence and it made me curious, and it's always nice to have everything, and I hate losing stuff that way..  My "uninstall" may have wiped her out (though I did a nice backup first).

I've got so many irons in the fire right now, I'll just have to see if my curiosity (and the challenge of restoring her) get me sufficiently motivated.
By justaviking - 5 Months Ago
It's "sharing time" again.

Here are a couple videos I watched (and enjoyed) recently that are relevant to iClone and animation...



VOICE ACTING:

Watching one short YouTube video does not replace hours of professional training, but this was very interesting.  In particular, the value of "standing" and "using your body" is very good to know.  (I usually stand when I do my final voice recordings.)  How many of us just sit passively at our desk and speak into a $2 microphone, and wonder why our characters seem dull and lifeless?


On that same theme, here is a video of numerous people doing their voice-overs.  Notice how much "acting" they do while recording the dialogue.


Also, notice you can't be shy or have any pride.  You need to be willing to totally embarrass and humiliate yourself while recording.  I struggle with that, even in the privacy of my own home, simply knowing people will be able to overhear me.  But the end result is definitely better the more you let loose and throw yourself into the role.
By justaviking - Last Year
I was watching a "Unity" presentation from SIGGRAPH 2017.

He demonstrated the ability to smooth "Look at" or "Tracking" camera movements.  Yay!  Quite some time ago I put in a request for iClone to have the ability to smooth out those types of automated camera movements.  It is one of my pet peeves when I watch a video where the camera locks on to a character as he moves and jumps around.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNFJXoMIFe4
What he demonstrates at 11:30-12:40 is almost exactly what I put in my request.
I supposed I should re-write my request now for iC7.
(Also see 15:50 to 17:00 for a cool camera "blending" trick.)

Somewhere around 2:50 he talks about "Compositing" going away.  I thought that was a bit amusing since enhanced compositing has been touted as something great coming to iClone in 2018.    I know, I know, there is still a need (at least for now), but the contrast caught my attention.
By animagic - 2 Years Ago
wires (11/29/2017)
Well done Dennis.

Speaking of skin colour, there's a WIP that I found online last year that deals with just that subject. Angelica Dass has been comparing human skin to the PANTONE© Guide, amazing work that can be viewed here.  

That's a nice resource, Gerry. I like the head shots, as they also show how asymmetrical real faces are, something often overlooked in modeling.

I took one of them, Pantone 63-6 C, and created a head in CT8. I then refined it further in CC 2.0.

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/8d26aace-85fd-4a00-8048-27c5.jpg

I think it's also a good resource for those who want to practice their head-making skills.

EDIT: Legal requirement: Photography by Angelica Dass (www.angelicadass.com)
By justaviking - Last Year
Dr. Nemesis (1/24/2018)
To this day one of my all time favourite Iclone  videos is this one which I believe was made in Iclone 5!


Agreed.  That is a great video.  It's as impressive now as the first time I saw it.


MnerosNaRa (1/26/2018)
Yes I am working on a project that has been taking 8 years now. I keep going back to the drawing board, and redoing stuff because Iclone keeps getting better
I have however decided not to hold back anymore as Iclone 7 is perfect atm for this project. like to a the trailer of my Project is below. Im not sure how long the film will
be but the Script is 53 pages long.


It looks epic!

As proven by the video Dr. Nemesis linked to, a good story that is done well will stand the test of time, and will not suffer greatly for lack of the latest wiz-bang technology.  Hopefully you are done redoing stuff because iClone has improved, and you will be able to complete the project now.  Good luck!

The rule of thumb is one page of script (using the traditional "spec script formatting) is 1 page of script equals 1 minute of movie.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
This:

https://www.staples.com/Pyle-Pro-PSIB27-Sound-Recording-Booth-Box/product_24004346?cid=PS:GooglePLAs:24004346&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=24004346&KPID=24004346&cvosrc=PLA.google-SALES.TV%20%26%20Streaming%20Media&cvo_crid=225653520177&cvo_campaign=950232647&gclid=Cj0KCQiAwKvTBRC2ARIsAL0Dgk1IVtXa3Uc6kdbC9FATG6LqXKwMrFtAfOZ1lFJUQYUXusIgfTFy-UgaAhzQEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

is essentially what I built, except I bought some acoustic foam panels (it takes three -- two for the sides and one for the top, which this particular paid thing above does not have) from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KKNO9QW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and then this cube:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LRDTSW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So total cost is $30 but you end up with two (because you have enough panels for two, and LOTS more of the whitmore cubes -- nice for storage).  No glue needed, just put the panels in and they hold themselves up.  And the whole thing folds up for easy carry.  It works a treat.
By SeanMac - Last Year
Thanks for the headsup. Interesting. Especially as regards how to pick out a poorly made video and the importance of good audio,
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
I reported the first one (back in August):

https://www.reallusion.com/FeedBackTracker/Issue/Changing-like-named-materials-with-checkmark-Affect-All-Materials-with-the-same-name-doesn-t-work

(BTW, this and the ability to change materials regardless of name are the number one thing I want to do if/when we ever get Python scripting).
By justaviking - Last Year
TonyDPrime (1/22/2018)
A few years back doing some 2D-art, messing around for a laugh I sent a 1 page comic to a group of friends, one of which who actually draws and does 2D art work for a living also. 
He told me that I had jumped right in to the characters to soon, and that I should always open with a description of the environment to bring the reader in to the setting (i.e. a pic of the environment scene...).


I guess that's why we keep seeing "establishing shots" in movies.
Although, in a "1 page comic," I don't know how much time you have for establishment of environment and characters.  Unsure
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Ah, gotcha.  Thanks for the clarification.

Yeah, they ought to at least allow a proxy type setting (that's what we used to do in our production work -- not so much for DRM but just for resources.  I still don't understand why iClone doesn't manage memory better -- if you hide an object it ought to reduce the memory requirements, particularly if there are no physics on that object).
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
I think it is the Dragon center -- I'll check more in a bit (still cleaning house for the wife's return :>Wink.

Yeah, the weight is really the big deal with that laptop -- for a gaming laptop you normally have to get something MUCH heavier.  At the time I thought I might be moving it around a bit (hospital room, then home, then possibly doctor's office :>Wink but in the end I find I only put it one of two places so weight isn't that much of a factor.

Speaking -- I always have the best intentions when I buy a laptop.  I think to myself "This will be great that I can be productive when I'm waiting at the doctor's office" (when your my wife and my age you tend to do a lot of this <g>Wink.  But invariably I never take one, as it just seems SO much trouble and effort compared to just browsing or reading on my phone.  Hell, even when I know I'll be hours at something (like taking my car to be serviced) I still just won't take the laptop.  Now, if my iPad could run iClone then I'd take it -- hell, I'd even buy that oversized one they sell.  But that won't happen in my lifetime.  Sigh.
By Shadoesword - Last Year
Dr. Nemesis (1/24/2018)
I'm currently making a 70 minute film in Iclone and it would be cool to know of any other people doing something similar. 
I check youtube everyday for new Iclone videos and I'm kinda saddened that even with the release of Iclone 7 I don't often find great examples of Iclone's capability.
To this day one of my all time favourite Iclone  videos is this one which I believe was made in Iclone 5!
Is there anyone here actively working on larger projects? Would be nice to compare notes from time to time.


That is an extraordinary video, superbly executed. It shows that the potential Iclone has for making movies is not in fancy rendering, but in the skill of the creator. (It also shows that using physics with hair has always been a pita to work with in Iclone)Wink    Thanks for pointing us to this.

I am doing an Iclone project kind of loosely inspired by the old movie serials, one big story told in a collection of episodes. Each episode runs 20-25 minutes, so in the end it will be a pretty long project. 



By Delerna - Last Year
Basically I agree with that statement to a certain degree. 

But John Lennon was one musician who used to say that sort of thing all the time.
So ??????

Obviously you can only please some people some times so not everyone would agree he did well but I do.
I also know they did work with people who did know music theory. But as far as I know that only occurred after they became famous.
By Rampa - Last Year
I wonder if it's having the UI de-coupled from the rendering window?

That would be the case in your last image.
By justaviking - Last Year
(Oops.)
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
Wow, iClone 7 is finally here.  That means, among other things, it's time to start a new "corner" where I can many miscellaneous postings that don't warrant a thread of their own.

I am really excited about iC7.  Wow!  Lots of "Wow!" in this release.

To start my random posts, I need to share a new feature I requested and didn't even realize was released until today.
iC7 supports the $TIME variable for Substances.  That opens a world of possibilities.

I wish they'd send an email to the originator of Feedback Tracker Issues when it changes status.  I was randomly skimming over old Issues I submitted, when the "Released" status of this one caught my eye.  I tested it, and it does indeed work!!!
https://www.reallusion.com/FeedBackTracker/Issue/Support-the-TIME-variable-for-animated-Substances

What does this mean?  Why care about the $TIME variable?  Well, you know we can apply videos as textures, so you can have an animated texture.  The $TIME variable allows a Substance to change over time, so you can actually have an animated Substance.

I will attempt to attach the "Clouds.sbsar" file.  I'll have to cheat on the file extension.  Download the file, and change the extension back to "Clouds.sbsar" and have fun.

Here is a sample video.


To experience this yourself, simply add a cube (or any other shape) to an iClone project, apply the "cloud" substance, and press Play.  Smile

What besides clouds?
- Caustics on the bottom of your swimming pool (there is a sample that came with Substance Player v5).
- Rain on a window.
- Many possibilities.

THANK YOU, Reallusion development team, for making this work.


P.S.
Here is a free "caustics" substance you can also try:  https://share.allegorithmic.com/libraries/23
By mark - 2 Years Ago
Marvelous observation Dennis!!!!BigGrinTongueBigGrin
By uncwee - Last Year
justaviking (1/19/2018)
@Uncwe
Even when my work can serve as an example of mistakes to avoid, I'm okay with that.   Wink

On the contrary.... Your work displays realistic results (For Me as a new user)... with little to no iclone tool experience.
I have animation experience creating secondary motions and correcting animation.
The key for me is to learn iclone's animation tools and apply what I've learned.

Regarding not putting one aspect of a project ahead of the other, it's a great goal, but I don't think it's physically possible to focus on everything at one time, especially as an individual.  Especially if you don't want your 5-minute video to take a year to produce.  It's also a matter of passion and personal interest.  Some people love lighting, or camera work, or editing, or clothing, or modeling props.  All that stuff interests me greatly, but "story" is closest to my heart.

Rampa (1/17/2018)
...It can also be challenging to animate all the activity of it for people without animation experience. It is for me.

When "Experienced" iclone users state this...
Getting this right... Is a major concern for me.

The "Script" will always change... I want to gain the animation experience to follow these changes.


By justaviking - Last Year
@Uncwee - I am not sure there is a solid, linear answer to "How to animate."  There are so many aspects and layers to the task.  Different people have different workflows.

I do suggest watching some of Reallusion's webinars, if you haven't' already.
https://www.reallusion.com/customersupport/user/webinar_archive.html
The "iClone 7.1 Curve Editor Fun" webinar is the one that was mentioned a couple of times in the "Filmmaking versus animation" thread.

Actually, you may already be on the correct path more than you realize.  Pick a task, and try to accomplish it.  It could be almost anything:
- Pick up a coffee cup and take a drink (without animating the coffee - at least not the first time)
- Walk up a stairway
- Shake hands with another character
- Give a short, but emotional speech with lots of facial expressions
- Walk around a kitchen, from the fridge to the sink
- Practice lighting (sit by a campfire at night, and office space, a romantic dinner, burning desert sun...)
Then start combining those things.  If you can do that, you're ready for almost anything.

As you work on each individual skill, and encounter issues or questions, come to the forum with specific questions.

Additional thoughts:
- Showcase what you're best at
- Work on your greatest weakness
- Try something you've never done before


@Animagic,
Though we have differing approaches, I think we're still fairly close in many regards.  Some of it might be more "in our heads" versus "on paper," but our thought processes might be similar.
To be clear on one thing (you probably understand me, but there are others reading too), I've made it abundantly clear that I generally favor the concept of "structure," especially when writing longer stories, but I'm not promoting "The One" magical structure for writing.  I don't think there is one specific format that ensures success.  But the longer and more complex a story is, the more useful it is to have a roadmap to help you not get lost and improve your odds of success.
Your methodology has worked well for you, as I've enjoyed your stories.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
No shortcuts to good animation.

The curve editor helps, though.  I assume you've bought that.
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
Greetings fellow iCloners.

I have a couple information, educational, and entertaining resources I'd like to share with you today.


FILMMAKER IQ

I really enjoy John Hess's "Filmmaker IQ" videos about the film industry.  I love his informative explanations supported by clear graphics and hands-on ("practical" or "live") demonstrations.  I may have mentioned him before, but when I saw a familiar avatar in the comments section, I decided to come here and give him a shout-out.

This one seemed particularly relevant, given recent discussions about DOF.
The Science of Deep Focus and the Hyperfocal Distance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Hdbx1yD4ns

Here is another great one about how the same script can be acted and directed quite differently.
How a Director Stages and Blocks a Scene:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FBnSmbafC8


CHANNEL CRISWELL

This is a new site (to me).  I've only watched a couple of his videos, but I particularly enjoyed the first one I saw.  I've heard about "color" in movies many times, mostly because I enjoy watching the bonus features on the DVDs I buy.  This video, I thought, had excellent examples to go with the narrative explanation.

Colour in Storytelling:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXgFcNUWqX0



Enjoy!  Smile
By justaviking - Last Year
I've been intending to post a couple things here, but my "intentions" to improve them before posting have resulted in me posting nothing.  So even though I still have a couple things I intend to do to "finish" them, I finally decided to share them anyway.

First, I present to you...  Toilet paper.
Okay, go ahead and laugh.  It's funny, but only until you run out.  Then we'll see how funny you think it is.

I am convinced in addition to lighting and a couple other items, one of the big contributors to iClone rendering looking like they came from iClone is TEXTURES.

Here is a toilet paper roll holder, with TP on it, modeled in Blender by my young son.  It's not bad, and this is where a lot of iClone props stop.
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/82e371a1-6fc6-4061-ab18-8af0.jpg


I had some fun in Substance Designer, and created three substances:
1) A custom "dust" material where I have adjustable sliders for the amount and opacity of the dust, how far it spreads, how it collects in the recesses, and also the color and roughness of the metal.  Dust?  Surely I am not the only person whose brand of TP lets a few fibers float away and make a light layer of dust on the holder.  (TMI?)
2) A "toilet paper print" pattern, including a couple of parameters such as the "lumpiness" of the overall surface.
3) A "concentric circles" substance, suitable for the ends of the toilet paper roll, also usable on paper towels, gift wrap, or even disk brake rotors.  I have several parameters for that, too, including the intensity of the rings and a warping factor so it's not all perfectly circular.
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/5df5bbaa-f48c-4d23-9161-dd20.jpg
(Normally this would not be used in the middle of an outdoor patio.)

This model does not have the cardboard tube painted in it.  It is a trivial thing, but needs to be added to the model in Blender.  And the model should be re-unwrapped to, rather than just using the automated default unwrapping.  I never seem to get around to doing it, but as you can tell I finally decided to post my picture anyway.

I also created my first-ever "morph" in iClone, so I have a morph slider to adjust how much paper is left,  from this "full roll" down to about "1/4 remaining."  It would be fun to also have a separate "empty cardboard tube" which could also be removed, leaving only the empty holder.




I was telling a coworker about this, and then we started looking at a roll of paper towels on the lunch table.  That inspired me to try my hand at that, so I made a paper towel substance.  I was actually very pleased with how the "fine fibers" turned out.  I think it made the paper look soft and plush, and hopefully very absorbent.

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/8d4c453d-2884-4b3c-9c80-7d9e.jpg

If you zoom in on this picture, you'll see what I mean about the soft, fuzzy texture.
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/604facf2-0ec1-4869-a728-40ec.jpg



I've been working on some terry cloth towels too, with customizable monograms, but I'll save them for another day.
By animagic - 3 Months Ago
Older motions will work, but need adjusting to accommodate changes in bone structure. It usually requires adjusting the shoulders, which you would do at the beginning of the clip.

It would be nice if there was sort of mapping to do the adjustment for you.

The hardest part is usually to get things right for folded arms.
By Kelleytoons - 2 Months Ago
What?  No link?

(Hey, some of us are lazy.  And old).
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
I was doing some cleaning out of various beta s/w and stuff, and now have two dumb installation questions...

3DXchange complains about needing to install iClone 7:
- I uninstalled an older version of iC7 first, then installed the latest release of iC7
- Then uninstalled my 3DXchange and installed the newest 3DXchange
- So why would it complain about not having iC7 installed?

My Pirate Lady is missing:
- After doing the above, I also uninstalled and then installed the latest cut of CC2
- I thought I installed all the iC7 "content" stuff, but I'm not finding the pirate lady (I know I had her on my system once)
- Did I miss something?  (Obviously, I guess.  I just don't remember where/how she showed up.)


Yes, you might accuse me of being a bit lazy.  I just did this for the iClone suite and THREE other suites of authoring software.  It was surprisingly exhausting keeping track of all the downloads, uninstalls, installs, patches, and on and on.

I will look around again for the Pirate Lady, and probably reinstall iClone 7 again.  Maybe a good solid reboot will help too, now that some of the dust is settling.  Maybe a cup of coffee and a cookie would help.  But any pointers would be appreciated.  Thanks.

By justaviking - Last Year
Delerna (6/21/2018)
Gotta get back into working with the substance creater tool. I have started looking into it a few times but keep getting distracted by other things.
I see it as a way of creating good texturing without having to be a great artist and that suits me. I think we do need to be reasonable but not highly expertal as artists.
Anyway, just wanted to say I like what you have done.


I totally sympathize with you about getting distracted by other things.

I also appreciate what you said about being an artist.  I am not good at drawing organic shapes (people, animals), but I think I've developed a fairly good eye when it comes to "texturing" items.  Admittedly, I still struggle to go from "critique to correction", but I'm making progress in that regard too.  I sometimes feel guilty when I offer "constructive criticism" on the Substance Painter forum, since usually the work I'm critiquing is 50x better than any of my work, but I also know most of my comments have been well received and acknowledged as being correct and helpful.  I sort of feel like a coach who can't play, or a food critic who can't cook.

On that note, here is a screen grab from a test of the "ceiling" texture I'm working on.  It looked so beautiful in Substance Designer.  In fact, the closer I looked, the better it was.  But for some reason it didn't translate quite right into iClone.  It wasn't a PBR issue, but I needed several iterations before I got what I wanted.  Right now the main thing left to do is to adjust the "large pebbles" because they are saturated on the peaks, making them flat on the tops, and I don't want that.  Then I'll expose a few parameters (in addition to the color), and call it "done."

I spent a lot of time working on the lighting, too.  When I put my ceiling in place, it really messed things up, and my wall texture wasn't visible at all any more (it became a flat color, and the "pattern" wasn't visible anymore), and I struggled with what I thought was odd behavior on a directional light.  I also played with IBL and ambient settings, put in some point lights and one spot light, and so on.  I really suck at lighting.  But eventually I played with the lighting enough (and one tweak to my wall substance - Yay for exposed parameters!) I got a reasonable output so I could go back to adjusting the ceiling substance.


https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/5d5280b6-2404-4cf2-bde6-f9c7.jpg


Here is an annotated image of a close-up:
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/465e422b-0a3e-4e8c-ad15-f96b.jpg
a) Circled in RED, you can see how the tops of the pebbles have gotten flattened.  I know how to fix that, but it is interesting (and puzzling) that I didn't notice it in Substance Designer.
b) Circled in GREEN, there are some low-lying "splats" that are achieving the correct behavior
c) Not visible, is some finer detail.  I should maybe remove that unless I plan to produce a movie about a fly crawling on the ceiling.  Sure did look nice in Substance Designer, though.
d) I was pleased with the "seam" between the ceiling panels, but looking at the close-up this morning, I think I need to go back and make it more "rounded" and less "V-shaped" if I want to match my reference photo better.

I'll include a "reference image" or two, and maybe a shot from Substance Designer, hopefully this evening.

By Kelleytoons - 4 Months Ago
Sorry not to comment a little sooner but life has sort of beaten me up lately <g>.

I can well attest that voice actors do "act".  Perhaps the clearest piece of advice I can give in this regard is that it's okay to "overact".  I've directed a lot of various media, from stage, to film, to television, and there are a wide variety of styles even involved in all of those, but in general you play for the audience.  Someone might be watching you perform from the back row of a large theater and unless you really "sell it" they won't get much.  OTOH, if you play that same broadness for HD television, unless it's all about Three Stooges level material, it will look ridiculous.

Animation is mostly very broad, though.  If we are going with just the audio (no mocap) it will help to have as much expressiveness in the sound as possible.  And for mocap we have the ability to dial it down (through adjusting the expression and/or viseme track levels) but not really the ability to dial it back up.  So in nearly all cases I would recommend folks just "play to the balcony" (as we used to say).  It will look and feel extreme, but it will always be better for animation.  The voice track will "read" better and, if you're doing mocap, the expressions will look better.
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
@Gerry - I know I need help.  That's why I'm here.  Wink

@Pixtim - I'm glad my strange confession made you smile.  Thanks for the "hand" example.  I believe it.  Also, I've seen examples of the asymmetry in people's faces.  The activity you suggested (mirroring the left/right halves of the face) does reveal that we are surprising unsymmetrical.

@KelleyToons - You are right, it is an occupational hazard.  (More below.)

@Mark - Nice to see you here, too.




Re Occupational hazard - A few days ago two people were commenting in the Substance Designer/Painter forums.  One talked about "critiquing" real-world photographs, like you would normally pick apart a rendering.  Then he has to stop and remind himself that he's looking at an actual photograph.  In response, a guy confessed to stepping outside, looking up, and saying the clouds look wrong and the sky color is off.  (He maybe needs to get away from his computer and step outside a bit more often.)

But seriously, this happened to the director of the Iron Man movies when they were working on the first one.  In a "preview" meeting one day, the director complained about the computer-generated Iron Man suit being too reflective and it wasn't believable.  However, the director was looking at the real suit, not the CG-rendered one.  That was a key moment for the director; when he realized the computer graphics were truly mature.




One more story (for now)...

Skin color.  (Why does this feel like such a sensitive topic these days?  I'll bravely press on anyway, without worrying too much about my choice of words.)  I am blessed to be in a very diverse work environment, and as I said in my previous post, I get time to make observations during some long-running meetings.

By the way, I'm white.  "Viking."  Norwegian ancestry.  Hopefully this isn't a big surprise to anyone.  But I'm not going to be one-sided on this subject.

I have often noticed the strong color contrast between the back of the hand and the palm on some of the black guys.  It seems I notice that more on the males than the females; I'll have to think about that some.  I have some variation in my own hands, but not nearly as stark as the brown/pink contrast on some guys.  It's not universal, though.  But the point being I would be hesitant to paint that much of a contrast on the hands of a black avatar, even though it is quite common.

Don't worry, it's the white guys too.  As a kid with a 16-color box of Crayola crayons, it was difficult to color people who looked like me.  "White" wasn't correct, not even for me in the winter time (and it didn't show up much on white paper anyway - what a waste of a crayon in the box).  So the next obvious choice was "pink."  Uh, no.  That's for the inside of bunny ears, not for skin.  Well, a few weeks ago I saw this guy that could have been colored using the white and pink crayons.  His arms and hands were so white.  No, he wasn't an albino, but my goodness he was white, almost like some versions of Dracula in the movies.  That changed, though, when it came to his face.  It was pink.  I swear, literally pink.  I have never before in my life seen a person you could color - accurately - using the white and pink crayons.

To make a good avatar, though, variation in skin tone is crucial .  We are not one color.  Hands, arms, neck, and across the face, we vary.  And we have various birth marks and moles and veins and wrinkles.




To close. I want to share one semi-political comment.  In the noble quest for gender and racial equality, which I cannot imagine opposing, it somehow became "insensitive" to notice our differences.  That really irritates me.  Tall, short, male, female, black, white, brown, thick, thin, hairy, bald...  just because we see superficial exterior differences does not make us bad people.  We should be able to enjoy those differences, not pretend they don't exist.  How boring it would be if we were all the same, like robots off an assembly like.  No thank you.  I much prefer the variety and diversity, and wish it was easier to talk about such things without being nervous.
By SeanMac - Last Year
@SN
Thanks for reality check. Always useful.

Home Built in Coolermaster ATX case with GigabyteGA-Z170X-GAMING 7 MoBo, i7-6700 @ 3.4 Ghz, Asus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GraphicsCard, 32Gb DDR4 RAM, an Acer CB241HQK  & a Samsung S24D300 monitor, Huion H610Pro Graphics Tablet, Kinect v2, Logitech C920 Webcam, Win 10 64 Bit OS

By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Can I give you some practical advice from someone who has worked with actors for many, many decades now?  Actors LOVE to act, and there are many, MANY talented folks out there who, while not making a living at acting, love to practise their craft and are quite good at it even if they've never made a dollar.

That's why every single city, town, burg or whistlestop here in the U.S. has community theater.  Where I live (where "active" adults live in restricted communities) there are also acting "groups" in every little development (so hundreds within 60 miles).  I don't know if you live in this country or not, but I have to believe that this desire to act extends across cultures and countries.

For us here all you have to do is go to one of the tryouts they have four or five times a year, where these "non-professionals" act for the pure joy of it.  Only a few will get picked, and even of those who do many will want to act for you.  Bring along your portable recorder (nowadays the small digital ones that fit in a pocket are superb at capturing voices) or, if you have Faceware, your cellphone (which is plenty for the video needed) and have them record your script for you.  Better, get their names and numbers and arrange times for you to come out to meet them (they are doing you a favor) to record your stuff.

There are no end of very good voice actors out there -- our own little group (recorded in my community of less than around 800 people, so out of that I found 10-15 very good voice actors) was so good Fox offered us a contract (actually two, but that's a long story).  If those voices are good enough for American television, then you can find similar or better ones yourself.  Do NOT let the lack of voice actors stop you, as it's one of the easiest things to solve.
By thebiz.movies - Last Year
KT, I dont think we are talking about the same thing.  Trouble in the Tombs is an excellent short.  The editing is super tight.  The camerawork is varied and interesting (often on the move).  There's little here I would classify as slow and there's never a moment where I'm wondering what else I could be doing.  At 8 minutes its in my sweet spot.  Is it the story you feel is slowed down?  Because I feel the storytelling aspect is running like a scalded ape.
By justaviking - 3 Months Ago
Thanks, Job.

I feel a lot better now.  My fear was that it would be so much trouble that they're essentially useless.  But lacking that sort of horror story (based on your experience, which I value), I'll proceed with the purchase.


P.S.
This does not mean my animations will suddenly become great.  But hopefully I'll make friends with these new motions and will be able to make my questionable-quality animations more efficiently.  Wink
By justaviking - Last Year
@Mark - I'm glad you appreciated the simple table.

Here is a test of a carpet Substance I'm working on:
a) There is repetition in the carpet, but it is a cheap, repeating hotel carpet in real life.  There are actually "carpet squares" seams in the real floor, but I have a feeling it would look too much like "bad modeling" if I put some of them in.  I did overlay a Blend image to provide some non-repeating variation.
b) My little table looks very little.  Sadly, I didn't measure the original table with a tape measure, but by using two different points of reference, both my son and I are convinced that the table really is that small.  It is just a little side-table that was beside the lounging chair in the hotel room.  Look at my reference image in my previous post.  To the left, that bit of blue is the box spring from the bed, and though the mattress is not shown in that picture, you can imagine that the table top is at about the same height as the mattress.  So looking at the 10-second point in my video, you can see that the table is about the right size

Definitely need to view in HD (1920x1080).

By justaviking - Last Year
A very interesting "face fitting" demonstration.  2-minutes long.
By mark - Last Year
I had to animate to a script for this commercial project last year. Very simple as you can see...but they did allow me a little creative freedom to add some silly touches of my own...


By justaviking - Last Year
A temporary diversion from these recent, useful discussions....

I am evaluating a laptop, and wanted to install some of my favorite software.
- Blender... no problem
- iClone and Substance Designer & Painter...Those are a bit more tricky.

I already have iClone and Substance Designer/Painter installed on two desktop computers, and I did not want to move my license to the laptop merely for an evaluation.

Designer/Painter wanted me to even download a copy of the software, so I stopped there.

iClone let me download a trial version.  Yay!  So I did the big download.  Installed a 30-day trail.  Yay!  Then I launched the it, and was greeted with a requirement to register the trial.  Boo!  I was afraid of that.  I certainly don't want to register a trial with my real iClone account.  I can only imagine that going horribly wrong in some way.  And I didn't really want to create a dummy email account just so I can create a dummy, temporary user profile that will clutter up Reallusion's database.  It's already limited to 30 days.  I had hoped I would be able to run it and the registration would be optional.  Bummer.


Sigh.  What to do now?  The laptop specs are great.  My only significant complaint is the screen, which is rather abysmal for a "gaming" laptop.  I had hoped doing some iClone on it would help me decide if I wanted to keep it.  But I don't want to have to uninstall it from Computer #2 just so I can install it on the laptop for evaluation purposes.  If I decide to return the laptop, then I will have to uninstall it to free up that license which would then return to Computer #2.

At least I can do some forum-posting tests to help evaluate the keyboard.
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
So... speaking of Python...

I have started down the dangerous path of learning Python scripting.  It's quite easy to read (I knew that already), but when you don't know all the syntax yet, it still takes a little while.

I'm using Blender as my training ground.  I actually have a specific task I'd like to automate, and considering I'm on my second (partial) evening, I'm feeling pretty good.  Sometimes the Blender interface can feed the commands right to you in one of the windows, other times you can use Blender's Python console window to help with the command options, but sometimes there are still more options and input fields than what are immediately apparent.  For example, "select_all()" is a toggle, just like the "a" hotkey, so you have to use "select_all(action='SELECT')" to actually ensure you select everything, regardless if something was already selected or not.

So between logical guesses (which sometimes work) and a bit of Google, I'm making progress.  Yeah, feeling good, but now it's time to double-check that I've saved what I learned and get ready for bed.

By justaviking - Last Year
TonyDPrime (2/28/2018)
JAV - what are your thoughts on the upcoming planned developments for CC & iClone?  Do you see it altering your workflow?
Now that it's been able to sink in, would enjoy hearing your take on it.


Thanks for asking.
Referring to the workflow I described in this post in the "iClone 7 a big leap forward" thread:  https://forum.reallusion.com/FindPost357709.aspx

I do not see the wonderful advances fundamentally changing how I approach making a project.  I expect my overall methodology will remain the same.
- Story
- Rough out the entire project
- Voices
- Iterate/iterate/iterate, focusing on fixing the worst aspects first, until I'm satisfied or I run out of time.
- Publish

I do look forward to the improvements in Character Creator, and perhaps I'll spend more time making more varied and interesting people rather than using the default avatars.
By grabiller - Last Year
Delerna (2/28/2018)
../.. But John Lennon was one musician who used to say that sort of thing all the time../..

The truth is that even if John Lennon did not knew much about music theory (can't read music sheets, etc..) he at least knew what a chord was and when you jam with other musicians some of them can help with harmony. He was certainly gifted but the biggest addition to the songs came from the producer George Martin and also Yoko Ono, both knew a lot about music theory. In short it was not a solo job, but a team work.

So, yes, there are gifted peoples who made awesome work without knowing a lot about the theory of their domain but with some help nonetheless.

Imho it doesn't help to give such examples as an "excuse" to not learn the theory (and practice) and rely only on the "fun" factor ("Look! it is possible!! Yes but none of us is John Lennon!"), because those peoples are exceptions and the majority of other peoples need either good knowledge or good teams if not both.

Even if you don't know much about the theory and practice, it is perfectly ok to do it only for "fun". But don't complain (here I'm speaking generally, not to @Delerna directly) about the final quality of your productions then. And certainly do not expect rewards from the audience. Using 300 PopcornFX in the same shot won't impress anyone.

That said I agree with the "colors and tastes" issues, not everyone like the same things. But interestingly there are some mysterious constants. For example, I don't know about you but I would have hard time to decide which is the best Director between Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock, I like both and nowadays they are considered to be among the best directors. However, almost all Orson Welles movies were commercial failures, while almost all Alfred Hitchcock movies were commercial successes. Blessed is the one who would understand why.
By justaviking - Last Year
Hey - Thanks for the additional test.  Smile

I used the "Courtyard Scene" which I think came with iC6 because I had used it for some older timing tests:
Link:  iClone Performance Benchmarks
Some new users may not have that scene, but that did not matter for the Issue I posted.  However for future benchmarks, it's a good point.

My main points are:
1) Since the preview window obviously impacts rendering times, I'd like the option to ignore that altogether.  Put ALL the rendering effort into the actual Render and don't waste any CPU/GPU cycles on the Preview Window if I don't feel the need to sit there and watch the render plod along.
2) The "Render" should take priority, and the results should always be the "best" regardless of what you do with the Preview window.
I didn't spend much time on that because I believe that has been reported (formally) already, especially with regards to DOF, but it looks like you found a new issue.

It is disturbing that your results are the opposite of mine, but in a way that only helps underscore the validity and importance of the Issue I posted.  Thanks again.

P.S.
@IllusionLab - Please add your results to the Issue:
https://www.reallusion.com/FeedBackTracker/Issue/Add-option-to-DISABLE-Preview-Window-updates-while-rendering-to-improve-performance
By Delerna - Last Year
 am going to have tea and watch a movie shortly but just wanted to make a few quick comments now. I think I am going to watch and read this again and maybe post some more thoughts at some stage.

For me the biggest thing is yes, you are right this is full of flaws but wow, I watched that whole video and you had me wanting to see what was going to happen. My wife also came in and saw part of it and she enjoyed what she saw. For me perfect animation is not necessary, so long as it is reasonable and works with the story then that is good enough. Especially for us who are trying to learn how to make interesting videos.
Obviously once I get effective with that then that is when I would work harder and spend more time on improving my animation. But telling a story well makes up for animation that is not perfect. I have seen many professional cartoon videos where that has happening. I have also seen plenty where the animations and graphics are astounding but the story was rubbish and I quickly stopped watching it. So in my opinion, telling stories well is what I need to spend the time on first up.

One more thing, I agree with you about storyboards. There are uses for it I think but I think its primary purpose is to assist large teams to all see the story in the same way. It takes time to do it but that time is worth it for a large team.  When I am the only one doing the story then I know what it is I am working on so instead of spending time doing storyboards I will just work on my project

Anyway. Off to tea

By Kelleytoons - 2 Years Ago
But no video textures on characters still, right?

THAT I don't understand, as it would open up SO many possibilities (crying, getting bloody or diseased, etc. etc).  Why is that still impossible?
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
justaviking (1/19/2018)
a)
The faces are largely expressionless.  This scene was typical of my lack of "eyebrow" and other facial animations.  I did it in small places, but again it fell victim to one person working on a large project with a deadline.  It sure would have been a great time to have Faceware to capture all the emotional acting without all the painstaking animation.

There is also a lack of "life" when they aren't doing any specific acting.  They typically become mannequins when they are waiting their turn to talk.  The standard "idle" motions wouldn't work, but some breathing would be nice, and any small motions to add some life.

I also cheated where the villain "walks" forward at 20:42.  He just slides forward.  That's partly because I still find it challenging to have avatars walk short distances and stop at precise locations.  In a different scene I tweaked a similar "glide," adding a touch of up-and-down motion to the body, which still isn't perfect but is a big improvement to a simple translation.




Let's leave aside things which iClone has improved natively (shadows, hair physics, textures in the cell and even lighting -- GI has solve many, if not most, problems with interiors in that regard).  Folks will still have issues with the rest, because we are most familiar with people we notice if their behavior, facial or body movements aren't "authentic".  I've talked about this elsewhere, but I do think we approach the uncanny valley nowadays, and it's a slippery slope, because the more real we get the more folks notice these things.  In something like this particular video we are apt to "cut it some slack", just as when we watch 2D animation we don't need for it to even behave the laws of gravity or anything approaching normal.

But the more "normal" something looks the less we are likely to ignore it when it doesn't go all the way, and I think this is going to continue to plague us now that our tools are very sophisticated.  IOW, we've all seen what good facial stuff looks like now, and whether you have Faceware or whether you've just not spent a lot of time in the facial editor, folks are going to be unforgiving if it doesn't look that way.

I also think the comment about the actors waiting for their turn to talk: oddly enough, this is also true of real people who don't understand that acting is also reacting.  But we can take a clue from the actor's workshop and understand it's just as important (maybe more so) to show our actors reacting to the speaker as it is to get the speaker right.

As for the last comment, about getting small movements -- this is where I think mocap works the best.  I don't like using it for "big" motions but just for standing around and moving slightly.  I find using my iPisoft setup for these things adds a TON of realism (plus it's easy to do).

By Delerna - Last Year
Time. 


Yes for me that is the thing that controls what I do for what it is that I am trying learn. 
I have stated that I don't think high quality animation is that important for good story telling. It's not that I don't think that good animation is not important. Movies with good interesting stories, high quality graphics and excellent animation are definitely the best movies.

It's just for me at the moment high guality animation is not the most important thing. I am already confident that if I put enough time into it I can do reasonably good animation.
I have spent a lot of time in the past working on animation without worrying too much about good graphics and interesting story telling because I could not do neither and I needed to learn how to use iClone and part of that is animating things. I am now reasonably confident with what I can do there but I am at the point now that I am not at all confident I can make an interesting story of my own. 

Now, in order for me to get there I need to practice how to make interesting stories, part of which is doing animations that help tell the story, but not necessarily doing great looking animation. That is why I say things like I have seen many cartoon movies with very simple graphics and animations that I totally loved watching. That's why it is learning how to create good stories that I am focussed on for now and that's what I want to spend my time on and not slow down my learning process for that by spending too much time doing what I am confident that I can already do if I put enough time into it. I know I am not going to be able to make a movie I can publish professionally. I am in the learning process of how to make interesting movies, once I feel comfortable with my abilities on that then maybe one day in the future I will be able to write a story that I think might make it to the professional world?  I don't think I ever will (getting too old for one thing) but if I ever did, If I felt the story I am working on was worth the effort to perfect everything as much as I can, then that is when I would spend my time on everything for that movie.

So, the point I am trying to make in my comments is not that animation perfection is not an important task for making movies. 
Rather, for us work work as one person movie makers,  it is that we each need to work according to what it is we are trying to learn or achieve.
Anyone who is confident with story telling but not animation then maybe animation is what they need to spend the majority of their time on.
Anyone confident with animation but not story telling then learning to tell stories is what they should spent the majority of their time on.
Anyone confident with animation and story telling but not graphics..........
If you are fortunate enough to be effective with all of it then doing all of the above to make movies for professional release maybe what you should spend your time on.

But in the first 3 cases doing videos and showing them here between us who are all trying to learn the things needed to make good videos can be enjoyable or poor for us to watch.
The video might help us to improve our own abilities regardless of whether they are good or bad.
Also comments made by others can assist our improvement regardless of whether we agree or disagree with their comment.

Going above what I wanted to say in this next comment but
I have seen so many times, so called expert animators coming here telling us how stupid we all are for posting our low level videos and hoping to see good comments.
Well  pthhhhhhhhhhh to them. If we were as expert as they think they are then maybe we wouldn't be posting our videos here. Maybe we would be working at publishing them professionally.

Finally I just want to thank the people and express my appreciation for the help they have provided in posts such as here and in filmmaking verses animation and so many other topics.
The comments made have assisted me with getting started with learning to tell good stories. Will it work for me? I don't know, I shall see.
By uncwee - Last Year
Kellytoons,

Thanks for the steps.
For step 3... Body motions.
If you didn't have a mocap system in place... Blending mocap sounds like the way to go.

But, how would you add secondary animation to each clip?
Making sure the end result has no robotic behavior.

By uncwee - Last Year
Kelleytoons (1/20/2018)
No shortcuts to good animation.

The curve editor helps, though.  I assume you've bought that.

Thanks for the info. Checking to see if you are doing something I'm not aware of.



By animagic - 2 Years Ago
Interesting, and timely, about the use of colors. With LUT now available, I want to do more with that in my next movie.

@Kelly: You CAN replace character textures with video (could already in iClone 5). I just tried it and you still can. Didn't it work for you?
By Tarampa Studios - Last Year
ROFLMAO @ your toilet paper jokes, but crikey, what a great job!...
I especially love that 3rd texture of the paper towelling in the last pic. 
That would look great on a teddy bear!

Looking forward to seeing your toweling texture. 
well done! 
Smile
By sonic7 - 3 Months Ago

Repeat post ...
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
Thanks, Duchess.

I think that's it exactly; I unisntalled 3DX beta after installing iC7.
If I had done all the uninstalls first, then all the installs, it would probably have been clean.

I'll just reinstall iC7; that sounds like it will fix it, per the notes in Feedback Tracker.

UPDATE:
Yup, that's all it needed... uninstall and reinstall iC7.
I was concerned about going in circles, with 3DXchange wanting iC7 installed first as a prerequisite.  At least it's been that way in the past.
After verifying 3DXchange no longer complains, I installed the iC7 Resource Pack for extra fun.
Now to finish tracking down my missing pirate.
Thanks again.
By justaviking - Last Year
You guys are so funny.

I had to wipe away a tear of laughter.
By justaviking - Last Year
Fair point about external applications.

I was speaking mostly from a "humor" perspective because I found the video to be quite funny.  The previous one (v3) got over a million views.  No spectacular visual effects.  No complex storyline.  Just ragdolls being abused.  Strangely amusing.

I know people have requested a ragdoll capability in the past. so I figured I'd share the video.  It's not high on my list, but for falling down a stairway, or collapsing when a character gets shot, I can see it would be useful.
By wires - 2 Years Ago
justaviking (12/3/2017)

When you find yourself laying toilet paper onto your scanner, you know you have a strange hobby.
(At least it was clean TP.)


As long as you're not sitting on the office copier after hours things should get better. BigGrinTongueHehe
By TonyDPrime - 2 Years Ago
@Justaviking-  Cool!
Do you find people's behavior to fall into overlapping patterns, or do you see diversity in everyone you meet?
By Dr. Nemesis - Last Year
I'm currently making a 70 minute film in Iclone and it would be cool to know of any other people doing something similar. 
I check youtube everyday for new Iclone videos and I'm kinda saddened that even with the release of Iclone 7 I don't often find great examples of Iclone's capability.
To this day one of my all time favourite Iclone  videos is this one which I believe was made in Iclone 5!
Is there anyone here actively working on larger projects? Would be nice to compare notes from time to time.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
I have the Yeti -- it's kind of the universal computer mic nowadays, and works very well (I constructed, for around $30, a sound box for it so I can record decent audio with it in my computer room, which otherwise has terrible acoustics).

But I also like very much the sound you can get from the portable digital recorders -- I have both a Zoom and a Tascam that produce superb sound, and can be taken anywhere.  The Zoom is what we recorded ALL our audio for for the Fox show, and it was more than adequate.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
We may all be talking about the same things, but visuals are easier to see than talk about.  But I was glad to see that example posted, because it really does illustrate what is wrong with the vast majority of stuff (not just iClone) out there.  Anyone could learn a lot just by studying it.
By Space Rider - Last Year
I made a 1 hour movie in IC 5  while learning about 3d animation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPaGqQ0laek

By animagic - Last Year
Meanwhile, don't forget to have some fun with your projects too..
By Delerna - Last Year
Not yet but hopefully I will have one soon.
Thanks to all the comments made by so many people in the 2 threads involved in this, the things I have been reading about over several years for making interresting stories and using animation sound and graphics to assist the story telling are all starting to make sense to me. I have come up with a basic script that I think will be an interesting short story that will show some capabilities of the new popcorn magic partical effects as well as some of the original partical effects. I'm hoping it will only take me a few weeks to complete it but it remains to be seen if I will be good enough to make it well
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Okay, but Gerry, you seem to be saying what I was saying -- namely, that folks who didn't own the assets could work with them just fine, but it's only the person doing the final render that needs them.

With the realtime nature of iClone, I don't know why you'd even need to do a preview, although you could (and with DRM you usually just get some words that won't interfere with judging what needs to be adjusted).  Again, I don't see this as a problem in production as long as the final producer owns all (which sounds right anyway).

But, as I said, I won't collaborate anymore, so it's more of an intellectual discussion for me (my curiosity extends to a lot of things I will never do :>Wink
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
You must be a lot more critical than I am, Dennis -- I can't see any problem with the viewing angle on the MSI laptop (or any laptop, for that matter).

A laptop is just that, meant to sit in your lap.  How could you need any more of a viewing angle than, say around 85-105 degrees?  Unless you have a VERY wide lap (but I doubt anyone's lap is wider than mine <g>Wink.  Past that and you're talking external monitors.  Indeed, there are many laptops designed NOT to be viewed past that -- because you really don't want some stranger looking at what you're doing when you're out and about.  You can even buy an external screen device that maximizes this effect (but I suspect you already know that).  

However - perhaps you got a bad one?  Did you compare the one you have in hand to the store demo?  I do know that happens sometimes.  I never had it happen to me (even when I was buying them for the group) but given you're in the return period perhaps you had better make sure.  Does your wife also think it's a bad screen (when in doubt, ask the wife :>Wink.  If she says it's bad, I'd be inclined to take her advice (wives know best.  Sigh.  I'm really missing mine right now).

Anyway, the MSI software is a whole suite of things you should have gotten *some* kind of notification for.  I can't remember offhand now if it's pre-installed or not, but you can't miss it.  It allows you to set not only the display but the keyboard lighting (coloring), different clock speeds for games and such (so you can run it cooler if you want), etc. etc.  If you can't find it let me know and I'll look (I'm at the opposite end of the house right now and just woke up so I'm a bit more lazy than I normally am.  Which is a lot).

I think iClone will run on that laptop for you just fine, but you really should check it out yourself.  Do you have iClone 6 around?  Can you not run it to get an idea?  Not *quite* the same, but pretty similar.
By Delerna - Last Year
A lot of valid points made. There are so many things to consider. Fortunately for me I bought iClone to create videos of fan fictions etc for myself to enjoy. I would love to be able create popular videos but at this time that's not my main intent. However all these comments are worth listening to.

I am writing this now because of something I thought of while reading this
if you don't like it, probably the audience won't like it too

I know what I am about to say isn't what you were trying to point out.
Its just a thought that popped into my head as I read it.
Its an old statement that I always see is true

You can only please some of the people some of the time.
You can never please all of the people all of the time

I have heard reviews of so many movies where the reviewers called it rubbish and I loved it
I have also seen so many where reviewers called it wonderful and I thought it was boring.
I have also seen many where I totally agreed with what the reviewers stated.

So ultimately, I think I should just create videos according to how I want to create them.
If the video pleases me then that's all I can be satisfied with because I can guarantee there will always be plenty of people it will not please, no matter how professionally made it is.
Cannot please all of the people all of the time, only some of the people some of the time
By mtakerkart - Last Year
Just my 2 cents :

In the artistic and design field I really don't care if  people doesn't like it because it's like food taste , some like strawberrys other not.
But every frame is a painting , each shoot have to be very cool to my eyes or else they must not exist. (but I have my own "cool" definition)
But if the audience  doesn't understand my message or doesn't feel the emotion of the story then I must redo my homeworks.
I confess today I've a dilema with this new Reallusion tools and with the upcoming CC3 , there are tremendous and I don't want to waste and underutilize their potential,
which in my case places the bar very high which will require more time and energy.... I'm waiting for June to start and even they announce a next update with motion blur or
volumetric light the start will stay at the CC3 release. I have no excuse not to do cool pictures Tongue



By Kelleytoons - Last Year
While I think the devs ought to answer this issue, I'd be curious about whether there are any differences in the renders themselves.  You could render a still image from the various ways and then bring into Photoshop and use the right filter to see if there were any differences (I think it's XOR but I'd have to look).

I might do this if I get a moment.
By illusionLAB - Last Year
My 'reduced' size viewer renders achieved by making iC smaller on my desktop.  Today, I got completely different results!  I did have a look at the GPU overhead while the renders were in progress and it was frequently hitting 100% thanks to "Client Server Runtime Process" consuming 25+ % (which I don't think it should).  These are the first iC renders I've done since the latest Windows 10 - but, even if that's contributing... the mere notion that you get a different render result from scaling the viewer or program is frankly disturbing.  I have 'speculated' in previous posts how iC's native render is intrinsically linked to the GPU's display to explain differences in visual results... DOF/HDR bloom etc. but the "time variable" is a puzzler and absolutely needs to be addressed.

notice how the app is only 10% bigger on the desktop in the second image... yet took 5 times longer!

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/061e694b-a3d6-4f69-93ee-383c.jpg
By Pixtim - 2 Years Ago
Hahaha! Justaviking, i love you! !">: D!
Your message made me laugh a lot! I just think you're an artist stunned by the diversity of the world.
Finally, our thinking is much less free than we believe.
), je donnais l'exemple suivant : Si vous dessinez une main ultra réaliste">When I gave drawing lessons (I do not know how to draw, but I still give drawing lessons .. life is strange sometimes Smile), I gave the following example: If you draw an ultra realistic hand in profile and tense, very flat. Nobody will consider that your drawing is just ... a hand stretched flat profile view ... it looks like nothing ... and certainly not a hand!

In many cases, the special effects can not be as reality would be, peronne would believe it ... And moreover, some stories that happen in reality could not be the subject of a film at all. .. everyone would find that silly, abusive .. grotesque!

So the faces .... is what you have already experienced to make a picture of you from the front, to cut your portrait in the middle and to make a symmetry on one side .. and then on the other. .. it's pretty surprising!

So when we look carefully at the people around us .... we find ourselves quickly in the heart of an alien brotherhood, and it's very funny! ">Smile

We have as many visual habits as habits of life ...
By uncwee - Last Year
justaviking (1/19/2018)
...But your ability to endure the technical shortcomings and enjoy the story means a lot to me, so thanks again.

No... Thank You! Please continue sharing your work.
Your work keeps my head on straight.

I will take any story... any thought or idea... and practice the animation (to get it correct).
...then everything comes together (following any script).

Your work shows me exactly what animation problems I face using iClone to follow a script.

I personally put "story" first, and then the remainder usually suffers from a deadly combination of lack of time and lack of skill.  

From my Weakness (Point of View):
 I refuse to put anything first, second, third, etc..
"I know the better I learn to animate... the better I can tell any story and follow any script."

I know my weakness (Animating)...and will work on it, relentlessly.
I have a long way to go and a lot to learn...
Thanks Again. 


By uncwee - Last Year
First, are you animating your own script or someone else's?

Neither

And, are you animating for someone else...

No.

From the Start....
I'm not trying to write a story, movie, nor film.
My goal is simple to understand, yet difficult (For ME) to achieve.

I get great satisfaction when "Animation" comes together for a specific "Idea".
It doesn't matter what the animation is... so long as I make it fit that specific need.

Your Kidnap story or rampa's Kitchen Scene story... or any story / script.

Example 1: (Animate Upper Body Motion)
Now Change upper body motion.
Adding  secondary animation.
(Animate - NOT blend mocap)

Example 2: (Animate Lower Body Motion)
Now Change lower body motion.
Adding  secondary animation.
(Animate - NOT blend mocap)

Example 3: (Full Body Motion)
A simple walk..... stumble and fall.
Now animate the character... Standing Up.
Adding  secondary animation.
(NOT Blend mocap to stand up).

Learning these steps would allow me to quickly blend mocap and (Adjust it properly)
Now I'm ready to follow a script.

...was hoping seasoned iclone users would show me (A Better Way) to produce awesome iclone animation.


By toystorylab - Last Year
THE ANIMATORS SURVIVAL KIT as pdf:
http://www.floobynooby.com/pdfs/The_Animators_Survival_Kit.pdf
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Given how annoyed folks get at me sometimes, perhaps *I* should have an alias (hmmm -- maybe CoffeeToons?  Yup, NO ONE would EVER know it was me :>Wink.
By justaviking - Last Year
I'm sure this sounds as exciting as watching paint dry, but I finished updating my "textured wall" substance, and I'm ridiculously pleased with it.

It didn't take me long to create it, but then I gradually exposed more and more parameters, and of course fine-tuned a couple of details.  I spent at least half of my time testing it in iClone, and making a couple of sample videos where I keyframed some of the parameters.

Adjustable parameters include:
- Pebbles in the low areas
- Pebbles on the plateaus
- Streak intensify (strength)
- Streak sharpness (blur)
- Various "level" settings
- Overall roughness
- Roughness (additional shininess) on the plateaus
- Color

THE SUBSTANCE GRAPH
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/05b9b65d-e6ce-4919-892e-4497.jpg

A REFERENCE IMAGE
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/5c230913-fbbb-4387-9533-f390.jpg

MY STANDARD SETTINGS (MAYBE OVERLY WHITE, BUT I LIKE IT, AND IT IS EASILY ADJUSTABLE)
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/4f8f34dd-7e89-4ca9-84dc-e828.jpg

LOTS OF PEBBLES
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/576d5204-4a81-44f6-a2ca-65e1.jpg

MORE INTENSE STREAKS
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/ac960df5-c1b7-4178-a59f-2a87.jpg

SEAFOAM GREEN, PERHAPS
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/b2edea84-573b-4430-a45f-9fc2.jpg


VIDEO

By justaviking - Last Year
Good pun, Peter.
I was afraid my substance would be the butt of all jokes.
By nealtucker - 3 Months Ago
Thanks Kellytoons it's how I did my short so I'm on the right track, so yes at some time I'll move on to the iPhone face capture as that seems the best quality for the money, I'm going to look out for 2nd hand one and just use it for this.
Mocap suite would be great later as things become more affordable.
N.  
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
Rampa (8/8/2017)
The source code is available for that locomotion system. So maybe! Smile


That's interesting.
And with Python scripting in iC7... hmmm... tantalizing.

I have some ideas of what I'd like to try with Python scripting in iClone, but nothing near that level. It would be cool, though, wouldn't it.
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
SIGGRAPH 2017 --- Wow!

I was watching through this playlist.  Lots of "simulation" stuff that doesn't direclty apply to iClone.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHFiqDkNCp1gaKu4HQwL9-S3eIDmAHIUw

MOST OF ALL FOR ICLONE USERS (so far)...
Wow!!! - check out this character control (walking/running) neural network.
As someone who has always been vexed by foot-sliding in iClone, I was very impressed.
And then at 4:19... Wow! again... he "naturally" spread out his hands for balance.
Wow!
https://youtu.be/Ul0Gilv5wvY?list=PLHFiqDkNCp1gaKu4HQwL9-S3eIDmAHIUw

I saw another really cool "walking" video from last year (SIGGRAPH, I think).  I see them and dream of them being in iClone.  Maybe some day (hopefully for far less than $1200 though).

By sjonesdc - 5 Months Ago
Thanks for sharing  the videos on "Voice Acting" I really enjoyed them!
By grabiller - Last Year
justaviking (3/21/2018)
I was watching a "Unity" presentation from SIGGRAPH 2017.
He demonstrated the ability to smooth "Look at" or "Tracking" camera movements.  Yay!  Quite some time ago I put in a request for iClone to have the ability to smooth out those types of automated camera movements.  It is one of my pet peeves when I watch a video where the camera locks on to a character as he moves and jumps around.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNFJXoMIFe4
What he demonstrates at 11:30-12:40 is almost exactly what I put in my request.
I supposed I should re-write my request now for iC7.
(Also see 15:50 to 17:00 for a cool camera "blending" trick.)
Somewhere around 2:50 he talks about "Compositing" going away.  I thought that was a bit amusing since enhanced compositing has been touted as something great coming to iClone in 2018.    I know, I know, there is still a need (at least for now), but the contrast caught my attention.

Yes, this is an interesting subject that I have on my own list of R&D to do for my TSP project and I believe this is already doable in iClone with the physics system.
I've solved a similar problem with my astronaut rig for zero G inertial movements with an intermediate layer of physics "under" the pupeteering system, there is no reason it wouldn't work for a camera.
The blending trick is already doable as well with clip transition.
When the time comes I'll definitively post messages in the TSP thread with some tests and results.
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
@Gerry - Thanks for the interesting resource.  I haven't gotten a good look at it yet, but I look forward to delving into it more deeply.

@Tony - I would say there are some generalities, mostly along demographic lines, such as where people were born and raised.  Those generalities tend to be include cultural differences that go with those demographics that tend to affect politics, food, and other such preferences.  More of a factor at work, though, is people's employment background and job function.  People who work in finance, project management, manufacturing, maintenance, engineering, sales, etc., seem to fall into different viewpoints and perspectives, some of which are justified by their responsibility to the company.  I find that those differences to be the ones that make it easier or more challenging to work with someone.  I spent many years as an "outside consultant" and I often found myself bridging gaps within the companies where I consulted, and putting aside any humility, I often helped "translate" between internal organizations and healed many long-running conflicts by deciphering what people "meant" as opposed to what was "heard" by those across the table.  Lots of re-wording and many analogies often helped break down communication barriers.  But I've never had race or gender be an actual obstacle I've had to overcome.

@Schemer - Hmm, lopsided ears.  Now I have something to look for tomorrow.  Tongue

@Animagic - Nice work on the avatar.
By MnerosNaRa - Last Year


The rule of thumb is one page of script (using the traditional "spec script formatting) is 1 page of script equals 1 minute of movie.



yes and I have yet to make that a reality. I like to keep episodes to 10 min long and I have been using using Celtix for scripting. but my last 10 page script is now going in
to 24 min. lol So still not sure how the large project is going to turn out
By argus1000 - Last Year
MnerosNaRa (1/26/2018)
[quote]Dr. Nemesis (1/24/2018)
To this day one of my all time favourite Iclone  videos is this one .


WOW! That's animation! It's very seldom that any iClone animation retain my attention more than 15 seconds. But this one is so slick, so fluid, so natural that I watched the whole of it. My hat to the individual who made it. It's a treat!





By justaviking - 3 Months Ago
A follow-up question regarding the motion packs...

From the Occupational Series pack:
Note: The motion files were originally optimized for G3 bone. You will need to modify motion layer for best result when applying these motions to CC Characters.


Does anyone have experience doing that sort of motion adjustment?  It is quick and easy?  Is it pretty much the same adjustment for each motion?  Or is it tedious and unique for each motion?

Any experiences and insight you can share will be appreciated.




Additional rambling...  I was so excited when I first got this email.  I missed out on a similar sale last November.  (I didn't see the mail right away, and was stunned to discover it was only a 5-day sale, and I was trying to buy it on day 6.  So sad.  This particular bundle is different.  For my purposes, last year's bundle would be better for me, but this one probably has plenty of stuff I can use to make it a good value, so I'll most likely buy it unless I get some horror stories in response to my question today.
By justaviking - Last Year
@KT - I knew there was some issue with it not working (probably aided by a vague memory of your report - just didn't distract myself by searching for it yet).  That is why I was surprised that changing the Renderer did indeed affect all similarly-named materials.

I'll probably add a comment to your FT Issue.  Thanks for the link.
By TonyDPrime - Last Year
justaviking (1/22/2018)
TonyDPrime (1/22/2018)
A few years back doing some 2D-art, messing around for a laugh I sent a 1 page comic to a group of friends, one of which who actually draws and does 2D art work for a living also. 
He told me that I had jumped right in to the characters to soon, and that I should always open with a description of the environment to bring the reader in to the setting (i.e. a pic of the environment scene...).


I guess that's why we keep seeing "establishing shots" in movies.
Although, in a "1 page comic," I don't know how much time you have for establishment of environment and characters.  Unsure


I know, right!??
Although there was! 
The first panel!
By animagic - Last Year
It is not advertised, but RL has/had an option to purchase assets that can be shared, at least they used to if I recall correctly. That might have been for an educational setting.
By justaviking - Last Year
@Tony - Was my "Workflow" reply the sort of answer you were looking for, or did I go off in the wrong direction?  It was at the bottom of Page 12, and then got burried beneath other topics.
https://forum.reallusion.com/FindPost358130.aspx




Laptop Update #1 - Trial installation.

The suggestion to install iC6 on the laptop was a good one.  I had my son check his computer, and it turned out he has iC5 and iC6 installed on it, but much to my surprise, not iC7.

So, on the laptop, I deleted the dumb Trial Version of iC7 and installed my real version.

a - Still seems dumb that you have to register or activate the trail.  It's already limited to a 30-day trial.  More than that, the output and some functionality is limited (it is cripple-ware), so it is hard to imagine why someone would want to repeatedly install the trial over and over again anyway.
b - Still seems dumb that the trial version is literally a different set of code than the full version.  You should be able to install a Key to activate the trial and make it fully functional.  Having to uninstall the trial, download another >1GB file, and install the real version is just plain silly, and irritating.
c - Having installed the full version, it keeps asking me to register.  Um, yeah, I have a licence key, so Reallusion and I already know each other, and I registered iC7 when I installed it on my desktop already.  There should be a "Don't ask me again" option.
d - When I "register," I wonder if I will get an email with my username AND PASSWORD in clear text, like they used to do.


Laptop Update #2 - Performance

After installing iC7 and the bonus content, I did a test using the "Loft Scene."

According to a Reallusion page, I should expect to get about 30 fps with a GTX 1060.
Uh oh, I was limping along at 7.  Not even close.

The reallusion numbers were realistic, though, since my GTX 1080 desktop got almost the exact same 50 fps they stated in their results.
Go near the bottom of this page, and expand the "Show More" button and you will see a nice table of Performance Test Results.
https://www.reallusion.com/iclone/download.html

What was wrong with my laptop, making me get less than 1/4 of the performance I should get?

This is both funny and shocking...
Running on batter = 7 fps
Plugged into wall = 20 fps

Yeah, that laptop severely throttles itself when running on batter power.
There is probbly some performance setting I could change, but then I'd probably only get 5 to 10 minutes of battery life, LOL.
I understand a dip in performance when on battery, but wow, a 3x difference was shocking.

Still not getting the 30 fps per the chart, but at least 20 fps is somewhat reasonable considering I'm on a laptop.
By TonyDPrime - Last Year
JAV - what are your thoughts on the upcoming planned developments for CC & iClone?  Do you see it altering your workflow?
Now that it's been able to sink in, would enjoy hearing your take on it.
By Delerna - Last Year
In my job I am a software development manager and I almost totally self taught myself and have 25 years experience with it (10 years as manager). 
I say almost totally self taught because I check out what other people do with google and I use what I find and think works well.
I got to become a manager because my software development was greatly appreciated by the people in the company I work for.

The  point I am making with this statement is that I have worked with many highly knowledgeable programmers. 
Programmers who know more than I do. And yet when I give them a project to work on and they just do not do well. 
Their project turned out useless. Obviously it wasn't every programmer. But there was many who really knew programming theory, but could not create good projects.

I think knowing/understanding theory for what we work on is useful. But I don't think high level theory is as important as having a high level of passion for it.
High levels of passion, enjoying what your doing. That gets you around the things you don't understand or know.
By justaviking - Last Year
Rampa (11/22/2018)
I wonder if it's having the UI de-coupled from the rendering window?

That would be the case in your last image.


But also look at images #1 and #2...  approximate a 1.5x difference just by a SLIGHT change in the size of the window.  The "render panel" is docked in both cases.
By justaviking - Last Year
sonic7 (11/22/2018)
I've experienced similar results, my 'fastest' render times being achieved with F7 fullscreen.
But as for the issue of consuming system resources for display purposes - when it can be better spent on the render itself - that makes a whole lot of sense.
I've added my 'vote' for Dennis' suggestion to the tracker...


Thank you.  Smile

And thank you to everyone participating in this topic.


illusionLAB (11/22/2018)
My 'reduced' size viewer renders achieved by making iC smaller on my desktop.  Today, I got completely different results!
<snip>
...notice how the app is only 10% bigger on the desktop in the second image... yet took 5 times longer!


That's horrifying!  Some days it gets stranger and stranger.  Regardless of the individual results we're getting, there is definitely room for improvement.

By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
<Placeholder>
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/5718d0f9-7768-45d3-b02f-a5f5.png

By Spiny Norman - Last Year

Justaviking!..

 …What a strange idea…using snips of songs to illustrate your story? One wishes that ‘Gilbert & Sullivan’ or the writers of 1800’s operetta’s had only thought of it?...Please don’t be offended…
I only mean that it is so seldom seen, it’s much more shocking and strange than the last entry into the ‘Alien’ franchise… 

Did it work…kinda’ yeah! What a brave move, well worth investigating further?..

As to the animation…we ‘aussies’ have a reputation for not giving a damn, so… 

‘…Don’t give a damn!’

Textures…yeah, yeah…footsliding…yeah, yeah, etc, etc. 

All ‘old problems’ till Reallusion manages to come up with the answers… 

Interesting tale. Almost, totally believable…but as it was a ‘Pinhead’project, I don’t think that was necessarily part of the ‘brief’ at the start?..


Characters who ‘mostly’ had something to say, who then, made me wonder what the response was going to be.

The landscape did seem to be a little sparse, except at the end, perhaps this occurred in Iceland, they have few trees and small plants there…I think it’s mainly lichen? 


…Everybody did what they were supposed to!

 

Goddamn it. I love it. No-ones gonna’ win an Oscar, but everybody…(read the line above…)

Animating to script doesn’t mean…’Oh, Oh, but I can’t stop peoples feet sliding…it means, 

How can I get my hero to logically pair up with (whoever or whatever…) in the most interesting way, given the tools at my disposal? 


Pinhead is a nerd, a klutz, a doofus……………but, he obviously has some ‘backstory’…(for anyone from the original post) with a guy
…who although he looks very much like Chuck from IClone 5’ has not only some moves but even a little attitude...( how…why?..)

He is real. He eventually shows us traits and responses we all either wish/or hope we had…and at the end he turns out to be a hero.
(This is not how every story has to end; but in the best stories, they have to end..like they end…and this is perfect.)
 

Excellent voicework…(although I thought the villain would be a just a tad more annoyed at his rapidly approaching demise?) 

I didn’t for an instant notice the time going by, this is a pretty beefy project ‘41.03’. Is it a film’/piece of cinema…Hell Yeah!...

The use of camera, close-ups, cutaways…(the foot slipping on the ledge…original? I hardly think so, does it work,..hell yeah!..)

And you did this in IClone 5?..’ FIVE’ people…I just got some test stuff out of IClone 5’…and that was all.

 

Watch this folks’…look, listen and learn….

 

 

 

By justaviking - Last Year
@Uncwe - I think I understand what you're saying.  You want to be more productive with iClone, right?  All I can suggest is to spend  serious time with it.  I find it is becoming a larger and larger application, and that's both a blessing and a curse.

iClone can do so much, and do it well, but It's difficult to be proficient in everything it has to offer.  Some of the features require a bit of a deep-dive, such as the new PopcornFX plug-in.  Even time-saving features like Faceware require some time and practice before you get the good results it is capable of producing.

Good luck, and always remember there are a lot of kind people here to help answer questions (when they're not busy reading my long-winded posts).
By uncwee - Last Year
justaviking (1/20/2018)
@Uncwee - I am not sure there is a solid, linear answer to "How to animate."

It makes since to start with a story or script. It keeps one grounded.

Take your Kidnap video:
You first animation...

1. Remove the "Robotic" motions.
2. Add "Secondary" motions.
These two steps would bring new life to that video.

Nobody talks about animation steps.... only say.... look here.  Why?
Can you remove the "Robotic" motions and add "Secondary" motions?

...if so, is the reason you did not perform this steps is because of (Lack of Time)?
I'm hoping you can perform these steps and "Explain how you would initiate them."


By wires - Last Year
Me thinks that uncwee has been swooooping around here before. w00tWhistling
By thebiz.movies - 2 Years Ago
Hey JustaViking,
I've also watched that video lately and have been having a good time using LUTs to get a look I want for a desaturated 70 crime klinda flick.  After watching the video I realized I was needing to re texture several of my characters, sets and props.  I felt like such a production designer!

also liked this info graphic from studiobinder (linked)

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/18fd502e-710c-4539-b851-227c.jpg
By mark - Last Year
Never thought I would ever say this but...that's beautiful toilet paper!!!Tongue
By justaviking - 3 Months Ago
Thank, Job.

These are the sort of things I have always wished would "just work," like walking without the feet sliding.  But as long as making the adjustments is less work work than hand-animating the motions, I think I'll get the bundle.

Maybe some clever person will write a magical Python script to fix stuff like what you mentioned.
By mark - 2 Months Ago
Man I'm lovin' that donut for sure, just a few more sprinkles please!!!TongueTongueTongue
By Rampa - 2 Years Ago
Many people have gotten 3DX to stop saying that by re-installing iClone after 3DX is installed. Go figure! Wink

Check for pirate lady in your order history in your RL account. She seems to go missing a lot.
By mark - Last Year
Have to confess I'm getting a bit flushed with all this potty talk!!!!TongueTongue
By justaviking - Last Year
Wow!  Now I KNOW that iClone really needs a good ragdoll option.  w00t  Smile



I found this thanks to Andrew Price's (Blender Guru) "This Week in 3D" newsletter.

Favorite line:  "What a wonderful day!"

By mark - 2 Years Ago
To close. I want to share one semi-political comment.  In the noble quest for gender and racial equality, which I cannot imagine opposing, it somehow became "insensitive" to notice our differences.  That really irritates me.  Tall, short, male, female, black, white, brown, thick, thin, hairy, bald...  just because we see superficial exterior differences does not make us bad people.  We should be able to enjoy those differences, not pretend they don't exist.  How boring it would be if we were all the same, like robots off an assembly like.  No thank you.  I much prefer the variety and diversity, and wish it was easier to talk about such things without being nervous.


Well said!Wink

By justaviking - Last Year
<<< dreaded double-post >>>
By wires - Last Year
There are a lot of talented voice actors available on TMUnderground.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
I never said "slow" -- look at my comments.  What I said was to show things like an actor's reaction, or a setting, or a lot of things prior to "let's have the monsters attack!"  Or "the lasers and the explosions begin!".  I said -- take your time.

It NEVER hurts to take your time, but few do (as most here agree, it's hard to watch almost any iClone stuff -- I get bored after a few seconds and that's with ACTION!).  And you take your time according to what you're trying to convey -- here (this short) the author is conveying the exploration first, and the danger is felt but not observed until much later.  Compare and contrast almost any Jerry B made film and you'll know the difference.
By mark - Last Year
Very nice! Love that "clean" look! Smile
By wires - Last Year
justaviking (1/22/2018)
animagic (1/21/2018)
Also, with that out of the way, we can perhaps return to this interesting conversation...Cool


So... does anyone else have any "Animating to a script" stories to share?

Successes... failures... challenges... lessons learned... amusing anecdotes... useful tips...  questions???



Pinhead springs to mind. Smile

The Trailers/Teasers for Mystery Manor (2007-25 mins.), Pinhead's Wish (2012-14:30 mins.) and Kidnapped (2014-8:30 mins.) were animated by Alley and myself, and the scripts and story boards were provided by Brian.  while Joe mainly did the credits and some imagery.

The first issue to be dealt with was the locations of the 4 and their Time zones. me in Germany, Alley in Canada, Joe in Chicago and Brian in California. Getting together for a Skype wasn't entering in to the equation, so that meant mails, mails and even more mails.

It also meant that Alley and I had to constantly upload/download project files, props etc. and this became major issue Nr.2. iClone is not designed for easy cooperation work. Each and every person working on a project needs to own every asset involved in order to even be able to render out a draft video clip for proofing by others. For this reason we were forced to use mostly default assets and assets obtained as freebies or converted through 3DXchange, although we did end up having to both purchase several items for the projects.

Mystery Manor was produced in 2007 using iClone 2.0/2.5 and had a running time of 25 mins. including credits, and we were both very happy that 3DXchange 1.0 had been released before we started work.

The voice talents all came from members of the unfortunately now defunct Video Friends Forum - VFF. The script/story board provided by Brian was, to say the least, visually complicated and we had to remind him that we weren't using the same resources as I L&M - a situation that repeated itself in the following projects.

Alley and I did some rough setups before we got the final voice files, and that's when things REALLY started to nudge me to asking questions such as "Why are you doing this to yourself, you're a sane person?", "This isn't going to work, when are you going to admit it and give up?"

We are talking iClone 2.0/2.5 that had just added Clone Cloth, talking Avatars and Linkage between Objects and Characters. Animating Characters, sliding feet and all, still was a very difficult task, and the amount of usable motion file was at a very minimum for what we needed. Putting a 25 min. video together was still a very daunting adventure that, IMHO, worked very well in the end.

There was much tearing of hair and a fair amount of frustration on my part during the production, but with a lot of visual "tricks", and a minimum of SFX we ended up not only with what Brian had expected, but with something that was in the end a great learning experience for all involved.

Alley was the driving force during the production, and she was never lost in finding a solution to a supposed impossible task. She was also able to "sell" Brian small changes to the story board when we just knew that it wasn't going to happen in iClone as it was at that time.

In all the 3 productions demonstrated not only the difficulties of having a very small team doing everything, but also offered each of us the possibility to "Go the Mile" with what we had at hand and make it work.

I can imagine just what we could have done with "Mystery Manor" in iClone 7 - I still have all my old project/prop/avatar files, who knows. SmileWhistling

By Spiny Norman - Last Year
Not putting down anyones posts here but, there seems to be a confused notion that professional 'scripts' 
contain full shot breakdowns and are a complete written description of the film. 
I believe this stems from the 60's/70's trend of printing books of so-called 'shooting' scripts of various 
famous films.

Although in some cases these were, actual reproductions of real shooting scripts, somehow this became the 
assumed norm for scriptwriting amongst the uninitiated.

Ask any professional writer what happened after they handed in a script with anything but the teeniest, 
absolutely vitally necessary, shot recommendation and after they stop shaking, they may be able to tell 
you, wide eyed, through clenched teeth…

The 'shooting' script is nearly always the same script that all members of cast and crew possess, but with 
copious notes about shots/ camera lenses/ lighting where applicable/ and camera moves, often compiled by 
both director and the lighting cameraman; but certainly by the director.

Sometimes they come in a two page format with storyboards on one page and description on the other, but 
again only for the director and lighting cameraman.

(It is these annotated scripts together with a full shot list that are put together and released as 'shooting' 
scripts although the formatting is often changed to make a more readable experience.)

Most of the time from pre-production up to post-production, the script is a sparse description of where we 
are and when, dialogue and occasional important moves…

I'll include here, an excerpt from Harold Pinters award winning script of 'The Servant'. This is the script that 
the director is given. What happens to it next, is what makes the difference between a good director, and a 'great' one!..

The Servant

Exterior. Knightsbridge Square. October. Day.


                                        A quiet square off Knightsbridge. Winter sun. Bare trees. Numerous parked cars. At the far side of the square
                                         BARRETT appears. From high, see him approach. He stops at the kerb. Cars pass. He crosses the road. His steps are 
                                         sharp on the pavement.

                                         Looking for a number he passes houses. He stops at a house, slightly shabbier than the others, discerns number and 
                                         goes up the steps. The door is open. He looks into the dark hall. Silence. There is no door-knocker. He finds a bell, rings. 

                                         A faint uncertain ring.

Interior. Hall. TONY'S house. Day.



                                        From inside the hall see BARRETT enter and stand. The hall wallpaper is dark, of a faded grape design. There are no 
                                         carpets, no sign of occupation. Silence. He crosses to the drawing room door, knocks. 

Interior. Drawing room. Day.



                                         From conservatory end of the large empty room see BARRETT look round the door. He walks into the room and 
                                         peers into the conservatory. Low down in an old deckchair lies a body. 

Interior. Conservatory. Day.



                                        BARRETT approaches, stops a little way from the body, regards it. He bends over TONY. 

BARRETT

Excuse me . . . (TONY starts up.) My name's Barrett, sir.


                                        TONY stares at him, clicks his fingers.

TONY.

Oh God, of course. I'm so sorry, I fell asleep.

We've got an appointment.



BARRETT.

Yes, sir.


TONY.

What time ?


BARRETT.

Three o'clock sir.


TONY.

Well what time is it now ?


BARRETT.

Three o'clock, sir.


TONY.

Too many beers at lunch, that's what it is. Do you drink beer ?


BARRETT.

No I don't, sir.


                                        TONY stands.

TONY.

Come upstairs. We can sit down.


                                       They move to the door. 

Interior. Hall. Stairs. Day.



                                       They walk up the stairs. 

TONY.

I'm just back from Africa. I'm quite liking it. What do you think of the house ?


BARRETT.

It's very nice, sir.


TONY.

Needs a lot done to it of course.



Interior. TONY'S bedroom. First floor. Day.



                                        Winter sun striking across floorboards. The room is empty but for two chairs. The door is flung open. TONY
                                        comes in, followed by BARRETT. His words gain a slight echo in the room. 

TONY.

Damn lucky to get this place, actually. Little bit of wet rot, but not much. Sit down. 


BARRETT.

Thank you, sir.


                                        BARRETT sits. BARRETT'S chair is in the centre of the room. TONY, while speaking, moves about the room, 
                                        almost circling the seated figure.

TONY.

Well now, what's happening is this .. . I'll be moving into this house in about . . . two or three weeks and I'm all alone at the moment…


*     *     *


So animating from a script? You can see that you can go anywhere with this script. It could easily be animated 
in IClone…and funnily enough, given IClone's present shortcomings I don't think it would look much different 
from Joseph Losey's finished film…

All you are ever animating is this one shot now! Successfully animate it, then the next, then the next, sooner or
 later you will have a film/movie/video…Let's just call it an entertainment?

There may be small differences between the various film making countries in terms of the script, but few and 
small, mostly of a formatting nature…because this is the skeleton of the universal language of film…

Animating from a script? You are always doing it even if you are making it up as you go along. At least if you 
write down what you want, you won't forget it?

Lastly, the 'actors' (or any other technicians script) starts out exactly like the one here…but just ends up 
with different scrawled notes…'don't forget to cough!!!' 'move slowly' or 'make sure vase is 
polished to catch spot', [/b[b]]'need dolly rails for this'.


But the'script' always looks like this…what you do with it is up to you?..


By Kelleytoons - Last Year
I rarely (if ever) run on battery on any laptop (hasn't been a laptop made yet that can run on battery the programs *I* want to run :>Wink so I never noticed this.  But you should look at the Dragon software and I suspect it's right in there.  Remember that laptop is configured by default for games (and, most likely those folks are indeed running on power.  I've seen this firsthand -- even the kids with their laptops at the cafe plugin.  And their "laptops" are larger than my desktop <g>.  They drag these monster machines around, plug them in, and play away.  Not my father's Oldsmobile :>Wink.
By Delerna - Last Year
I am (probably not completely) opposite to that.
My workflows, have and always will get adjusted very often, based off suggestions or things I have noticed from what I have seen from other people and not just my own views.
So I wasn't trying to say not to listen or use what is said by other people. There are many people way more advanced than me.

Rather, I was just trying to say I wont be overly concerned about what other people are going to think of my video while working on a video project,
because you just cant please everyone all the time no mater how good it is.
One of the greatest movies.....ever....... to me is avatar. And I personally know several people who hated it.




By Delerna - Last Year
Just wanted to add.
Obviously, high passion alone with no knowledge of movie theories isn't likely to produce enjoyable videos.
I'm very new to story writing. My understanding is not high enough to produce my own stories that are very good, and I'm not likely to get there because I'm getting old.
However, my passion and enjoyment for using iClone helps me to make videos from other peoples stories that I totally enjoy watching.

And who knows, maybe one day ????????????? 

By illusionLAB - Last Year
I can't resist a good test... in this case, I got the complete opposite result.  iC window reduced 18 sec, iC standard 36 sec and iC full screen 86 sec (1070i GPU).  The last of which produced this rather unsightly image!  Clearly, there needs to be investigation as I've never experienced this inconsistency with any program that produces graphics.  As for render differences, all 3 images (except the corrupt one) looked the same but had clear differences in the areas where the HDR glow is doing it's thing.

As we all have the "loft scene" and it has pretty much all the bells and whistles enabled - it makes for a good "scientific control" - so if everybody rendered an HD png of frame 1 of "the loft" (without changing/adding anything!) logged the times and listed their GPU - it may reveal a pattern within the variables of "different pvw sizes" and "different GPUs".



https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/0f9930e6-454e-40d4-94b2-43e7.png
By justaviking - Last Year
a) I am writing in response to this post in the "Filmmaking versus Animation" thread:  https://forum.reallusion.com/FindPost354832.aspx
b) You don't have to read that entire thread but plead to read at least the one post I linked to.
c) This could, and probably should, become its own thread, but I'm not quite ready to start it yet.  But I wanted to step out of the established thread for this side conversation.

I am going to reference one of my own projects.  Not to boast, since I know it's full of flaws, but I think I can use it as a good foundation on which I can make some comments.




ANIMATING TO A SCRIPT:

In this case, I wrote the script, nearly in its entirety, before starting any significant iClone work.  So in that case, I was animating to a script.

I did some technical proofs-of-concept before getting too far into the project, but I did not do any storyboarding  I went straight from script to iClone.


BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE SCENE:
A man has kidnapped a lady.  Until now, we haven't really known why, or what the connection was between them.  In the scene immediately preceding this one, her boyfriend (Pinhead) was asking for help in rescuing her, and that person suggested Pinhead tell him more about the kidnapper.  That is where we cut to this scene.

It should start at T=19:27 and run to 21:07   (1min 40sec)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnASRNU8vn4&feature=youtu.be&t=1167


FILMMAKING CHALLENGES:

A core feature of this "film" is it was a semi-musical format, using *existing* songs.  That meant I had limited control over the duration in some places.  It also made the script writing very challenging in places.  There were a couple songs I really, really wanted to use, and the lyrics were perfect, but the genders were wrong.  You can't have your leading man sing with a female voice half-way through the movie.  It really made me appreciate a filmmaker who can have custom-written music, performed specifically for his movie.


ANIMATION CHALLENGES:

Because it involves singing to a music track, the normal audio-to-viseme method would not work - the music interfered with the words.  It also meant the text-to-speech method would not work because the speed and timing would change drastically.  My solution was to speak/chant the words into my microphone in time with the music for audio-to-viseme generation.  It still took a lot of viseme cleanup to make it better.  I think I did a pretty good job of cleaning up a few songs, and some parts turned out pretty well.  The song in this scene represents a mediocre "singing/viseme" result.  (A couple others were left in a horrible state because I of the project's deadline date.)

MY FILMMAKING CRITIQUE - POSITIVE:

This scene is a bit of backstory and exposition, but I had to explain WHY the villain kidnapped her.  I thought I did a reasonable job of it.  (Others may disagree, of course.)

I think most the "acting" is reasonable.  I still like most of the basic gestures and hand and body motions in terms what the director (me) wanted.

Is "acting" in this sense a filmmaking or an animation critique?  Consider when she gasps and covers her mouth at 20:35 as she realizes this is all the result of a romantic obsession.  I call that "directing and acting" which I think puts it into the filmmaking category.

MY FILMMAKING CRITIQUE - NEGATIVE:

My wife really thought I got too "dark" as the scene faded out.  Not in terms of the lighting, but it may have implied an even darker turn of events than I intended.  I wanted her to be in a certain amount of peril, but no, he is not going to rape her.

At 20:03-20:08 I wanted her to follow his hand motions because I thought that would be a natural thing to do.  I think I overdid that a bit (I'm calling that a "director's" error, not an animation error.)

I'm mostly satisfied with my camera work.  There is always room for improvement, but overall I'm okay with it.


MY ANIMATION TECHNIQUE - POSITIVE:

Repeating myself, I am generally pleased with the main "acting" animations - the hand motions and most of the head motions.

I was also quite pleased with the "physical" interaction between the characters, such as when he grasps her hands at 20:52 and also when she pushes back against him at 20:57.  The hand interaction is not perfect, but acceptable to me (especially if you don't go frame-by-frame).

MY ANIMATION TECHNIQUE - NEGATIVE:

Well, that could fill a book.

The faces are largely expressionless.  This scene was typical of my lack of "eyebrow" and other facial animations.  I did it in small places, but again it fell victim to one person working on a large project with a deadline.  It sure would have been a great time to have Faceware to capture all the emotional acting without all the painstaking animation.

There is also a lack of "life" when they aren't doing any specific acting.  They typically become mannequins when they are waiting their turn to talk.  The standard "idle" motions wouldn't work, but some breathing would be nice, and any small motions to add some life.

I also cheated where the villain "walks" forward at 20:42.  He just slides forward.  That's partly because I still find it challenging to have avatars walk short distances and stop at precise locations.  In a different scene I tweaked a similar "glide," adding a touch of up-and-down motion to the body, which still isn't perfect but is a big improvement to a simple translation.

Lighting was close to default lighting.  Sadly, that was one of the main things I wanted to do a better job on when I started the project, but it got left on the back burner again.

My "jail cell" set has some very rudimentary textures.  What I used helps tell the story, but they are certainly nothing to be proud of.

And the shadows!  I had trouble with them.  They were so blocky.  In some scenes they were even worse than in this scene.  Part of that was my fault, I'm sure, but it also shows again the huge improvements made from iClone 5 to iClone 7.

Hair.  The girl's hair had no physics, and goes into her body.  The villain's hair it a bit too big for his head, but I couldn't simply scale it down or it had other problems.  This predated Character Creator with conforming hair.




CLOSING:

I don't know if this added to the "filmmaking versus animation" discussion or not.  Feel free to comment here, especially agreeing or disagreeing with my comments in this post.

You can also critique my video if you wish.  Technically, most of my iClone videos end with what I would call a "pre-vis" quality.  As a personal focus, I'd rather tell a decent story with low-quality video than the inverse.  As a film, I feel the first third or so is rough, and could use some editing to make it tighter, and at least one of the songs is sort of forced into the script and should maybe be cut out, though I'm pretty satisfied with the "film" aspects of the second half (relative to the vision I had).
By Galfridus - 2 Years Ago
Indeed a cause for celebration. Thanks for pointing out this important update Justaviking.
I quickly tested some of my content from the old substance power 200 pack items and things like waves, water droplets, tunnel, burnt film etc. Now perform correctly with their animations.
Along with the great stuff in the new substance pack their is much to explore and enjoy.BigGrin

Geoff.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Dennis,

I'll watch later -- way too early for me to get my eyes open enough at the moment -- but something you mentioned (and then Delerma also echoed) reminded me of something important and it's OT.  You mentioned your wife commented on your work.

I find it's incredibly helpful to get feedback from my harshest critic, my significant other.  Since we've been married for over 30 years you'd think we might think alike, but she offers such a different outlook on things, particularly my animation, that it nearly always causes me to rethink and, yes, change things even though my first response is "well, she doesn't get it".

For those of us who are one-man shops, having this kind of feedback from a trusted friend (one who won't completely tear you a new one :>Wink is invaluable.  Unless they are just really into animation or your work, it's unlikely you can involve them early (which would be the most helpful) but you ought to for sure at least let them have a look at the "final" product -- and then take that into serious consideration.

While there is a lot of "we need to be true to ourselves" the simple fact is that the opposite sex in particular sees things differently -- viva la difference, as Spencer Tracy once said, but taking that into account will make your work SO much better it isn't even funny.  If my own wife hasn't seen and approved what I've done the job isn't finished.
By uncwee - Last Year
justaviking (1/19/2018)
@Uncwe - I think I understand what you're saying.  You want to be more productive with iClone, right?

Yes.

justaviking (1/19/2018)
I am writing in response to this post in the "Filmmaking versus Animation" thread:  https://forum.reallusion.com/FindPost354832.aspx

When you posted this...... the thread contains massive info for film making ideas.

justaviking (1/19/2018)

ANIMATING TO A SCRIPT:
In this case, I wrote the script, nearly in its entirety, before starting any significant iClone work.  So in that case, I was animating to a script.

When I saw this... I'd hope the justaviking thread would contain "Animation" talk of "How-To"...follow a script using iclone animation tools.
Thank You for the advice.

By Kelleytoons - Last Year
(Character) Animation steps:

1. Any voice work first (why?  Because it's much harder to add/refine the proper lip sync if other animation is present with the face).
2. Facial emotion next (why?  Because if you are moving the character around you can't get the face right unless you trick it with something like a face-attached camera)
3. Body motions next.
4. Hand motions last (hand positions support body and face motions to tell the story)
5. Now set camera angles and positions -- you don't want the camera moving at all while you are animating your character.

Note that any or all of the above "rules" can be violated -- one might, if one knows the camera is not going to show a character's face, set up the camera shots first and then, from another camera that doesn't move around, you can do the above steps -- but in general these are good guidelines for doing character animation.  It's what we follow for 2D work, and serves well for 3D.

How you do any or all of the above depends on the tools you have -- if you have Faceware, for example, you'd be foolish not to at least lay down a first pass at lip sync with it.  Same goes for body mocap -- while it may never be the end product, if you have a good mocap setup you will want to use it whenever possible to capture subtle and natural body movements.  But those specifics CAN be found on various tutorials linked to here and elsewhere.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Gerry,

Yipes -- have I been fooled?  Usually I pick up on it MUCH sooner.

In any case, either way, I am done with that particular conversation.
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
@Biz - I'm glad my little post was timely for you, even if it did result in more work for you.  Whistling

The image you posted and the page you linked to look vaguely familiar; I think I've seen it before, but quite a long time ago.  I'll have to give it a good viewing.  Thanks for sharing it.
By justaviking - Last Year
mark (4/23/2018)
Never thought I would ever say this but...that's beautiful toilet paper!!!Tongue


LOL.  (And "thanks.")

I might have shared this confession before, but before I made the Substance, I tried scanning some toilet paper.  (Yes, "clean.")  I have to say, you know you have a strange hobby when you find yourself putting toilet paper on your scanner.

By sonic7 - 3 Months Ago

@Dennis "........ These are the sort of things I have always wished would "just work," like walking without the feet sliding. ......... " Amen to that !

" ........ Maybe some clever person will write a magical Python script to fix stuff  ........ "
Yes - like:
> foot contacts ground plane
> Lock foot to ground plane AND DON'T LET GO! - lol 
> continue with walk and adjust 'whichever bones it takes' to retain 'foot to ground lock' UNTIL the next foot contacts ground plane.
> loop and repeat for this foot .....

(You can tell I'm not a programmer - lol)  Tongue
By justaviking - 2 Months Ago
Kelleytoons (9/4/2019)
What?  No link?
(Hey, some of us are lazy.  And old).


D'oh!
I actually had the URL in my copy/paste buffer, but I got distracted by adding my donut picture.

Ovesight corrected in the original post.

I'll also put the video here, too, for the lazy people.  Wink



P.S.
Scroll back a couple of posts to see my donut and the creative coffee(?) cup.  Maybe it's more of a creamer pitcher.

By duchess110 - 2 Years Ago
There was a RLHumanCore.dll  I believe that was required and if I recall doing it the way you have might have taken it out.
I would suggest uninstall all.
Install ic7
reboot
install cc2
reboot
install 3dx change reboot.
I am sure if you search it is mentioned somewhere.
Hope this helps you out I know reinstalling can be a right pain.

Edit
This is what I was referring to it is in the comments replies on the feedback tracker
https://www.reallusion.com/FeedBackTracker/Issue/Unexpected-message-Please-install-iClone-7-first-at-startup
By wires - Last Year
I think that we need to get to the bottom of this issue. HeheSmile
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Assuming there is a way to export the FBX out of Blender properly into iClone (XChange?) I don't know why you couldn't set up the ragdoll physics there and use them in iClone (spoken from a position of divine ignorance in that I only use Blender as an import/export tool and know NOTHING about actually using it for motions and such).

I sometimes think we miss using external tools enough -- and, of course, with Python coming we may need to think more and more "outside the box that is iClone".
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago

When you find yourself laying toilet paper onto your scanner, you know you have a strange hobby.
(At least it was clean TP.)

By wires - 2 Years Ago
Well done Dennis.

Speaking of skin colour, there's a WIP that I found online last year that deals with just that subject. Angelica Dass has been comparing human skin to the PANTONE© Guide, amazing work that can be viewed here.  
By justaviking - Last Year
Spiny Norman (1/24/2018)
Not putting down anyones posts here but, there seems to be a confused notion that professional 'scripts' 
contain full shot breakdowns and are a complete written description of the film. 

I'm not sure where you got that impression, though I can imagine some people might be picturing that.  Other than that, I think your comments were good.

In my mind, when I think of a "script" I am usually thinking of the "spec script" format, which has a bare minimum of "directing" in it.  In that context, camera shots and notes to the actors (parentheticals, typically) should be used very sparingly and only when necessary.  You are writing a story, and it is up to the director to "envision" how it will be told and what it will look like.

Shooting and planning scripts are different beasts indeed.  Thank you for pointing that out.  They can be used to highlight different locations, special effects, camera setups, and other items that can affect cost and other important things.

Thanks again for pointing out that there are different types of scripts for different purposes.  Smile
By justaviking - Last Year
+1 to what KelleyToons said.

The various computer-generated voices may have their place, but don't replace people.*  Even a person of moderate talent can be more than adequate for most projects, especially if there is something distinctive about his or her voice.

Be sure you use some decent recording equipment in a nice, quiet location with limited echo.  There are some microphones** in the $80-150 range that will do a nice job (far superior to the junk that's built into a laptop).  Lately I've used a walk-in closet as a recording studio because all the clothes help absorb any echo.  Even then, I still run it through Audacity (free audio software) to remove any remaining background hiss.  I've been quite pleased with the results.


*Computer-generated voices
One personal exception for me has been "Pinhead," but that's only because he started that way, and to me his "flat delivery" was, at times, part of his charm.  Even when other characters used live voices, I sort of liked Pinhead using Text-to-speech (TTS).  Having said that, I understand people who don't have a 7-year history with Pinhead wouldn't understand that, and it is nice to have him be able to emote better.  I've even used my own voice a couple of times (modified a bit using Audacity), so I probably won't go back to TTS.

** Microphones
I have a Samson Meteor mic (~$70 at Best Buy or Amazon).
Pro - Very beautiful (looks like a piece of art), very sensitive.  Note that there is a threaded base, so you can mount it on a boom or mic stand if you don't want to use the folded legs (which have nice rubber non-slip pads that work well).
Con - My main complaint is it is almost too sensitive, and too omnidirectional, so it easily picks up echo and background sounds.  It also lacks a gain control (recording  level) knob, so you can only adjust that in your recording software (again, I use Audacity).  The "volume knob" is for headphones if you want to monitor the recording session.
The Blue Yeti mic is one I'd probably buy if I didn't already have my Samson mic ($110 at Best Buy or Amazon).
Pro - Three "sensitivity patterns" to select from to help pick up or minimize sound from different directions, a gain control button, and lots of good reviews.  This one can also be mounted on a boom or mic stand.
Con - Costs more than the Samson
By justaviking - Last Year

@Kelley - Yeah, we're sort of hopping between two threads.  That wasn't the vision when I started chatting over here several days ago, but I didn't want to pull your "Filmmaking versus animation" thread too far off topic.  Now they've gotten on parallel paths for a while.

I understand your counterpoint to my "YouTube expectations and attention span" comments.  Fair enough, and you made good points.  I don't think I actually disagree with what you said at all.

My point was meant to focus on the "YouTube culture" being a barrier that good iClone films must overcome.  We should not try to make all our iClone movies "cat" and "dumb people hurting themselves" videos.  I've said many times before, a good television commercial can tell an entire "story" in 30 or 60 seconds.  So even a short iClone movie can still tell a good and complete story.  And even "short" videos can have a proper pace, taking the time to pause where they should.

But if you find a random video (as opposed to having a specific recommendation to watch it), and it's 40 minutes long, I think there is a special need to grab your audience's attention early on.  How?  Good visuals?  Beautiful music?  Some flashy particles?  I'm not sure, and of course it depends on the video.

When selecting 30 or 60-minute television shows, or 2-hour movies, that comes with one set of expectations.  But even though it's probably unfair, browsing YouTube comes with another set of expectations, and it's so, so very easy to click on to a different video.  So I think the "need" to hook the audience immediately is heightened in that environment.

So I was lamenting the challenge of getting an audience to watch a long iClone video.


ADDED....

Actually, I think I've let my own comments wander, and may have possibly contributed to a mixing between "taking the time on a specific shot" and "total run time."  Mostly I was trying to talk about the total run time.  But yes, even a short video can take time to pause and let you see an emotion, or anticipate an action.

By justaviking - Last Year
Notes to self (and sharing with others):

While messing around with "Textures" I have a couple things I should write up for Feedback Tracker.


1) "Affect all materials with the same name" = Inconsistent behavior

If you change the shader between PBR and Traditional, it will indeed make that change for all materials with the same name.
But if you drop a new image onto a channel (e.g. Base material) it only affects the current material.


2) Inconsistent texture export when doing FBX export

I was exporting cars to FBX format, and *not* imbedding the textures (so they would get written to a folder and I could see how big they were).
I would replace the excessively large textures (as part of the "rendering speed" experiment.)
To make sure I didn't overlook any, I would do the export again.

To my surprise, I'd now see a couple large-sized "Reflection" textures that weren't there before.
So I would fix them, and do another export.
To my annoyance, I'd now see one (or two or three) more textures that hadn't been there before.
Usually "reflection" maps, but not always limited to them.  Also "Specular" maps, and maybe a couple times Diffuse maps too.

There is NO WAY that I overlooked these things that often.
I sorted the folder my size, and also by dimensions, so the large files would be on top.
There is no way I missed the large reflection maps that many times.

When you see one new map appear, and then the next time you see two others appear at the top of the list, something is wrong in the software.

Usually the "magically appearing" textures were related to the "Traditional Shader" (Reflection and Specular).
But, hey, they should either be exported or not.
It should at least be consistent.
By Dr. Nemesis - Last Year
MnerosNaRa (1/26/2018)

Yes I am working on a project that has been taking 8 years now.

Glad to learn about your project, Mneros!


Spiny Norman (1/26/2018)
I jumped on the IClone bandwagon with Iclone 5' and a feature project... I was 7 minutes into it, when budgeting revealed that my costs for professional voice actors would amount to, at the least $7000….

Yes, this is close to what I was quoted for making the film with professional actors. If the end goal is just Youtube/free distribution, it might not be worth it. If you get funding and/or plan to make money from the film, then it's a modest investment. Some people have recommended some free places, and it's true, you can get good free actors, especially online (holding auditions are fun). Around 10 years ago when I was making a few shorts I used Voice Acting Alliance a lot. Seems they shut the site down only last year. It's too bad.
These days I'm trying to avoid online voice work where possible due to consistency of recording equipment and spaces. It's kinda off putting when all the characters in the same scene sound like they're in 4 different environments. Back in the day, I remember only selecting actors who's equipment was decent and their recording room wasn't echoey.

I'd like to share more details about my project but it's still early days. It has a good budget and the VO is being recorded very soon. The script is going through some edits. It's maybe 95% Daz assets so right now I'm learning the best ways to import the stuff for best results, and preparing the assets for the first few scenes. This is a test render in Iclone 7 for one of the main characters. I have some ideas on getting a bit more quality but I'll have to wait and see once whole scenes start coming together.

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/60a70ccf-fc9f-4237-aed2-dbec.jpg
By TonyDPrime - Last Year
A few years back doing some 2D-art, messing around for a laugh I sent a 1 page comic to a group of friends, one of which who actually draws and does 2D art work for a living also. 
He told me that I had jumped right in to the characters to soon, and that I should always open with a description of the environment to bring the reader in to the setting (i.e. a pic of the environment scene...). 
Whether it's true or not I don't know, but I had never considered it.

Also, GIFs are terribly fun to watch....LOL...so much for script!

-Regards all!
By wires - Last Year
Just to clarify the situation regarding the use of "Trial" DRM locked assets in iClone. A user can test the assets for as long and often as he/she wishes - the same user can not however save a project file containing said assets.

The following message appears when attempting to save such a project:

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/c2bc4491-f2fb-468e-a92b-268f.png

For any user contemplating participation in a collaboration project, be aware that you will need to purchase any and all assets that may be used in any part of the production that you are working on.

iClone is, and will remain, a one-person production tool - except for the rich. SickAlienSadCryingw00t
By justaviking - Last Year
@KT - I didn't think I was that critical of viewing angles, but it is something I've gradually become more "aware" of over time.  My wife always calls me over to see something on her laptop, and if she's on the couch and I stand behind her, my viewing angle is different than hers, and thin text can be very hard to read until I get much more aligned with her head.  If I move a laptop from my lap to a table, the screen needs to be tilted differently.  If someone comes beside me to see something, one of us will have "funny colors" on the screen.

To be fair, I spent quite a bit of time with the laptop last night, and once I'm settled into a position its okay.  But as I said before, if you change your viewing angle (up/down or side-to-side) you can see a lot of color shift and change in brightness.  But if you do the same thing of a television or a phone or a tablet, you don't have that problem.  It seems that laptops in general continue to have this problem.  If I bought a low-end computer that was only capable of browsing web pages, I wouldn't fuss so much.  But when spending well over $1,000 for a laptop with a GTX 1060 in it, you'd think you get a better screen with it.

Oh, to answer your question, the floor model at Best Buy exhibited the same screen issues, so I knew what I was getting before I even ordered it.

It has some "Dragon Center" software (something like that), but I sort of skipped over that portion of the initial setup, since it seemed focused on gaming profiles and stuff like that.  I'll revisit it tonight.

A couple other random notes:
- The battery life estimated jumps all over the place.  After 30 minutes it said I had only 1h45m remaining, but 20 minutes later it was reporting 3h20m.  I wasn't gaming, but it was possibly doing some windows updates or something.  Not a problem, just interesting to see such wild swings when I wasn't doing anything heavy like rendering.
- I'm getting used to the keybaord.  It felt different at first, which is understandable.  I felt like the letter "P" was crammed in, but I think I was just being over-conscious of things.  I do wish the Home and End keys were not shared with the Page Up and Page Down keys.  (You need to us Fn combo on them.)  I tend to use all four of them quite a bit.  Hitting the backspace key is very natural, and I've been known to need that once in a while, so that's nice.
- Really glad it has a full numeric keypad
- It is very lightweight.  For the size and power, I find it to be suprisingly lightweight.



ADDED...
I'm not the only one to have these thought about the screen.
From a some user reviews:
CONS:
-The screen on the "252" model is very low quality compared to the "228", "229" and "230" models. The viewing angles are poor and the colors are washed out. 
-The solid state drive is SATA instead of the NVme drives on the "228", "229", and "230" models. Although fast, this means 1/3 the read/write speeds, noticeable to those working heavily with audio/video.
-Bloatware makes it slow at first, must delete unnecessary apps for optimal performance.
-Battery life is lacking.

The screen on the "252" was difficult to look at for extended periods. If you're going to be using an external monitor often, this may not be an issue, but if you'll only be using the built in screen be sure to try it out at the store. Best Buy also sells similar models but with better screens and faster solid state drives for a bit more money. Overall, all of the GS63VR models offer great performance, but be aware of the differences in screens and solid state drives.

The price for this model easily makes it the best bang for the buck--until you get it home and see how awful the display panel is. Apparently, MSI makes a special model of this laptop just for BestBuy, with a low-quality TN panel instead of the IPS panel found on other versions of the GS63. There was just no good tilt angle I could find that didn't wash out the blacks to dark grays, or blow out the bright colors. The various color settings in the MSI app were no real help. After struggling for three hours to get a usable picture, I gave up and returned it for an Alienware 13 R3. It's a real shame, too. The laptop was otherwise great. SSD boot times were fast, the GTX1060 churned out 60fps on Fallout 4, it was lightweight, and looked good without being ridiculously flashy. Plenty of ports, decent keyboard, although the speakers left a lot to be desired. But the useless screen killed all of the pluses for me. You shouldn't have to take a $1600 laptop straight to a repair shop and replace the stock screen with something usable before you take it home. If you can find one that doesn't have "-252" at the end of the model number, it's an excellent laptop. Unfortunately, since that's BestBuy's specific model, you won't find a different one there. (Also skip the "-001" model with the 6th Gen CPU. Last year's exclusive Best Buy model, same bad screen.)

For about $400 more I could get nearly the same laptop, but with the faster SSD and a (theoritically) better screen.  But I was already feeling guilty about buying something I don't really need, so at the higher price it was a non-starter.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
There's an interesting line between staying true to your own vision ("to thine own self") and listening to the feedback of others who can help you make it better.  As someone who spent decades writing and directing I was often guilty of not doing the latter which I think is far more typical given the egos involved in this.  But you only have to look at such folks as Ed Wood or Tommy Wiseau (or even big name folks like Zach Snyder) to realize that perhaps being an auteur isn't the ideal situation.  You can easily lose sight of quality in your desire to "do it your own way."

I learned, many times the hard way, that it was important to carefully consider the criticism of folks I trusted.  And I think my work got much better as a result.  Which isn't to say that there weren't times when even then after carefully considering what they had to say I didn't say "thank you but I'm doing it the way I think instead."  And I've been both rewarded and punished for that.

Today, retired and doing things strictly to amuse myself, there is far less pressure (and truth be told, if you aren't making money at it you should do damn well anything you want -- life is too short and death too long to worry about those things).  But I still (mostly) run things by my most trusted associate for over three decades, and she (my wife) is a very good barometer of when I'm going far afield.  Listening to her has kept me steered (mostly) right in not only my creative life, but my personal one.  I can't overemphasize how important it is to have that one person that you truly value who can call you on your BS.
By grabiller - Last Year
Shadoesword (2/28/2018)
animagic (1/26/2018)
Meanwhile, don't forget to have some fun with your projects too..

That's what it's all about for me. This is my hobby...this is what I do to "find my flow". Sure, I want to learn and get better, but I believe I learn best when I'm having fun. 
../..
I said somewhere else that there's no "wrong" way to approach an Iclone project, by which I meant that everyone is entitled to pursue their projects according to their own priorities. There's nothing wrong with putting "fun" up at the top of those priorities. If someone just wants to use Iclone to play with its different tools, there's nothing wrong with that. When I first got the program, I had a lot of fun just putting animation clips on my custom avatar and watching it jump around. Discovering the possibilities was so entertaining. I still enjoy exploring different content in Iclone, even though I may never use it. 
../..

I agree with you albeit this often has been taken as an excuse to not actually learn seriously (once fun is cool but not enough, when time has come to go beyond that, for some peoples).

At this point it is interesting to make an analogy with learning music, which is one of the most mathematically based Art.

You can have fun in music without knowing anything about music, of course, but you will never know what you are doing. There always are exceptions, of course (Vangelis for instance). Aside playing some known song with your friends for fun, as soon as you will try to create your own songs, the issue will arise. If at some point you feel something is wrong you wont know what to do to correct it. You also may not have the understanding of what it is possible to extend the richness of the song or to make it work better, etc..

I've often heard peoples who did not want to learn music explaining they don't want to be constrained by rules and such. Since then I've never heard something good from those peoples I've known.
By justaviking - Last Year
@KT,

a) I'm fairly certain there were many "complaints" about the final render being affected by the preview screen, especially with DOF.

b) I don't have Photoshop, but I have GIMP.  I was looking for a "difference" filter when was doing some Iray experiments to see the impact of the Denoise feature.  I used a "subtract" blend, and then lightened the result, looking for anything that remained.  Not very scientific, but it helped me find difference that aren't obvious by looking at two pictures side-by-side.  (My conclusion on that was,...  no value in turning on Denoise early, you can do it at the last possible moment and get the same result.)

I look forward to seeing what you discover.
By sonic7 - Last Year

I've experienced similar results, my 'fastest' render times being achieved with F7 fullscreen.
But as for the issue of consuming system resources for display purposes - when it can be better spent on the render itself - that makes a whole lot of sense.
I've added my 'vote' for Dennis' suggestion to the tracker...
By Kelleytoons - 2 Years Ago
Dennis,

I know *exactly* what you mean -- except not just about people.  I did 2D animation for a decade or so after I was heavily into 3D, and I knew I was "back" in 3D when suddenly everything I looked at in the world around me I started thinking "how would I model/light/animate that?"

It's definitely an occupational hazard.  SMH, I just shrug it off and say to myself "stop analyzing and appreciate life for what it is."  And then I go back and say "but if I put a directional light over here just so, and then that park bench I have is pretty close to what I'm seeing here with a bit of Speedtrees thrown in..."
By justaviking - Last Year
justaviking (1/19/2018)
 For a while I thought Pinhead should tie a rope to the fire escape and around his waist, in case he fell, (and especially for Alura to hold onto), but thinking about the technical issues of trying to animate a rope took it out of the script.  And there's a bit more peril without the safety rope, so I guess that's okay anyway.


ANIMATING TO A SCRIPT

Back to that idea, I thought about my "rope" story and it reminded me that sometimes the script has to adapt to budget, technical, and schedule constraints.

Whether in animation or live filming, everything has a cost.  That city-wide car chase scene that damages 300 vehicles is expensive in both worlds.

On a positive note, sometimes being forced to rewrite something results in a better product in the end.  What you don't show (but allude to) can be as important as what you do show.  And replacing a 3-minute scene with a 20-second scene might improve the pace and timing.

Or, on a negative note, it might cause you to cancel the project and shop for a new script.  So it's always good to try and think those things through in your pre-production meetings, even if you are the only person in the room.




@Uncwe

Even when my work can serve as an example of mistakes to avoid, I'm okay with that.   Wink

Regarding not putting one aspect of a project ahead of the other, it's a great goal, but I don't think it's physically possible to focus on everything at one time, especially as an individual.  Especially if you don't want your 5-minute video to take a year to produce.  It's also a matter of passion and personal interest.  Some people love lighting, or camera work, or editing, or clothing, or modeling props.  All that stuff interests me greatly, but "story" is closest to my heart.
By animagic - Last Year
The reason (for me) to start out with a story is to keep things interesting for myself.

And while animating the story, I am confronted with problems/challenges I have to solve (how do I animated this or that). I learn by trying to solve those animation challenges. This is the opposite of leaning in a systematic way. Of course, there is nothing against that if that fits your learning style.

I got some rudimentary animation training, but never in character animation, and it took my a long time before I could produce something worthwhile. And, still, every new movie is a learning opportunity.

I will now talk a bit about the script. The other thread revealed some differences in opinion between Dennis and me about structure. To clarify, I'm not against structure, I just don't believe that there is a single fits-all story structure. However, for longer projects, I do write a script, which you can think of as a blueprint of sorts for the movie. It is not the movie itself, but it helps you focus. When you work alone, and there is nobody to tell you what to do, the script is a great help, because it will tell you the next step and keep you straight. While working on your script, you can also envision how you are going to visualize this or that.

Which brings me to another point: the action has to take place somewhere, and I find it helpful to have a model of the environment. It's like in a storyboard, but for me it's easier to just do something in iClone rather than trying to draw.

It's way past my bedtime, but as you can see there are many ways in which to approach a movie. And, sometimes, it's good to challenge yourself to the extreme, as Dennis has done for his Pinhead contribution.
By uncwee - Last Year
Kellytoons,
My question to you was...

uncwee (1/20/2018)

how would you add secondary animation to each clip?
Making sure the end result has no robotic behavior.

Using iclone animation tools.
Bone by bone?

By mark - Last Year
POOF!!TongueTongueTongue
By Delerna - Last Year
Gotta get back into working with the substance creater tool. I have started looking into it a few times but keep getting distracted by other things.
I see it as a way of creating good texturing without having to be a great artist and that suits me. I think we do need to be reasonable but not highly expertal as artists.
Anyway, just wanted to say I like what you have done.
By justaviking - 3 Months Ago
I feel like this is a really boneheaded question, but I'll ask anyway...

I got an email about a sale on a "10 Ten motion bundle."
Some of these motions are quite old.
In fact, the sample video for the "Social Gatherings" starts with an iClone 4 logo.  Not 7.  Not 6.  Not even 5.  Way back in iC4.

So...  will these motions work on "all" characters?  Or only specific generations?

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/429dfc57-7056-4f50-bdd3-e3c9.jpg

I'm interested in this because I have a tendency to do way too much manual animation (and I'm not going to spend big money on MoCap anytime soon.)  I thought maybe this would help me sort of force myself to work in a more productive fashion.  But I know there are differences between various generations of characters, especially when it comes to textures and stuff, so I don't want to spend money on this if it's not going to be usable on new characters that I'd make in CC3.
By justaviking - 2 Months Ago
Horray!

Andrew Price (Blender Guru) has release his new "Donut Tutorial" for Blender 2.8.  Yay!!!

For anyone who needs to get comfortable with the new Blender interface, including Blender newbies, this should be fantastic.

I'm really looking forward to going through the new 2.8 tutorial to help me relearn some Blender stuff and to get comfortable with the new interface.




Here is my product from his original (and famous) Donut Tutorial.

The spout on the coffee cup is a bit nonsensical.  I wanted to see if I could make a hollow spout, and I succeeded.
I also applied a nice diffuse texture to the table cloth and added a bit of a wrinkle to it.


https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/46bb16e3-9f40-4e3b-9e37-7b51.jpg
By Kelleytoons - 2 Years Ago
It's not the coding that's the issue, but the database.  They are suggesting it's a pretty huge database (which is kind of how neural networks work).  My guess is that if this ever was to get into production the cost would be to hook into their database (i.e. the game would link into that database so they could get money for each use).  In any case, it really has zero application to iClone.
By Rampa - 2 Years Ago
The source code is available for that locomotion system. So maybe! Smile
By justaviking - Last Year
A severe lack of movies being produced on my computers.

A bit of Blender, Substance Designer, Substance Painter...

Making some simple props, but hopefully with a reasonable level of quality.
I consider this a "medium" quality prop in my opinion.  You can see the facets, especially on the table top, so not "high," and definitely not a "hero" prop.
But I'm reasonably happy with the "bronze" materials I made.  For some reason, the circular on was much more trouble than I anticipated.

I'm making a couple other objects, and the bronze material is a much closer match on those reference pictures.  I actually had fantastic match of this table's base, but it was the result of a fair amount of tweaking in Substance Painter, and I decided I didn't want different materials for objects that "should" be part of a matching set.

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/c02880e4-e5b6-420e-a0e1-59d8.jpg

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/4dfa4fd9-b083-4d41-8468-c702.jpg
By SeanMac - 4 Months Ago
@justaviking
Yeah - thanks for the examples.

SeanMac
By justaviking - Last Year
Wow!!!

This is a very amazing behind-the-scenes "animation" video.  I've seem some "Planet of the Apes" videos before, but not this one until today.


The whole thing is amazing, but near the end, shortly after the 22-minute mark, they show how they go about animating the face.  They already talked quite a bit about how the manually translate the "human" facial capture into "ape" animation, since you can't do a literal direct transference because things would look wrong.  But here they talk more about that manual process.... First the eyes, eyebrows, then the jaw, then they start layering on more an more detail.  Take a look that their curve editing track.  Yipes!
By TonyDPrime - 2 Years Ago
justaviking (11/30/2017)
@Gerry - Thanks for the interesting resource.  I haven't gotten a good look at it yet, but I look forward to delving into it more deeply.

@Tony - I would say there are some generalities, mostly along demographic lines, such as where people were born and raised.  Those generalities tend to be include cultural differences that go with those demographics that tend to affect politics, food, and other such preferences.  More of a factor at work, though, is people's employment background and job function.  People who work in finance, project management, manufacturing, maintenance, engineering, sales, etc., seem to fall into different viewpoints and perspectives, some of which are justified by their responsibility to the company.  I find that those differences to be the ones that make it easier or more challenging to work with someone.  I spent many years as an "outside consultant" and I often found myself bridging gaps within the companies where I consulted, and putting aside any humility, I often helped "translate" between internal organizations and healed many long-running conflicts by deciphering what people "meant" as opposed to what was "heard" by those across the table.  Lots of re-wording and many analogies often helped break down communication barriers.  But I've never had race or gender be an actual obstacle I've had to overcome.

@Schemer - Hmm, lopsided ears.  Now I have something to look for tomorrow.  Tongue

@Animagic - Nice work on the avatar.


Sounds like you were the Ambassador!

By Spiny Norman - Last Year
I jumped on the IClone bandwagon with Iclone 5' and a feature project, I had had hanging around since my film making days. I was 7 minutes into it, when budgeting revealed that my costs for professional voice actors would amount to, at the least $7000….

(amateur voices…amateur acting! The End.)

(Sad smiley face.)

(I am saving up…)

My only interest is in long form/or 'extraordinary' short form projects. So at present, I am working on a script based on a 12 page short story. As the story was a first person recollection, I am having to change everything to a third person perspective. I am not so much re-writing, as writing the stuff that my character thought was unimportant to his perception of what he thought was happening to him. There are only 2 characters so voices are no longer a problem…I am 3 pages into the story, 4 pages into the script and 8 minutes into the project ( …the story has a slow build like 'Chinatown' or Taxidriver'…where, by the time you understand what is going on, it's already  too late.). I am hoping to bring this in at around 60'ish minutes….but if it flies like I think it might…it may run longer?..

Here is a completed segment of my first ever IClone' project, (started in 5, tweaked in 6, abandoned…because of production issues….See above.) …the sound is shit…and there is much that needs tweaking…but I can't wait till I have the $$$ to get my voices….(justaviking, get all those others from our previous posts to have a look…This is what I am trying for…and better,,,) I have had a problem with IClone ever since I added Faceware, and have been unable to do anything… I have been waiting 2 weeks and still no solution! Am I pissed?...where else can you go……………………………………angry. A bit.

 But can you go the whole hog?  Of course... As Windows loves to say…Where do you want to go to today?.. I can't speak for anyone else, but I create worlds…I just wish my operating system and my software would let me get on with that?…


By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Yeah, and this is *EXACTLY* what I'm talking about in my own thread (but I find it dizzying to go back and forth, so I'll not revisit there).  Note how this takes the time to establish things AND (most importantly) doesn't rush anything.  No monsters come out (spoiler -- until later, much later) and we see closeups of the main character as she reacts to things.

The other thread says, in essence "well, folks won't have the patience for this".  Bullshit -- sorry, have to call it like I see it.  Folks will have the patience to watch ANYTHING if it's well done -- conversely, if it's crappy it doesn't matter how fast it is (I won't even watch 10 seconds of something that's crap).  This one is very well done.
By animagic - 3 Months Ago
Dennis, adjustments are primarily in the shoulder area, as the arms are too close to the body.

I usually adjust motions as I need them, so with all the other things that need to be done, it is not that much work.

You could probably take the motions, adjust them, and resave them, but I have never done that. 
By animagic - Last Year
mark (1/20/2018)
POOF!!TongueTongueTongue

We're not as sharp anymore. I was fooled too..Blush
By justaviking - Last Year
...and the wall.

The height difference between the base and the plateau surfaces seems a bit high in the render, and some of my details seem to be washed out.  I'll have to make adjustments.


By wires - Last Year
justaviking (10/21/2018)
A very interesting "face fitting" demonstration.  2-minutes long.


All you need to buy is Nuke - for €3,740.00 w00t
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
Gerry,

You mentioned one thing and I'm curious to do some checking from others far more knowledgeable here (my knowledge of DRM is sketchy to say the least, since I think I've bought everything in the world RL has ever sold): can't folks work on files with DRM stuff in them?  I thought that what happened was there was a watermark on the items (so no renders) but otherwise you could indeed work with them.  Perhaps I'm way off track here, though.

If the watermark is the only issue then content sharing isn't such a big deal, as the person who owns the content could do the final render.  But if there is no way to open and/or share things with watermarks, then it's obviously a bigger concern.

Nowadays, aside from CC, nearly all the assets I buy are from Daz -- just superior quality/price/theming -- and those wouldn't be an issue sharing other than morally (but a "share" for a community or group project shouldn't be a moral issue per se as long as the final render was done by the owner -- again, I'm open for discussion on this but if a set or prop is used merely as a "placeholder" for someone doing other work, I can't really even see a moral position as a problem there).

Mostly just curious -- my days of collaborating are long past.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
You did download (or maybe it comes on it) the MSI desktop management software, right?  That improves the screen considerably (I was amazed by how much).  It's for fine tuning the entire gaming experience (I like setting the color combinations on the keys).

That said, my vision is pretty piss poor for ANY laptop, which is why I always run 150% enlargement in Windows.  Doing that iClone looks fine on it (although it does look better hooked to my new external Dell monitor).

It's interesting how software makers cripple their demos.  Anima won't let you run two instances, which is a bummer, but you can run the "free" version (or the "lite" version, whichever you want to call it).  But you can't use more than one custom character (I think -- some kind of limitation like that).  Why they don't just cripple the output is beyond me (beyond the 4 second output cripple, that is) because then I could use it on my laptop and set up my scenes but then use my desktop version to export.  But NO, they want me to buy another license for that even though I can't possible USE another license at the same time.

More and more I admire Blender...
By Kelleytoons - 2 Years Ago
Good for you -- immediate feedback is one of the hallmarks of scripting, and one that accelerates the learning curve.  I wish I had had that kind of ability back when I first started programming (we used punch cards and had to wait UNTIL THE NEXT DAY to even know if our program had run, let alone what it did.  OTOH, it leads to pretty rigourous hand checking techniques).
By justaviking - Last Year
I really enjoy reading comments from people who have "real" experience in film and animation industries.  Guy, KT, and others.
Thank you for so generously sharing your insights with us.

Regarding KT's comment about taking advice...
1) As he said, the criticism (advice) of people he trusted.  Very important, that word "Trust."
2) I should find this actual quote, but I'm 98% sure it came from a Star Trek series ("The Next Generation?)...  It was approximately like this...  "One of the benefits of being Captain is being able to ask for advice, but not necessarily having to take it."  That's my approach with writing and many other tasks, whether I am the one giving or receiving the comments.  It's good to consider the input, but then the author/animator/artist must take his own decision.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
mtakerkart (2/28/2018)
Just my 2 cents :
I confess today I've a dilema with this new Reallusion tools and with the upcoming CC3 , there are tremendous and I don't want to waste and underutilize their potential,
which in my case places the bar very high which will require more time and energy.... I'm waiting for June to start and even they announce a next update with motion blur or
volumetric light the start will stay at the CC3 release. I have no excuse not to do cool pictures Tongue


Beautifully expressed and sums up my feelings quite a bit -- CC3 for me answers a few questions I was having with going forward so, yes, come later this year (not June, I'm sorry to say my friend.  Try October or November if we are lucky, and early next year if not) we'll have answers that have kept some things from going forward.  After that -- no real excuses.

By 4u2ges - Last Year
While I am adapted to rendering with full view-port size and DSR and afraid the *fixing* would take away known advantages (DSR + anti-aliasing OFF = speedup render+best quality), the issue eventually needs to be addressed by RL.
I am also a sucker for a good test and was quite surprised by test results from IllusionLab.
That's why I decided to use a Loft scene for testing (I am pretty sure rendering Courtyard would have given similar outcome).

GPU - 1080Ti

First, the render time. No need to comment. All info is within the screenshots
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/5b1e17ae-0881-4385-9145-598c.jpg
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/7d110848-43f3-4ced-be82-c4b2.jpg
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/2b4cd3b3-b42c-4cd9-ada6-0ea2.jpg
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/5f97381c-72c2-4e79-9724-92ff.jpg


The last screenshot was rendered after switching  Display screen resolution to 4K. My monitor supports up to 2k, so I had to enable 4.00x DSR factor in Nvidia 3D settings to be able to switch to 4K
I used all default render settings for the given scene and I only wanted to show part where you may see how the anti-aliasing and light leaks are affected by different view-port resolution.

Note: rendering a *still* provides an inconclusive data. The best would be of course to render an animation, then compare and see the advantages and disadvantages of each particular test for different projects.
There is much more components to analyses and talk about when is comes to animating a scene under different view-port size/resolution (DOF, GI flickering, glow, opacity maps, etc...).

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/4a1a317b-d458-4bb7-9e77-c575.jpg
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/d77112f4-6d16-4373-a3e5-027d.jpg
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/85389bf6-807a-4470-8db8-3a9a.jpg
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/e29fcec9-d41b-496c-ae7b-0855.jpg


I rarely render 4K. And for 2K, I get the best possible render result (animation quality and render speed) with DSR 4x and super-sampling OFF. Specifically it helps a lot to overcome annoying GI flickering.
A drawback rendering with DSR however, is that objects with dense opacity maps (hair for instance) may in some cases produce horrid artifacts.
But don't take my word on it  - do experiment. As you can see from IllusionLAB's test, the outcome would vary and could be exact opposite.
By Rottenham - Last Year
This is the kind of topic I've been looking for. I've subscribed. Be seeing you.
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago

I Try Not to Stare

...but...

People are Strange




Sometimes when I'm sitting in a conference room at work, and the meeting starts to drag on a bit, I find myself looking at people.  Then I think about making them in Character Creator.  And that's when I come to the conclusion that if I was able to make faithful reproductions of some the people I see around me, people here would laugh and mock the avatars.

Consider the eyebrows.  They are all over the place.  Low ones.  High ones.  Slanted ones (like Spock in the original Star Trek pilot episode).  Some are not much more than a tuft of fuzz near the area above the nose (whatever you call that area).  The females tend to be much more creative than the males (who at most, might trim them).  Some women shave off the natural ones (I'm sure) and then paint on fake ones.  Some are obviously fake, and would look like very bad art work in Character Creator.  Some are high and arched, leading to a look of perpetual surprise! (Or maybe a nod to the McDonald's golden arches logo.)

A number of men are bald (naturally or not), and some have very shiny heads.  It seems more noticeable on the the black guys, but several of the white guys are pretty shiny too.  One of the black guys, I swear, puts car wax on his head.  If I made an avatar with a head that reflective, nobody would believe it.

And basic things, like the shape of the head.  This is most noticeable on the bald guys, of course.  Some almost have a ridge, running front-to-back, with flat sides, like a roof.  Some are lumpy and not even symmetrical (much like Linus, in the Peanuts cartoons).  I've see a couple that are amazingly round, like Charlie Brown.  Even on people with hair, the forehead can be nearly vertical or drastically slanted back.

One guy, from the side, had the flattest back of the head I've ever seen.  From the base of the neck to the peak of his head (yes, the highest part of his head might have been very close to the back.)  From the side, I swear, he looked like the statues on Easter Island.  I was so tempted to try and take a photo, because if I ever made an avatar with a head shaped like that, you'd never believe it.

Then you get into chins and necks.  Very few people (at least where I live) have a flat, horizontal area under their chin.  At least not after the age of 20.  Even in-shape and thin people tend to have that chin/neck area that is more of a 45-degree angle that goes from the chin to below the Adam's apple.

And, yes, there is no shortage of overweight people.  Necks.  They would be very difficult to model and get to behave correctly.

The amazing thing is, they are not freaks.  The beautiful variety of people is a wonderful thing that enriches our world, but so many of our "normal" avatars fall into a very narrow range with limited variation in shapes and sizes.




Yup, some meetings drag on and on, so my mind wanders.  I find myself looking at people, textures and surfaces, shapes, lighting (even in conference rooms).  Sigh....

I've been thinking of writing this for many days (off and on), and finally decided to write it and get it out of my system.

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one.  Please?

By uncwee - Last Year
justaviking (1/19/2018)I am writing in response to this post in the "Filmmaking versus Animation" thread:  https://forum.reallusion.com/FindPost354832.aspx

ANIMATING TO A SCRIPT:

In this case, I wrote the script, nearly in its entirety, before starting any significant iClone work.  So in that case, I was animating to a script.

ANIMATION CHALLENGES:

Because it involves singing to a music track, the normal audio-to-viseme method would not work - the music interfered with the words.  It also meant the text-to-speech method would not work because the speed and timing would change drastically.  My solution was to speak/chant the words into my microphone in time with the music for audio-to-viseme generation.  It still took a lot of viseme cleanup to make it better.  I think I did a pretty good job of cleaning up a few songs, and some parts turned out pretty well.  The song in this scene represents a mediocre "singing/viseme" result.  (A couple others were left in a horrible state because I of the project's deadline date.)


Thank you for pointing out your animation problems that inhibit you from (perfectly) following your "Kidnap" script.

My goal is improve my animation skill so that....(One Day I'm Handed a Script) and consistently meet deadlines.
The Pinhead projects is perfect for this.

I like the "Kidnap" story and would practice....
After blending mocap, removing the robotic animation, (Add secondary animation) and follow the script.
I'd practice the fist part and not move forward until I get it right.

IMO: Animation is the key to how well you tell any story.
There is a wealth of information on "How To's for Storytelling", but NOT for "How to Do the Animation" (with iClone)
Thank you for sharing this.

By justaviking - Last Year
uncwee (1/19/2018)

justaviking (1/19/2018)

ANIMATING TO A SCRIPT:
In this case, I wrote the script, nearly in its entirety, before starting any significant iClone work.  So in that case, I was animating to a script.

When I saw this... I'd hope the justaviking thread would contain "Animation" talk of "How-To"...follow a script using iclone animation tools.
Thank You for the advice.


I hope I didn't disappoint you too badly, but you do make a good point.
Let me see if I can at least begin to partially address it, and perhaps others will join it.
(Maybe someone will even decide they have something useful enough to post that it justified starting a dedicated thread.)

First, are you animating your own script or someone else's?
And, are you animating for someone else (probably, but necessarily, the person who wrote the script) or for yourself?

Assuming you are doing this for someone else, then some for of storyboarding and/or mock-ups will be valuable.  You want to be sure you have a common vision.

Storyboard or not, you then want to assess:
- The length of the video
- The sets, environments, and props required... indoor, outdoor, number of locations
- How many characters are needed
- Are special skills needed that you haven't used before (PopcornFX, PhysX, Global Illumination, and other tools like Blender or Photoshop)
- How much time are you willing to dedicate to the project, and maybe even actual money (for props, etc.)

Then... start.
Share your work in progress (WIP) to ensure you and your "customer" are still aligned.

I'm not sure what else to say.  In general, you need to make projects.  Start small and simple.  Gradually add complexity (more/better lighting, PBR props, special effects, character-to-prop interaction, character-to-character interaction, speaking, facial animation, blending motions... the list goes on and on).  You can do all that with one and two-minute projects.  Then when a script comes along, you'll have the skills available to make nearly any movie you can envision.




AN EXAMPLE OF ANIMATING TO SOMEONE ELSE'S SCRIPT

Lastly, and I should have thought of this earlier, I have animated to someone else's script.
This was done for someone who was launching a real estate services web site, and they wanted a few introductory and explanatory videos, 30 to 60 seconds long.
We spent a fair amount of time working on the look of the spokes person... hair style, dress, body style, etc.
The wrote the script, I made a few minor suggestions (some incorporated, some rejected), and I did the animation.
This was done in iClone 6 with Character Creator.
I will say there are things I would like to do over again, and some things I would like to change, but overall it was a success.
Here is one of the 30-second spots:


That video is in a playlist:
- Videos 1-6 are 60-second clips ("Rev B")
- Videos 7 and 8 are 30-second clips
- Videos 9-14 are "Rev A" of videos 1-6
- Videos 15 and 16 include technical bloopers
- Video 16 is the very first WIP

Animation (technical) notes:
- All hand-animated.  No motion capture.  No facial capture.
- Interactions with the web pages was a fun challenge
- Issues with the hair and dress (see blooper videos) made it a challenge

Filmmaking notes:
- Originally, it was envisioned to have a much grander "fly-in" with the camera.  At least that is what I envisioned, and I think the customer liked the idea too.  But it took too much time, and for a short "web" video, it risks losing the viewer before the video even started.  You can't have the opening scene from "The Sound of Music" for a 60-second commercial.  So the opening segment was drastically shortened, which was a good call.
By Kelleytoons - Last Year
You're basically asking "how do I animate?" because whether it's body motions, or a car moving along the screen, the mechanics are the same.

With body motions you move a limb, move some amount of frames, move it again (more properly you move parts of the limb at different speeds and at different frames).  With the curve editor you set the right curves so the motion works correctly (although you *can* do this manually -- a curve editor just reduces the work and amount of keys necessary to create the proper motion.

All of this is true with or without mocap, and with or without other motions from libraries.  It's just the basics of animating, and the first thing you should learn and practice (even with just a simple sphere -- as I said, the principles are exactly the same).

There are some AMAZING books on doing all this, but the one that should be in EVERY SINGLE ANIMATOR'S POSSESSION is Richard Williams' The Animator's Survival Kit (I'll put an Amazon link to it at the end).  This book is the bible for ALL animators, and if an animator doesn't have it (or, worse, has never heard of it) I immediately know they are no animator but an amateur who WANTS to be an animator (nothing wrong with that, but if you are serious you will need this book).

I have TWO copies -- my first is basically worn out (it's fallen apart over the years) although I keep it because my notes in it I don't feel like duplicating.  I am never without one within arm's reach.

https://www.amazon.com/Animators-Survival-Kit-Richard-Williams/dp/0571202284


 
By justaviking - Last Year
wires (1/20/2018)
Me thinks that uncwee has been swooooping around here before. w00tWhistling

Funny you should mention that.  I was starting to have a bit of deja vu feeling yesterday, and it got stronger this morning.
As soon as I saw "Unable to switch (rotation) Euler to TCB and (position) Position_XYZ to Bezier," the feeling became overwhelming.
By Kelleytoons - 2 Years Ago
animagic (7/31/2017)

@Kelly: You CAN replace character textures with video (could already in iClone 5). I just tried it and you still can. Didn't it work for you?


I wish I could tell you what I was thinking or what I had tried when I couldn't do this -- perhaps I was in Character Creator (haven't tried to see if it works there) or maybe I was just hallucinating, but I could have sworn I tried to do this and couldn't and then, quite a bit later (maybe as long ago as a month) I tried it again and found out I *could* do it.  So I have no explanation (although it's nice to be able to do so).

By justaviking - Last Year
Thanks for the happy comments, Tarampa.

Here is a picture of my concentric circles with the adjustable "warp" applied:
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/c8c9f447-fc24-4f6b-9b32-8cc6.jpg




As long as I'm sharing semi-completed works, here is a sample of my towel.  At one point I had a version I really liked, then I regressed, so "some day" I'm going to have to revisit my older revisions of the substance and combine the best of all that I like.
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/f206062a-51d6-4a24-a8f8-9320.jpg

The "body" is my towel substance (the arms are someone else's material I applied while playing in Substance Painter).  You can see I made a "band" too, since a lot of towels have that shorter-looped band that goes across near the ends of the towel.

I learned that iClone does not support the "Text input" variable, so I had to complicate my substance by creating a "pick list" of monograms (A-Z, His, and Hers).  I need to write that up in Feedback Tracker one of these days.
By nealtucker - 3 Months Ago
Great info on the voice acting which is new to me so here is a question if anyone has an answer?
As an Icloner what would be the best way to capture voice and facial moves, in the videos it seems the actors act and voice their parts with freedom and then the vism and facial moves are added later to the character like I did in They Are Here, but it takes ages and is a painful process to get right, 
Would the iPhone for face and recording the voice at the same time be the best route with head moves and extra tweaking and expressions added after?
Or is there another way?
N.  
By wires - 2 Years Ago
The Lady Pirate was provided as a CC character, and an iClone character, only to those who purchased the Early Access packet. Sometime during the EA testing she turned up in a Resource Pack update, but only as an iAvatar. She was not included in the final public release of either iClone or CC.

Many assets that were provided for testing during both the Beta and EA phases were also not included in the final releases, SadCrying but if you made a Backup of all the resources then just copy the missing items over to the final version. WhistlingWink

By animagic - Last Year
Let me add my appreciation for your work, Dennis. The textures are quite lovely.

When I came to the US, I discovered that the word "toilet", quite common in decadent Europe, is frowned up on. So I had to learn to ask for the bathroom or restroom (washroom in Canada) and look for bathroom tissue in the store. Fortunately, I found what I needed before major accidents....Tongue
By justaviking - Last Year
I was looking for a different place to post this, such as one of the "Iray" and "Nvidia" threads, but wasn't finding the one I wanted.
Anyhoo...

Remember the discussions about Nvidia's AI (artificial intelligence) denoiser?

WOW!
Especially see what happens just after T=0:47.


This not necessarily restricted to Iray, but should be applicable to many other use cases too.



P.S.
I fixed the "flat pebbles" I was complaining about in my ceiling substance (see post just before this one).
By justaviking - 2 Years Ago
Thanks, Gerry.

I'm doing fine, but Pinhead was a bit distressed.
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/0a498ef9-4c4d-4d4c-a265-4129.png
Here is a close-up of the prop:
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/bd2b2902-eacb-4443-add4-fde6.png



It is amazing how many things can be discovered even by making such a simple little prop, but it made a great test-case for developing a good start-to-finish workflow.  It's still not a well-optimized asset (no pun intended), but (again, no pun intended), the number of details and steps can be amazing.
- Blender modeling
- Proper scaling
- Hidden geometry
- High-poly and low-poly meshes
- Triangulation and decimation of meshes
- Blender modifiers and edge loops and hard edges
- Doing all the above Blender stuff in an optimal sequence
- Multiple materials
- Color ID maps (especially with respect to different materials)
- FBX vs. OBJ file formats
- Scanning
- Textures and Substances
- Painting and material selection
All these things, and more, become considerations in making a high-quality prop.  This particular one does not embed everything I've been practicing and stringing together the last couple of days, but I think I have a real good handle on it.

For example, briefly, there are distinct pros and cons to using multiple materials in Blender, versus using vertex color painting to make an ID map, especially when you export to Substance Painter, and that's one of the times you really want to export as FBX rather than OBJ.  Yeah, so many moving parts.  But fun.
By theschemer - 2 Years Ago
But what about one ear lower than the other?? Tongue
By MnerosNaRa - Last Year
Dr. Nemesis (1/24/2018)
I'm currently making a 70 minute film in Iclone and it would be cool to know of any other people doing something similar. 
I check youtube everyday for new Iclone videos and I'm kinda saddened that even with the release of Iclone 7 I don't often find great examples of Iclone's capability.
To this day one of my all time favourite Iclone  videos is this one which I believe was made in Iclone 5!
Is there anyone here actively working on larger projects? Would be nice to compare notes from time to time.



Yes I am working on a project that has been taking 8 years now. I keep going back to the drawing board, and redoing stuff because Iclone keeps getting better
I have however decided not to hold back anymore as Iclone 7 is perfect atm for this project. like to a the trailer of my Project is below. Im not sure how long the film will
be but the Script is 53 pages long. Ill also add a 2nd link to a rendered scene. for some context of the scene... a guy (Jhev) is hearing voiced in his head which is starting to drive him crazy
the voice confronts Jhev taring in to his mind and pulling out secrets that jhev would rather take to his grave.
enjoy Smile




By justaviking - Last Year
Kelleytoons (1/26/2018)
I have the Yeti -- it's kind of the universal computer mic nowadays, and works very well (I constructed, for around $30, a sound box for it so I can record decent audio with it in my computer room, which otherwise has terrible acoustics).

But I also like very much the sound you can get from the portable digital recorders -- I have both a Zoom and a Tascam that produce superb sound, and can be taken anywhere.  The Zoom is what we recorded ALL our audio for for the Fox show, and it was more than adequate.


I made a "microphone box" for when I was video recording some high school theater productions.  I lined a cardboard box, inside and out, with some deep-pile carpet scraps.  Then I put a wireless microphone in the box on a stool in front of the stage and faced the open side toward the stage.  My theory was it would help block sounds from the audience and from the overhead air heating/cooling vents while I my camcorder was toward the back of the auditorium where I wouldn't be in the way of the audience.  It sure wasn't perfect, but it was a respectable improvement over using the camcorder's built-in mic when I was that far away.  Overall, it was a success for that task.

I am not familiar with them at all with Zoom and Tascam, but I'm glad to hear they worked for you.  Thanks for sharing that.

It's interesting to buy stuff like microphones and other accessories.  When you are starting out, and doing little things mostly for your own entertainment, it can be hard to "invest" in good hardware, and you don't always know where to spend money and where to minimize costs.  When you can buy a little stick "desktop" microphone for $12, at $70 microphone seems really expensive, and the $120 one merely a dream.  But as you progress in your craft, you become more and more aware of things like audio.  I am still amazed at what I can hear when I wear headphones versus my speakers.  None of my equipment is high-end audio, but listening to voice recording with the headphones on can really help you notice background hum, the sound of air vents, footsteps, rustling paper if reading from a script, and so on.  So in hindsight, even though I'm fairly happy with my Samson Meteor, I now wish I had spent extra money on the Blue Yeti.  But now it would bring my total microphone cost to around $180 since I already bought the Samson, so I'm sure I'll continue to use what I have.

In general, what affects the quality of the final product?  A faster GPU makes editing faster and more enjoyable, but a $300 GPU and a $700 GPU can usually produce the same result.  When you look back at your video 3 or 5 years from now, what will you see and hear?  Consider that, and spend accordingly.

Well, that typing took an unexpected twist.  I think I typed myself into some good advice.  I'll have to remember to heed it myself.
By justaviking - Last Year
I know there have been a couple of "movie making" threads and such, but I wasn't sure where best to share this, so I decided the easist thing was to stick it in here.

People have often mentioned the VALUE OF GOOD SOUND in iClone projects.
Here an interview with a visual effects artist who says the same thing.
I thought it was interesting that, even as a VFX specialist, he is passionate about the value of good sound.

This should start at 42:12... but apparently videos embedded in the post don't honor that.
You can manuall jump there, or utilize the line below.

https://youtu.be/XOXeRNw9XX4?t=2532