iClone7 and 3DXChange7 I have Had Enough and Why...Game Development Related Pipeline

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By The-any-Key - 2 Years Ago
A truly sad story. I start to understand that game dev animations is a hard egg to crack.

I am about to begin my own story with RL next year. Got a indie game company. And I plan to do character and mocap animations with CC and iClone and export to FBX to use in a Game maker studio 2 game. But I wont use Daz or other software and go back and forth with the models. The plan is to stick with RL software and models and maybe go a bit outside with Zbrush, but thats it.

After hearing your story, it is however a bit scary to put $2000 into this basket.
By AutoDidact - 2 Years Ago
I have read your post several times before offering my own thoughts on the issues you are having.
Sorry I too  have no TLDR version of this.

Full Disclosure: I am NOT a game developer but I am an animated film maker who uses Iclone pro pipeline Daz studio, natural motion endorphin, with  both Lightwave3D 2015 and Maxon Cinema4D as final render destinations for the animated walking& talking Daz peopleor Iclone avatars.

I am also a Daz genesis clothing developer for my own internal usage

First and respectfully, IMHO it may be a tad unfair to Say:"Just make sure your workflow matches on the In Side and Out Side in lieu of simply assuming Reallusion's tools have been thoroughly tested to automated goodness."
It is not reasonable IMHO to expect reallusion to have parsed every conceivable variable, introduced by a highly customized pipeline such as yours,or mine for that matter.

Based one what you described and My own experiences with Daz genesis models I estimate a more than 95 percent probability
that many of your problems are related  to the "over engineered"Daz Genesis model rigging and their Daz studio related dependencies that give them their "unique"  functionality within Daz studio.

It comes as No surprise to me that your team is still using the "Old" Genesis 1&2 era Models,as I only recently began using Genesis 3 in my animation pipeline after an inexplicable discovery* by another user in the Daz forum
 (* more  on that later..I promise)

There are  caveats and outright bugs in the genesis platform that typically only become apparent to us character animators.

For example: the "limits on rotation on/OFF" caveat.
My typical Motion retargeting workflow consists of importing a naked G1or G2 to Iclone 3DXchange and leaving him/her there waiting.
Over in Iclone I create my "first Pass"major body motion with a simple CC Avatar in his underwear, using the powerful motionbuilding tools of Iclone pro.
When satisfied with the shot or shots,I collect clip & send to 3DX where it retargets to the Naked Daz figure perfectly,Add to perform,export BVH after selecting hip as the root.

Open BVH file in free BVH viewer app for quick check and import to Daz studio.( Good job reallusion!!!)

Now the "problems"
The animation looks "Off "Daz studiosuch as the guy who was raising his arm at a 90 degree angle in Iclone and 3DX is now only rasing it to 70 degrees.

Reason??.. Duuh... in  the daz studio scene manager,I forgot to right click the top of the Daz genesis 1 or 2 Figure heiarchy and "select children" and then go to edit/ figure /rotation limits=OFF.
Now re-import the BVH and I get true fidelity

show stopper ?? well.. No.. but those default rotational limits on a freshly loaded Genesis figure Have ZERO logic  unless perhaps you are loading Canned poses for sexy pinup still render with DS Iray.

I also Use the Graphmate spline graph editor for my "second pass" body & hand refinement in Daz studio,again on a naked  Genesis figure at base resolution for best viewport performance in Daz studio. 

After adding  any Facial animation lipsinc with the old but venerable mimic pro3 or the Daz mimic live for G3 and higher, I save as animated pose file (duf) to be applied to the fully dressed & hair quoifed actor who will be sent to a Maxon C4D pre-lit set/environment for render as an animated mesh via .obj/MDD from animate 2.

Now Load my fully dressed actor
(TURN OFF ROTATIONAL LIMITS!!) and apply the animated .duf file I Just tweaked and saved from the naked version of him/her 30 seconds ago
and on frame one his/her lift arm ignores the motion of the saved duf file and pops to the default 90 degree angle of the "t-pose"
This bug repeats like the rising and setting of the sun.

Open Graphmate (Paid add on) and delete first key and arm returns to proper position from the saved .duf file.

Finally DAZ inc & Genesis 3& 8.
With Genesis 3 Daz added four new twist bones
(one for each limb) and  completely Broke compatibility with every BVH mocap file from the previous Daz/ poser generations
and every existing Daz aniblock from their own  nonlinear aniMate 2 system and ,for a while, the Auto recognition template for retargeting in Iclone 3DX until RL updated it for version 6.xx.
( we 3DX users still had the option of a manual remapping
and saving the template of course).

But so what?? until the recent version of DAZ studio 4.10
Genesis 3 would NOT accept her own BVH files in Daz studio created with her OWN rig in Iclone/3Dxchange nor from a characterized version of her from the mighty Autodesk Motionbulder.

Before DS 4.10, Anyone wishing to move "up" G3 would have to abandon his/her entire library of motion files& sources from as far back as the  Daz Mike and Vicky 2 days
To add  Orwellian insult to injury they later promoted Genesis 8 as
 "The most backward complatible daz figure in history"

When we demanded to know why the extra limb bones?? 
 their forum moderators would  all parrot a canned response of 
"that is how the pro applications handle limb twisting".


After two years of  scathing criticism by myself and the other two animators in the Daz community, an animator named wendy accidently applied an animated duf file created with the original genesis 1
to a genesis 3 figure and it worked!!

Yes... animated duf files created with genesis one will work on G3 and even G8 after you apply a freely available T-pose morph to G8 to undo the  Default "A-pose".
Only a G1 duf file!!. Not a G1 BVH from Iclone or duf from Genesis 2

Daz had two years to shut up us LOUD complainers by saying:
"If you guy/gals are such character animation pros ,why have you not noticed that  a Genesis 1 animated Duf file works with G3/8"
They said nothing because they knew nothing, as this was an animation issue and their  target demographic are the digital content hoarders from the still render hobbiest community who buy from thier store.

Your problems may be All be Iclone pipeline related.
The DAZ genesis Models ,even with their bugs, offer a single man, animated visual storyteller like myself alot a instant versatility
particularly for the sci fi genre in which I work.

However I would be curious to know of any  Commercially successful  game titles made using Daz genesis models in the character pipeline.
By AutoDidact - 2 Years Ago
Thanks for taking the time to share all of this
detailed info about your animation pipeline
.I hope you get your remaining major hurdles sorted ASAP.
I admit that alot of your process is wayyy over my head not being a game dev myself ,But I am always fascinated to hear detailed descriptions of the multi application,character animation pipelines of others as they always present opportunities for me to learn something

I have been watching the development of the Character tools for Unity
such as Umotion and Final Ik etc with great interest

 We have so many options today.. A very exciting time indeed!!!

By OlanderDA - 2 Years Ago
For the sake of closure on this Reallusion did not offer up any advice or solutions to this. Not really an issue but Stand Sure Studio (my company) solved this.
We are still using iClone7/3DXChange7 for the animation tool of choice. We love it even though it has some really strange gotchas and 'what really?' type stuff in it.
I decided we need to treat it exactly the same as we do with the game engines...just do things that are already in place and not going to break something (a thumb in the eye of Unity 5/2017/2018 here).
So that is what we did. The original TL,DR below is still 100% valid and will cause a lot of headaches. 
Read about it here (the great news):

Hello All. Some know me here (especially on the CC3 Beta side). Warm Welcoming Wave to you folks.

Sorry...No TLBigGrinR version. Not really possible...and if you are not interested in reading and seeing the underlying issues in this software platform then simply move along. Cannot help whom don't want help/info. I am typing this (on a Sunday morning...4.5 hrs total) at the benefit of all who really want to know before (or after) sinking $1,000 US plus into a Real-Time Rendering Pipeline (which means a Game Engine or Motion Engine using 'A Pipeline'...take your choice).
*I put the Unity Tools we use at the bottom of all this...excellent tools.

Unbiased Opinion and Known Workflow Facts:
Okay...so first things first. I am a self funded game developer. I have a few employees and we are doing what we can to make a framework that will be at least a 10 year venture to handle all the game play....this includes animations and a lot of standardization. iClone7 (iClone5 originally) was supposed to be this software to handle ALL standardization of animations on a consistent skeleton. This would help Modders as well to build and adapt animations to the game engine prepared through a specific Unity Asset Bundle. Works. At least the process does. iClone7 'Appears To Work' but has some serious issues when it comes to Real-Time/Game Development.

The information/pics shown below is valid up to: November 18, 2018  (relative to all iClone7 and 3DXChange7 versions...as far as I can tell)
We noticed this issue in mid October and took us quite awhile to solve where the issue is actually coming from. Not certain there will be an easy fix for this either...maybe RL will magic wand this but I doubt it.
I did make a Reallusion Feedback Tracker on the 3DXChange7 conversion issue....but I think the issue is more systemic than that since our company viewpoint is based upon many underlying issues.
Issue 5404
DAZ G2 Male and Female Shoulder Conversion Issue

Here is my first Reallusion Forum Post...which is an Unbiased opinion of iClone7 Pipeline (and also CC2 at the time). I really do like the iClone7 software. Easy enough and looks good (the team likes it as well). It is in fact the small things iClone7 and 3DXChange7 does that just stomach punches my team then kicks us in the teeth. This software is not inexpensive (Pipeline and to get the Most out of it needs paid addons with Export Versions) but if a software like this works then it saves time and makes animators and us happy. So I would happily buy Pipeline Licenses for all computers at the office. Reallusion's loss here.

For why I do not add CC3 here as well....well here are a couple Youtube Videos from a really solid guy that sums up all the screen shots and words I can type perfectly. CC3 is simply a cool showcase and perhaps characters to be rendered within iClone7 but definitely not game ready pipeline production ready. There are many issues that need convoluted workarounds to get CC3 to work properly in any game engine. We said it in Beta and I'll say this again...CC3 is just not ready for Prime Time. However, Reallusion is not my company and they can do whatever they want. Reputation is paramount though...and this Real-Time Visual Book Developer (Me and my team) will not Help or Recommend iClone5/6/7 for any other Game/Real-Time productions. We have some excellent workflows that I could share if fully integrated into this software suite to help others.
VirtualRealities.school  has some great videos with lots of various workflows and really solid opinions on lots of character platforms as well. Well worth watching for anyone wanting to do Real-Time Animation and Rendering in Unity (similar workflows into UE4). Give this guy some likes. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVnaxNPvGCOlj4WW6aj1MNA/videos
Character Creator 3 has finally arrived: First Impressions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZp0a1kbheA
Character Creator 3: Using LODs and Merge Materials in Unity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCypSg3Kz0I

And a great RL Forum Post on CC3 to Unity Workarounds as well as a number of Underlying Issues encountered:  (We are not the only ones =) )  Our workflows differ a little on the CC3 side of things but all in all...Apples to Apples.

What is really important to note about CC3 is that ONLY the expression Blendshapes are exported and usable in the Skinned Mesh Renderer. This means that changing Blendshapes must be done in iClone7 and cannot be done in a character system within the game engine (of choice). This is hugely problematic since most modern 3D Character Systems at least have some facial adjustments at character creation. To compensate for this various versions must be made and selected. Older MMOs do this sort of thing (GW2, LoTRO, SWTOR...etc) but more modern (2007+) RPGs (Mass Effect, Skyrim, Fallout4..etc) allow some facial and body customization. So for a Very Modern 2018 CC3 not to behave 'More Like' DAZ Studio in Exporting Blendshapes is just....WTF? Wow...Really? I mean...Reallusion tout themselves as The Animate Your DAZ Genesis Characters company....and we end up with CC2/3.

Software Versions:

So why this post anyhow? Two reasons.
1 - To learn from our mistakes when using a software platform like this. Just open the eyes a bit and look more deeply than just the various iClone6/7 videos showing conversion and easy animation processes. It is indeed easy but once you actually take this software into production the real issues surface. These are not small/minor issues.

2 - To give Reallusion some sort of public feedback on using their software in Actual Production. We are actually trying to use this as a seamless tool to Unity 2018 using Humanoid Mecanim (issues in UE4.20 as well...related). We also do contract work in UE4 and had to manually fix a lot of issues once exported from iClone7/3DX7. So why on earth use a software that does animation only to have to fix the animations once exported to resolve issues with skeleton transform issues? What? Why? Really?

Here is what set this to action.....after our happy team had more than 1800 animations (about 70%) processed and converted into iClone7 (we also fix animations before adding to iMotion Libary). Now we started exporting FBX (Individual Files) and importing into Unity (2018.2.14) and applying iClone7 animations to our Animation Controller. We noticed something with the animations that just seemed a little off. Not much but 'Just Off'....they just do not 'Look' like they do in iClone7....and this is what we found.

- We have a Custom G2 Female and Male (both are 32k tris) that has been Re-Rigged in DAZ to the G2 Skeleton (G1 and G2 both animate the same in regards to Real-Time Engine). So basically our G2 Female and Male are deemed as 'Clothing' that attached via the Clothing and Attachments system I made in Unity. This system works flawlessly for LOD and Animation. Also will give Modders really easy Body/Clothing features later. The bodies do not have Blendshapes (faces do though) but there are a number of them that are selectable in the character menu (Guild Wars 2/LoTRO/SWTOR...etc do similar). So we thought....perhaps this is the issue? Nope.

- We also tried a Default G2 Female (with the same Blendshapes Baked into the mesh...Apples to Apples Comparison). Same issue.

Here is the G2F 'Clothing' showing the rig in DAZ 4.10 Pro. This is in the Default G2 Female Pose in Lieu of our Custom Fitting and Animation Pose.

To iClone7 via 3DXChange7 process (2011 Binary is per the Reallusion Videos...same results are attained via 2012, 2013, 2014 Binary...but since 2011 is stated as supported we stick with this to iC7)

Here we see the import results into 3DXChange7. I guess this has always been this way through all 3DX7 versions. Perhaps even in older versions. Not certain. All the animations are using this same model in iClone7 to animated from (Standardization). You can also see here the T-Pose has been converted to the iClone7 iAvatar Format so it behaves like a CC# iClone# character/avatar. This is fine since we are ONLY interested in Standardized Animations.
Here you can see our Custom Character has been Converted and Posed in iClone as an iAvatar. This is what we use to animate everything. (1 Female and 1 Male). Again we are using a 'Fit' and 'More Muscular' character so the animation spacing works correctly for the other body styles as well. You can see here the Shoulders (feet have issues too...but much more common) do not look bad at all....really easy to miss. Especially since the animations are all done zoomed out looking at the full model for most things. The next picture will make it absolutely clear where the issue is.
Here is what is happening in Unity. This is just a standard new Unity project to make certain nothing is interfering with the process. From the Unity standpoint all clear....meaning no bugs in the Rig Button and Mecanim.
The Right figure is the DAZ G2 Female with Morphs Base Resolution (Blendshapes) baked into the mesh (not changeable in Skinned Renderer)
The Center figure is our Custom Clothing G2F (it has separate pieces as well...not just 1 mesh with multiple materials)
The Left figure is the DAZ G2 Female after coming from 3DXChange7. We are not interested in the Mesh here...we are interested in the Animations from THIS skeleton....meaning ALL the transforms! All three left arms have been rotated to 75.0 degrees to illustrate why the Animations and Skinning are an severe issue.

To add to this...any Breast Bone animation is lost during the 3DXChange7 conversion process. So any custom animations done in DAZ Studio with Graphmate and Keymate then imported into 3DXChange7 the breast animations are lost. There are no controls for the Breast Bones (great for Female and Male by the way) in iClone7. So where did the bones go and why is there no support for this. At worst case provide the Blendshapes for export so they can be moved by 'Jiggly Mesh' which has it's own issues but at least possible. Nope...neither option. No way to fix this one either....the bones are simply not there.

Another rather large issue in using iClone7 is that if you load in your Blendshapes (morphs) for DAZ Genesis 1/2/3/8 Export and bring that directly into Unity/UE4 you will see them in the Skinned Mesh Renderer. Now import this DAZ 1/2/3/8 character and have 3DXChange7 convert it to the iClone7 iAvatar Non-Standard Character. With iC7 Pipeline I have prepared these characters with the RL DAZ Extension which sets a pose and adds animation to the timeline. This all transfers perfectly so facial animation can happen in iClone7....with say Reallusion's facial and mocap software (paid addons). Great right!? Wrong! Say you do all your facial animation and body animation and decide to Export your characters out of iClone7 and into your Real-Time Rendering and Animation Software (ie Game Engine) to make Real-Time Movies/Videos/Games....and we then get the character(s) set up and ready to connect in the Blendshapes for....hmmm....only the Expression/Phonemes are in there. Where did all the other Blendshapes go? Scour through docs...videos....waste more time....hmm....no mention.

So what Reallusion simply does not tell us is that Yes they Support DAZ but ONLY the Expressions will be included in the FBX Export Pipeline from iClone7/3DXChange7. Yeah....they support DAZ but only as converting them to iAvatar which seems to strip everything out of the original FBX. I guess in hind sight....expected? Still this is not explicitly stated anywhere....especially on or near the purchase option on Reallusion. Here is what you need to know prior to purchasing....explicit right? Nope...not even close. So basically....purchase and figure all this out the Hard Way....like we did.

So our only option with iClone7 is simply do animations....and now....we cannot even do that.

What are we left with now? A MASSIVE time sink into a software that we can no longer trust. It updates often and the nuances between these minor version slew bugs around to different spots. Again, this software pipeline looks and feels great! Easy to use and does some amazing stuff to make animation easy. For Unity there are a couple of alternatives that we are in the process of using/fixing all iClone7 (70%) and the rest...perhaps even scrapping the iClone7 animations since we have to fix them and just fix the originals to our 'G2 Skeleton' system and make new animations that we made in iClone7 and that are still on our list.

Tools we are using to Great Success Now (To bad for UE4):
Lip Sync Pro: assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/animation/lipsync-pro-32117
      Amazing Tool for Blendshape Animation and Audio Lip Sync. Incredible. The Eye Movement Controller included is very well done. Of Note CC3 characters lip sync really well with this tool.
Very Animation: assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/animation/very-animation-96826
      This tool works a lot like iClone7....meaning even I can use it. =)
UMotion: assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/animation/umotion-pro-animation-editor-95991
      I have to admit this tool is waaay over my head. My animator likes it for some things but also mainly uses Very Animation to do the 'heavy lifting'. This tool offers Maya/Blender type of tooling.

And that is enough. We at Stand Sure Studio have 'Had Enough' of a beating from the iClone7 Suite of Software. We are done with this nonsense. We are bitter. This was truly a painful and time consuming process. Reallusion really let us down with this. Originally is was iClone5 but we quickly found out that Pro would not do what we needed but also the software just was not capable 'yet'. iClone7 is indeed capable but the beating we have taken on this is just frustrating. I get it...we get it...especially my college girl gets it....No 3D Animation Software is perfect...we have to learn to use a variety of tools to make things happen. iClone7 is one of these suites that looks like it will solve/smooth a very nice pipeline....even their In & Out Suite is named aptly 'Pipeline'. This Pipeline must work though...start to finish. If it breaks down in the middle it is no longer a Pipeline.

On the UE4 side of things for our contract work we are still investigating a good workflow to use Unity 2018 as the Animator and export this to UE4. Looks to be very possible. Working in tests....but definitely not automated. I will not hand out the workflows on this either....so do not bother asking. =)  Sorry...have to have some proprietary secrets. =)

My hope is that Reallusion does take some REAL time to sit down and ACTUALLY make a Pipeline Workflow that does more than just having Kai slap through the process (great videos Kai! ). The stuff we are talking about here is down deeper and needs to be seriously analyzed. I believe this to be very fixable if due analysis is taken. Yes this takes time but the end result is...well...happy customers that purchase your software suites then tell others to do the same. So do yourself a favor Reallusion and get your workflow issues for Pipeline 'worked' out. You lost a previously pleased customer here but perhaps future customers will not have to go through this mess. Also remember that you are actually competing with Unity, UE4, Lumberyard...etc for Real-Time Rendering Movies/Videos and DAZ Studio (primarily) for a Real-Time Rendering HD Quality Character Creator System. So get your software right!

Don Anderson (aka Olander)
Stand Sure Studio
By OlanderDA - 2 Years Ago
Thanks @Peter (RL). We really do love iClone7 and 3DXChange7 so hopefully you folks can figure this out (we cannot wait). DAZ G1/2 is not a new skeleton so either this has been the case for some time or something new in iClone7.#

@The-any-Key  Actually these Game Engines are much more now than the old days of very specific proprietary tools. Both Unity and UE4 handle animation re-targetting amazingly well...they have some really talented people who know how 'bones' are supposed to animate within their ecosystem. Then top on all the yummy frosting on how fast and good they are at rendering from Toon to HD and the mouth drops open to gawk at. They do require lots of various skills to use though....some easy...but 3D characters are a pain in the arse.

DAZ G1 and G2 both use the same skeleton so they animate the same (they animate really well...much better than G3 and G8. CC2&3 both animate really well too). We use G1 for creatures and special race characters and G2 F & M for the human/elf/halfling characters. Since we need the facial blendshapes in Unity (and UE4) for most characters there is no going back and forth. We have the OBJ meshes in Blender that we are using like ZBrush. We get the seams exactly where we need them and the UVs settled then import back into DAZ Studio to be Auto Rigged and Skinned to the G1/G2...now they are essentially fully rigged clothing items. Hugely beneficial because now these models can use the amazing DAZ tools to fit clothing and all sorts of items too....CC3 does this same thing via the OBJ process so this is a really good ecosystem process as well.

I guess the main thing is....we are agreeing...very little back and forth. Even though our team is bitter about this...iClone7 Pipeline is an awesome software ecosystem. If going the ZBrush to CC3-iClone7 route then just make certain to check your model BEFORE and AFTER the 'iClone7' process so you don't end up like we did. If we would have done this test originally we would not have lost all the time and frustration. That is the point of this entire forum posting. Just make sure your workflow matches on the In Side and Out Side in lieu of simply assuming Reallusion's tools have been thoroughly tested to automated goodness.

Side note...we purchased Akeytsu after watching their tutorials (and a couple of Vidi's videos...awesome Great work @Vidi). Amazing tool and really easy animation, rigging, and skinning...very polished and works perfectly. Their QC is amazing. It does not carry blendshapes yet on the FBX but for $180 US it is inexpensive and good to support their company! Our animator likes it so it is a nice tool to create animations from scratch. Since I am a code and system tools guy I will stick with the in Unity tool Very Animation. I still think CC3/iClone7 could be the character creator for everything 3D Motion related once RL gets these things worked out.

By Peter (RL) - 2 Years Ago
Hi Olander

Thank you for the feedback. We do appreciate you taking the time to share your views with us in such a detailed breakdown.

I have passed this to the iClone / CC team for them to review. Obviously it may take a little time to digest all the points you raise but if I have any feedback from them I will update again.
By OlanderDA - 2 Years Ago
@AutoDidact  Read the entire thing. =)  Thanks for the reply and great to have a dialogue. I had my animator read it as well. You are well respected in the DAZ and RL forums. Actually I am surprised you are now using G3. =)

I actually have to disagree with you about the RL testing the In and Out of the model/animation. =)  Not you have that happen before right? hehe. When the model is Auto Detected as a G2 (in this example) then those scripts need to be set up so that bones are in the same places when converted. As example Unity's Mechanim and UE4's Skeleton Tools don't change the bone mapping transforms. They are perfect. So there is no excuse for 3DXChange7 to change the shoulder area bones when remapping to RL-CC# skeleton. So indeed this is an issue. Our Out methods go in different directions so perhaps that is part of the difference. Again, great to have the dialogue.

We don't use DAZ Studio for animation...for a few things we start with poses over a couple of frames then blend the poses in iClone7. This gives a great visual of where the animation is supposed to flow. I have both Graphmate and Keymate in DAZ which are really the needed if any type of animation (AniBlocks/Timeline) are to be done. You stated so yourself in the DAZ forums. We found DAZ Animation to work but is really interesting when exporting. Also the animation files really need a lot of cleaning (my animator and other sources explain this as well). So we simply just do the start-middle-end poses and export those. You are using the BVH technique which is really slick...but our motion engine is Unity. It is a hybrid Game/Visual Book with (7) 67km2 maps all with realistic weather, wind, day/night, fog...etc....all in real time. So framing in a movie via a rendering capture system is not going to work. Side note is to capture video we actually use 1920x1080 PNG at 30 or 60 per second then combine them to render a video from the in game camera. Cool tech.

Before all of this CC2 and CC3 stuff (which is another reason why I purchased iClone7) is to see if there is a different 'Standardized Skeleton' we can use to run all of our animations on in lieu of DAZ G1/G2. We have Mixamo, a few Unity Asset Store, Maya LT HumanIK, and now our iClone7 customs & converted. I am not an animator but I hired one and what we did find is that DAZ G1&2 and CC2 skeletons all animated great in Unity and with a little extra work in UE4 as well (CC3 now makes UE4 a snap). We had troubles with DAZ G3 & G8 because of the intermediary 4 new twist bones that re-targetting systems really have trouble with. DAZ would not work either....I guess until this new 4.10 version...which we never went back to check animations as well. Thanks for the info!

So we actually REALLY want to use the CC2/CC3 skeleton and framework. I am awesome at textures so the new CC3 textures did not phase me at all. My college girl hated the CC3 Male's feet (terribly modeled!! That lad needs some serious surgery. =) ) but overall we were both on board with CC3. LOD issues could be manually managed out of CC3. It could work....the killer of CC3 is, blendshape naming of the expressions and phonemes, and then no facial shaping blends being exported. So RL definitely has the tech to export blends in the FBX export but no other shapes....with zero explanation as to some reason not to. We really only need about 25 facial blends to give some customization. Lip Sync Pro does really well with CC3 so facial voice animation is smooth as butter. So we were left with a tough decision....fix CC3 after export in Blender to add facial blends or stick with DAZ G1 & G2. We did a side by side animation test and essentially they are equal....so we stuck with DAZ. And thusly...we never noticed the shoulder conversion issue until the bitter rant above (the nude DAZ G2 model shown in the pictures is already broken with the 3DXChange7 import  conversion....which changes the transforms). The one thing we did note in our workflow is that once we leave DAZ the model does not return (outside of the initial re-rigging of the model OBJ from Blender).

And a little side info....we did a test on CC3 with a slew of our animations in iClone7 and as expected there are no shoulder glitches and the skeleton re-targets in Unity's Mecanim just fine. I knew this would work too based on all of our CC3 Beta dedicated 'Hard-Core Break the F-ing' thing testing we did for RL. We hammered the heck out of it in every nook and cranny for a workflow for a Real-Time HD Motion Engine (Unity/UE4/Lumberyard/Godot all tested). We know where it will break and what we have to do to get it to work. We liked it and the iClone7 workflows. Seriously.

At the end of all of this we are discussing as to whether simply making a metric ton of head/face templates then selecting them via a slider (MMOs do this as mentioned above). Not the first time this has been discussed but now this is serious with all the animations already converted in iClone7 and many exported to Unity. I can change the tools easy enough and it does simplify things on syncing up the blends so the vertex don't hiccup during frame shifts during heavy loading. Perhaps it may be the better option in the end. We all love iClone7 and how it works....so we are discussing.

Sheesh...I type fast but another TLDR opportunity. Tough topic to be shallow text on though. Sorry. Thanks again for great info.
By OlanderDA - 2 Years Ago
Indeed. Exciting times. Software development is really getting there.

Okay....really short! =)  but with pics! Very interesting QC Test Results!
So this morning over the first cup of coffee I decided to expand upon the 3DXChange7 transform changing issue on 'some bones'. This is me doing the tests as well then linking up a walk cycle to make sure the Mecanim Bone Mapping transferred properly. I am not showing the walk cycle pic but showing what is happening on G3F and G8F as well. Looks to be a 3DXChange7 conversion issue....as expected.

So here is the first rub....this test took me 32 minutes start to finish....opening up Unity, Blender, iClone7, 3DXChange7, DAZ Studio 4.10, Loading in the models and exporting and importing. An additional 15 minutes to place text and arrows on the screenshots. So...it took me 47 minutes to test this stuff. So Reallusion cannot QC this as a checklist in their own software and workflows? Really? If I did this sort of nonsense in my industrial controls and consulting work I would no longer have a business.
Bottom line is => It either works...or does not work. There is no grey area.
**Blender 2.79 shows identical results.

The test as above is to determine if the Transforms to get animation OUT OF iClone7 via 3DXChange7. This is the pipeline and iClone7 is the Catalog of 1800+ animations. So indeed 3DXChange7 Pipeline must work exactly correct IN and OUT.

Reallusion Character Creator 3 (Clothed Female). As expected this is a flawless process.
- FBX Export Directly from CC3 (Non-Orange)
- iClone7 iAvatar Animated transferred to 3DXChange7 for FBX Pipeline Export (Orange)  *I slide the Orange over just a bit for visual comparison.

DAZ Studio 2011 Binary vs 2014 Binary Export Test

DAZ Studio Genesis 3 Female (Clothed Female). As suspected...transforms are changed. I used the Reallusion DAZ Extension to set the required T-Pose and Facial DUF Keys.
- FBX Export Directly from DAZ Studio 2011 Binary (Non-Orange)
- 3DXChange7 for FBX Pipeline Export (Orange) *It is in iAvatar format here but did test an iClone7 animation on this character.

DAZ Studio Genesis 8 Female (Nude Female). As suspected...transforms are changed. I used the Reallusion DAZ Extension to set the required T-Pose and Facial DUF Keys.
- FBX Export Directly from DAZ Studio 2011 Binary (Non-Orange)
- 3DXChange7 for FBX Pipeline Export (Orange) *It is in iAvatar format here but did test an iClone7 animation on this character.

By MikeGro - Last Year

This has been an interesting and insightful thread... I have a couple of thoughts/questions and need input on something.

I’m a 1 person Game studio using Unity. I’m not an expert yet… probably just below the intermediate level. 

One can get lost in trying to figure out which tool to use… then learning how to use that tool, etc. to the point you’re always learning/researching and never doing.

So,to leverage my time… and actually get to the place of making an actual game… I gotta do a combination of picking the right tool(s) and buying assets to use…and just get on with it... so I don't get stuck in the learning/researching vortex.

When I look around the “tool universe”… you basically have Blender, Maya, 3dsMax, Cinema4D,iClone, zBrush, etc. And the high level “topics” / features (in the context of this reply) would be Rendering,Modeling, Sculpting, Animation, Rigging, Texturing, VFX, Lighting. 

So,when I break down the various topics… here is how I see it.

Rendering– I’m using Unity so rendering can be handled by Unity… so the rendering prowess of the various packages I don’t think would/should matter?

Animation– Unity has some great animation assets you can get in the asset store… they seem to work great for folks… like the “Very Animation” asset, UMotion Pro and a bunch of other ones… not to mention assets like Final IK. Also, for Unity 2020,they are redoing their animation/rigging process/tools and from what I can see and heard… they are pretty good… to awesome. So, I don't see a need to take the deep dive into learning how to do animation on some other software package.

Rigging– same as above for Animation… Unity and some of the assets in the Unity Asset Store seem to do a good job.

VFX& Lighting – I would use Unity for that… especially with what they have coming out for 2019 and 2020… in terms of the VFX & Shader Graphs… Render Pipelines… along with a ton of solid assets in the asset store. 

Texturing– I think Substance Painter is a must learn tool and software to have. It seems like it has become the industry standard and I haven’t seen any assets in the Unity Asset store that comes close to doing what Substance Painter can do and I do plan on learning how to use this tool.

Now,here’s my issue… I’m not that talented of a modeler/sculptor… so a solution to my shortcomings in this area is what I’m looking for…  a way to buy a model/asset(from the Unity Asset store or from the various sites which sells 3d models)…and use that purchased 3d model as a “base” and then edit/modify it in a software package (perhaps using iClone or Character Creator 3) to make it “my own.” And then I can take it into Substance Painter… customize it some more…and then use the finish product in Unity where I can use the animations I already have in Unity to work with it… ie. retarget animations I already have to the new model/character that I created. SO... long story short... what is the best tool/software package to do this with (edit/modify/customize already made models/3d Objects)... given all of what I said above… where the learning curve isn’t as steep as it would be using Maya,Blender, zBrush, etc. and where you don’t have to have world class talent to produce something good?

PS – on an unrelated note... and curious... where does DAZ fit into all of this? I see it mentioned on the site but not sure, other than being a place to buy models… where it fits in at?

By OlanderDA - 2 Years Ago
AutoDidact (11/21/2018)

I have been watching the development of the Character tools for Unity
such as Umotion and Final Ik etc with great interest

 We have so many options today.. A very exciting time indeed!!!

Unity and the custom Asset Store Devs are really doing some awesome things. Unity is being converted into a fully feature Cinematic and VR platform as well as a game development engine. UE4 is on top of most of the Architectural Visualization with companies restructuring to make use of this new awesome technology in Virtual Experiences. The possibilities are endless...virtual vacations and escapes (Think Total Recall)...advertising...building design...next gen industrial controls technologies (think of The Matrix Zion Control Tower).....Visual Books that play out unlimited injected storylines in fully 3d environments (this is where my company is going).

Indeed....Exciting Times. Hard as hell right now though since the tech is 'almost there'. Bleeding Edge Dev! hehe. It IS WORKING!