Generally speaking, iClone's avatar proportions are determined by the user.
I haven't had any experience playing around with non-human avatars, but I have spent a fair bit of time playing around with customising human avatars entirely within the program.
I do find the standard supplied avatars aren't overly well proportioned, but as the user you can change the individual body part proportions to make them more realistic. I spent a bit of time customising a 'celebrity' avatar that I am extremely pleased with. As Peter said you can import a face from a photo and if you spend the time fitting the face properly it's amazing how lifelike it looks. There are limitations of course, but most body proportions are scalable.
You can't really compare the likes of Poser with iClone. Poser is primarily a 3D modelling program, whereas iClone is a realtime animated movie production program. If you want to create highly detailed & customised characters then iClone won't compare to the likes of Poser or even Daz3D. However, if you are planning on making animated movie productions, iClone is the program with all the tools to do it. From my (albeit limited) experience with Poser, it isn't overly well equipped with tools for creating entire animated movie productions.
As for Maya.... well if you can afford to buy Maya, I don't know why you'd be looking at anything else. Peter is welcome to correct me here, but from what I understand, iClone doesn't pretend to compete with high end animation production packages such as Maya. We are talking about software that costs a couple of hundred $$ vs a package that costs many thousands of $$. Also from what I can gather, iClone is a lot easier to use & learn for those of us who aren't overly experienced in 3D animation.
In regards to the realism of the avatars, I do find the standard supplied avatars aren't overly realistically proportioned, so I've customised some of my own (all within iClone). I based one particular avatar on a celebrity that I wanted to replicate. I was able import the face from a picture, adjust it to fit the facial points, adjust scale of legs, arms, upper body/bust size & shape, lower body and head proportions to match. Then with the facial editor I could fine tune the shape of the face and facial features such as chin, cheeks, eyes, nose. There are some limitations, especially if you are dealing with odd body shapes. But at the end of it all, I now have an instantly recognisable (for those familiar with the celebrity), correctly proportioned iClone replica of the person I have modelled it on.
10 Years Ago by