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Thursday
Aug192010

Steven Slater's Day Off - iClone throttles production

You've seen the animated 3D news stories of Tiger Woods and other celebrity news gone 3D via AppleDaily.  iClone has the chops to give you the same real-time response as a daily production tool.  When the JetBlue story broke about a flight attendant's fit and flee via emergency slide from Flight 1052 on August 10th, we couldn't resist to give iClone a good test.  So within a week of part-time animation from concept to complete,  James and I (The Martin Brothers) release, "Steven Slater's Day Off."

 

The largest scene in terms of poly and face count was the airplane interior where we built-up the set with 18 characters, 66 props, 8 lights and 8 cameras.  The project size is 366,941 faces and 153MB.  

 

Dealing with a project that size requires a plan to make sure you can easily navigate the scene in real-time and see a decent frame rate during real-time preview.  To accomplish this we used the, 'Render State,' options for each item in the scene.  What does that do?  It lets you isolate the objects you need to see in full quick or pixel shader view and let everything else either be hidden or displayed in wireframe.  Why do you do that?  iClone provides this feature so you can turn down the detail in the real-time renderer on objects that you are not animating or not currently focused on at that moment.  Most importantly you can choose to leave some objects, like what you are currently animating in full shader preview.  iClone let's you balance the load so you can see the effect of the object your are working on without letting other objects in the scene bog down your system.  You can set this by either right-clicking on the object and then go to, 'Display,' or by clicking the, 'Render State' cell in the Scene Manager.

Of course this type of production requires some shortcuts and we took most of them via the Google 3D Warehouse.  Some things we knew we needed, but didn't have time to model.  So we fired up 3DXchange and headed over to the Google 3D Warehouse to grab the set materials.  Not only did we find great stuff, but we had lots of options and immediately began working on refining the models with textures and material specular, reflection and glow attributes.

JetBlue Airplane - 

Airport - 

News Van - 

Parking Lot - 

Airplane cabin - 

Transportation's pack from RL - GREAT sets in this one

http://www.reallusion.com/contentstore/csproduct.aspx?contentid=AIC420DIENU050120100729001&MenuItem=ic_scene&Type=Props

We also needed sound and lots of it.  Field recording was not really an option and thankfully James and I are hams on the mic so voice overs are usually easily obtained either by us or friends.  However sound effects were a big issue to get the soundscape we wanted to hear in the final product. We used these resources to strike audio gold:

http://www.freesound.org, http://www.incompetech.com & http://magnatune.com/

All in all, James and I didn't kill each other while making this over the past week and it helped that we live over 1k miles apart.  In the end, is it perfect? No, but it's what you can expect to get out of iClone if you dive in with a goal and use the right shortcuts.

Thursday
Aug052010

Free Web Elements PSD for WidgetCast

Download a free Photoshop .PSD file from BestBlogBox.com for use in commercial or non-commerical WidgetCast projects.   These files are really nice for quickly styling a project without the need to grab a designer or be a Photoshop guru.  Hat tip to Mashable.com for the Free Web UI post on Facebook.

  • 17 single PSD files (each element as separated PSD)
  • 1 PSD file (all in one elements)
  • well organized and labeled layers sets (simply drag and drop layer into your project)
  • Easy to be modified and use
  • Fully editable text fields
  • Fully editable colors of elements (colors are editable trough “layer styles”, simply edit gradients and color overlays ect.)
  • Standard Web font, Arial
  • HOW TO basics help file included
  • Elements image previews included (PNGs)

WidgetCast gives you an easy yet powerful way to drag-and-drop design your own interactive Flash web widgets and Adobe AIR desktop apps.

Wednesday
Aug042010

NOIR-topia - Small Wonder Studios

Small Wonder Studios continues to show their creativity with iClone in this new 'test' short.  The blend of 2D elements within the 3D landscape adds more to consider when thinking about how to approach an iClone project.  Checkout SWS's other shorts and clips on Youtube for more inspiration on video compositing and iClone.

Wednesday
Jul212010

New iClone Content - Interior Elements Vol 2 - Residential Space

The Reallusion content store premieres a new props pack for iClone featuring interior design elements and decor for creating elegant and modern household scenes.

Wednesday
Jul142010

Intel features Reallusion's Visual Adrenaline at Siggraph

Reallusion & Intel partner for the 2010 Siggraph Expo in Los Angeles July 27-29.  

Intel's booth features leading partners from around the world and this year Reallusion is proud to be the Visual Adrenaline showcase for our performance optimization achievements in real-time mutli-core computing.  Stop by Intel's booth for a demo and see how Reallusion and Intel are pushing the frontier of visual computing and media creation performance.

Going to be in LA?  Come to Siggraph for Free!  Thanks to Intel we have the opportunity to offer you a free Expo pass for exhibits and keynotes.  Click here to register for free: https://www.xpressreg.net/register/sigg070/start.asp?p1=Intel10

Tuesday
Jul132010

Systembabies.com Reviews iClone & CrazyTalk

Innovation: 5 stars  Exceptional Value: 5 stars

Editor, Blue Gene gives his view of iClone and CrazyTalk including the new Authentic 3D Stereo creativity.

SystemBabies.com iClone Review - PDF

SystemBabies.com CrazyTalk Review - PDF

SystemBabies Competition: 

Win a copy of MAGIX Samplitude Music Studio 15 and Reallusion CrazyTalk 6!

See PDF magazine for details.

Monday
Jul052010

iClone dual-actor Arguments motion pack

The iClone content toybox expands with some cool new motions created for interaction between two actors.  Got a scene that needs an argument to take place while characters walk down the street? That's in there.  Check out these and more in the content spotlight here:

Monday
Jul052010

Digital Arts interviews Reallusion's John Martin

Last week I was happy to join Steve Pitzel's video podcast and discuss iClone, Stereo 3D and realtime content.. Digital Arts is an Intel software network podcast hosted alternating Thursdays by 'recovering animator ' Steve Pitzel.

Tuesday
Jun012010

The Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge is back for its 9th year!

The time has come for you to leave your dusty home planets behind and become a true Jedi filmmaker. Enter your Star Wars inspired fan movie, impress George Lucas himself, and have your work shown on Spike TV. Expand your universe and win fame and galactic peace for all!

Visit www.starwars.atom.com

 

 

Thursday
May272010

iClone 4.2 releases with 'Authentic 3D' Stereo content creation

Reallusion throws down the free upgrade to iClone 4.2 featuring 'Authentic 3D' Stereoscopic HD content creation.  The upgrade joins iClone's real-time 3D animation engine with designed-to-be-3D content creation tools to render scenes as 3D Stereoscopic movies.  

http://www.reallusion.com/event/2010/3dstereo/default.html

 

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