This tutorial will walk you through the steps needed to create a new and unique toon character in iClone, using both Toon Maker 1 & 2. You can use Toon Maker in either iClone 5 or 6, but in this video, we will be using version 5. Toon Maker will need to be installed, and in our video, we will be using Toon Maker 2 for the most part. However, one or two elements from Toon Maker 1 will be used to enhance your new toon character. In addition, you must have a photo editing program installed, like Photoshop, so you can edit any new textures for the character. Before you begin, try to decide which type of character you would like to create, and don’t be afraid of using non-traditional ways to accomplish the new creation. It’s all about taking risks, thinking outside the box, and enhancing your creativity.
“Meet Tony, the 1950’s Guy”
Step 1: Import Your Avatar Template
Decide which type of character you want to create and see which Toon template suits your needs. We knew that our 1950s character would be relatively thin, so it was a no-brainer for us to decide to import the Stretchy character template in Toon Maker 2.
Step 2: Customizing Body Proportions
You can change the body design by using the Avatar Proportions feature within iClone. By simply selecting the body parts that you would like to adjust, and then using the sliders to make these adjustments, a whole new world of possibilities awaits you in regard to your new toon character creation. Using this tool, you can adjust the height, length, and depth of any part of the character’s body to give you the unique design that you want.
Step 3: Creating Upper Body Clothes
iClone comes with several upper body options for your new character, all of which are completely customizable in terms of texture and more. Using your image editing program, like Photoshop, you can add the colors and texture that you’d like for your new upper clothing. In this case, we added a black leather jacket design onto the existing upper template.
Step 4: Adding lower clothing and shoes
Using the same texture adding process mentioned in Step 3, you can customize the lower section of your new character. In this case, we added a denim texture onto the default lower for Stretchy, and then we added the Stretchy boots. The boot color was then adjusted to black. You can adjust the color by using the sliders or you can adjust them with your texture editor.
Step 5: Creating and Adding New Accessories
Our character needed an up-turned collar on his leather jacket. So this is where Toon Maker 1 came in. In TM 1, there was a collar accessory which we customized by using the size sliders. We then changed the color to black in our texture editor and sized it up to the upper of the character so it would fit and blend in with the existing upper. The end result gave us that traditional black leather jacket 1950s look that we wanted.
Step 6: Adjusting the Skin Tone
You may want to keep the default skin tone of your character, but if not, you have options in iClone. Using the sliders, you can adjust the skin hue, brightness and more. In our case, we simply imported a brown color jpeg, and then adjusted the brightness, to give our character a more light brown skin tone onto his face and hands.
Step 7: Tweaking Body Proportions
At any point during your creative process, you can choose to go back and tweak things. It was at this point where we noticed that our character had too much of his belly showing. So we went back into the Avatar Proportions section, selected his lower belly, and decreased the length. This gave our character the appearance of having his leather jacket placed lower than before, a look that we really liked.
Step 8: Creating Your Character’s Face
It’s around this time that you want to come up with a name for your character. This will really help you when creating the face. By importing the different facial parts in the Toon Maker Accessories section, you can get creative and re-size the parts, even adding the different colors that you want.
Step 9: Creating Customized Hairstyles
Let’s say you want to do more with the hair templates that you have in iClone. You can always take additionally supplied hairstyles and add them to your existing hair. For example, here we imported a ponytail and attached it to our character’s slick black hair. We wanted that pompadour type curl and the ponytail was perfect for that look. We then re-sized the tail, changed it’s color to black, and placed it accordingly.
The result is the cool greaser hairstyle for our new character.
Step 10: Using the 3D Building blocks to create additional features
We needed sideburns for our character. So we used the 3D building blocks and imported a rectangle. We then changed the color to black, re-sized it, tweaked the proportions, and placed it on each side of our character’s face. Note: Make sure you attach it to your character before you save it, so that imports with your character already, and that it moves properly with your character’s movements. Now save your character, give it a new name, and then go and have a blast with the endless animation possibilities!
About the Author
Paul is an award-winning actor/producer/director/writer who utilizes puppetry and animation to create original film and theater content for both children and adults.