If you are a Photoshop artist, a Dreamweaver designer, or an Adobe user with a Creative Cloud membership then we have some awesome news for you as now you can animate 3D characters with thousands of high-quality Mixamo animations for FREE!
…well sort of free because you still need a $9.99 membership. But it really is an all-you-can-eat at the Adobe animation buffet!
3D Animation Synergy
Mixamo, a 3D computer graphics technology company, first started out as a cloud-based service offering animations and automatic character rigging. It launched its first online animation service in 2009, and in 2010 Mixamo worked with Evolver to provide characters to customers.
Then in 2015, Adobe acquired Mixamo and many speculated on what would happen to the massive Mixamo motion library once in hands of Adobe. Well lo and behold, that extensive library is now in reach of all Adobe users!
Start Animating 3D Characters
Great, now that we have all those 3D motions, what do we do with them? Well, since there is no point in spending months to learn a sophisticated application, then let’s start with tools that are:
- Easy to use.
- Easy to learn.
So far, the easiest and fastest 3D character animation tool is iClone, as iClone allows you to utilize all your 3D assets together, maximizing their value through powerful real-time animation features and ready-made content for scenes, props, accessories and others. With iClone you can import and integrate all your assets for internal 3D storytelling, or you can choose to export to other 3D tools like game engines.
Besides using Mixamo characters, you can also generate avatars with the top ranked character creation tool – Character Creator. This application lets you construct an unlimited array of avatars without sculpting, thanks to its face and body morphing sliders, and its custom clothing design tools.
Blend Mixamo motions with iClone Animation Tools
Inside iClone, you have the freedom of directly using these 3D animations as they are, or you can choose to further modify them with many of the powerful iClone animation tools. You can blend Mixamo animations with new ones created with the iClone Motion Puppet panel, or you can use Human IK in iClone, to keyframe your imported Mixamo animations into new ones.
Importing Mixamo 3D Motions
The first thing you need to do after downloading a 3D motion and character from Mixamo, is to import it into 3DXchange 6.52 or later, as it has a preset for automatically detecting Mixamo BETA character rigs. You can learn this easy process below:
NOTE: To get the Mixamo Beta character, all you have to do is go to Mixamo / Animations / choose any animation (you can Choose Jump as an example), then “Add to Assets”. Once you do this, the system will automatically add the Beta Character into your assets. Additionally, you can also use the Mixamo Y-Bot, and the X-Bot characters with 3DXchange. Just make sure that inside 3DXchange you choose the preset > “Maya Human-IK”.
Importing Mixamo 3D Characters
Remember that before importing Mixamo characters, you need to first make sure that in the Mixamo Download Settings you selected to ‘Download with Skin’, as this will ensure that your character mesh follows through. Then just Queue Download and you are set.
When your download is ready, drag your FBX file it into 3DXchange and make sure that it is first in its original T-Pose prior to converting it. Choose the Maya Human IK rig, as this will characterize the original T-Pose with the one for iClone. Most characters should download with their original T-Pose, but if they don’t then just follow the next steps.
If you choose to import a Mixamo BETA character, then sometimes you may run into a posing problem as it might not include an automatic T-Pose. This issue is easily fixed thanks to the library of T-Poses included in 3DXchange. Again you will want to select a Maya Human IK T-Pose preset, and you are done.
Now you are ready to enjoy thousands of Mixamo animations, with dozens of awesome Mixamo characters inside iClone thanks to Adobe’s generous Creative Cloud membership. ENJOY.