Add animation seamlessly into your PSD workflow

Cartoon Animator 4 connects PSD tools with Wacom tablets for a roundtrip workflow.

Cartoon Animator (CTA) is recognised among the easiest 2D animation software to use. Version 4 connects the tool with users of all the mainstream PSD tools, from Adobe Photoshop to Krita, Affinity, Clip Studio and Photopea. Creatives who use these PSD tools can now swiftly turn their creative concepts into animations, using their original processes, via Cartoon Animator. 

New Workflow Turns ZBrush Sculpts into Animated Characters for Unreal Engine

Create, animate and automate Unreal Engine characters with the Reallusion Digital Human pipeline. See how master character artist Hossein Diba uses Character Creator to generate a real-time animatable digital human for live performance.

7 expert tips for digital human facial animation in iClone 7

By Leo Lucien-Bay

iClone makes it easy to create HUD animation for realistic digital humans.

(Image credit: Leo Lucien-Bay)

iClone is a powerful real-time animation tool that aims to remove the painful and repetitive aspects from the animation process, and simplify the difficult job of creating realistic digital humans. Like the game engines that gave rise to Machinima, iClone has always focused on being real-time, making it less complex than the more conventional animation tools.

The recent 7.7 update saw the introduction of the Digital Human Shader, which added sub surface scattering, as well as improving the materials on offer, to give skin, teeth, eyes, and hair a much more realistic appearance. It also brought with it Headshot, an AI-based generator that enables users to create character heads from photos of real people.

With more realistic looking characters comes the need for more convincing animation. There are few things more off-putting than a 3D character model that looks realistic, only to become awkward and unnatural when it comes to open its mouth. 

For that reason, this article will focus on facial animation. We’ll take a look at some of the tools and techniques that you can use in iClone to help you not only get your animations looking good, but do so relatively quickly. Follow along in the video below, or read on for a written version. 

If you’d like to render this video in Unreal Engine make sure you check out the bonus tip at the end, which shows you how to use the Live Link plugin.

Reallusion makes iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in Free for Indies

Transfer, Animate & Auto-setup Digital Humans for Unreal

Reallusion announced that the iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in (previously $1,490) is now free for developers with an annual revenue of $100K USD or less. Originally created as a premium extension, the iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in enables studios and indies to streamline workflows by allowing virtual production and game development professionals the freedom to focus on rapid creativity, collaboration, and iteration.

“We are thrilled to provide emerging creators access to powerful tools for digital human creation and animation by making the iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in available for free,” said Charles Chen, Reallusion CEO. “Reallusion is proud to connect our technology to Unreal Engine to deliver an unrivaled real-time solution for indie studios and creators everywhere.”

iClone Unreal Live Link Free for indies video:

Providing a simplified path for content to enter Unreal Engine, the iClone Unreal Live Link plug-in allows for the direct transfer of assets between iClone and Unreal Engine without the need for FBX export. iClone characters, lights, and camera controls can be directly operated to quickly preview and animate scenes in Unreal RTX. Additionally, the Character Auto Setup automatically arranges digital human shaders, Blueprints, and everything necessary for real-time production inside Unreal Engine.

The iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in bridges iClone’s fully-rigged characters, motion files, and vast content libraries, with motion editing and retargeting tools into Unreal Engine for seamless interoperability with skeleton meshes and Marketplace animations.

Pricing and Availability

  • The iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in will be available free of charge for developers with annual revenue of less than $100,000 USD.
  • The new indie pricing policy for the iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in will take effect on January 17th, 2020 
  • Qualifying users who previously purchased the iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in will receive an equivalent reimbursement in DA points for the Reallusion Software Stores, Content Stores, and Marketplace.
  • The Indie program for the iClone Unreal Live Link plug-in requires indies to own iClone 7 and 3DXchange 7 Pipeline. 
  • See preferred pricing options for iClone 7 and 3DXchange 7 Pipeline
  • iClone’s digital human pipeline fully supports industry mocap hardware like; Xsens, Perception Neuron, Faceware, iPhone, Rokoko, OptiTrack, Leap Motion, Qualisys, and more.

Unreal Live Link, 4.24 and further updates

Reallusion simultaneously launched the free plugin and updated the iClone Unreal Live Link Plug-in for UE 4.24, and will continue development to match all future Unreal Engine updates.

The roadmap will include transferring its digital human shader, iClone props, non-human skin-bone characters, and soft cloth physics (based on the same NVIDIA PhysX architecture). 

About iClone 

iClone is a real-time 3D animation and rendering software with a production environment that blends character animation, scene design and cinematic storytelling by fast tracking traditional industry pipelines in the spirit of WYSIWYG.  

About Reallusion

Reallusion Inc. is a 2D and 3D animation software and content developer that specializes in the development of real time cinematic animation, virtual production, and motion capture tools that connect professional 3D animation technologies with pro character animation, facial and body mocap, and voice lip sync solutions for real-time filmmaking and previsualization and production.

About Unreal Engine

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine technology brings high-quality games to PC, console, mobile, AR, and VR platforms. Creators also use Unreal for photorealistic visualization, interactive product design, film, virtual production, mixed reality TV broadcast and animated entertainment. Follow @UnrealEngine and download Unreal for free at

Reallusion Releases New Digital Human Shader

Realistic Realtime Human Rendering for iClone 7.7 & Character Creator 3.2

Creating realistic digital humans for real-time 3D animation is now possible with Reallusion’s new Digital Human Shader. A complete set of shaders for skin, eyes, teeth, and hair are available, along with SSS(Sub -Surface Scattering) and Micro Normal updates for iClone 7.7 and 3D character creation tool Character Creator 3.2 for fast, real-time rendering for images and live performances.

With the latest iClone and Character Creator (CC) updates, designers can one-click convert PBR assets into digital human shaders. Artists utilizing professional assets such as Texturingxyz, and digital sculpting and texturing tools like ZBrush and Substance Painter can now see their characters animated directly in iClone.

Official trailer video:

Creativebloq: iClone Unreal Live Link is an animation game-changer

Get the low-down on Reallusion’s new plugin, from award-winning visual storyteller Feri Vincze.

(Image credit: Rendered Frames)

Every good film relies on well-written characters to convey the essence of the story. But in an animated feature, good writing doesn’t guarantee success. Everything depends on character animation. And character animation used to cost a lot of money.

This was the problem I faced when planning animated film noir and video game The Chest with my production company Rendered Frames (watch the trailer below). 10 or 15 years ago, only the bigger studios could produce good-quality animation; it was a challenge for indie animators to find the budget and the staff they needed.

But this has changed in the past few years. More and more companies have realised the opportunities presented by solo artists and small studios, and the new generation of animation software they have created has opened up new horizons for ambitious freelance teams.

Creating Animatable Digital Doubles from a Single Photo

Learn how to create fully-rigged digital doubles from a single photo with the new Headshot Plug-in !

Reallusion’s  Headshot Plug-in for Character Creator  is a unique approach to real-time character head modelling which combines automatic AI based photo alignment with morph-based manual alignment and texture re-projection. Used in tandem with an image editor such as Photoshop, it can be used to produce highly realistic, animation ready models in a fraction of the time involved when making rigged models from scratch using conventional sculpture, scans or photogrammetry. You can download a free trial  here.

In this article, Mike describes his workflow of using  Character Creator  and  Headshot  to produce a high quality animated model from a single photo. Compressed from 3 hours of continuous footage, whilst the video is not a tutorial, it demonstrates a professional’s approach to high quality model creation, with many tips for Headshot artists along the way.

Animate heads easily with Cartoon Animator

Discover how Cartoon Animator 4’s new 360 Head Creator lets you animate a smooth, organic-looking head turn in minutes, not days.

Cartoon Animator makes it easy to create high-quality 2D animation – even if you can’t draw. Formerly known as CrazyTalk Animator, Reallusion’s intuitive software provides a set of ready-to-use characters and motion clips to help you hit the ground running.

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