Transforming a 2D image into a 3D character: 9 top tips

Discover how Headshot generates a 3D animated Pennywise from a photo.

(Image credit: Peter Alexander)

Film-inspired fan art is nothing new. But, as many digital artists will attest, reimagining a movie character in 3D is a huge undertaking. Until now, that is. 

Headshot plug-in for Character Creator software enables artists to quickly generate human 3D models from 2D images. In this article, digital artist Peter Alexander reveals how to take a photo of Pennywise the clown from hit horror film IT, and easily transform it into a complex 3D model using Headshot, ZBrush and Blender. 

Alexander’s guide covers everything you need to know go get started, including photo selection and preparation, using the bake, edit mesh and sculpting tools native to Character Creator 3, manually adjusting Headshot masks in Photoshop, how to fix symmetry using ZBrush, and, finally, a crash-course on creating hair with a third-party Blender add-on called Hair Tool.

Download a free trial of Headshot plug-in here, and learn how to easily create a fully animatable 3D Pennywise model from just a single 2D image.

ICLONE MASTER CLASS #5 – Customizing Characters for Realtime Animation

Experienced Video Director/Animator – Benny Dee shares a detailed tutorial on how to customize characters for realtime animation in  iClone 7.

Hello in this iClone tutorial I will show you how to create your custom characters for real time animation. This tutorial is part of the Master Class series to help iClone users improve and level up their creative skills.

HOW-TO: Generating A 3D Animated Gollum From A Single Photo

The Headshot plug-in for Reallusion’s Character Creator allows users to generate 3d animated digital humans from one photo. You can download a free trial here, and learn how to create a classic movie character like Gollum without any 3d skills.

To find out more about the process, we invited Peter Alexander to walk us through it. Alexander is a digital freelancer specialized in illustration, graphic design, and 3d modeling. He develops content assets for various digital marketplaces.

Peter Alexander

In this video and text below, Alexander explains how to create a fantasy movie character by using Headshot for Character Creator 3. He touches on how to choose a quality reference, overcome an open-mouthed reference image, choose appropriate masking features, and block proportions for the head and body using the “bake” feature. Alexander also covers the Mesh Editor tool, which can be used for a variety of purposes, and in this article will be used to customize a hair asset.

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.

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.

Create a Jungle Adventure Sequence in One Day

In this article, filmmaker Adolf Navarro shares the tips on how he create a jungle adventure sequence within just one day, taking advance of the iClone real time animation tools and the content of the Reallusion’s Content Store.

You can watch the overall guide of the methods and tricks used to facilitate the animations in this video:

Generate And Animate Crowds From Character Creator 3

Create Crowds in iClone Using Re-meshed Characters from Character Creator

In this article, Adolf Navarro, Director at Antareus Ltd., gives a walkthrough of his process for using Character Creator 3 and iClone to create a crowd scene with good quality and animation performance.

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