Drawing sketches and characters is something that we have all done at one point or another, from scribbling poses, to facial animations, to drawing full-fledged superhero silhouettes on our notepads. But how many of us have actually taken a still image artwork and brought it to life into a 3D character with full facial expressions, mouth movements, and body movements?
The Problems of Teaching 3D Animation
When creating unique 3D characters, digital sculpting is a new-age proficiency that every 3D artist has to tackle as it guarantees them the utmost freedom and control when it comes to ground-up character creation.
Traditionally, 3D institutes and seasoned 3D veterans have always used de facto tools like Maya, and 3ds Max as they are the go-to applications that can do everything from sculpting, skinning, texturing, rigging and animation. — But the biggest problem with these expensive applications, is the complexity of it all. The high difficulty level, the long hours of work, and a large amount of effort necessary to do the simplest animations are what deter most people from enjoying the art of 3D animation.
This is why 3D animation professors all around the world go through the same burden of having many animation students drop out after their first couple of semesters, as standard tools have simply too many user interfaces, with too many steps and technical methods that easily disenfranchise upcoming 3D artists.
Having fun Again – thanks to New Tools
Digital Media Arts College (DMAC) program manager Mike Centowski however, has found a way to help 3D animation students fall back in love with the art of 3D animation, by making it fun again.
We all grew up watching cartoons, kids programs, or some kind of animated puppet shows. Apart from books, these shows were the first type of guided scripts that children experienced in their early development stages, allowing them to live and play out storylines through avatars.
As adults now, we tend to revisit these toons to tell stories, deliver animated business presentations, or make animated videos online, as they easily lend themselves for this task. But the problem is – how do we create cartoon characters? (Especially when we have never drawn one) How can I create new animated toons when I am not an artist? What are the fastest tools to create comic strips and cartoons?
3D character design has always proven to be one of the most challenging tasks for 3D artists everywhere, as creating a fully animatable 3D character often requires a multidisciplinary team with skills ranging from modeling, sculpting, texture painting, and skin rigging. Not to mention an entire collection of additional skills if you require your character to be properly animated.
To solve this, Reallusion has developed the iClone Character Creator tool which provides the most versatile 3D avatar creation solution that has permanently changed the industry rules through a character creation system that delivers unlimited possibilities.
When artists begin their creative processes, creating 3D heads may not seem like an overly tedious affair. Especially when we already have tools that can make 3D characters and their heads in a pretty straight forward manner.
But what do we do when we wish to create ultra-realistic 3D models? Where can we source human head images? And what would be the best software for generating real 3D heads?
Elaborate Lies of 3D Animation
When English rock band MUSE launched its seventh album – Drones last year, they were looking for an artist that would create the animations for their music video that could best capture the spirit for their new album track The Handler. That’s when they discovered the dark talents of Tom Jantol, a well-known CG animation director, cinematographer, and machinima specialist.
See the 10 Million views music video (Muse – The Handler):
One of the things people always love about 007 is his ability to do the impossible. The unexpected. The unconventional. Breaking away from the rules and doing what people are never accustomed to doing.
Now as extreme as his majesty’s secret agent can be at times, his peculiar way of getting the job done may just teach us a bit about getting ours done to? Especially when it comes to following ironclad pipelines and processes that everyone seems to swear by.
This tutorial will showcase a character creation pipeline using Reallusion’s Character Creator, 3DXchange, iClone, and ZBrush.
In this tutorial, we will be taking a close look at the iClone 3DXchange pipeline, showcasing how quick and easy creating a customized character ready for animation can be. First, we will jump into iClone Character Creator. There we will begin morphing our characters proportions and features to get the model started by simply clicking on the highlighted areas of the mesh and dragging the cursor. This will become our base mesh for the remainder of the pipeline.