Could this be the answer to all your 3D animation needs?

Industry veteran MD McCallum provides an overview of iClone Animation Pipeline, a maturing character generator and animation toolkit.

If you are a 3D artist or game developer that wants a simple, budget-friendly toolkit then the iClone Animation Pipeline is worth a look. Reallusion has a history of creating tools that any animator, novice or experienced, can use for quality results.

The iClone Animation Pipeline is made up of iClone 5.5 and its companion 3DXchange Pipeline. iClone is a 3D drag-and-drop animation studio that uses puppetry, Autodesk Human IK technology and Kinect-generated motion capture among its many animation tools.

Full scenes with animated props are as simple as drag, drop and place. Prop animations can be embedded for easy use.

3DXchange Pipeline is a transitional tool that works between iClone and 3D applications like Maya, 3ds Max and the Unity 3D game engine. A character animated in iClone can be imported into 3DXchange Pipeline with the click of a button inside iClone.

The character is then exported in .fbx, .obj or .bvh formats. Complete scenes can be merged in iClone and exported to 3DXchange in the same manner.

A tightly integrated and well designed animation toolkit that fits well into most production pipelines,the iClone Animation Toolkit and its main characters, iClone and 3DXchange Pipeline can help with the heavy lifting in 3D character animation and scene creation.

Verdict

iClone Animation Pipeline

Score: 7/10

A good 3D character animation and scene creation tool, but doesn't have the depth or community of more established apps.

Words: MD MacCallum

MD McCallum is a veteran freelance 3D animator, modeller and published author.

This article originally appeared in 3D World issue 178.

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