iClone 8.1: Take your digital art to the next level

Following the buzz of iClone 8’s release in May this year, the recent version 8.1 update introduces Unreal Live Link 1.1 (opens in new tab), and a brand new feature of Motion Director known as React to Surface. (opens in new tab) 

This release further empowers the popular 'Animate in iClone and Render in Unreal' workflow, with Live Link headlining features such as Scene Imports from UE5, iClone to Unreal Motion Transfer, and Timecode Sync for Full-frame Recording. Thanks to the industry-only Subdivision Export (opens in new tab) for fully-animated characters, iClone 8.1 presents a substantial upgrade for artists who want to take final renders to the next level. 

Timecode Sync Recording (opens in new tab)

Frame drops were a common downside of Live Link being heavily dependent on hardware performance – especially prevalent while live recording heavy data streams. 

Live Link 1.1 addresses these hiccups with the advent of timecode-based recording which transmits and records full-frame data, even on substandard system specifications. Read more (opens in new tab)

Live Link Timeline Sync - Provides lossless frame-by-frame recording

High-Performance Production – Send multi-selected or a group of animated characters from iClone to Unreal Engine for full-frame recording and turn into Unreal Engine sequence files.

Whether you want your iClone characters to interact with the Unreal scene or simply try to position them in the right places, you’ll benefit from the scene transfer feature thanks to the power of bidirectional data linking. Read more (opens in new tab)

Seamlessly adapt iClone animations to Unreal environment:

Unreal Scene Transfer

Three different modes allow you to transfer your Unreal scene back to iClone to reposition standard re-editable meshes, merged meshes, or simplified/decimated meshes.

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  • Standard (Items): Keep separate items for the most accurate alignment. Selectively Show/Hide for flexible scene management. Supports landscape.
  • Merged (1 Mesh): Keep the high-poly for better performance and proper alignment.
  • Simplified (Remesh): Low-poly for the best performance. For large/far scenes sent into iClone as camerawork reference.

On top of scene transfer, Motion Director 1.1 Snap to Surface can constrain characters traversing across the terrain and adhere to elevations produced with displacement maps.

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  • Response to Terrain Height: Character moments can react to ground elevation. Watch more (opens in new tab)
  • Accurate Reach Target: iClone characters can seamlessly interact with the Unreal scene with the one-step target reach, motion layer editing, and smooth IK/FK transition. Watch more (opens in new tab)

Motion Transfer and Animation Retargeting

Circumventing the long-winded process of exporting FBX models and motions from iClone to Unreal, iClone can now directly transfer selected models along with its motions to Unreal projects, and turn them into animation assets that can be edited in Level Sequencer. These features offer a new avenue for animators looking to integrate iClone and Unreal in practical and intuitive ways. 

Direct Animations for iClone/CC Characters in UE

Rapidly replace the iClone/CC characters in UE and retain the same motion assets on identically named characters:

Motion Retargeting for UE Characters & MetaHumans

iClone motions are reusable on UE characters and MetaHumans via standard UE IK Rig and Retargeting process:

Read more (opens in new tab) on bringing Metahumans to life. 

Drive MetaHumans with iClone Facials

iClone facial animation can be sent full-framed into iClone/CC characters in UE, or retargeted to MetaHumans to drive facial expressions and talking animations. 

Prop Animation

Prop animation transfer includes animated objects, vehicles, and non-humanoid characters such as creatures.

Morph Animation Support

Live Link morph animations to UE via iClone Morph Animator. Perform organic motion by applying morph animation to props or skin-bone characters. 

Motion Director

Motion Director (opens in new tab) is handy for navigating your characters in 3D space, and great for making NPC animations. In this update, we focus on bringing the ability for characters to move smoothly atop of a mesh surface. 

React to Surface (opens in new tab)

Characters can now react according to changes in ground elevation while maintaining contact with the floor. Snap to Surface within Motion Director control settings can also support every MD Control Mode for designated characters. Read more (opens in new tab)

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Advanced Surface Sensor Settings

By tweaking the surface sensor settings, you can determine the climb and fall limit on every step.

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  • Climb/Fall Limit: Cap the character’s upper and lower distances from the current ground level to reach a different elevation. Watch more (opens in new tab)
  • Transpose Damping: Adjust the damping intensity to reduce or smooth jittery movement caused by changes in ground height. Watch more (opens in new tab)
  • Input Forecast: Define the prediction time for surface detection to raise and lower the character ahead of its movement. Watch more (opens in new tab)

Supports Displacement Terrain 

Snap to Surface feature works for irregular mesh generated from displacement texture, and it is fully compatible with the Natural Terrain Generator (opens in new tab) plugin for iClone.

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UE Live Link to Target Scene

Adapt iClone/CC animations to UE scenes via iClone Unreal Live Link (opens in new tab).

Subdivision Export (opens in new tab)

Along with the Character Creator 4.1 update, you can now export your subdivided, animated characters into USD and FBX, then bring them to other major applications like 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, and Blender. You can even directly live-link subdivided animation to Unreal Engine and Omniverse for detailed real-time rendering. Watch these videos on Level of Subdivision (opens in new tab) and how it is compatible to all renderers (opens in new tab).

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Our unique approach reduces animation turnaround so you can spend more time on being more creative. 

Visit the Reallusion website for more information on iClone 8 (opens in new tab), iClone Unreal Live Link (opens in new tab) and iClone Motion Director (opens in new tab). And don't forget about the forum at iClone 8.1 Discussion (opens in new tab).

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