Reallusion iClone Review


iClone's interface

But the only way to judge the ease of use for software like this is to try it.  It’s easy to get started with animating, as soon as you load the software you are presented with a basic female model that is standing in a blank environment.  On the right you also have to option to load fully done scenes, or just load basic, simple models to work with.  Go to the top and you have the Avatar button.  Click that and your list of models is shown on the right side of the screen.

Each of these models is fully customizable, giving you options to make any part of the body smaller or freakishly big.  No, get your mind out of the gutter.  This is not that kind of program.  Just above the model pictures, you will see the Modify button.  This gives you a variety of basic options for the look and shape of your character’s body.  You only get six options, so it’s a good idea to get the expansion packs unless you just have fun shaping bodies.  Personally, I wanted to get down to the movie-making, but I have to take it slow so you nice folks can keep up.

Back at the top, right next to the avatar button is a picture of a face.  Guess what this one does…  I am such a pain.  Click on this button to fully customize your brother/sister into an amorphous blobby creature or a shark-man, as I did with the basic Hero model.  I thought he would look sweet chewing on a kitten, but I didn’t want to spend that much time getting the kitty up to his mouth.  Who has time for that?  Click on modify and you will have full control to turn an ordinary human into our beloved little sharky here.

To the top again!  The next button to the immediate right is consists of four squares stacked together.  This is your animation button.  This is where your sub-human creature comes to life.  It’s very nice to see a sharkman do some kind of ghetto-hard street dancing, so that’s what I did.  Ah, I remember kickin’ it with my homies on the block, watching the freak kids from the special school breakin’ down on cardboard outside.  So many things seem to spark nostalgia, you know?  Anyway, click on modify and you’ll see the option for Motion Editor.  Go here if the basic moves isn’t good enough and you want sharkman grabbing his fishy crotch and moonwalking.

And now to put him in a scene worthy of his presence.  Click on the next button on the right at the top.  It should have a picture of a stripper dancing in a box.  Okay, okay, I don’t know that that’s a stripper, but if they didn’t want me to think that they shouldn’t have made her look like one.  Below these buttons on the bar that says TOOLS, you will see buttons that say 2D background, 3D scene, ect…  I went with 3D, because I’m cool like frost.

I chose the laboratory-style platform, because I figured that maybe our little Sharky was the project of some sick science experiment to get rid of ADHD.  So now our character is sitting pretty in his comfy metal room waiting on you too make things look even better.  So lets add a little effect to the room around him with props and lighting.  Click on the button beside “3D scenes” that says “Props”.  You will see a variety of objects to drop into your show.  I chose a robot dog that is made of metal so Sharky can’t chew it to death.  The next button is camera angles, which isn’t hard to figure out if you play with it a little.  And then there is “Light”.  Let’s add a little effect to the room, and Sharky’s world is now a stage for his grooving.

Go to the next button at the top and you will be able to add particle and fog effects to your little world.  I used the Cloud effect, which looks like those fog machines that replaced pyro’s back when music was still bad.  And viola!  We have Sharky getting jiggy wit it in his own little club for one.  Now all we have to do is output the file to Video.  Click the next button to the right at the top and you will have options of output for your file.

Normally I would use AVI file format for its superior quality, but since this video is going to the internet, I have to make it a smaller file.  So I chose WMV, which is the standard Windows video file.  Select your size and quality, and then click “Export”.  You will be prompted to name your file and then you wait for the rendering to finish.  When it is done the file will automatically play back for you.  So there it is.  A simple, yet powerful program built with the consumer in mind.  Easy to use, and quick to learn.  And if you want to go farther with it, you can do that too.  Just be prepared for the learning curve to get a little bit curvier as you go…