iclone 7

| | PRICE £199.99 / $199 COM­PANY Real­lu­sion WEB­SITE www.real­lu­sion.com/iclone/

3D World - - CONTENTS -

Is iclone still the best app for cre­at­ing 3D an­i­ma­tions?

S ince its ear­li­est ver­sions, iclone has en­abled peo­ple with lit­tle, or even no, ex­pe­ri­ence in 3D com­puter graph­ics, to start cre­at­ing their own an­i­ma­tions. Its in­tu­itive and easy to learn in­ter­face, com­bined with its real-time ren­der en­gine, avoided the need for long train­ing pe­ri­ods and ex­pen­sive hard­ware, of­fer­ing a vi­able al­ter­na­tive for in­die an­i­ma­tors and fans of com­puter graph­ics.

With every new ver­sion, iclone has been adding new fea­tures and short­en­ing the gap with pro­fes­sional an­i­ma­tion ap­pli­ca­tions. In this way, the re­cently re­leased iclone 7 stands out, demon­strat­ing a huge im­prove­ment in ren­der qual­ity and adding fea­tures usu­ally re­served for ap­pli­ca­tions that are much more ex­pen­sive and dif­fi­cult to learn.

iclone 7 sup­ports PBR (Phys­i­cally Based Ren­der) tex­tures. You can com­bine props and char­ac­ters shaded with tra­di­tional or PBR tex­tures in the same project, and you can also con­vert the old tex­tures in PBR, as iclone 7 cre­ates the new Metal­lic and Rough­ness maps from the orig­i­nal spec­u­lar maps. You can tweak these maps di­rectly in iclone 7 or use an im­age edi­tor to get spec­tac­u­lar re­sults.

An im­proved IBL (Im­age Based Light­ing) en­ables you to use HDR im­ages to il­lu­mi­nate and pro­vide re­flec­tion maps to the scenes. You can bake your own HDR im­age us­ing a dummy ob­ject usu­ally placed in the mid­dle of the scene, and you can also add HDR ef­fects like blooms, tone maps or glares. Also, an im­proved Am­bi­ent Oc­clu­sion gen­er­a­tor in­cludes more con­trollers and an AO viewer that gives you ab­so­lute con­trol of the AO shad­ows.

How­ever, we think the best iclone 7 vis­ual im­prove­ment is the use of GI (Global Il­lu­mi­na­tion). When ac­ti­vated, iclone 7 con­sid­ers not only the light emit­ted by the light sources, but the light reflected on the ob­jects in the scene. The cal­cu­la­tions, based in vox­els, are per­formed ex­tremely fast and pro­vide ren­der­ing times of less than one sec­ond per frame, even ren­der­ing com­plex scenes at 4K res­o­lu­tion.

You can edit sev­eral GI pa­ram­e­ters like the voxel’s size, the light bounce strength, and the GI area of in­flu­ence, in or­der to op­ti­mise the per­for­mance of your sys­tem.

iclone 7 has in­cluded even more vis­ual im­prove­ments, like the light emis­sive ma­te­ri­als that can il­lu­mi­nate the scene, us­ing props or bill­boards tex­turised with im­ages or videos that ac­tu­ally emit light. In this way, you can sim­u­late the green sifted light that en­ters through a win­dow fac­ing a for­est, just by plac­ing a bill­board with the for­est im­age as tex­ture in front

“iclone 7 Comes with Sev­eral pre­de­fined lut (look up ta­ble) fil­ters, used to give A Cin­e­matic As­pect to the Scenes”

of the 3D room model, and ac­ti­vat­ing the emis­sive fea­ture for that bill­board. In the same way, you can sim­u­late a TV light flick­er­ing ef­fect, just by ap­ply­ing a video of the TV show as tex­ture to the screen of the 3D TV model.

The emis­sive light fea­ture can be ap­plied to the par­ti­cles gen­er­ated by iclone 7 as well, so ex­plo­sions or sparks ac­tu­ally be­come light emit­ters. You can con­trol the in­ten­sity of the il­lu­mi­na­tion, but you have to keep in mind that these emis­sive lights can­not han­dle shad­ows, so you should use them in com­bi­na­tion with tra­di­tional light sources to get a com­pletely con­vinc­ing ef­fect.

iclone 7 comes with sev­eral pre­de­fined LUT (Look Up Ta­ble) fil­ters, used to give a cin­e­matic as­pect to the scenes. You can cre­ate and add new LUT ef­fects from the neu­tral tem­plate pro­vided. The process is amaz­ingly sim­ple, but it in­volves ex­ter­nal im­age edi­tors like Pho­to­shop. You can mix sev­eral LUT ef­fects on the scene, set­ting the con­tri­bu­tion of each one to the global as­pect.

Be­sides the vis­ual im­prove­ments, iclone 7 has in­cluded fea­tures like the morph edi­tor, which en­ables you to in­clude shape de­for­ma­tion keys in the time­line of any el­e­ment of a project. The mod­i­fied shapes have to be pre­vi­ously cre­ated us­ing an ex­ter­nal mod­el­ling tool like 3ds Max, but then, you can col­lect the mod­i­fied shapes in the morph edi­tor and ap­ply them to the ob­ject at any mo­ment of the project.

Also, the fa­cial edit­ing tools have been dra­mat­i­cally im­proved. Before, if you weren’t able to get some fa­cial ex­pres­sions on the iclone char­ac­ters, now, with the new Ex­pres­sions tool and fa­cial morphs, you can achieve any char­ac­ter’s face in the easy and in­tu­itive way of iclone.

Fi­nally, it is now pos­si­ble to im­port cam­era move­ments and set­tings from other ap­pli­ca­tions like Maya. The new cam­era edi­tor also in­cludes cam­era set­tings from pro cam­eras like Arri-alexa or Red, fa­cil­i­tat­ing the in­te­gra­tion of the ren­dered se­quences with real footage recorded with those cam­eras.

Con­sid­er­ing all you get for its price, iclone 7 has no ri­val. It’s a must-have app for any­one that wants to start cre­at­ing 3D an­i­ma­tions, as well as for pro­fes­sion­als look­ing to im­prove their an­i­ma­tion pro­duc­tion pipe­line.

iclone 7 ren­ders have reached un­prece­dented qual­ity thanks to pbr ma­te­ri­als and new vis­ual fea­tures like IBL and gi.

above: iclone 7 can cre­ate very con­vinc­ing am­bi­ent lights, us­ing global il­lu­mi­na­tion com­bined with Lut ef­fects.

far left: the new fa­cial an­i­ma­tion tools al­low you to achieve any ex­pres­sion in an easy and in­tu­itive way.

Left: im­age ren­dered in less than one sec­ond at 4K, us­ing just an in­tel i7 pc with 16gb of ram and a radeon r9 graphic card.

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