I have been using Reallusion tools for my game development projects for over a year, and I have come to learn quite a few tricks that help me save some time and make my life easier. This time I want to share a few iClone tips that might be helpful.
Use a grid or UV texture as a reference for your floor when you are animating. While IK and Effectors in iClone are very good (specially Effectors), sometimes your characters’ feet will move when you are animating. Using this texture for your floor makes it very easy to track your foot position and do any counter-animating, to fix your feet position, if needed.
Effectors are the best option for locking limbs. Above I said Effectors are better for locking limbs in place. Usually, when you are using the regular IK the hands and feet might move a little when you’re moving the rest of the body. However, Effectors keep the hands and feet in place unless you make a really extreme movement (like trying to stretch the leg completely). Animating with Effectors is pretty easy when you get used to it. All you need to do is lock and release them, and move/rotate them around as you need.
Get the Curve Editor in case you haven’t already. This add-on will make your animation a lot easier, because you can just modify the tangents on your keyframes to change how the different body parts are moving. It also lets you add and delete keyframes as you need, so you don’t need to deal with unwanted keyframes. If you don’t use it, the other option is to manually edit the animation in the in-betweens, which can be very difficult when you’re trying to get a perfect timing and interpolation.
Use the Mini Viewport. If you have a small monitor (like me) you’re limited to 1080p resolution (or maybe even less) and that means the space you have for every pane is reduced by a lot. However, if you are animating, and you have a custom camera (a camera that will be used for rendering) you should use the Mini Viewport and set its camera to your render camera. This is very useful if you want to make sure your animation looks good in the final camera view, which is the one that matters the most.
Unlink the face and body animation. If you are reusing an animation that you stored into a MotionPlus file, the animation is applied to your character as face and body animation, but they are linked together. If, for whatever reason, you want to keep the body animation, but you don’t want the face animation, you can right click on any of the two tracks and click Split. This will unlink the tracks, and then you can delete the facial animation track.
Don’t reset Root joint. When you export the animation, you are given the option to reset the root joint. I always deactivate this action unless there’s something specific I want to do. What this option does is translate and rotate the character to the origin position, losing any kind of in-animation translation/rotation that I wanted (for example if I had started the animation with the character rotated 45 degrees to the left), and all my transformations in an animation are always deliberate.
And this is it. I hope you found this useful.