Reallusion’s iClone 8 has been out long enough now for some talented users to get their hands on it and it will only be a matter of time until we see some jewels coming out of this version. There is a lot of new stuff in iClone 8, so much it is hard to cover. Today, however, we are only focusing on a narrow but common question about the upgrade.
Is version 8 worth the upgrade regarding the new animation tools?
This is a fair question as budgets are tight with the effects of the pandemic, mainly inflation, biting every hard-working American in the butt… err… I mean budget. The six to eight percent rates have been crushing to the pocketbooks of many Americans forcing decisions to be made about the importance of how any money is spent.
Some are still on the fence, not sure which way to move.
Is the jump worth the expense as long as it doesn’t interfere with keeping the lights on or food in the fridge?
In a word… YES.
Particularly if you are an animation newbie or struggle with animation in general. The new Motion Director and Motion Direction Control alone is worth upgrading as these tools are the best Reallusion has ever offered in iClone. They are easy to learn and easy to use while taking care of a lot of the tedious tasks of animation that make us want to pull our hair out.
I don’t mean to leave out animation pros either. There is plenty to love for them too as the above tools combined with the other new tools make it easier to get away from technical work and be more creative in your animations. No longer worried about getting a character to move from point A or point B, the time saved can and will be turned into more polished animations. How? By allowing users to improve their skills without having to shoulder the technical burden of pure keyframe animation. The new tools do the hard work for us.
Don’t take my word for it as I asked two power users that I highly respect in the iClone and 3D world and here is what they had to say:
From Benjamin Tuttle - 4413 Media, Long time iClone User, Animator, Director, Trained in Cinematic Arts:
The new tools for iClone 8 are incredibly powerful. The motion director is a major timesaver, especially if you’re working with crowds. There are tools like motion corrector, motion blending, and the curve editor that will help you immensely with creating smoother animation. Though it might be intimidating at first for new users, I strongly recommend taking some time to learn their tools and I also recommend learning the basics like the 12 principles of animation. With a little time and practice, you will notice a major improvement in your animation.
From Athos Rojas, 3D generalist working with motion graphics and arch-viz presentations in Brazil who
started earning money with character animation and animated stories last 2 years thanks to iClone:
iClone 8 brings amazing mocap editing tools, which put it on the MotionBuilder level in terms of features, in my opinion. The possibility of making smooth, layered mocaps, both facial and full-body, already justifies the update from 7 to 8, the way motion layers are mixed is now fantastic as well as many other functions. When I participated in the beta, I focused more on helping in the visual part, because I already thought the iClone 7 was sensational for character animation. but as I'm moving and studying 8, I see that iClone 8 is really at the level of a really mainstream software for animation.
I’ll end it here as there simply isn’t much more to say about the matter. The new animation tools in version 8 are incredible and a step ahead of what is available in version 7. While 7 is very capable, I rarely start it up anymore since I got my hands on version 8.
Before I go, don’t forget about the new Content Manager that displays custom content across multiple drives and locations. That might be enough to tip the balance towards an upgrade and we still have covered only a fraction of the new tools and upgraded features of iClone 8.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.