The Animation. There are a number of ways that this could be done. I’ll describe what I did and what I ended up doing that was almost faster.
Reallusion and Unreal Engine have a link between them that allows you to take the animation that you create for the characters in iClone into Unreal without really exporting anything. You set up Livelink plugin and stream the animation over to the characters and basically, record takes of that animation.
It works really well and this is what I started to do, but it takes a tremendous amount of computer power. You need to play the animation in one app while streaming at 60 frames per second to UE4 as you record the animation and keyframes. It can be a lot. I was doing this and it was for the most part working.
Just to try it out though, I exported the mesh with animation from iClone to an fbx. This had the full animation of the character. I took that and imported only the animation and applied it to the character that I already had in the scene. This seemed to be a more fluid approach and actually easily controlled when it came to adding character and camera animations all into the sequencer.
One thing that got me was the audio. For one I did not have a female character voice, so I just used windows. The other thing was syncing the audio with the character. I realized that I need to export the audio separately and basically lay it into a video editor (I use Premiere).
I really wanted to have the audio in UE but was not able to figure that out. So I went with a hack… I guess. I did you various shot tracks to create the animation. It was easy to cut from camera to camera and just export the full timeline.
Once I had the AVI, I overlayed it with the audio and adjusted it somewhat. It was very crude and not the polished realistic-looking video that I had in my mind. I really need to work on my “realistic” quality look. I hope that UE5 will help with this effort. Only time will tell.
For now, this version will have to do. It was a fun first learning experience and I can’t wait to try my hand at another one. I am going to be focusing more on the audio and the realism in my next short.
If you asked me how it all turned out I would say it’s a terrible short, but I learned a lot of lessons. You can watch the “film” here. Link to Youtube.