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Reallusion reveals iClone 2020 product roadmap

Monday, March 9th, 2020 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Reallusion has revealed its 2020 product roadmap for iClone, its real-time 3D animation software, covering the upcoming iClone 7.8, iClone 7.9 and iClone 7.10 releases.

Changes include a new subsurface scattering shader and updated facial lip-sync system in iClone itself, and updates to the plugins integrating iClone with Unreal Engine.

Reallusion has also teased some of the new features due in iClone 8, including native volumetric lighting, motion blur and lens flares, though there are no details on when it will actually ship.

iClone 7.8: new SSS shader, updated to iClone Unreal Live Link
Compared to the 2020 product roadmap for Character Creator, Reallusion’s character-creation software, the iClone roadmap is smaller, and includes features already announced for Character Creator itself.

Those include new new subsurface scattering shader, shown in the video above, which will roll out in iClone 7.8 and Character Creator 3.3 in “Q2 2020”.

It is intended for props rather than characters – the digital human shader introduced in iClone 7.7 last year already supports SSS – and will be supported by a library of readymade SSS materials.

Outside the core software, the link plugins between iClone and Unreal Engine will also get updates.

Auto Setup, Reallusion’s free tool for converting iClone characters for use in UE4, gets support for the character collision mesh and cloth physics properties.

The iClone Unreal Live Link plugin, recently made available free to indie artists, also gets support for props and “non-human skin-bone characters”.

iClone 7.9 and 7.10: enhanced lip-sync, support for new Character Creator features
The only part of the roadmap unique to iClone itself is the enhanced lip-sync system due in iClone 7.9.

Although iClone can already generate lip shapes automatically from text or recorded speech, version 7.9 will feature “highly accurate viseme generation based on audio detection”.

There is also an interesting-sounding option for facial animation to be “driven by audio strength for different animation styles”, though Reallusion’s blog post doesn’t go into any more detail.

iClone 7.9 and 7.10 will also support upcoming features due in Character Creator 3.4: iClone 7.9 will add support for its dynamic wrinkle system, and iClone 7.10 will add support for its facial hair system.


iClone 8: new mirror object, rendering improvements
Perhaps because of the shortness of the current feature list for the 7.x updates – Reallusion says there is “more to come” – the firm has also posted several teaser videos for new features in iClone 8.

They include the most popular request from the firm’s feature tracker, a mirror object (shown above).

The release will also feature improvements to iClone’s native renderer, including support for volumetric lighting, lens flares, motion blur, and enhanced temporal anti-aliasing.

Pricing and system requirements
iClone 7.8 is due in Q2 2020, iClone 7.9 in Q3 and iClone 7.10 in Q4. Reallusion hasn’t announced a release date for iClone 8 yet.

The current stable release, iClone 7.72, is available for 64-bit Windows 7+. New licences cost $199.

Character Creator is also available for 64-bit Windows 7+, and the base edition is free to iClone users. iClone Unreal Live Link is free to users earning under $100,000/year, or $1,490 otherwise.

To exchange data between iClone and other DCC applications, users also need a separate add-on, 3DXChange, which costs $199 for the Pro edition and $499 for the Pipeline edition.

Read more about Reallusion’s 2020 product roadmap for iClone on its forum

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