Reallusion ships July 2020 updates to digital human tools
Reallusion has released new versions of its digital human tools, including iClone 7.8 and Character Creator 3.3, the latest free updates to its real-time character animation and 3D character creation software.
Character Creator 3.3 is a significant update, introducing a new CC3+ base topology and rig for characters, and SkinGen, a new skin-generation toolset, extended by SkinGen Premium: a separate $99 plugin.
iClone 7.8: new subsurface scattering shader for props and hair
iClone 7.8 is the smaller of the two releases, with the major change being the extension of support for subsurface scattering to props and characters’ hair.
Support for subsurface scattering in skin was added in the previous release of the software via the new Digital Human Shader in iClone 7.7 and Character Creator 3.2.
Other changes in iClone 7.8 include better “micro roughness rendering”, improving rendering of fine skin details, and a redesign of the Hand Gesture Control, used for posing a character’s fingers.
The update also adds support for Character Creator 3.3’s new CC3+ rig, with a new Pose Offset tool to fix discrepancies in motion between CC3 and CC3+ characters when animation is applied to them.
In addition, there is a longish list of smaller changes and bugfixes, listed here on Reallusion’s forum.
Character Creator 3.3: new CC3+ base character topology
Character Creator 3.3 is a far more substantial update, introducing two significant new features: the CC3+ character base and the new SkinGen skin creation toolset.
The former improves the topology and UV layout of characters generated by the software, and introduces separate meshes for the tear line of the eye and an occlusion mesh for the corneal surface.
It also updates the underlying character rig: a change intended to improve skin deformation.
You can see a comparison of the CC3 and CC3+ character bases here, including details of their polygon and texture counts, and the implications of the differences in bind pose for rigging and animation.
Character Creator 3.3: create detailed human skin with the new SkinGen toolset
The update also introduces SkinGen, an interesting new toolset for generating detailed human skin, complete with with wrinkles, blemishes and hair, at texture resolutions of up to 4K.
The system is layer-based – the base toolset has a limit of 15 layers – with separate layers for normals, surface colour, blemishes, “acquired” details like tattoos and makeup, and body hair.
We covered SkinGen when Reallusion previewed it last month, so check out our original story for details.
The core functionality is included in Character Creator 3.3 as standard, but the advanced features are available via SkinGen Premium, a new $99 plugin – about which, more later in this story.
Character Creator 3.3: UDIM support, updates to content packs
Other new features in Character Creator 3.3 include support for the UDIM UV layout format used in texture painting tools like Mari and Substance Painter.
You can read more about UDIM workflow between ZBrush, Substance Painter and Character Creator here.
Workflow for installing Reallusion’s add-on content packs has also been updated to use Smart Gallery plugin added in Character Creator 3.2. You can find more details here and here on Reallusion’s forum.
In addition, Character Creator gets the new SSS shader for props and hair, and the same changes to the Hand Gesture Control tool as iClone 7.8.
SkinGen Premium: new $99 plugin adds advanced skin-creation features
Reallusion has also released SkinGen Premium, a new $99 plugin that extends the new SkinGen toolset.
It adds 21 extra tools, including a set for generating specific body parts like lips, eyebrows and hair, and effects like scars, acne and sweat.
There are also procedural generators for fine skin details like capillaries, freckles and moles.
The plugin also removes the 15-layer limit on the base SkinGen toolset, and adds a UV converter for DAZ 3D characters, making it possible to use textures created for DAZ G3 and G8 characters in Character Creator.
Four new paid digital character content packs for Character Creator 3.3
Reallusion has also released new packs of stock content based on the new features in Character Creator 3.3.
Headshot 1.1: new Baby head type, plus support for the CC3+ character base
In addition, Headshot, Reallusion’s Character Creator plugin for generating 3D human heads from single source images, has been updated to support the new CC3+ character base.
Headshot 1.1 also adds a self-descriptive new Baby body type, shown in the video above, plus updates to image matching, morph sculpting and texture adjustment. Find a full list of changes here.
iClone Unreal Live Link 1.2: support for CC3+ and SkinGen, plus direct transfer or props and lights
iClone Unreal Live Link, Reallusion’s plugin linking iClone to Unreal Engine for real-time rendering, has also been updated to support CC3+, SkinGen settings and the new SSS shader.
Version 1.2 of the plugin also makes it possible to export props and non-human characters to UE4, with animation live-linked between the two applications.
Users can also now transfer IES lights and light shapes to Unreal Engine. Find a full list of changes here.
Pricing and system requirements
iClone 7.8 is available for 64-bit Windows 7+. The update is free to iClone 7.x users; new licences cost $199.
Character Creator 3.3 is available for 64-bit Windows 7+. The base edition is free to registered users of iClone 7; the full Pipeline edition costs $199. You can see a feature comparision of the two editions here.
To exchange data between iClone and other DCC applications, or to export characters from the free edition of Character Creator in OBJ or FBX format, users also need a separate add-on, 3DXChange.
3DXChange costs $199 for the Pro edition and $499 for the Pipeline edition.
SkinGen Premium is compatible with Character Creator 3.3+ and costs $99.
Headshot 1.1 is compatible with Character Creator 3.0+ and costs $199.
iClone Unreal Live Link 1.2 requires iClone 7.0+ and 3DXChange Pipeline 7.0+. It is free to indie users; a full licence costs $1,490.