Once you have your scene ready to render in iClone, the next step is to open the Indigo Render Settings panel and start assigning Indigo Shaders to your models. There is a massive library of free physically based shaders that can be downloaded from Indigo from inside iClone. The Indigo physically based shader library provides access to shaders for metals, glass, painted surfaces and more that will render great visual effects. The render of the tools below shows the Scratched Chrome Indigo Shader on the airbrush, and Scratched Metal Indigo Shader on the robot arms, which are both available to download for free from the Indigo library.
You can utilize the eyedropper tool to pick your object surfaces and assign an Indigo Shader directly in iClone.
The shader will appear when you hit the render button to send your iClone project to
Indigo. Objects and their assigned shaders are listed in the Indigo Render Settings panel.
3D objects in your scene that do not require Indigo physically based Shaders will be auto-converted to Indigo shaders from the available info in your object's material ball. This step saves lots of time and lets you easily convert every 3D model into a Phong render-ready object. The blueprint and the hammer on the table in the image above are good examples of auto-converted materials to shaders by iClone.
The Indigo Render Settings panel is quite powerful with Indigo Shader downloads and assignment,
Auto-Converting materials to shaders and also the ability to set lighting parameters for your project's render in Indigo. Scroll down the Indigo Render Settings panel to locate the Indigo Environment section. The environment can be setup for your render to include iClone lights only, background color illumination, or Indigo Sun and Sky, which positions the Sun in accordance to the Key light or another light you choose from the scene. You'll want to turn off any iClone lights at the bottom of the Indigo Render Settings panel if you do not want those to render in Indigo.
Most of the heavy lifting is done in iClone so that your projects go to render in Indigo without lots of further tweaking.
Step 6: Rendering in Indigo
Scrolling down further on the Indigo Render Settings panel provides access to the Export Range, Tone Mapping, Export resolution size, and more. Now that all models are in place, Substances have been added, soft cloth has been created, the physically based shaders have been assigned, and the lighting for Indigo has been selected, you are ready to render.
Select the Render Scene button from the Indigo toolbar and you will launch the Indigo RT renderer using the plug-in pathway we created directly from iClone 6 to Indigo. Indigo will open and then your iClone scene will begin to process and progressively build before your eyes. While rendering your scene in Indigo you can use Pick Material to eyedropper any material surface and add another physically-based shader or edit the properties of any currently assigned shader.
The camera in Indigo can even be panned, zoomed, or dollied, to correct the view or change to a whole new view for rendering various locations of your scene. The Render Settings inside Indigo also give access to Tone Mapping, allowing you to select from a variety of film settings to get a range of different looks for your render. These can be cycled through at any time during your render to find a look that best suits your scene.
The image above shows an Indigo Render: Substances on the Robot and metal mat; Indigo physically based shaders on the screws and screwdriver.
Once you are happy with the progress of your scene render in Indigo, you can save your image or if you are animating you would have set the range of frames to render inside iClone. The Robot Restoration project is a still life, so we just need the one frame rendered.
After 1 hour I had a frame that would work just fine and, letting it go further, it just kept looking better and better. You can choose how long to let your scene to Render and then save the image when finished. Indigo projects can be saved to continue rendering later so you won't lose progress if you need pause your render. Learn more about how to work with these rendering tools in this video tutorial about Indigo and iClone 6:
Image above: Indigo Materials: Jars: Scratched Glass, Red Paint - Caramel Red, Blue Paint - Speckled Car Paint. Substances: Robot feet and legs, work mat
Pricing and Availability
iClone 6 is available now for Windows. It can be purchased at the Reallusion store for the standard list price of $99 USD or a PRO price of $199. Standard upgrades are $59, while PRO upgrades are $119.