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Top 5 Reasons to use iClone and HitFilm

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Date Added: 3rd April 2017

Discover how iClone and HitFilm combine to create 3D animation, 3D models, and video editing capabilities...

iClone and HitFilm combine with outstanding results for incorporating 3D animation, 3D models and video editing. Here are the top 5 reasons I've found to use iClone and HItFilm together as a power-duo for 3D and video VFX.

iClone is a powerful 3D animation software, that stands out by being affordable, very intuitive and user friendly. It has a surprisingly short learning curve, and it really boosts the performance of any animation process, allowing you to achieve spectacular results without the need for expensive and complicated resources.

iClone is not just powerful, but is also much easier to learn and use than any other 3D animation software

HitFilm is a very powerful visual effects and editing application that is also much easier to master than most software on the market. Although it allows professional results, FXhome have paid special attention to help beginners and encourage indie filmmakers to include visual effects in their projects.

HitFilm allows you to improve your sequences, adding shocking visual effects of professional quality

1: Preparing 3D Models in iClone for HitFilm

Filmmakers often need to include expensive items in their productions, like military equipment, buildings, space ships, and so on. In these cases, 3D models are very useful as they can be mixed with the real footage, helping you to create the adequate sets without the need to build them.

iClone can manage and animate any kind of complex scene, that once rendered, can be used as compositing layers on HitFilm

Through 3DXchange, iClone can import and prepare a huge amount of 3D props and motions available on the Internet, imported from other 3D apps or captured with Mocap. Any 3DS, FBX or OBJ standard model can be converted in an iClone prop, as well as the BVH motion files can be applied to the iClone characters.

In addition, all the free Sketchup models of 3D Warehouse also can be imported directly into iClone.

Virtually, any model we could need can be found on the Internet. Reallusion 3DXchange is a bridge application that allows you to import and export standard models, in and out of iClone

Once in iClone, you can easily change a 3D model's materials, editing the look of the model in a matter of minutes. The intuitive tools inside iClone, like Motion Puppet, Lip-sync and the Motion Library can animate the models and prepare them for the compositing process in HitFilm.

The models imported from Sketchup can look too simple, but properly textured in iClone they can finally appear very convincing

iClone goes even further, offering a lot of interesting features like: PBR materials that provide an extremely realistic aspect to standard props; a physics engine that allows the rigid models to interact between them in a very natural way; or soft cloth physics that adds extra realism to the scenes, simulating the movements of the clothes, while interacting with the wind, the rigid props or the characters.

iClone provides all these high quality features in real-time, making the render process extremely fast

You can even easily add trees, bushes and grass to your scenes, using the massive botanic library inside iClone. All these models can be animated with wind and "planted" in random clusters following the terrain.

The moving plants and trees are rendered already masked, making the compositing with the real footage extremely easy

2: Preparing animated characters in iClone for HitFilm

iClone can manage and animate special characters like robots, aliens, or even background extras that could be needed in your productions.

Some types of characters that will require extreme makeup, or special clothes, are perfectly suitable to be animated

Character Creator, from Reallusion, allows you to create any kind of biped actors that can be automatically exported to iClone, where they can be easily animated using their very intuitive facial and body animation tools. You can even use mocap devices like the Noitom Perception Neuron Suit or the Microsoft Kinect to capture your movements and apply them to the models.

iClone has a wide variety of animation tools that allow you to apply facial expressions and concatenate movements to the characters in real-time, just using the mouse as controller

iClone animated models can be exported to HitFilm in Alembic format, allowing you to put them in a real 3D environment, using the lights, effects and cameras of HitFilm to set the scene before rendering the final sequence.

Alembic embeds the character and its animations in the file exported, so it can be managed as a real 3D model in the HitFilm project

You can also use the real footage in iClone as background. It helps to place the characters and props and adjust the correct light and camera view. The render obtained from iClone can then be used as a compositing layer in HitFilm with very few adjustments.

If you use the filmed footage as background in iClone, it helps to put the actors and items in place and adjust the scene's light. The rendered sequence without the background is then used as a 2D layer in the HitFilm compositing process

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