iClone in ZBrush !

Hello everyone,

Its nice to finally join the ZBrush forums. I am part of the Reallusion team, the guys that make iClone5 and the iClone 3DXchange5 Pipeline.

For a while we have been receiving lots of requests on our website on guides and ideas on how to create and use ZBrush content, and then quickly animating them inside iClone. So we have been working and gathering some tutorials. I’ll be posting some information and also helping in answering your questions when I can.

Feel free to drop me a message if you have any particular questions. Thanks!



So the first video tutorial I’d like to post, demonstrates how to create extreme head morphs with ZBrush, with Reallusion Standard characters for real-time application in iClone5 using the iClone 3Dxchange Pipeline 5.4.

You’ll see how the process takes minutes with the motion tools in iClone.

If you have detailed questions, I can try to answer them here or you can send me a PM.

Software needed:
- iClone5

  • 3Dxchange5.4 (trial version will do)


First you need to review all this things…

  1. Displacement map export.
  2. Cloth fitting.
  3. Subdividing.
  4. Crease.
  5. Normal map export.
  6. UV Map.
  7. Model export.

Hi Jay!

Yes, you are right. There are several things that we also need to review for better understanding. At this moment, we have more video tutorials in production that will cover these topics. Once they are ready, we will continue to share them with ZBrush users.

Thank you. :wink:

Hello Everyone !

Since we have had several requests from users who are new to iClone, then we have decided to start with the very basics of the iClone Animation Pipeline.

We will start by posting some of the introductory iClone tutorials and gradually move to more advanced ones. This will allow any user to pick up from their particular level or interest with iClone and then work their way up.

The list here is tentative and it guides you from — the basics of iClone, to character customization, to facial & body animation, mocap animation, motion refinement, and final packaging prior to exporting.

Now you don’t necessarily have to follow every tutorial as some users may only need certain steps, while others may need the entire list. Also, be sure to check out the other “iClone Resources” forum, where we will be periodically giving away iClone freebie characters and animations for ZBrush members.

The Path to iClone

  1. Introduction to iClone
  2. Turn a 2D Photo into a 3D iClone Character
  3. Customize your Character in iClone
  4. Create instant Facial Animations
  5. Use advanced Facial Animation tools in iClone
  6. Create fast Body Animations
  7. Learn to modify Body Motions in iClone
  8. Intro to Kinect Motion Capturing with iClone
  9. Kinect Motion Capture refinement with iClone tools
  10. Intermediate Kinect Motion Refinement (Looping and Motion Layer Editing)
  11. Consolidate all your iClone motion data for Export


Turn your ZBrush sculpture into a 3D Animated Character

Now before we start with the iClone learning tutorials, we would like to give you an idea of what can be accomplished with ZBrush + iClone. So here is a teaser video that can give ZBrush users a better idea of the iClone resources they have at their disposal.

Zbrush1 (Small) (Mobile).jpgZbrush2 (Small) (Mobile).jpgZbrush3 (Small) (Mobile).jpgZbrush4 (Small) (Mobile).jpg



By using the workaround of characterizing your ZBrush props with a bone structure, you can now use the facial puppet tools inside iClone to morph blend shapes and create real-time prop morphing animations! This tutorial will take you through the process of attaching a bone structure dummy to your ZBrush prop, bringing it into 3DXchange, and finally importing various blend shapes and assigning them to a custom puppet profile.

Tutorial #1 - Introduction to iClone

When you first start up iClone, it can be a confusing place. What are all of these tools for? What is this stuff over here?

Well, if you’re new to iClone and not yet familiar with the UI, then this is the tutorial you’ll want to watch. Also, even if you’re an experienced iClone user, you just might still be able to learn a few tips to make your workflow more efficient by using hotkeys and utilizing features you probably never even knew existed!


Tutorial #2 - Turn a 2D Photo into a 3D iClone Character

In addition to the various character customization options you have with iClone, you also have the ability to create a brand new 3D head from your own personal 2D photos!

In this tutorial, you’ll learn about the important concept of facial fitting, and how you can use it to bring your own head photos to life in 3D. You’ll also learn a bit about customizing the texture and surface appearance of your new face, as well as making subtle changes to the facial features. All you need to start is a 2D photo of yourself or anyone else you want to make into a character.


Interesting program, I saw the video just over my post and have a question:
Is it possible, to export a created head / person to zbrush, e.g. by .obj-file already as a quad-mwsh with a senseful edgeflow (edgeflow around eyes, nose, ears) to work with this mesh then in zbrush?


Hi Mawag01,

YES, this is definitely possible with iClone as you can import and export models and characters in and out of iClone via our 3DXchange5 software, which is iClone’s converter and exporter.

3DXchange supports OBJ and FBX formats for interoperability. So you need both iClone5 + 3DXchange5, to import and export to external 3D tools.

That import and export is possible, I saw in the video. But the video showed, that the head is made of trigons. And I want to know, if a head, formed by photos, can be exported with quads with an edgeflow, showed in the tool for moving parts of the face?
I mean the tool showed at the time 8.55 of the video. Here are only quads. But the UV-Map showed triangles at 8.15 min. ???

Hi Mawag01,

Ok. I understand now what you were asking. Unfortunately, at the moment we are not able to export anything with quads because everything that is imported into iClone turns into triangles. However there are tools that convert triangles to quads but I understand that they don’t do this very well. iClone6 is in development right now and this is definitely something we can mention to the developers here.

Another work-around would be to convert directly to Dynamesh in ZBrush, that way one would not have to worry about the topology at all when sculpting.

Tutorial # 3 - Customize your iClone Character

There are many different options for creating and customizing your characters in iClone5. This tutorial will teach you how to take any iClone character and completely change it into your own unique creation by using the powerful character modification tools. Learn how to change facial and body proportions and textures, create unique clothing and hairstyles, and much more. This tutorial is essential for learning about the various options you have for characters in iClone5.


Tutorial # 4 - Create Instant Facial Animations

One of the coolest features with iClone 5 is the ability to create realistic facial animation in literally minutes! This tutorial will give you the low-down on how to do this. That’s not it though… iClone 5 allows you to make much more detailed edits to your facial animation to create subtle nuances in expression and give you complete control over your characters facial movements.


Tutorial # 5 - Use Advanced Facial Animation tools in iClone

In this facial animation tutorial, you will learn all about the powerful features of the iClone’s facial puppet and others tools that can help you bring your character’s expression and speech to life. You’ll get a walkthrough of audio lip-syncing and how to refine it, as well as how to add emotions using various facial animation options.


Tutorial # 6 - Create quick Body Animations with iClone

iClone’s Body Puppeteering panel offers a unique and easy way to animate your characters with highly-customizable animations. You can preview your motions in real-time and make minor adjustments as the animation loops. The Body Puppet panel also gives you the ability to mask out body parts, and layer different animations for different parts of the body on top of each other. You can easily create, blend and mask animations to create truly unique motions in minutes.


Tutorial # 7 - Easily Modify Body motions in iClone

The Motion Modify option is a new feature with iClone 5.5 that allows you to modify postures and animated poses of your character after the motion clip has been recorded. This tutorial will teach you how to use this tool to make subtle and unique custom adjustments to motions from the motion library, and from motions created with iClone’s real-time body puppet tools.


Tutorial # 8 - Intro to Kinect Motion Capturing with iClone

iClone5 offers the most affordable and intuitive, motion capturing solution in the industry. Now you can simply use your body to control virtual actors, in real-time, with motion smoothing optimizations. Lightspeed your animations and create realistic-looking motions as now you can literally control actors with your body movements. All you need is iClone5 PRO, the Mocap plug-in and a Microsoft Kinect sensor camera. You can use the Kinect for Windows camera or the Xbox Kinect camera with the additional AC/<st1:stockticker>USB</st1:stockticker> adapter.


Tutorial # 9 - Kinect Motion Capture refinement with iClone (Human IK and Direct Puppet)

Turning your Kinect motion captures into refined motions is easy, thanks to the powerful animation tools within iClone. In this tutorial, you’ll learn the proper way to capture your motions and save them for further editing. From there, you’ll discover how simple it is to use the Direct Puppet tools in combination with some initial pose adjustments to make your motions truly exceptional in just a few minutes.


Tutorial # 10 - Tutorial # 10 - Intermediate Kinect Motion Refinement (Looping and Motion Layer Editing)

There are many more options for your to refine your raw motion capture data aside from using the Direct Puppet tool. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use a fundamental skill to add detail to your motion with Motion Layer Editing. This involves placing keyframes and using the Human IK tool within iClone to modify your motions. You’ll also learn how to prevent foot sliding, which is a common problem with raw Kinect mocap data. Finally, you’ll see how simple it is to create a good looking looping motion, which you can extend however long you’d like.