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Iclone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's Guide [Paperback]

M. D. McCallum
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £27.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Oct 2011 1849691789 978-1849691789

Animate your stories and ideas to create realistic scenes with this movie making application geared towards new and inexperienced film makers, video producers/compositors, vxf artists and 3D artists / designers.

  • Create unique scenes, characters, and digital art for animated movies or images

  • Scale, move, animate and manipulate scene assets including props and actors

  • Step by step instruction with screen shots, project assets, challenges, and quizzes

  • Helpful tips and information about working with iClone from experienced iClone gurus.

In Detail

Reallusion's iClone is an animated movie making application that allows hobbyists, machinimators, home-based animators, and professionals to visualize their story or an idea by seeing it in action. Years ago, creating animations and single images would require a team of trained artists to accomplish. Now, iClone real time rending engine empowers its users to instantly view what is loaded into the 3D workspace or preview it as an animation, if you have the precise instructions.

The iClone 3D Animation Beginner's Guide will walk you through the building and animating of a complete scene and several one-off projects. First we create a scene with sky, terrain , water, props and other assets. Then add two characters and manipulate their features and animate their movement. We will also use particles to create the effect of a realistic torch and animate cameras to give different views to the scene. Finally we will see how to quickly import images to enhance the scene with a mountain, barn, and water tank. It will cover some fun stuff such as playing with props, characters, and other scene assets. It will also demonstrate some advanced topics such as screen resolution, formats and codecs but mostly it will deal with doing hands on animation with precise instructions.

Starting with a blank project using stock and downloadable assets you will learn to lay out and animate a scene and export that scene to both a single image and a movie. The main project will demonstrate many common and undocumented techniques, while each project introduces and examines tools and techniques for successful and fun animation of ideas or scripts.

Each project of the book including the main project is designed to cover the aspects of 3D animation in a manner which anyone with basic computer skills can follow. You will discover the importance of lighting a scene including daytime scenes. The concept of the timeline and key frames will be covered in detail and other topics such as rendering (exporting), character modification and prop placement all have their own sections with step by step instructions followed by an explanation of what just happened. Good animation habits and project basics are stressed throughout the book interspersed with time saving tips and techniques gained from years of experience with iClone.

When you have finished The iClone 3D Animation Beginner's Guide you will have a solid foundation in the basics of iClone by having animated a scene with multiple characters and props that involves dialog and interaction with other characters. You will have the knowledge to create new animation projects to hone your skills, tell your story, educate students or sell your product.

What you will learn from this book

  • Install and setup iClone preferences as per your needs

  • Quickly create and populate scenes

  • Modify characters and clothing

  • Fit facial photos to characters

  • Work with animated and interactive props

  • Pace multi-character dialog using the built in lip sync feature combined with the timeline

  • Apply special effects such as fire, rain, fog and other particle-driven effects

  • Set up cameras and multiple camera shots

  • Create and export single images and animated movies in multiple formats

  • Build timeline-based character and prop key frame animation


This book is a part of the Beginner's guide series, wherein you will quickly start doing tasks with precise instructions. Then the tasks will be followed by explanation and then a challenging task or a multiple choice question about the topic just covered.

Who this book is written for

Do you have a story to tell or an idea to illustrate? This book is aimed at film makers, video producers/compositors, vxf artists or 3D artists/designers like you who have no previous experience with iClone. If you have that drive inside you to entertain people via the internet on sites like YouTube or Vimeo, create a superb presentation video, showcase a product or create a movie, or get a fast start on the iClone program, this Beginner's guide was written with you in mind.

Product details

  • Paperback: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (24 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849691789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849691789
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 911,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

M.D. McCallum

M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord in the iClone community, is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years and includes over one hundred individual and team-based awards. M.D. has worked freelance for animation companies, 3D application companies, game development studios, and indie film and animation studios. His experience with computers dates back to home-built kits in the late 1970s.

M.D. is the author of eleven whitepapers for the Reallusion iClone Developers Center and has been selected twice as a Reallusion Featured Developer. M.D. has been a loyal user of iClone since version one and is a Certified Content Developer and Reallusion Director. M.D. was previously published as an outdoor writer in national magazines before turning his attention to full time digital freelancing.

M.D. operates a freelance production studio in partnership with other highly skilled freelancers across the world to provide web- and television-based commercials, product presentations and visualization. He also creates and provides quality iClone props including his innovative Destructible line of props and iClone freebies and tips at iclonerevolution.com.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful resource ! 31 Jan 2012
Although this book was written for v4.31 of iClone, it still applies to the newer v5. I found that a few instructions sets were not crystal clear, which would leave an absolute beginner baffled as to why a particular sequence was not working. It's a beginner's book, so nothing should be taken for granted. That said, I'd still recommend this book to anyone who wants to jump into the wonderful world of iClone animation. The book is full of extremely useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts. It'll certainly dramatically shorten the learning curve which takes one from beginner to intermediate user.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iclone Beginners guide. 25 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Iclone (the software) is a terrific animation programme. However, it is absolutely necessary that you learn how to use it. This can be quite daunting! Two ways to learn it. Spend years blundering about, learning bits and pieces here and there, and probably giving up.
Or, buy this book which gives you a hands on (and practical) approach to the in's and out's, of how to use the programme to best effect.
I initially, chose to blunder about, because I had some knowledge of 3D animation. Mistake! So I bought the book!
Still working my way through it, and building projects, however this is definitely the way to learn the programme!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I recently discovered iClone by accident and was instantly hooked. Now, there are literally hundreds of tutorials on Youtube, and although a few of them helped me to get up and running with iClone, I found I was still missing a foundational understanding of the many features of the software.

I came across this book as I was reading the author's blog and thought that it might help to give me a good grounding in iClone. As it turns out, this book actually delivers way more than it says on the cover.

It not only teaches absolute beginners how to use all the various features in iClone, but more importantly, the author shares a great many tips and techniques which he draws from his many years of experience as a professional 3D animator. So many things in fact which you won't find in any Youtube tutorials since those are mostly oriented towards describing the various features of the software. This book goes so much further than that.

And yes, it does also cover iClone 5 and quite extensively at that. Nearly 200 pages of Appendices in fact are dedicate to the new features in iClone 5!

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone starting out using iClone, you'll surely find this is money well spent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ICLONE 4.31 3D ANIMATION BEGINNERS GUIDE 13 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very clear and easy to understand. Just what I needed.
Nice large print. I would rate 5 stars and. above.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a GREAT BOOK! 5 Nov 2011
By Cathy Ralph - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whether you are a beginner or experienced user - THIS BOOK ROCKS. It's loaded from cover to cover with tips, tricks and tutorials. Easily explained and laid-out in a way that is intuitive and understandable. The iClone community has been waiting for such a book for many years and this was worth waiting for. I agree with the previous reviewer that an "Includes Introduction to iClone 5 Features" sticker should have been put on the front instead of just a mere mention on the back for more 'curb appeal' in bookstores. That being said, this is one of the best book purchases I've made in years (and I buy a lot of books!) This is a reference guide I will return to again and again as I work on my projects in iClone. Thank you Mr. McCallum for writing this book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your hot-wire to the ultimate animation hot-rod 5 Nov 2011
By Mitchell S. Gould - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If there were ever a time to resist judging a book by its cover, the moment you encounter MD McCallum's mis-named "iClone 4.31: 3D Animation" is that time. The most important thing to say is that Packt Publishing was evidently constrained to keep the same book title even after its momentous decision to cover the new Version 5 of iClone. So, to be perfectly clear: *this book covers the awesome new features of iClone 5.* At the very least, a "Covers Version 5" sticker should have easily been slapped on the book! On a far more trivial--but far more perplexing--level, the cover of this guide to the planet's most user-friendly 3D animation program is decorated with a macro view of some unknown flower: a flower so ugly it might as well be a common weed.

In my opinion, McCallum's achievement is further undermined by the book's rough paper stock--yet another mystery, given the book's premium price. Not only does this cheapen the feel of the book, it degrades the fidelity of the book's many black and white pictures--even beyond the fuzziness caused by the poor attention given to their brightness and contrast. (We won't even mention the additional dreariness added by a nondescript sans-serif body font.) I bring these issues up specifically to prevent them from giving you the wrong impression: there is nothing second-class about the instruction presented here. If you are getting started with iClone, this is the book you have been dreaming of: your hot-wire for an incredibly powerful animation hot-rod.

Now, one thing you can judge accurately from the cover: this book is eminently suited to the newcomer. It really assumes you know nothing about the program and enables you to master the basics. In general, the longer you have been using iClone, the less value you'll find in this book. On the other hand, even an intermediate user can still learn from McAllum's insights as a longtime industry professional in computer graphics and an iClone developer, especially since the technical editor was heavy-hitter Guy Langlois. This is all the more true because Packt and McCallum made the difficult, courageous, but ultimately inevitable, decision to expand the book to cover the new features of iClone 5.

One of the things I like about this book is that McCallum tries to dispel some of the most self-defeating habits of newcomers, such as their fatal attraction to the idea that they can produce an entire animated short inside a single iClone project, without even breaking up their work across many projects, not to mention without using a video editor to cut and assemble their scenes. This inexplicable mindset is so common and so hopeless that I just wish Mike had addressed it even more thoroughly.

All things considered, Packt was very smart to be the first publisher to address so many years of a crying need for a beginner's guide to iClone, and, leaving aside the sad packaging mistakes, has essentially given us instruction worthy of iClone's brilliance. Based upon my perception of the size and growth rate of the iClone community, the book ought to sell like hotcakes. And then I'd like to get an offer to trade in this unattractive edition for a new edition printed with dignified type on quality paper, and illustrated with legible screenshots.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iclone 4.31 Beginner's Guide 22 Dec 2011
By Mauricio Jordan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
iClone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's GuideiClone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's GuideGetting this book,Iclone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's Guide, in whichever format:PDF,e-book,or hard/soft copy,is an invaluable learning tool for the beginning Iclone 4 or 5 3D movie Machine software animator.
It cuts through the hard to master animation tricks that any beginner needs to learn to make or create a decent 3D animation/movie with this software.

The author,M.D.McCallum-aka "Warlord" in the Reallusion's Iclone community-a veteran Iclone Guru,walks you by the hand through the easy-to-follow lessons,explaining step-by-step animation tricks and techniques. This method gives the student the confidence to pick up where video tutorials in Youtube leaves him/her wondering about the intricate interface of Iclone4/5. With this book you don't get stuck on any section of the right control panel,or timeline animation section.

I did a brief but concise book review at:

feel free to read it and leave comments either there on the Blog,or here in the Amazon book review article.

I am pretty sure that when you buy the book and start cranking out those amazing video 3D animations and post them on Youtube,you will receive good comments and ratings. then you will be glad you got your money's worth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful resource ! 7 Jan 2012
By Rowan Sutherland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although this book was written for v4.31 of iClone, it still applies to the newer v5. I found that a few instructions sets were not crystal clear, which would leave an absolute beginner baffled as to why a particular sequence was not working. It's a beginner's book, so nothing should be taken for granted. That said, I'd still recommend this book to anyone who wants to jump into the wonderful world of iClone animation. The book is full of extremely useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts. It'll certainly dramatically shorten the learning curve which takes one from beginner to intermediate user.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good for beginners 12 Aug 2014
By KenCoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I ordered the kindle edition to use with my 5.5 version. I have had almost no problem with that.
You do have to register at his web site to get some of the material though. It seems this could have been done with a link from the book.
When you go to some of the sites in the book they seem to be up for sale. Other than that it is a very good book for a beginner like me.
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