In this tutorial we are using iClone 5 PRO and 3DXchange 5 Pipeline to create a toon-like character and export it with included animations to Unity 3D.

If you want to follow a video in which we do this, you can see it here:

iClone and the animation pipleline

iClone is a 3D tool in which you can create and edit 3D content. We use it for our game Erwin’s timewarp to create characters, assign animations to them and export it to the game engine Unity 3D.

This features are included in the iClone animation pipeline with the tools iClone 5 and 3DXChange 5. In iClone you can add, edit and animate the 3D characters, 3DXChange is used, as the name implies, to export the characters to other 3D formats, like fbx in our case.

Body morphing in iClone 5

For we want our characters to appear a bit like toon models, we use another cool feature of iClone: Body morphing. For this we drag the character into the scene:

iClone Character in 3DXchange

iClone Character in 3DXchange

After that open we up the Avatar Proportion window:

AvatarProportion window

AvatarProportion window

You can change the body morphing for each body part separately, or you can use a preset to morph your character – we choose the preset Cartoon:

Cartoon preset in Avatar Proportion window

Cartoon preset in Avatar Proportion window

After that we increase the size of the fingers a little bit (120 for thickness and length):

Set finger length and thickness in iClone

Set finger length and thickness in iClone

And then we press Edit in 3DXChange to be able to export our character to fbx:

Edit in 3DXchange

Edit in 3DXchange

Edit character in 3DXChange 5

Your character appear in 3DXChange like that:

Character in 3DXchange

Character in 3DXchange

Our character has the following animations assigned, from which we select one animation (Angry) to be exported with the character. To do this, we put this animation to the perform list:

Animation in Perform Editor

Animation in Perform Editor

After testing the animation (press the Play button) we hit the FBX-button in the toolbar and use the following settings to export the character to Unity:

FBX export settings in iClone for Unity

FBX export settings in iClone for Unity

Use character in Unity 3D

We exported the fbx to a folder in our Unity project, so the import is done when we open our project in Unity 3D:

iClone Character exported to Unity

iClone Character exported to Unity

Now we can change the import settings for the character and the rig. We define the rig as humanoid and check the Configure-settings of the bones:

Humanoid rig for iClone character in Unity

Humanoid rig for iClone character in Unity

Now you can drag the character to the scene view:

Add iClone character to Unity scene

Add iClone character to Unity scene

The last thing you have to do to play the animations of the character in the game is to create an Animation Controller-component, assign it to the character and define the Angry animation as default:

Animation controller for iClone character in Unity

Animation controller for iClone character in Unity

If you want to assign a different humanoid animation as default you can drag it to the controller and define it as the default action. In our case we use an Idle animation that is played in a loop:

Select idle animation for humanoid character

Select idle animation for humanoid character

That’s it! You can check out our animations of the game Erwin’s timewarp in a video on youtube:

Please vote for our game on steam greenlight if you like it.

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