Mike Dodds

3D Environment Artist
I've spent the last two weeks on this short film. This was mainly to learn and experiment with the workflow. Creating Victoria and William in Character Creator, animating them in iClone7, and then putting them in a scene in Blender using the new Global Illumination addon. The car was modelled in Blender and is loosely based on the 1901 Stanley Steamer. Buildings are from the Kitbash3d Steampunk pack. A few kinks to straighten out, like how to update animations in an FBX in Blender. Any feedback would be great.

I like your shot compositions, but maybe a bit more easing on the first shot as the camera moves down so it doesn't abruptly end, but eases you into the world then cuts (personally) 

Perhaps using wiggle bones on the hair  - so it gets more secondary action and nice flow. 
Wiggle bone plugin is really easy to use and free. You just add a bone chain parent to headbone and click wigglebone and your done :P To be rewarded with flowing locks!

I have had problems with sliding feet in unity, i'm not sure the solution in blender...
But there is a frame in the walk where the feet are sliding and then moving a little forward before moving back and letting the feet slide through the ground a little. - It might be the bone needed to be rotated a little in the retargeting of the animation? or the root motion IK. (I do remember this being annoying to fix XD)

How did you render it? using the compositor in layers or as one render on the go? I haven't yet started to make any footage so I'm interested to see what people are doing here, what they think works best and how they go about it. Their workflow especially.

Anyway good stuff! 

Thanks Natalie, great suggestions, I did add some easing on the first shot, but obviously not enough. The hair and sliding feet are probably down to me still trying to figure out how to get the animations from iClone into Blender. In iClone the hair and dress are soft body, and move quite well with physics. Although I baked the physics in iClone it doesn't seem to come across in the FBX. Similarly there is no slide in iClone. Looking at it again, I think it's a transition between two different motion clips tht I could tidy up in Blender. .  It's rendered in Eevee, one layer and one .blend file. It took between 15 and 30 seconds to render each frame (i9 and 2080Ti). The only post processing I did was in Premier and that was just a slight vignette. There are also some issues with the character textures from iClone, they come across as basecolour, specular and opacity. I've just seen some thing from Markom3D showing a way to get PBR textures, so I'll need to try that. First though I'm going to try the same basic workflow, but using Unreal Engine to build and render the scene.. I think with the iClone to Unreal bridge a lot of the problems with the FBX export will be resolved.
Oh the sliding feet is hard it happens... - I've had it quite often from mixamo animations and importing into unity, quite often the root node and IK have a hissy fit of some kind. Its one reason I want to get into animation is to resolve that and not rely on mocap and retargeting... because one solution would work,  but for a different mocap not so much... and back to head scratching ;P

Mabey its possible to just add the hair bones in blender to the existing fbx and reweight the hair? I would be interesting to know how its baking the physics and why it has a conflict, but I guess that is something only time will resolve :) some things just take a lot of digging... but iClone sounds like an interesting system. 

PBR textures will probably help a lot., and should be fairly simple to setup in blender as long as the model keeps its UVs and if you can export the textures. it will give you much more artistic freedom in the long run in designing the look. The principal shader is pretty cool too- especially to give nice scattered light skin tones. Its amazing all these toys are free!

Good luck - it looks like a fun project :)


I'm enrolled on the CG Career Booster (and the Substance Painter Launchpad). 

I'm a technical communicator with 40 years experience writing manuals and developing course materials for companies like IBM, Oracle, OpenText and numerous smaller companies. I'm about to be laid off ( Covid strikes) just a couple of years from retirement. 

I'm researching ways to create a passive income and considering creating a YouTube channel or creating courses for Udemy, Skillshare, LinkedIn and probably other places. I've reached out to a number of YouTube and Udemy creators and the reponses have been mixed.

Do you have a YouTube channel, or have you created courses for platforms like Udemy?  If so I'd be very grateful if you could spare a little time to tell me about your experiences.

If you'd prefer not to see your responses in the forum, please send an email to mike@illuminat3d.graphics

Many thanks


I'm from Scotland and specialise in creating realistic environments in Unreal Engine. I model assets with Blender, SpeedTree and maybe a little Character Creator 3 and iClone7.

I'm about to launch a YouTube channel where I'll create iconic scenes from Scotland as virtual environments in Unreal Engine and maybe also in Blender. First episode will be about creating a landscape in Unreal Engine from a heightmap.