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iClone 4.0 Pro

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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iClone 4.0 Pro

The Bottom Line

Film-quality animation is now available starting at $79.95. Reallusion's iClone has grown in leaps and bounds from its original incarnation, and now brings the world of Hollywood CGI home to the personal computer.

Pros

  • Possesses amazing HDR and animated texture effects.
  • Eerily realistic facial animation puppeteering.
  • Easy-to-use video production-style layout.
  • Comes with many royalty-free premade animation objects.

Cons

  • Resource-intensive; wouldn't render on my laptop.

Description

  • Features a complete 3D animated filmmaking studio.
  • Introduces high-end 3D video effects.
  • Facial editor allows for real-time modeling and animation.
  • Uses motion paths and transition controls for realistic animation.

Guide Review - iClone 4.0 Pro

Very rarely do you see animation packages targeted at home / hobbyist users successfully make the jump from low-end to studio-quality animation, but iClone 4.0 has cleared that hurdle - and then some. I've always enjoyed every incarnation of iClone that I've reviewed, but version 4.0 pro really blew me out of the water and ramped up my respect for Reallusion another notch.

iClone 4.0 packs in film-quality effects and animation techniques normally reserved for high-end studio animation packages targeting the big screen...and it makes them accessible to beginning users with a fluid, natural interface whose built-in learning curve will quickly guide the beginner along the path to pro animation. The demo animations alone were beautiful, and the ease of customization makes the program a delight to use.

Along with gorgeous HDR and animated texture / particle effects, the biggest lure is the facial puppeteering, which allows for lifelike expressions and lends real personality and life. If you don't have the time or interest to create your own materials, the Reallusion library comes with a plethora of ready-to-use royalty-free stock animations and models.

The only detriment? It may not run on some computers. My year-old laptop running Windows XP had major difficulties even launching it, and opening any of the demo work created strange color shifts and nearly completely locked the computer. Switching to a desktop with more power, a newer graphics card, and Vista cleared up the problem, though, and the program ran like a dream.

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