Led by co-founder Antony Evans, our studio specializes in character design, animation, and crafting virtual avatars. Recently, we embarked on an exciting project for Reallusion, where we showcased our prowess in creating a stylized and engaging character – “Lil Lewis Capaldi” for TikTok.
Crafting “Lil Lewis Capaldi”
1. Initial Character Creation
Our journey began with Character Creator 4 (CC4), a versatile platform that allowed us to tweak and transform base mesh into a custom, yet dynamic design, while retaining essential facial expression and animation rig. The goal was to morph Lewis Capaldi into a cartoony style, adjusting proportions and features to create a relatable, yet unique character.
2. Utilizing Headshot AI Plugin
The Headshot AI plugin played a pivotal role in initiating the design process. Importing a high-resolution image of Lewis Capaldi into Headshot laid the foundation for character likeness. It provided a proportional match, which was then finetuned through meticulous adjustments and iterations, offering a promising base for character development.
3. Sculpting with ZBrush
ZBrush and the GoZ feature became our companions in this creation journey. They facilitated swift mesh changes and seamless back-and-forth model transition, enabling us to perfect the character’s overall look before delving into finer details. The combination of these tools allowed for a workflow that was both personalized and efficient.
4. Finalizing Design with SkinGen and Clothing
To give “Lil Lewis Capaldi” a lifelike appearance, we employed SkinGen for subtle skin details and utilized clothing and hair from Reallusion’s content library and Luis Duarte’s La Familia Content pack. The amalgamation of these elements brought our character to life, ready for animation.
Animating with iClone
1. Facial Capture with LIVE FACE
Animating “Lil Lewis Capaldi” was a venture into precision and real-time synchronization. We leveraged the iPhone and LIVE FACE plugin for iClone for facial expressions and lip sync, working line by line to ensure perfect sync with the music, thereby crafting a harmonious animation.
2. Body Animation and Interaction
The body animation was kept simple yet engaging, with preset animations and motions from ActorCore. Reach targets were employed to animate hands and arms, enabling interaction with objects, adding a layer of realism to the character’s performance.
3. Lighting and Camera Work
The lighting was carefully curated, starting with preset lights and then tailored to create the desired atmosphere, including the addition of volumetric lighting. Camera work was kept focused on the character, with well-timed cuts aligned with the music’s rhythm, ensuring a cohesive visual experience.
A Symphony of Creation
This project was a symphony of creativity, technology, and innovation, showcasing how seamlessly a custom character can be brought to life and animated. The methodologies employed, such as Goz, LIVE FACE, and preset animation content, exemplified how efficient and swift content creation can be, especially for platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts.
Join the Digital Puppets Community
We welcome fellow animators and enthusiasts to join our Discord channel, a burgeoning community for iClone, Unreal Engine, Character Animator, LIVE2D users, and beyond. Share, learn, and engage with us as we continue to explore the endless possibilities in the world of digital animation.
In the dynamic dance of animation and creation, Digital Puppets UK continues to craft stories, bring characters to life, and explore uncharted territories. Whether it’s Vtubers, PNGTubers, or Digital Puppet creators, we are here, painting the canvas of animation with vivid strokes of creativity and innovation.