New year , new projects and new episodes. Seven Gates episode 4 and 5 are on the way.
Lots of ground work has been laid for the future of the project going into 2019, and I am excited to move forward once again. The first big announcement is the new scripts for the next phase are almost done. Seven Gates Where angels fall is the back story of the series, while the real story and series is what is coming next. Seven Gates Soul Hunters.
There is a reason to my madness in starting this way. Most authors, creators etc will start with the main story and then branch off into the backstory or side stories. I decided to take a different route. The project was to teach myself animation and how to use the various software packages. I started with that in mind and went with telling the back story first in order to be better prepared to tell the real story afterwards, once I was better at animation. In approaching the project this way I was still working on the same overall story and characters as well as laying the ground work for the series and the story.
Seven Gates Soul hunters takes place 10 years after the events coming in episodes 4 and 5. This means new character looks and world look and lots of new goodies to show. I wont detail much more on the story line as of yet because of spoilers. I don’t want to spoil the fun of episodes 4 and 5, now do I.
The rest of this update I am going to focus on the software I use in hopes of helping any one else who is trying to swim through all the various options out there. The choices I made are based on low cost and ease of use as well as a low learning curve of the software beyond the basics of 3d software and animation. The choices out there are crazy and you could spend years trying to find and learn which one does what or doesn’t do. Ultimately the choice is one of personal preference to me. Others may disagree but I see these as a great stepping stone. Master these programs and push them to their limits and your foundation will be solid. I am still learning how to master them but I found they work well together in the long run.
So I use. Iclone 7, Character Creator 3, Daz 3d Studio 4.10 , Hitfilm Express and Blender 2.8 ( Blender can do all of the work if you are so inclined to learn all the details of the program). Image editing I use three programs Krita, Affinity Photo and an older Photoshop version ( mainly because I like a few of the features for this version). There is no reason for using the three instead of one its just I like how one does one element better than another.
Lets start with IClone 7 and Character Creator 3. These two programs by Reallusion are the core animation and character creating portion of the workflow. The Reallusion software suites alone can do the entire process, especially if you purchase all the plugins and add-ons and additional content. I’ll just list what I see as the basics that you will need to create animation.
- Iclone 7 pro with 3dexchange
- Character Creator 3 with pipeline
- Curve editor
- Popcorn FX
- Additional content from Reallusion as you see fit for props etc
Next program is DAZ 3d Studio. Daz is a free 3d software suite and includes hexagon 2.5 for modeling and morph creation. The content store is where Daz makes its money, and you will find they give lots of freebies and discounts through out the year. The core free product and content will give you some basic models and props as well as character bases. Once you learn hexagon and the morph system you can start creating custom characters or combine store bought ones as well. I’ll be honest the content store of Daz is where the power and flexibility is. You can also create animations with Daz and there are several cool features for creating animations to export out.
So with these two programs any financial cost is the Reallusion software and the content from both the DAZ store and Reallusion content store.
The next program is Hitfilm express for video editing. The base program is free and any additional cost is on effects and template packages ( usually 10 dollars a piece). Hitfilm pro is the paid version of the same program which includes all the add-ons and filters. They have a great source of tutorial videos and a easy to use interface. I find the program easy to use and does an great job.
The final program is blender. Blender can do everything all the others programs can. Many would argue its better to just do it all in blender. The only problem I have there is, its a huge program and there is a lot to learn. I am learning this program and using it currently for modeling and sculpting of props and characters. It’s a free open source program and as of version 2.8 which is still in beta it has become a lot easier to use.
I like how the other programs do the specific jobs and find that the Reallusion software is really my main software program. They are constantly improving and adding features. I see it becoming the only one you may need in the future as new updates and improvements arrive.
In the end it doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you create something and you enjoy it.