Having used Reallusion products for almost twenty years I have become accustomed to being spoiled by feature-rich updates and groundbreaking versions that have transformed the software from a hobbyist wish list to a professional animation toolset. Reallusion products continue to serve new animators, hobbyists, and aspiring pros, along with the existing customer base and a new influx of veteran professional users by providing tools that are easy to learn and easy to use.
The recent release of their auto rigging tool, AccuRIG is just one more time-saving tool that makes most character rigging a push button process with one button rigging all but the hands. Those are rigged in two follow-up processes that are simple to learn and can be mirrored from one side of the character to the other.
Basically, it is very similar to Miximo’s auto rigger except that it seems to be a bit more robust in terms of rigging. You don’t have to drag the dots to begin the process as that is a simple click but you may have to move around control points or at the very least tweak them.
To get started hop on over to the Actorcore website and click on the FREE AUTO RIGGING button in bright green to go over to the download page. From there click on the FREE DOWNLOAD button to initiate the download. It’s just that simple and once downloaded you install it and you are ready to start auto rigging bipedal character meshes.
Actorcore already has a lot of built-in profiles from Mixamo, DAZ, Maya, and other common 3D applications. If one of those doesn’t work, then it takes a shot at rigging it and does very good on the body. Sometimes the hands need some rearranging of the dots but that can be mirrored to the other hand when corrected so it’s not that much of a process. Most body rigging takes only one push of the button.
For this example, I’ll be using the Sketchfab character "Cooper" (https://skfb.ly/JFSw) by Julien Hondaâ is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/).
You start off in the Load Character section which you can browse to the file of choice or drag and drop as I did in this example.
Next, you find yourself in the auto rigging section of the application after the model loads as shown below. If the model isn’t centered, then you adjust the centerline slider to correct it. After this, you press the Rig Body button in the bottom right corner of the application. The auto-rigging will now start and can take some time depending on the model used.
After this you are shown the rigging dots as the AccuRIG algorithm see it. You don’t need a previously skinned mesh to do this. You can use just the mesh and AccuRIG will plot the points, rig the skeleton, and give a usable character for iClone, Unreal, Unity, Maya and other 3D applications.
Above you can see the rigging points in the Sketchfab character which works with no tweaking necessary for this model. The model itself is a clean, low poly mesh that is easy to work with. After this we auto rig the Right Hand with the button in the lower right corner.
As you see in the image above the rigging dots are a bit jumbled up and not lined up on the fingers and thumb. Another important thing to note is that the thumb dot (with the orange thin cone handle) allows you to orient the dot to where the thumbnail is facing for proper rigging.
All I had to do here was select and drag the dots into the right position (as shown in image above). You can identify the dots within a different window in the interface that is not shown in the above image. Mirror this to the left hand for auto-rigging, press the button in the lower right corner and your rigging will be duplicated with symmetry for the left hand.
You are now ready to export the rigged character as an FBX, USD (Omniverse), or iClone iAvatar.
Unlike Character Creator 4 you cannot rig facial bones or spring bones from extra bones as this is a basic auto rigger. It might be possible to take the AccuRIG FBX into another 3D app to add facial or spring bones as we do with Mixamo characters.
The final rigged Sketchfab character “Cooper” with texture maps and animation. A very simple process to what used to be a complicated, time-eating, mind-numbing chore. I hope I never have manually rig another hand, fingers, or toes again.
Overall, it’s a very simple process that practically defines itself with no need for a tutorial or reading up in the manual though one or both of those usually pay off in the long run. The bad news is that the avatar failed to load in iClone 7 so I’m guessing it's only compatible with version 8.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.