The iClone 7.9 update focuses on facial animation, introducing the new AccuLips and Expression Plus lip sync system. A new set of scan-based face shapes has also been introduced, and face motion capture with the new iPhone has been improved.
iClone now supports hairstyles and facial hair created with the new Smart Hair system introduced in Character Creation 3.4, released simultaneously with this update.
AccuLips, a new technology that provides a more accurate automatic lip sync, which provides smoother and more accurate results than the previous iClone lip sync system.
The system processes audio speech, automatically generating both a facial animation and a text transcription, which can be edited manually to further adapt the animation.
The transcription is based on a dictionary of more than 200,000 words (English only), which users can customise themselves by adding new words and corresponding mouth shapes.
The update introduces Talking Styles, a new preset system that selects lip sync animations for different tempos and speech styles, including whispering, shouting and singing.
Expression Plus (ExpPlus) is a new set of 63 face shapes that can be used with the Face Puppet and Face Key toolkits to create more realistic facial animations. Among them are 52 ARKit shapes, Apple’s augmented reality toolkit used to track faces on new iPhones.
Also worth noting is Motion Live 1.1 which adds a number of new features for smoothing, rebalancing and re-targeting facial animations with motion capture, as well as for selectively overwriting or blending existing animations with a new take.
iClone 7.9 has gained the ability to import animated props as Alebmic caches and a number of small workflow improvements.
iClone 7.9 is available for 64-bit Windows 7 and up. The upgrade is free for iClone 7.x users. The cost of the new license is $199.