Reallusion’s New Dynamic Wrinkles

Mar 15, 2023 at 12:00 pm by gToon

A few weeks ago, Reallusion introduced its new Dynamic Wrinkle System with the iClone 8.2 and Character Creator C4.2 updates. This is an example of yet another feature that users have asked for, and, as usual, Reallusion has delivered.

While expressions of various types have been available for a long time and improved greatly over that time, they just weren’t quite enough sometimes. While they gave a more realistic performance the facial features for one thing were just too static.

Along comes the new Dynamic Wrinkle system which adds a dramatic amount of realism that coupled with the expression system exponentially expands a character's emotional performance. Let’s not forget the AccuLips lip-sync system either which also works well with the wrinkle system to deliver a more complete performance, even in closeup. Or rather, especially in close-up.

According to Reallusion, these wrinkles are real human wrinkles from 3D & 4D scans. The Live and Flattened workflow enables you to use your favorite image editor to make unique modifications for different characters.

There are two Dynamic Wrinkle Types:

  • General Live Wrinkle Type – These can have their intensity adjusted live as they are not baked in yet.
  • Individual Flattened Wrinkle Type – Individual or Flattened types have the wrinkle maps already baked in and only the intensity can be adjusted.

Wrinkles will also adjust themselves to match skin color. There is an Update Wrinkle Texture Color button in the upper right corner of General Settings next to the Trash can. Use this button if for any reason the wrinkles do not adjust properly to the skin color.

You can adjust wrinkle strength globally or select areas to manipulate. More interesting is the Speed slider which controls how fast the wrinkles appear in a specific area. This is a very nice feature that controls the speed of when the wrinkles appear along the timeline. They can be anywhere from slowly fading in over time to quickly reacting with an instant wrinkle.

From the Reallusion website:

 Facial wrinkles are not just superficial details; they serve a deeper and more fundamental purpose of expressing our personalities. As our faces relax and complexions go blank, these wrinkles dynamically disappear, giving way to other expressions with their own set of unique wrinkles.

When it comes to digital actors, the inclusion of this complex system of wrinkles can make all the difference in having them appear truly life-like. While wrinkles are often disregarded as trivial, they are actually a crucial part of what makes us human, and their portrayal in digital characters can elevate their believability and relatability.

A wrinkle demo project is provided when you update to Character Creator 4.2. You have to update the packs in the Update section of the Content Manager too. After updating and playing around with the demo project I decided to see how far Character Creator had come from version 1 to version 4.

I used my CC1 Marketplace character The Outlander and upgraded it to CC3 Plus with the click of a button which makes the Wrinkle tab available. Then I checked the Activate Expression Wrinkles box, and it gave me a pop-up message stating the selected avatar Expression Set does not support Expression Wrinkles, would you like to update it? I clicked OK to update.

I also added SkinGen facial features and skin coloring to bring in a more lifelike skin tone. The character looked completely different as you would imagine when going from Character Creator 1 to Character Creator 4 with all its new tools.

The original CC1 Character is on the Left and the updated version for CC4 with the new Dynamic Wrinkles.

The best thing about this new system is that it reacts to movement without you having to do much other than activate it or customize it. At its most basic level, you turn it on and then forget about it while it works in concert with other motions and expressions to create a  more in-depth facial performance. Download the 8.2 and 4.2 upgrades to get this great new system.

More info on Dynamic Wrinkles at the Reallusion website:

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


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