Ricky talks to John Martin II, VP of Reallusion, about the development of iClone as a machinima tool in the early 2000s and its recent integration with Nvidia’s Omniverse platform, Character Creator, the original inspiration for iClone, and future plans for iClone 8 teased for release later in 2021.
Full notes for this episode are available at:
Completely Machinima podcast interview with John Martin II, VP of Reallusion
Ricky talks to John Martin II, VP of Reallusion, about the development of iClone as a machinima tool in the early 2000s and its recent integration with Nvidia’s Omniverse platform, Character Creator, the original inspiration for iClone, and future plans for iClone 8 teased for release later in 2021.
iclone, machinima, omniverse, character, game, creator, create, tools, people, real, nvidia, impressed, render, gtc, scene, connector, motion capture, applications, evolution, product
John Martin II, ANFSCM, Ricky Grove
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
Ricky Grove 00:12
Hey everybody, welcome to Completelymachinima.com special podcast and interview with John Martin, the Vice President of Reallusion.com. Hello, John, how are you?
John Martin II 00:23
I'm great. Ricky, how are you today?
Ricky Grove 00:25
Great. I'm so glad to be friends with us for so long. I wanted to share a little anecdote with you recently. I was going through when we started the And Now For Something Completely Machinima podcast a few months ago, I started going through my old hard drives. And you know what that's like? You started finding all this stuff, some of which you don't want to find. But I did find something that I had completely forgotten and that was a trailer for a documentary I did have the 2006 Academy of Motion of Machinima Arts and Cciences Festival. Remember that?
John Martin II 01:01
Very well. There was there was a quite a crew of early machinima scoundrels that were present for this
Ricky Grove 01:11
I love that machinima scoundrels. It was out at the American Museum of the Moving Picture, I think, in Astoria, Queens. And as I was going through it, I came across us a video that I had made of you and your brother, John, presenting, iClone, the first version of iClone for the first time.
John Martin II 01:33
And that was, and it was James, and he gave his regards. And he told me to tell you that he knows stuff too, by the way, so
Ricky Grove 01:43
Oh, I guess we're at a standstill then.
John Martin II 01:48
So But absolutely, you know, the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens was was a real collection of some creative individuals that, you know, came together for that to to share this experimental art form. And iClone was introduced at that conference, it was the first, the first time that we had, you know, really publicly talked about iClone, and especially our new approach that was very pro artist, and, you know, fit well with, with what was happening in machinima. And that is that, you know, we provided a viable way to create and own the media that you produce. And so that was kind of the message that we were bringing in. And meanwhile, wow, got to meet some wonderful people. Certainly, you, Ricky, Paul Marino, got to eat or meet with, you know, Hugh Hancock got to meet with, I met Bill Lissard. at that event, actually. So I mean, there was just a real fabric of folks that wove together, and I'm so glad to be a part of that with everyone and, and, and be able to share some of those early stories with you.
Ricky Grove 03:08
That's cool. I'm going to release that trailer. It's about four and a half minutes long, in tandem with this interview that that we're having, I'll send you a copy of it, so you can see it before we release it. Pretty cool.
John Martin II 03:21
Great. That's the I had just gotten a cast off my foot. So I'll see how my hobble was. So Oh, goodness,
Ricky Grove 03:28
I'm sorry to hear about your injury, bud
John Martin II 03:31
Well, it's it's healed now. Because, you know, it's been a few years. Since 2006, this there's some great there's still some great photos that emerge that we're reminded of year to year that celebrate that that event. But yeah, they're you know, that was that was really the first time that I got to see such a variety. And what the organization has showcased always a variety of creativity from the different engines and it's sometimes things get overwhelmed from one thing or another. And then there's somebody in an in flight simulator that blows your freakin mind.
Ricky Grove 04:16
I know. I know, right? Yes, I was thinking, you know, I knew iClone had a little ways to go in terms of its development when I first saw it, but I thought you know, this is great a, it's a program in which you guys specifically say you own your own stuff, because at that time, there was a big hullabaloo about rights issues. And then the second thing is you were there. And you were watching all sorts of machinima so that you were being exposed to the very kinds of creative process possibilities that the your application was going to make possible.
John Martin II 04:56
It was a perfect I think the timing was is really good for us. And, you know, it was it was a great alignment of artists and aspiration and tools that were really meant to be accessible and reach beyond like, you know, you kind of sometimes with game engines, you have to build the watch to tell the time, but you can make amazing stories with it, you know, but really approach it in a way that, yeah, that we let the technology be, you know, have a lot of depth. But it was all about accessibility was all about being able to enter into the tools and and not be inhibited by them. I was having a discussion with James today. You know, he's a professor at Georgia State University right now, among his
Ricky Grove 05:48
friends. He's a professor. Yeah.
John Martin II 05:51
That's what his business card says we believe he but he has, he has a number of students that are doing some, you know, some pretty fantastic work. But you know, we were talking about, you know, the early, just just the early days of machinima and the early days of these tools and how it, it was a real effort to be able to get a story, I mean, to be able to wield technology to do what you wanted to do. And there was a real artistry to that adventure, and to that tenacity, and you found, you know, people who are good at game mods and coding all the sudden with a voice and telling a story. And yeah, so it's really a great mishmash of, of stories that came from that because you diversified the storyteller, and you let the tools. So machinima inspired the seeds of iClone to become what it is now, because the community was so hungry for something that could be a tool that would allow them to express themselves without, you know, being in the shadow of an industry standard that looms over them. Right, that I can never met surmount that challenge, you know, that, that big mountain, forget that. There's so many little hills now that you can leap over and, you know, we were having the full circle that that conversation was about, you know, where we tried to not only develop to but listen to what, you know, what what the community has, has long since been after and, and you know, that that's something that won't change. That's a principle that's,
Ricky Grove 07:41
I wanted to say, I think you're an iClone 7 now. And I don't think the accessibility issue has changed at all. In fact, if anything, it's even more accessible than ever before. And you know, and starting on Completely Machinima podcasts, I've had a chance to think a lot about the past beginnings of machinima versus wherever you are today. And I think sometimes people who are making machinima today with the tools of the variety of tools you have, don't really understand how hard it was at the beginning to put together something, you know, in fact, I did an interview with David Vann. When we first started for the first podcast episode, he did A Town That Dreaded Sundown, he used the soundtrack to their trailer, and then recreated it inside of Red Dead Redemption 2 [right]. And it was just fantastic. Yeah. And while we were talking, did a little interview with him. And I said, Well sold No, how did you do it? What was your workflow? And he says, Well, you know, we did the multiplayer thing. And I was the cameraman. And I said, you know, that's just like how they started. But sometimes they had to hack the game in order to get the camera to be a free moving camera. Yep, imposes long pause. And he said, hack the game. I said, Yeah, they had some people had to go into the INI file and change over to wow, you guys, actually, you guys actually hack the game to do some of the things. And I realize, you know, people today, they just don't understand now, when you first started, there were no tools there. I mean, you were making something out of nothing. So when iClone came along, that was specifically designed for people to be able to make machinima and of course other things as well. I was just thrilled with it. And I wanted to ask you, quickly, before we moved on to more contemporary news, could you and you know, if you can't, that's fine at this great, but can you tell us a little bit about the history of iClone from where it started to how it's become iClone 7 and and its growth because it's obviously So I was working with it the other day, and it's just such a great program. And I remember it started with so basic when it started, can you share a little bit about its development?
John Martin II 10:11
Sure, certainly. And, and thank you, it's, it's been, and continues to be, you know, a journey for, for a lot of reasons, because we, we stay, you know, very inquisitive and interested and passionate. And at the same time, we've been really blessed with having a core group of engineers, and visionaries that have been with this, this product from day one. And many of them have have have had a long, you know, history with the product. So part of the evolution of the product is also the, the maturing and the evolution of these developers as well. You're seeing all you know, this, this is, you know, it's kind of a living thing, right? Because we're in our 21st year, we just, you know, 2020 was was 20 for us. And, you know, I've, I've been lucky enough to, you know, see all of those and know have many partners that have as well. So, you know, at the essence of Reallusion, sometimes people get lost in companies and titles and products and things, but what's really behind it, first of all to talk about iClone is that you've got a set of very devout, very competent, very, like, just super inquisitive amount of individuals that are developing these products. And so, you know, it's, it's, it's a journey for them on the back end to deliver something that's, you know, always, you know, hitting that accessibility mark, but really climbing and features too. So, yeah, you know, the people are the story first and then the product comes from its early foundation really kind of evolved from doing more with your digital photos. This is pre YouTube, this is pre any kind of social media. This was when we had digital cameras, and you know, handy cams big enough that you needed really kind of two hands to do much and you know, certainly no smartphone flip flips at best, you know, but I clone was in its, you know, first phase I guess the iPhone launched actually the year after iClone, if that puts it into perspective. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, so that's where I clone was in the timeline predates that. So originally, iClone ky said it comes from from doing more of your digital photos it's it's very first kind of experimental product was called It's Me. And It's Me was a was like a brother to Crazy Talk and Crazy Talk, as you know, as our flagship, make any digital photo talk with a few clicks and right. Well, with iClone or with It's Me, it's me took that to like, a 3d bobblehead. You could make a 3d dancing bobblehead of yourself if you will. Okay, so it was a novelty sort of thing. There was motion capture that was part of it. It was a single camera non animated, but it was a character. And the discussion began. And the discussion began around what if we do more characters What if we allow the to be more options of characters there allows to be more flexibility in clothing. And then we start seeing that there's, there's more to character that we would like to accomplish. And so we develop a new UI, we develop a new brand, we developed a product called at the time, it was a codename Cyclone. And we put out a small beta a few people tried it, and we got some nice feedback. And we branded and it went out with the one of iClones that had a male and a female character that had a few different types of dress, had a few different types of motion capture that came with that. And it had a camera and a very basic, there wasn't even a timeline yet. You basically had a keyable playhead so it was very, very basic, but you could create performances with that. And it was it was really a character tool.
John Martin II 14:48
And the evolution came from there and it's been, um, you know, our our foundation is all about facial animation. Crazy Talk right lip sync. Okay, so we apply that to the 3d, we apply the continued efforts towards character and you see what emerges is today, a very central digital human development, you know, pipeline and workflow that, you know, creates, you know, characters for real time for film production all the way down to prototypes. And then, you know, iClone, which is the complete umbrella now, of 3d animation, and not only for creation and editing of face and body, but also, you know, your scenes, your physics and and, and rendering, and then the ability for you to bring in and, and utilize the entire, you know, cross section of motion capture equipment to do full body performance for characters. So, you know, we've we've, we've, we've evolved it to where it is a character creation with character creator, animation with iClone. And then, you know, fully interactive with motion live and deployment with, you know, everything that our connectivity is about, accessibility, not just to the, the, the interface, but also accessibility to every part of the every, every aspect of the creative process.
Ricky Grove 16:35
Yeah, right. That's great. Yeah, I'm so proud of you guys. I was there for most of the incarnations of iClone. And I was so impressed with the fact that you guys were willing, at SIGGRAPH, and other places to look at new technologies and to incorporate them. At the time I was thinking with the early iClone that Poser was a was a competitor. But then I saw that Poser made no effort to engage the machinima community, which was one of the main communities that would want to use something like Poser or iClone. And so I was really proud of you guys, when you guys engaged the machinima community, and got feedback about what to include what not to include. Reallusion has always been very responsive to the community. And that's the reason why you have such a diverse abilities and workflow that you were referring to today. And I well, I'm also impressed one last thing, I'm also impressed with two things that you guys included that the motion capture, because the technology for motion capture has changed so radically from when you guys first started back in 2006 and earlier, and then also the character focus on the ability to design characters, real realistic and interesting. characters. If you look at the characters, the first male and female that you guys included with the iClone, in 2006, and you put them side by side with a character that you could create with Skingen, they're almost not not even in the same world, you know, what I mean? The development has been so profound and startling.
John Martin II 18:21
You know, it, you're right. And I saw an interesting comparison recently, of even game characters, you know, from about the same era of time. And, you know, thankfully, our industry as a whole has evolved. Yeah, we all have benefited, and, you know, double thankfully, Reallusion has been very aware of this evolution and paid attention. We, you know, we, we strive to not only, you know, build a better digital human for real time, but balance the quality and performance so that you get, you know, really the best of both worlds, you know, with those characters, once they go out into, you know, any other environment. The, you know, you speak about the early days, and those those, you know, first two characters, you know, that was characters were always part of it, but certainly the machinima community and I guess, I think games in general really inspired the, the need for a built in library or access to a library of content because, you know, if you need to, if you need a tree, you don't need to go model a freaking tree, you know, give me tree you know, or a cafe, or whatever, you know, I got a story to tell. Right, right. So,
Ricky Grove 19:49
I was thinking often of that very same thing is that putting together a machinima film in 2006 versus putting together a machinima film in 2021 are so radically different things because as you say, if I wanted to get a tree, I could buy a game that had trees in it, that would write one solution. But if I wanted to design a specific theme a specific trees in mind, say like a spooky forest with pine trees or something like that, you you just really couldn't do it, you were left with the game, whatever it was, you could choose unless you wanted to learn how to model or even then I don't think they had depositories or collections of 3d assets that you could buy. Today, you can walk into the Unreal marketplace or the illusion marketplace, grab a pine tree, oftentimes for free for those sorts of things, or buy a pack a low cost pack, and then just make your scene in an hour. Whereas it would take you an entire week to do it back in 2006. So they don't like those these damn whippersnapper kids. They just don't know how good they have. You know, the
John Martin II 21:04
the content marketplaces is an interesting zone for sure. And your evolution in that most recently has been factor core with bringing our motion library. Yeah, that's in gradual motions that you can purchase on micro purchase, or, you know, you can access all of our packs and try them but it's fully interactive online, you know, you can flip the motions around and, you know, really, really find what you need, without needing to necessarily buy every pack, you know, so right. It's a but it's a quick access way to do that. And the actual core is, is an element that is if if there's a aspect beyond you know, of course, the fourth coming iPhone 8 if there's another aspect to be very watchful of is actor core and what's happening there, because this is the beginning of that service motion will, will be a part of it there will there will be an evolution of what becomes a real centralized online zone four characters and motions and and you know what, what you can do to access those and selectively get what you need out of that, that library. So yeah,
Ricky Grove 22:18
I've been very impressed with that decor. Cool. Well, let's do a quick fast forward to today. And talk a little bit about character creator three's connection with Nvidia's recently or relatively recently announced Nvidia Omniverse sure, no, you, if you look at the applications that are included in Connect, which is the the the aspect of Omniverse, which allows other applications to connect with each other inside of Onminverse. And basically, for the listeners who don't know, I'm Onmniverse a began as an internal way for Nvidia employees to work together. And also to share assets on a basic stage a basic place. And that became so robust that they decided to make a make it public and build a platform for it. And they recently announced the the they did a it's in beta, but they announced the big, professional level of it. Right now. It's for collaborators, for people who just want to put together to work together to make a scene or work in building a design or, or workshop or, or an architectural design or something like that. But when I was looking through the applications that were listed, many of those applications were high level pro applications. We're talking about Revit, we're talking about AutoCAD, we're talking about 3d Studio Max. And then you see Reallusion's Character Creator. And I was so impressed. And I'm not saying I'm not trying to imply that the character crater is any less of a good program as as as others, it's just that the people that they appeal to, it's a different market than the other. And I was so impressed with the fact that you guys jumped on this new technology with such a commitment. And I'd like to get a little bit on the background about about that decision to join them because it all revolves around the Pixar format, USD, right, which is a universal scene description format. And I wasn't sure whether that was going to be a real problem for you guys to put you to use that new factor or whether USD had been a part of the Reallusion product cycle for a while.
John Martin II 24:53
So we, you know, the the announcements and the news recently has been fantastic, and anyone that hasn't had a chance to check out the Omniverse GTC keynote, I certainly highly suggest it on lots of levels. It's probably one of the most interesting times in Nvidia in quite a while from from lots of different angles, I think. Yeah, yeah. They Yeah. So you watch that as well. Right.
Ricky Grove 25:22
I'll be sure to make sure that link is in our show notes for this interview.
John Martin II 25:27
Yeah, it's, it's, it's really worth the watch. It's a go. And Jinsong Wang is always the CEO of Nvidia is always entertaining. He's, he's very good at delivering the news. But we we had an opportunity to work with Nvidia from a very, from very early on with Omniverse. And so we were certainly excited about, you know, the prospect of, of bringing characters into this new platform. And, you know, that was that was shared on both sides. So we had the benefit of a really robust developer program with Nvidia. So you know, anyone who does any kind of young development and is, you know, eligible for the program, I highly suggest getting involved with it, because right now is just a renaissance at Nvidia, there's great stuff going on. And they're they're super interactive. So we had, we had the opportunity to take a look at what they were doing in this highly collaborative visual platform that's based on the ultimate rendering being, you know, in the RTX [Yeah], the redress or raytraced environment is, you know, where all of this is headed in the end, but the the creation of Omniverse is kind of a you think of the metaverse for digital content creation tools.
John Martin II 27:10
You know, we think of the metaverse and we think Ready Player One, which is awesome, because that's what I want to at the same time, that's what to me in this isn't, this is my definition. I feel like that this is this is what we've created. And it's the ultimate end collaboration. And let me kind of paint a picture of what that what this could mean Omniverse and the Omniverse Connector is is something that a connector allows you to connect your software to the Omniverse platform, and it allows your content to have this universal scene description USD interchange. And so it's like a round trip, right? So as you change things, things can evolve inside the inside Omniverse you know, nearly instantaneously. And so this can happen if you look at Omniverse as like a zone for everything to come together. There's a couple of applications right now there's something called the Omniverse Create app. And then there's a forthcoming Omniverse Machinima which is going to be super awesome. There's no Yeah,
Ricky Grove 28:27
yeah, what's the GTC is pretty exciting.
John Martin II 28:31
Oh, yeah. So Omniverse Create, though, is is right now, the offering environment for where everything connects to Omniverse. So what can connect say you've got characters coming in from Character Creator, we've been able to connector for that, so you can create a character and Character Creator and send it over into a project inside Omniverse Create. Meanwhile, let's say your set is being designed using Max or Maya, maybe some elements of it, maybe it's just the furniture, okay, so you've got to you've got someone maybe it's in your office, maybe they're across town, maybe they're, you know, in a completely different time zone. And but in you know, the same time as you're working, you can see their work happening, non destructively two yours inside Omniverse Create, this is all coming together collaboratively. You can also have, you know, someone working in Omniverse Create that setting up, so you know, what might be the shot that's being tried or tried to be cheap, right. So you can have all of these different spokes coming in to Omniverse Create from all the supported digital content creation tools to collaboratively build a scene together, build a project together. And while that's happening, you have the ability to share that. Omniverse allows you to send a VR and AR experience out to pipe someone directly into your project. You can send a URL to someone and say, Hey, come look at this. Collaboration is key with this. And so that's why because all of us is, you know, creators typically, you know, it's spread across the globe so many people that you know, I've met and talked to you know, it's it's a we're all everywhere but that's not ever inhibited machinima creators. Y'all have done voiceovers from afar. You know, you've created stories. And yeah, Ricky, you've got credit up on credit. I know. Across the globe, you need a world tour t-shirt. But you know, this this is made. This platforms really made for the machinima community, especially diverse, don't you think? Like located so far? in different areas? It's a it's a consolidator?
Ricky Grove 31:04
Yeah, I've been very impressed. I've sat through the introduction by Dane, one of the Omniverse Machinima crew members, who by the way, we're going to be interviewing later this month for next month's machinima, I hope to I hope that they release the beta of the Machinima Omniverse. Before that, so I can have some focussed questions for him. But I was very impressed with what they had come up with the real time physics, the ability to be able to bring in a character, creator character that you've designed specifically, based on the character that you want to create, place it inside of a set from a variety of sources that they have, I think they have three different games, a squad, and a Mount and Blade, another one. And God knows they're going to be expanding all of this. But soon, as soon as word gets out in the game community goes, Well, I've got to be a part of this. So you can grab a character creator, throw it in there, taken animation from character, character creator, throw it on there, do a lip sync, that they have, they have Audio2Face, which is another interesting application that they're putting out soon, which allows you to do real time lip sync with emotions. Based on the WAV recording, you can generate automatic emotion for it. throw that on top of it, and suddenly you have a scene with an emotional character in in an hour. You know what I mean? Yeah, you can, you can adjust, you can fix, you can go back and start over do a new one. Because the ability to to create iterations of whatever you're working on so much faster than it is in the past that allows you to make mistakes.
John Martin II 33:06
Fail fast. Absolutely.
Ricky Grove 33:08
Right. Exactly. And, and and from those mistakes, you learn? Well, no, that isn't right. That isn't right. Ah, that's right. Right, and it ups the quality of your of your work. It'll take some getting used to, I think, by the machinima community, we're trying to do a bit of an outreach to the community get them to be interested in and one of the downsides is that in order to use the program, you have to have an RTX card. Which, you know, that's not a bad one. But it the timing is really bad because the ability to get a RTX GPU is so severely limited today, that you're going to be paying $1,000 if you wanted to buy a new RTX card. And that's going to be it's going to be a little tough, but I think that's going to ease up towards the end of the year. And I think that's going to make it a lot easier for people to use the program.
Ricky Grove 34:03
Tell me a little bit about now, since you have Character Creator integrated. I assume you guys we're planning on integrating iClone as well, right?
John Martin II 34:15
Yes, we are. Absolutely. The iClone connector will be coming as well. And we at the end of our GTC session that I did with with Dr. Alva Suam, who is our head of innovation. He he actually teased the iClone connector. And if you're registered for GTC and you can see it now after I think May the 11th then we'll have that posted so that you can see it you know, outside
Ricky Grove 34:51
Definitely somehow I missed that.
John Martin II 34:54
That will be posted to so yes, it will be a iClone connector and one of the among, amongst them many different fascinating things that that's going to do for, I think the pipeline to Omniverse. One thing that's very cool is that if you're familiar with iClone, you know that you can just drag and drop emotion onto a character, and then it's animating right? Right anywhere in the timeline. So with this iClone connector solution, whenever you do that, you just drag a motion and put it onto a character or an iClone, that motion is automatically immediately portrayed onto the character into Omniverse. So it is a instant, there is no FBX transfer, there's no start frame in front, it's just there. So this is going to be some interesting stuff. So you think it's going to take machinima folks to get adjusted, I think it's going to get, it's going to take everyone a little bit of time to get adjusted to the power that is going to be coming at us so fast, especially with the advancements in machine learning and what that means for the future of animation. Because, yeah, that right, there is something that you'll see from Reallusion in the future as well.
Ricky Grove 36:04
Yeah, that's the big thing is the deep learning machine learning algorithms that they're putting into all of the major apps, I think there's a real, forward looking technology that we can all appreciate. Omniverse says, based on that idea, as well. And the as I mentioned before, the notion that you can do things so quickly, because it's iterated so fast, that, for example, you get the iClone connect, you go, Oh, you come up with a script. And you think, Okay, I'm gonna do this story about these three kids. And they're hanging out in a park. And one of them says, Well, hey, let's go do some skateboarding, and they skate over there. And they meet up with a supervillain who, who says, No, you can't skateboard here. So that's the first scene, they go to the Reallusion marketplace, they get their three kids, if they don't have them already, they get the costumes all set up, they bring them into Omniverse, they drop them, they drop, they get the set, the drop the set on there, they put the kids in there, they grab the animations, they put them on there, bang, bang, bang, and in 25 minutes to half an hour, they have the scene that they just wrote an hour earlier.
John Martin II 37:20
Absolutely. And what you know, with the pipeline, you know, depending on what it is that they want to do, if they just need to quick render, if they if they if they not even just quick render, then into, you know, final render, they can go with iClone, they need to quick render with iClone if they want to go to an interactive, or you know, you know, a game engine, they go to Unreal, or Unity or now Omniverse, certainly, as well. And Omniverse not only gives you the real time, you know, quality, but you're getting Pixar level rendering out of that.
Ricky Grove 37:53
I know. Yeah. That's amazing. That's going to create a bit of a quandary, I think for machinima filmmakers, because it's, it's kind of an interesting hybrid. Omniverse is, because it's a mix of real time technology and render technology. So for example, that scene that I just talked about, you can render that scene out in a traditional fashion and have the absolute highest quality you want. Of course, now that means that it's sort of not machinima, you know what I mean? It's the kind of more traditional method of rendering, or you can just capture the real time activities on inside of the Omniverse screen. And it would be traditional machinima. So I think it's gonna it's going to sort of blend machinima and traditional 3d rendering together in a way that we've never seen before.
John Martin II 38:49
Yeah, it's, you know, it's gonna open up some, some some really new and exciting creativity, I think, because it's going to allow creators to not just wait for a file to let themselves or marry content, disjointed, because I'm working on this, you're working on that. And then we know it's going to go together because we've planned it. But really, there's, there's something about, you know, you can have a cellist and a violinist playing in separate rooms, but put them together, you know, like it's, there's something about that symphony. Yeah. And I love that I love be especially right now like the underscore it with the moment like what we've all just been through as a society and as you know, with with the isolation that, you know, this is a collaborative tool that would have bridged those gaps, no matter what, you know, as long as you had electricity, you could be collaborative, continual with your team and work like like wines of, you know, wines of people that are in the production. In the world also that are working that were, you know, completely taken away from their roles because of that, you know, this, this is something that I think can safeguard a lot of what we all, you know, either do now or hope to do or aspire to, you know, make money in, you know that this safeguards those careers also as well. So I think it's just it means a lot for our industry as creators as a tool that kind of helps fortify the future of what's next, you know, and not just, you know, not not not something that's that's going to be prohibitive to the process. I think it's really bold. Yep.
Ricky Grove 40:47
Now, is there anything that you would like to cover that I haven't talked about, John?
John Martin II 40:53
One thing I want to say is I'm super excited that you guys have revived the podcast I was I was a giant Ricky and Phil fan from way back The Overcast, I got to give an old shout out. Listen, man, that that that that is some good stuff. So but you know, I'm excited about you guys doing this. I think that right now is just still you know, we're all here. We're all still talking about it. It's, it's still just as fascinating as it was the last time we talked about it, you know, I mean, like, it's just
Ricky Grove 41:26
Even more so. I mean, we've discovered when I started out on the podcast, I was apprehensive as I mentioned in the first episode, and not really convinced that machinima was still alive. And I was so happy to be proven wrong, because there's such interesting machinima being done today. Not only on a on an everyday kind of, hey, let's get the guys together and make a story. Here's a story of creative which I think is a ton of fun, but also on a more professional level. The they're essentially using machinima techniques in virtual production today, through the Unreal Engine, plus, the academic and artistic side of machinima is alive and well. I just finished looking at going through the Milan Machinima Festival, which had some of the most bizarre and fascinating artworks in machinima that I have ever seen. And I think that just really excites me to be at a time in which the tools are just right. I remember Paul Marino once in a conversation. And if you don't know Paul Marino folks, he was one of the most important people in machinima, he created the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences. He was in. He was a very important person in terms of making machinima, a legitimate practice and trying to work with game companies to legitimize the rights and all of that, and in conversation he was talking about, he wanted a tool that would allow him to be able to not have to deal with all the difficulties that a game would cause him, he wouldn't have to hack anything, they would have free camera, you could be able to record you could able to move your characters around. Well, now you have some games that do that, yet. GTA5 does all of that. And Red Dead Redemption, similar tools. But you have actual game engines that people are using to create games and like Unreal and Unity, and Reallusion's iClone to be able to specifically create the stories the characters that you want to create, whether they're strangest characters in the world, or their most traditional, or you're even doing a fan pic on some, you know, Game of Thrones, you want to do a Game of Thrones scene. All for fun. You know what I mean? It's so great to see that that is still alive. That impulse is still alive, even more so today. So that's it. I've stepped off my soapbox, my machinima soapbox, and I'm back to reality.
Ricky Grove 44:19
Well, John, thank you so much for being with us today, man. I know we could probably talk for another hour and a half, but I think we probably should cut it off here. Last question. When can we look for iClone 8 for the iClone Connect any idea roughly?
John Martin II 44:37
So the evolution with Omniversus ongoing so what I would say first of all, is get the Omniverse launcher from Nvidia and then everything once you get that they've done a great job of just packaging everything up in there all the access to the software, our connector, the access to their training. So that's that's kind of a one stop, then, of course, if you don't have Character Creator, you can, you can download that. And then [highly recommend ladies and gentlemen] you have we've got a 30 day trial for that. And there's always, there's always a good bundle or special or something like that if you haven't picked it up. The Character Creator is, you know, it's perpetual. So once you have it, you own it, you the the EULAs incredibly, you know, supportive for the community to be able to work so, but iClone 8, stay tuned this summer. Look out, I think this year is looking really good. Or we've been through a beta that is, is winding down. And so, but yeah, it's gonna be a big release. iClones 8 has got some exciting new features. So check out the forum on Reallusion. And I won't go through too many spoilers come over to the forum. And there's a running long of some things that's happening.
Ricky Grove 46:02
Well, will you come back and talk to us about iClone 8 when its happening?
John Martin II 46:05
Absolutely. Yes, yes. Yes. So they're back teasers to follow the, you know, follow the social media and you'll you'll catch some of the early stuff, but you know, well, we're always happy to to share some insight and I'm always happy to talk to you Ricky.
Ricky Grove 46:20
Great. Well, listen, thank you very much for being here today. And also congratulations on your Character Creator integration with Omniverse. And best of luck to you for the future plans with Reallusion products.
John Martin II 46:34
Thanks a lot, Ricky.