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Moviestorm vs iClone4 - what do you think?

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#1 borg1of1


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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:02 AM

I've been looking for a simple to learn and use tool like Moviestorm for sometime. I just started playing with it, but was wondering if anyone has worked with iClone4 that could comment on comparing the two. The thing that impresses me with Moviestorm is that lip synching to dialog is built in and relatively easy to do, whereas with iClone4, it looks like you have to purchage CrazyTalk in addition to iClone4 for this ability. But then, iClone4 looks like it gives you more control, and more options. But iClone looks more difficult to learn and use.

Please comment.

#2 EugeneE


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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:20 AM

Well, I have used both Moviestorm and Iclone (I tried out the freeware Iclone EX) and while they are both good programs, I like Moviestorm the best.

Moviestorm is easy to use and learn. Iclone has a higher learning curve than Moviestorm.

Iclone has more content packs than Moviestorm.

Moviestorm's content packs are very affordable compared to Iclone (most Iclone packs will cost you more than $50+).

In the modding department, Moviestorm allows you to import Sketchup models as static props. Iclone allows you to import Sketchup models, 3D's and obj models. Not only that, Iclone allows you to animate Sketchup models which is something that Moviestorm can't do (yet).

This is all that I can think of.

I don't really care for Iclone, I have nothing against Iclone. I just prefer Moviestorm.

#3 kkffoo


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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:56 AM

I haven't used iclone4, only 3...not sure about the need for crazy talk for 4, you do need it for 3.
I find it easier to create characters and scenes in iclone, but harder to create the story and animate the characters.
It very much depends what kind of film you wish to make.

#4 jleao


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Posted 13 January 2010 - 01:47 PM

Well i know both apps very well and it´s a matter of professional vs semi-professional.

I´m a pioneer of Moviestorm and i love it (and use it everyday on my line of work) so i please ask everyone not to think i´m in anyway trying to influence against Moviestorm, but i believe in free tought and, altough i was a critic of iclone in the past (because, like many, i didn´d really try it extensively)...here´s the thing:

You can do almost everything you think of in iclone and Moviestorm is stil very limited.

One of my biggest critics on Moviestorm is that you can´t animate your characters the way you want. You are limited to the motions included with the software (short fuze seems reluctant in introducing MOCAP files (motion files) something i feel will it always limit Moviestorm for a real professional.

In iclone, not only you can import motions, but you can keyframe every movement from scratch..so you can even make animation the tradiconal way. Also in iclone 4, you can import video and place it evywhere you want. You can place video in Moviestorm too, but that´s far from what you can do in iclone. You can make your character walk everywhere, even elevated floors (Moviestorm is working on this, so it will be a question of time).

Then there is something absolutely amazing with iclone: You can make your charcater face have any kind of emotion, you can even coreograph it live (move only the cheeks, than the mouth...just anything). AND YOU DO NOT NEED CRAZYTALK FOR THAT, that´s all in IC4. Moviestorm has a system to convey emotions but is really very, very, very far from Iclone freedom and perfection.

In IC4 you can make kids (no way to do it in ICLONE (that´s another critic i always made), change bodys (muscle, thin, tall, small, cartoon...), import faces from photos (even yours), build clothes from scratch (if you feel like an artist). Well...you get the picture.

Now...this comes to a cost, and IC4 is expensive, oposed to Moviestorm that´s great for beginners and much less expensive (if you want to get serious you need to buy packs that are more affordable). I spent about 600 dollars until now, but i bought all apps (ICLONE, CRAZY TALK, some of the many available packs, WIDGET CAST (for making web widgets), POP VIDEO CONVERTER (for creating video and import it inside IC), and 3D EXCHANGE (for importing 3d objects from sketchup or other tools). With Moviestom i must have spent about 150 dollars and i bought all packs...so, you see the difference.

To be honest, i don´t think there´s a real battle between Iclone and Moviestorm, both are very good, but Moviestorm is more suitable for beginners and some professionals not wanting to spend much money. And Moviestorm have a very nice cell shading mode that not easy to replicate in iclone and i love.

Iclone is more of a professional tool...i´m very impressed with version 4, wich is amazing, but CAREFUL, ISN´T NEARER AS EASY TO LEARN, and tutorials are lacking in quality, altough there are some users willing to teach you (and stuckon3d as an amazing class and recordings you can buy) that will be up to you. Some things still missing in IC4 but to be honest, you can make almost everything you want.

In my case, i use both. And love them both...but if you not planning a complex movie and not have a lot of time to learn a new tool, go with MOVIESTORM. Foruns are great, we all like to help and there's a great community. If you need advanced options and more content and control on your creation, IC4 is the way to go (and there´s also a great community for it). Wethever you choose, just have fun and thing that these are just tools, the important is your ideas. You can make a great movie with less, and Moviestorm is the prove to that.


#5 steve3416



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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:14 PM

Edit:And I do also agree with the above comment. Said several things that I didnt' think of. Thanks for your honest opinion too.

I do use both Moviestorm and iClone and I had upgraded to iCone4 when it came out. I like them in both their own ways and I will probably continue to use both of them. I don't have anything bad to say about iClone but here is my honest opinion of iClone since I have been using it:

There are still some bugs to work out in the new iClone4 and I enjoyed iClone3 a lot better.

To tell you the truth, I have to do a lot of key framing in iclone to get the Characters movements and motions like I want. I mean a lot of key framing. Very time consuming.

You don't have to purchase crazy talk at all. In iClone4 you can key frame the actors facial expressions inside the program. But also time consuming. I thought the same thing and bought Crazytalk only to find out that in iClone4 the facial expression or puppeteering controls is built into iClone4. So money was wasted on Crazytalk. I never even use it.

You can personalize the characters in more detail in iClone and even design a Character to look like your own image.

As someone said, they do have a lot more content packs in iClone and you have a lot of independent sellers selling their products too, however as nice as the packs are, buying the content packs will nickel and dime you to death. Some are even pretty expensive. I was looking in my inventory of what I purchased so far and I spent way more money than I would ever have intended to. The worst thing is...as beautiful as the packs are that I purchased, there are a lot of them I haven't even used yet for my movies. They are just sitting there in my inventory wasting away (even though I guess it's good to have it ready if you ever need it. I did do a lot of impulse buying. I have more money invested in the content packs than I do the program.

My last video I was working on in iClone4 was a Christmas video and I created the sets from scratch and the set weighted my system down or (slowed my system down) so much that it took forever to render out just one scene I was working on. During the director mode, I could hardly move my way around the set. I finally gave up and started back working in Moviestorm and made my video THE CHRISTMAS FAVOR in a fraction of the time and was just as pleased with the outcome.

iClone also has a great forum like Moviestorm and have a lot of users that will help you in any way they can.

iClone is a lot more harder to learn at first and you will spend way more time learning and working your way around the controls. If you do purchase iClone you will spend more time playing around and designing sets and constumes and characters than you will in actually making movies. When I read what iClone users are saying in the forum, I saw where they are mostly talking about tweaking the lighting settings or working on the characters and scenery and doing a lot of test videos instead of making the full movie.

Even though I am an amateur in both of these programs, I got into this hobby to make movies and tell my stories (and also have fun at the same time), and not just play around with props and characters the whole time (nothing wrong with that though if that's what you do).

But this is my final opinion between Moviestorm and iClone.

In iClone, I have had more headaches while creating my scenes and making movies even though afterwards, I was pleased with the final outcome. I spent way more money on content packs and it was time very consuming.
In Moviestorm I truly had F-U-N creating my movies. I've had less headaches and I've made more movies with Moviestorm in less time than with iClone.

I have been using iClone for about 10 months now and Moviestorm for going on 3 months and I will continue to use both programs. I like them both in each their own way.

I'm sure if another iClone user that also uses Moviestorm reads this they will probably have another opinion and may even be mad about what I say of the iClone product. I still love using iClone but I was just being honest about what I've encountered so far.

#6 borg1of1


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Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:58 AM

Thanks for everyone's comments. Since I am very very new to movie making, I think I'll stay with Moviestorm for now. This is more of a hobby for me right now. I figure if I can learn the art + learn the tool, I can later look at advancing to other tools like iClone if I need to. Honestly, I'd rather spend time on my story than on the mechanics of bringing it to life, so Moviestorm looks like a good primer tool for me.

Thanks again everyone - I'm sure to have more questions as I get into this. Great community here.

#7 lucindamc123


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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:20 PM

It's not really a question of comparison. I use both and I also use other programs to make my movies. What one program doesn't have another one does. Also you can combine the programs by using greenscreen technology.

Moviestorm is much easier to learn, although for me, Iclone 4 was easy to learn but then I have had over 20 years experience using computer graphic arts progams. I don't even read the manuals, I just start doing them.

Iclone uses more memory. It is based on the Intel graphics, not your graphics card but that means it also runs on older computers. Moviestorm is much faster in rendering and in creating scenes. For modern drama Moviestorm is fantastic. For historical period movies, Iclone is great because you have unlimited costumes that you can design yourself, props and of course, they have animated animals and children.

#8 johnnie


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Posted 15 January 2010 - 10:23 AM

iClone 4 has garnered a lot of praise within the machinima community. It certainly looks like this is their best release yet.

As others have said in this thread, Moviestorm and iClone are not mutually exclusive, and each has its particular strengths and weaknesses. You'll find several prominent Moviestormers who also use (and love) iClone. The more movies you make, the better your movie-making skills will become, whatever tools you choose to use. And of course, you're free to combine the footage you create using Moviestorm with footage from anywhere else: you own your movies.

Johnnie Ingram
Co-Author, Machinima For Dummies

QUOTE (The Overcast @ July 23 2006)

#9 lucindamc123


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Posted 15 January 2010 - 01:41 PM

Iclone 4 is fantastic. I am doing Wonder Boy with Iclone 4 and am almost finished. I couldn't use Moviestorm because Wonder Boy is set in medieval times and is a fantasy movie (and a commercial movie) and there was no way I could do it with Moviestorm. You know full of sword fights, flying dragons, all kinds of creatures who morph into other creatures. All kinds of odd props that have to be handled by the puppets and creatures. Very difficult animation, much of it I had to customize using their motion edit and combining animations. I just don't like to talk about other animation programs I use here on the Movestorm forums.

#10 wizaerd



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Posted 15 January 2010 - 05:41 PM

I've given up on Reallusion and Iclone completely. The base program, which is expensive (if you don;t get their free slimmed down version), comes with practically nothing in terms of content. And to get content, buying their content packs are all outrageously priced. The SketchUp importing requires you purchase another program from them (3D XChange), and even then importing Sketchup (or other objects such as OBJ or 3DS) is a long tedious process to get it imported correctly and looking good.

Then there's the overall complexity of IC. It may allow the user to do more in terms of keyframing, custom motions, etc... but they too are a painfully long, slow, and tedious processes. I like the avatar customizations that are possible, but in the grand scheme of things, IC is too expensive and too complex for a hobby. So while there are features IC has that I'd absolutely love to see in MS, overall, for a hobbyist like mysrlf, MS is more than adequate for producing good short films.

#11 kv


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Posted 15 January 2010 - 06:27 PM

I have iclone and to be honest beyond admiring its abilitys and tinkering with some things I have not made anything with it at all. As stated above it is very expensive to start with, I can understand it has a lot of power behind it but what they do is give you the almost bare program with little to get you really started. I also feel the content packs although mostly really good they are seriously over priced and certainly not suited for my budget, this in comparison to the pack prices for moviestorm (which I have almost all off) is a real stinger considering what you pay for the base program of Iclone. You look at moviestorm and see that yes its not as feature rich as iclone but for something free you do get a lot and it truly invites you in for a true taster, Iclone sadly have you pay a large sum and then dump you with almost a skeleton.

Does this mean I hate Iclone? Certainly not, I know it has huge potential, but right now moviestorm covers most of my needs but without breaking my bank. I may someday delve deeper into Iclone but unless their content prices come down I doubt it will be any time soon.

So moviestorm continue as you are and lets see what your future holds for us (the multi level support is a great start).

#12 EugeneE


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Posted 16 January 2010 - 04:35 AM

I have to agree with what KV wrote, I also feel the same way about Iclone vs Moviestorm.

#13 supermep


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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:24 AM

My thoughts are this:

If I wish to explore making a 3D film about sword-fighting and all that foolishness I will get Iclone4.

But since Moviestorm still has the best bang for the buck for me... I'll stick with it.

Not to say I won't pick up Iclone4... but MS will definitely stay at the top of the list for me.

#14 Killian



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Posted 16 January 2010 - 01:05 PM

It's the same issue that's been discussed before elsewhere (and probably will again, ad nauseum); iclone does some things better than MS; MS does some things better than iClone.

Some individuals like working with MS more than iClone, and vice versa.

That's really what it comes down to; it's not a case of "which is better", but more "which does what I want it to do, at a price I can afford and I can get my head around more easily?"

One thing is sure; iClone has a VERY steep learning curve compared to MS.

Do you get more bang for your buck with MS than with iClone? Again, debateable; if you can pick iClone up quickly, you could say the reverse is true, but MS is definately more "user friendly" than iClone.

MS is also a lot "cheaper" than iClone (the base iClone "trial" is free, but you can't do a lot with it; the program itself is a lot more expensive, and once you start throwing in the packs and needed extra programs, it can get real expensive, real fast); MS "probably" (again, it's down to the individual) gives better value for money than iClone, but then again there are things you can do with iClone that you can't do with the current incarnation of MS. Hopefully, that will change as time goes on.


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#15 rgr


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Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:43 PM

FWIW, I really want to be able to tell stories. MS is very easy to do this with. In fact, it's easy to do this _while learning the product_. I don't know that any other system is as good at making watchable movies so easily. Other systems may have things resembling more traditional 3d animation, maybe more realism if you are willing to put the time in to manually animate character faces and such. But there may be added complexity and time required to get results.

If you are really interested in comparing, here is what I suggest: watch a random sampling of community made films from each community. Try to limit this to films that only use (or primarily use) the product. See how the communities themselves compare, since this is a better measure of what you will be able to do than any demo reel put together by the product owners themselves. Take note of the things you care most about (e.g. visual appeal, character diversity, realistic movie flow, what ever aspects you are most interested in).

Then, use the free versions of these to do a simple test. Pick a scene from a movie you like and try to reproduce it in each system. Doing this will allow you to have professional director and editor results available to compare against. I did this with a scene from one of my favorite movies and was convinced MS was the tool for me. You may find it's iclone. In any case, I think this is a good way to evaluate both.


#16 lucindamc123


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Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:26 AM

I just wanted to clarify something about the cost of Iclone. Iclone has a Backstage store where you can buy props, animations, anything, item by item instead of buying a whole content pack. And many of them cost between 50 cents and a dollar each.

Also the base pack comes with tons of primitive objects, every shape and size you can imagine and you can make your own furniture, props anything with them that you can think of. Also they have basic iprops with animation -- like cloth and other movable items. All these props and any other props can be animated and used by puppets.

So Iclone does not have to cost you that much. Also they have a new feature which is a creature base pack and is not very expensive. They have created a creature, dragon, that has bones and is actually an actor (and can use any animation any other actor can use) and you can design your own creatures using the bones.

#17 sfdex


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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:11 AM

One thing to throw out there is that iClone is Windows only. This may not be an issue for many, but the fact that Moviestorm supports Mac is hugely appreciated. Machinima on Mac is very limited.
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#18 rgr


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Posted 20 January 2010 - 01:31 AM

QUOTE (sfdex @ Jan 18 2010, 01:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One thing to throw out there is that iClone is Windows only. This may not be an issue for many, but the fact that Moviestorm supports Mac is hugely appreciated. Machinima on Mac is very limited.

+1 for mac support


#19 twilit.tera


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Posted 21 January 2010 - 02:32 AM

I just want to thank everyone who contributed to this thread. Reading it gave me the motivation to dust off the trial version of iClone 4.something we've been holding on to and mess with it some.

Moviestorm gave us a system that was quick to learn and quick to use, and I'm glad for that. It seems that my schedule is going to open up quite a bit in the future, though. I'll have to oportunity to give iClone the time that it would take to animate some of the more physically complicated scripts that Steelblade has written.

#20 MefuneAkira


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Posted 22 January 2010 - 12:28 AM


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