Why Do We Want Free CC Character Bases? The best way to Use Them?

Why Use a 3D Character Base Mesh?

Sculpting an anatomical mannequin from scratch (for instance, beginning with a sphere and manipulating the geometry into your human base physique) is nice train for studying the proportions, types, volumes, and anatomical landmarks of the physique! Increase these types takes time, however you’ll finally get quicker at it!

If you happen to’re pressed for time, beginning with a 3D character base mesh could be a useful method to pace issues alongside – whereas a base mesh received’t essentially have the proper proportions or precise types your distinctive character requires, it is going to present a generic place to begin to begin from that accommodates all the final human landmarks in place, you could rapidly modify to get your character dialed in!

On this article, we’ll discover the newly launched Character Creator Base Meshes ( CC character base ) from Reallusion, obtainable for free download and use in your tasks!

First, we have to obtain the .zip file:

  1. Click on here to go to the obtain web page.
  2. Click on the “Obtain Now” button and watch the 1 minute video.
  3. The file will obtain robotically to your laptop! 
  4. Unzip the contents wherever you’d like, and let’s dig into what we will do!

What’s contained in the CC Character Base

After you unzip the file, you’ll see three file codecs which we’ll cowl individually later on this article, and 5 styles of CC character base meshes: a totally impartial base, a practical female and male, and a stylized female and male. Choose whichever base mannequin makes essentially the most sense to begin with relying on what you’re engaged on!

Topology and UVs

All of the 3D character base meshes have good, uniform quad surfaces, with edge loops constructed particularly for animation deformations, morphs, and blendshape creation in thoughts. In actual fact, every base has an identical UDIM UV maps and vertex order, so you may mix between them seamlessly, and are excellent for manufacturing pipelines that require vertex and UV consistency between bases.


The “Topology Maps” folder accommodates template utility pictures you could apply to your meshes that may show you how to put your facial landmarks and volumes precisely the place you need them based mostly on the mesh topology! Inside every FBX format folder you’ll even have base physique textures you could apply to your fashions: a practical coloration map for the practical bases, and a stylized coloration map for the stylized bases!

Why use these CC character base?

Right here’s the massive purpose — as highlighted in our earlier article, sculpting a personality is only the start of the joy. With these character creator bases, when you’ve completed sculpting a static character, you’re just some button presses away from full rigging, weights, facial features morphs. In different phrases, a personality with a myriad of prospects for animation, simulation, posing… basically bringing your character to life. You need to use them for something from an animated scene to a posed 3D print, and every thing in between!

So lengthy story quick, if I make a personality and I don’t really feel like bringing it to life, no massive deal, it’s nonetheless a very good, predictable, performant mesh to begin sculpting on. HOWEVER, if by the point I’m achieved sculpting my character and I really feel like posing it out, have it run round in a scene, and even controlling the characters face with your personal utilizing AccuFACE, I’m actually just some button pushes away from making that occur (a few of these button pushes we’ll cowl on this article!).

Nevertheless, if I begin with another base mesh and then determine I need to make it dance round…making a skeleton, pores and skin weights, creating facial morphs, making a management rig for all that, making use of or creating an animation, and extra…it’s going to take wayyyyy various button presses to make that occur. In order that’s the massive plus to me; If I begin with these base meshes, animation, expressions, LIFE is true there at my fingertips, seconds away!

CC character base Overview Demonstration

For every base kind there’s additionally quite a few file codecs to select from relying on the way you need to work, and what kind of software program you’ll be utilizing. Right here’s a quick overview:

  • OBJ file: import this single mesh file into any program that accepts .obj information, and start transferring geometry round to rework your preliminary base mesh into a novel and attention-grabbing character!
  • ZTL file: this can be a ZTool file you could Software > Load Software into ZBrush, and identical to the .obj workflow, start modifying to your coronary heart’s content material. In contrast to the .obj file, the .ztl file Like I discussed earlier, the even distribution and quad geometry makes sculpting on this base enjoyable and predictable, and identical to the .obj file, when you’ve refined your characters physique, you’re just some button clicks away from bringing it to life!
  • FBX file: this file accommodates a skeletal rig and facial blendshapes, so to be able to make the most of these you’ll should import them right into a program that acknowledges them. So not ZBrush, however Max, Maya, Modo, Blender, or C4D, and so on…import this file and modify the property as you see match!
The stylized feminine base with its .ztl subtools.


Earlier than we get to the .obj and .ztl codecs, let’s take a look at the .fbx file first. Once more, this format has bones and morphs, and likewise has physique textures assigned from its respective folder location. To benefit from all this, we’ll have to import this file format right into a dcc app that helps skeletons and morph targets — Max, Maya, Modo, Blender, C4D, and so on… are all good choices!

On this case we’ll use Blender to indicate off fundamental .fbx performance, as effectively to make the most of an auto setup plugin known as CC/iC Blender Tools. This plugin won’t solely import our mannequin and make sure the character materials and texture setup is authored correctly, but additionally enable us to create a one-button-click management rig for our characters physique and face, using the morphs and skeleton discovered within the .fbx file. This sort of auto setup performance isn’t just for Blender — there’s an increasing suite of choices on the Character Workflow Pipeline web page, that may permit you to rapidly and simply take your creation from Character Creator to Unreal, ZBrush, Marvelous Designer, Sketchfab, and extra!

Blender Auto Setup Set up

On this case we’ll make the most of the auto setup plugin for Blender, nevertheless there are additionally auto setup instruments for different CG software program and recreation engines which you’ll find on their Character Workflow Pipeline web page. To put in the Blender plugin:

  • Go to this web page, click on on Newest, and obtain the supply code .zip file
  • In Blender, go to Edit > Preferences > Add Ons > Set up, navigate, and choose your downloaded .zip file
  • Examine the field for Characters: CC/iC Instruments, and within the sandwich menu select Save Preferences
  • Now once you hit “N” in your keyboard, you’ll see a CC/iC Pipeline tab to the best aspect of your viewport.
  • To examine for updates, return to the AddOn window, click on the down arrow on your new plugin, and scroll to the underside — there’s a Examine for updates button there.

CC character base Import into Blender Utilizing CC/iC Blender Instruments.

As an alternative of going to File > Import, click on on the CC/iC Pipeline tab and click on the Import Character button. Your character ought to import with all the correct supplies and textures attached.

Be aware – You need to use this similar methodology to import any character exported from Character Creator, full with hair and clothes as effectively.

Take a look at the mannequin’s UV maps in UV Enhancing mode, and get a take a look at the textures and supplies in Shading mode. Within the Shading tab you may see the fabric construction. You possibly can join the related topology map to get a take a look at how the sections of the physique and head are divided

Skeleton, Blendshapes, and Management Rig

Again within the Structure tab, along with your character chosen, go to the Knowledge Properties tab to see the character’s expression morphs. Our management rig within the subsequent step will make the most of these in varied mixtures to create extremely detailed facial animation!

To see our skeleton, choose the highest character node in your scene, go to the Knowledge tab and open the Viewport Show part. Checking in entrance will show your character’s skeleton!

Develop the Rigging & Animation tab within the auto setup plugin panel and click on the Rigify button to generate a specialised management rig, full with a full face rigging! Use the dropdown menu within the higher left nook to modify to Pose Mode, then seize the completely different management shapes in your rig and transfer them round to pose your character!

Blender FBX Customized Character Creation and CC Import

Now, as you may see from this Reallusion video, you may modify your character proper right here in Blender, export via the plugin, and drop the end result into Character Creator as a CCAvatar — in reality, there’s a complete repository of Blender resources you may try that may cowl that course of intimately, and much more! Nevertheless, I’m not tremendous proficient in Blender, so let’s discover the .obj and .ztl choices to make a customized character, then convey it to life utilizing Character Creator.

Workflow Demonstration

OBJ Format

As we talked about earlier than, within the .obj file format, all physique components are consolidated right into a single mesh, making it simple to load and edit in any 3D software that helps .obj format.

Import & Sculpting

Since I’m most comfy in ZBrush, that’s what I’m going to make use of to switch this .obj file, however be happy to comply with alongside in your favourite modeling software – all we’re doing is transferring round vertices.

First I’ll go to Software > Import, then navigate to the “OBJ” folder within the “CC Character Base” listing, then select the bodytype I need to begin with (for my case, I searched the “05_Toon Neutral_M” folder). Lastly I’ll double-click the “Toon Neutral_M.obj” mannequin to import it.

Once more, this file will likely be a single mannequin with out a skeleton or expression morphs. Be happy to maneuver the vertices round, altering the volumes and proportions of your character nevertheless you’d like! Whilst you’re doing this, there’s just a few pointers to comply with:

  • Maintain the naming constant so we will import the finalized mannequin in Character Creator for conversion right into a CC3 plus character. That is simple, simply don’t change the default title, and when you do, change it again earlier than you export later.
  • Don’t change the vertex order: no splitting items, slicing or extruding faces, and so on…
  • Nevertheless, be happy to subdivide your mannequin to sculpt particulars, which you’ll be able to bake out as a traditional map later! If you happen to do subdivide to create a extra detailed sculpt throughout this course of, keep in mind to drop all the way down to the bottom subdivision (SDiv 1 in ZBrush) earlier than exporting


When you’ve accomplished your sculpt, return to subdivision stage one and use Software > Export to .obj. Give the exported .obj file a novel title – this would be the one we import into Character Creator within the subsequent steps, if you wish to convey your character to life!

Character Creator Import

In Character Creator, load within the impartial male toon base, which might be discovered within the Actor > Character > Base folder within the Content material supervisor. Since we began with the Toon Male, we’ll use that as our base character; when you began with a distinct physique kind, use that as a substitute.

Create New Morph Slider button present in
the Morph tab

Put your CC mannequin right into a bind pose by going to Take away > Restore Bind Pose within the Timeline dropdown menu. Navigate to the Morphs tab, and click on the plus button to create a brand new morph slider.

Enter a reputation for this morph, then load within the obj file you exported earlier within the Goal Morph part. Load within the related obj key file within the Checksum File Path part, which might be discovered within the folder of the bottom kind you used. Lastly, be sure that you choose “Regulate bones to suit morph” to keep away from any bone proportion points, then hit OK.

New Morph Slider parameters

Again within the Morphs tab, zero out the Presently Used morphs, then click on on the Actor part. Seek for the morph slider title you created, and set it to 100. Your up to date mannequin is now absolutely rigged, with bones proportional to the physique scale — a totally purposeful CC3+ character! Be happy to use animations from the Content material tab, and pose your characters physique and face utilizing Edit Pose and Edit Facial discovered within the Movement tab.

To study extra concerning the superb issues you are able to do with this character kind, you may try the opposite articles we’ve made, that may stroll you thru making a customized base character, baking your excessive res particulars to regular maps, texturing it, creating customized equipment and clothes for it, and at last animating it, and even utilizing your personal face to drive your characters face!

ZTL Format

Lastly, let’s discuss concerning the .ztl file format… This format is similar to .obj — there’s no bones or morphs, and all we’ll be doing is transferring across the present geometry to create our distinctive character. Nevertheless, by going to Software > Load Software, and selecting the .ztl file from the physique kind you need to begin from, you’ll see this file format accommodates a number of objects (subtools in ZBrush), fairly than one single file just like the .obj.

A number of subtools discovered within the .ztl format

Similar to the .obj, you don’t need to change the naming of those present subtools. Nevertheless, you may add as many customized subtools as you need! Shirts, pants, sneakers, swords, create and title these as separate subtools, and we will ship them over to Character Creator later, together with our physique updates.


Masks, transfer, and sculpt the subtools to create your personal distinctive character. Your “CC_Base_Body” subtool will have already got 5 ranges of subdivision on it. I normally begin on the bottom subdivision, and work my manner up via the subdivisions as I add increasingly more element. If you happen to want extra element than subdivision stage 5 will enable, go to Instruments > Geometry and hit the divide button to get extra geometry decision.

Keep in mind, you’re in a position to append and create extra subtools whereas in ZBrush, named no matter you want, that may ship over to Character Creator together with our physique modifications. Be happy to make use of polypainting so as to add coloration to your high-res sculpt as effectively.

Base physique with polypaint

Sending to CC

As soon as the sculpting is completed, open Character Creator and click on Load Impartial Base. As soon as once more, be sure that the character is ready to a bind pose utilizing Take away > Restore Bind Pose within the Animation Participant. Return into ZBrush and press the Software > GoZ All button to ship your whole ZBrush subtools over to Character Creator.

You’ll see the GoZ Choices panel seem in CC. Be certain that all the unique sub instruments are set to Replace, whereas the brand new ones are set to Create Material. It will bind your customized objects to your physique robotically!

GoZ base mesh end result (left). Base mesh with baked regular element and polypaint (proper).

Additional Refinement

If you wish to proceed having enjoyable and refining your character, like baking your high-res element and polypaint out of your physique to your CC mesh, try this text. Fore extra info on creating customized clothes and niknaks, together with including material simulation, try this text!

Ultimate Ideas

Thanks for stopping by, and maintain a watch out for extra articles detailing how one can create cool stuff, then get that cool stuff to maneuver round! Additionally try these articles for extra info on customized character creation, together with how one can transfer old projects which have arbitrary geometry (one other base mesh, and even dynamesh idea sculpts), and convert it to Character Creator topology so you may benefit from all of the rigging and animation perks we simply lined. And keep in mind there are pipeline instruments obtainable to switch it to any variety of purposes, from Blender to Unreal, and every thing in between!

About The Writer

Michael Pavlovich earned a Bachelor’s diploma in Pc Animation from RSAD in 2005. Initially, he contributed to the event of atmosphere and character artwork for well-liked video video games equivalent to Madden and NCAA Soccer. Later, he relocated to Austin to hitch Dawn Video games, the place he labored on the creation of artwork property for DC Universe On-line.

Presently, Michael holds the place of Director of Character, Weapon, and Automobile Artwork at Sure Affinity. His experience lies in implementing iterative pipelines for Sure Affinity artists serving to develop famend online game franchises, together with Halo, Name of Responsibility, and DOOM. To remain up to date on his newest tutorial tasks, you may go to Michael’s YouTube or ArtStation web page.

>> Examine Michael’s Artstation

>> Examine Michael’s Youtube Channel