Spotlight - Mike Aparicio
Mike Aparicio, born in Guatemala, graduated from Columbia and Galileo universities, having studied Electronics Engineering, with masters in Systems, Communications and Software design. He worked as Third Party developer for AT&T, Truevision and created the first Audio-Video concurrent drivers for Jovian Logic at San Jose CA. His software products enhanced the Autodesk Animator Software. He also collaborated with the Gary Yost Group, developers of the original 3D Studio for DOS.
Independently, Aparicio owned two Video Production companies and created more than 200 TV commercials with early Computer Animation technologies.
Actually Mike directs the MediaLab facilities of Galileo University in Guatemala, and teaches Computer Animation, Video Special Effects and Complex Video Montage techniques. Lately Mike Aparicio, under the Apparition brand name is working as a CCD for Reallusion, and has just released the first Clothing Template Kit for the newest G3 iClone female characters. He is also working on more innovative product add-ons for the same iClone animation software.
1. First, can you tell us more about yourself? When you are not creating awesome content, what else do you do? Where in the world are you? And, can you tell us a little about your background.
For a very long time, since my early youngster years, I was fascinated with music, cinema and television. After completing my engineering studies I moved to the United States where I resided for 12 years, having worked in many software and hardware developments, including my own 3D animation software. I founded two Video Production enterprises and produced many videos and animated sequences. Later I moved back to Guatemala where I live now and am in charge of directing a Media Research Laboratory at Galileo University in Guatemala City. I also am a musician, mainly guitar and keyboard player, working with software synthesizers to produce a lot of music, which can be listened to at: http://soundclick.com/mikeappariton and http://myspace.com/mike_apparition
2. What first got you interested in Reallusion software?
During my teaching research, looking for better ways to increase productivity for my students, I found many commentaries in WEB sites, talking about Reallusion products, where I developed a very special interest in Crazy Talk and iClone. I found the Reallusion approach as very innovative, so I got my school to purchase some packages to see how it worked and how could it be taught to my students.
3. When did you start using Reallusion software?
I noticed the great potential in creating content for iClone and Crazy Talk, so I decided to engage in producing some products, thanks to my complete 3DStudio MAX knowledge, and the great facilities and human resources I find within a selected group of my students. All this effort has resulted in the first available Clothing Kit for G3 female iClone characters, and I am working also in the male version for the same and other innovations which will later be published and submitted.
4. What do you mainly use iClone for? Why did you decide to join
the Certified Content Developers?
Right now I use iClone 3.1 to demonstrate the power of the animation philosophy created by Reallusion, and have produced some interesting musical videos with virtual singing, synthetic music and of course iClone scenery and performers. I am soliciting my school authorities to purchase a series of packages to include iClone as part of our regular teaching programs. Of course I also use iClone in combination with Autodesk’s 3D Studio MAX to produce and research for new items to be added to the extensive iClone content resources!
5. What other programs do you use other than iClone and CrazyTalk? What inspires your creations?
My inspiration comes from the hundreds of times I had to solve the requirements of advertising agencies and movie-video producers, finding solutions for the graphics and animation needs, creating product shots, logos and characters for many productions and television commercials. To do so, I mostly use 3D Studio Max, the complete line of Adobe CS products, such as After Effects, Premiere and of course Photoshop. I also work with Cakewalk Sonar, Vocaloid and Audition to produce sound tracks and background music.
6.How long does it normally take for you to create your create your
content, from conception to final production?
Because of the ingenious architecture built into iClone, it’s secrets became quickly apparent to me, maybe due to my expertise and knowledge of the inner construction of three dimensional software. Hence it was easy to understand the well documented iClone tools for content developers. Also I could conduct a series of experiments and tests which showed me what else could be done within iClone to create new concepts as you will see in a near future.
Normally it takes a few hours to come with the first prototype for a new creation, but later, the refinement process, getting rid of bugs, mistakes are getting a totally new approach can extend the production time quite a lot. It took me about 1 month to complete Cloth-for-G3 but it took another just to correct some details and satisfy the stringent Reallusion specifications to 100%.
7. Is there anything you would like to say specifically about your new pack?
Cloth-for-G3 or as I call it, C4G3 brings a very much desired and needed tool for either the final iClone user, or the Certified Content Developer community, which is loaded with good ideas and clothing styles to offer, but were lacking the corresponding G3 Base Objects to work with. I took great care in providing double mesh technology, no matter it was much easier to stick to the single mesh approach. But, in order to allow for interesting and good looking garments, and permit very flexible modification of the basic templates by means of the Opacity Maps, I decided to take the steep road of double mesh development. I found new and revolutionary means to rig the characters and to skin the double layer components, allowing me to create daring cloth components as the Poncho, which was considered impossible by other developers. C4G3, female version, is now available and pretty soon the male version will be ready. I hope users and developers will find it useful and entertaining as it is to me.
Packs Created by Mike:
C4G3- Magic Suit