Animation is FRUSTRATING! Are MODE buttons the answer?
Create "MODE" buttons for each area of Animation Development:
CHARACTER MODE: Import CC3 into iClone where nothing else matters but creating the animation for that character. In this MODE, you can not edit the STAGE props. In this MODE, you can "add" facial poses to the MEDIA tab, which is now ghosted. The MEDIA tab should also allow you to add poses, like stills, that would allow you to create a "traditional" key framed animation. By allowing these poses to be saved, it can then be applied to any other character. This should also include Facial Expressions. Right now, each character's facial poses and expressions are NOT EDITABLE if you "COLLECT" the motion as it eliminates any capability of editing it, which is stupid. You should also be allowed to save VIDEOS clips to this area, but you can not.
STAGE MODE: Import PROPS to set up the Scene. This should also take care of any TERRAIN issues related to the character either falling through it, or standing way above the actual ground as you can see that the SHADOWs are not correct. All imported CHARACTERS or PROPS should negate the "Foot Contact" issue. I have often imported various PROPS, like a building made from different vendors, only to find that when I turn on "foot contact", the character hits an invisible "barrier", TERRAIN or STATIC. It squishes the legs up, which is completely ridiculous in the first place and this should never happen as it introduces more edits than are necessary making you work harder than you have to. In this MODE, you can not select the character.
ANIMATION MODE: This is where you bring together the STAGE elements with the CHARACTERS. When in this mode, you either work on the STAGE or the CHARACTERS, never the two at the same time. This would allow you an efficient way of making minor adjustments as you test out the animation. I think this is the real problem with streamlining the animation process in iClone. It seems every time you are animating a character, for example, it "deselects" the character. You then have to select it again, as you edit and adjust a CAMERA position, for example. This becomes very frustrating as it is an inefficient way of animating.
When a CHARACTER walks to a location using a BVH file or a built-in, it would be great to be able to generate the path from that animation. As you refine the animation, if the character changes, you could just apply that path to regenerate the new animation instead of "reinventing the wheel" over and over again.
ALL CHARACTERS should have built in "motion" capabilities like "walk, run, sit, stand" that are basic to every CHARACTER. With the character selected, you click somewhere in the SCENE and the character goes there. This use to be a feature in iClone, but for some reason, it has disappeared.
The CURVE EDITOR for adjusting the KEYS should be part of the program like Substance is now. This is a PRIMARY edit function that you should not have to pay for. It was there in version 6 and now gone in 7.
Select a CHARACTER or PROP and hitting the "Home" button should get you pretty close, but right now it seems like it is way too far away. In MAYA, select it and it zooms right where you want it to be. Otherwise you have to waste time "zooming" or "scrolling" in on the CHARACTER or PROP. On a huge set, this becomes quite slow and aggravating to say the least. Yes, you could add additional cameras, but that adds unnecessary bulk to the file.
The crosshairs when a CHARACTER or PROP is selected should never "disappear" while editing.
Overall the program is excellent! It just needs some attention to "specific" activities. I think these suggestions would help tremendously!