My name is Tobias Kolodziey and I've been working in the animation & CGI industry for several years now.
I started Studio ToKoMotion in 2011 to develop and produce my own ideas. Since then I also had the opportunity to work with clients on some small but interesting projects, especially in the field of edutainment. I really love to work with iClone as it perfectly fits into my production pipeline and it is a great companion to Unity.
3D Visualization, Animation, Character Design
Q: Hello Tobias, its great to have you as one of our Reallusion Feature Stories. Please tell us a bit about your background and your work.
Thanks a lot for the opportunity to be part of the Feature Stories. After working several years as a Production Manager for a German Animation Studio I decided to become a freelancer. First, I went on doing some project management but then realized that I really loved to do the creative work too. I also have a Graphic-Design background and had the pleasure to work with a lot of talented artists during the years, so it was easy for me to dive into this working field.
I started Studio ToKoMotion in 2011 and have worked on some small but interesting projects since then. I mainly use Unity, iClone and CrazyTalk Animator. Besides I develop my own ideas and do things just for fun. Ah, and of course I have also dived into the creation of assets for the iClone and Character Creator community! :)
Q: You mentioned that you started TokoMotion in 2011. What kind of products and services do you provide, and what kind of projects have you worked on? Any samples?
I mainly offer animation, apps & character creation. The last main projects focused on Edutainment. I also did some animation and games for a children's project before, where iClone helped a lot! Currently I'm working closely with the local school authority and a museum to create a virtual tour/game as part of a learning project about Industrial Revolution Inventors. I hope that I can showcase something soon on my YouTube channel
Q: In the past, you worked a lot with Daz, now you are an iClone and Character Creator power user. Please tell us about your love for iClone, how you found it, and why you eventually switched from Daz morphs to Character Creator morphs?
Well, it all started with iClone version 2 some years ago. I was looking for an easy way to create animation movies and iClone really did a convincing job. Oh my... if I compare iClone 2 with iClone 6 now, it proves that I was right to put trust into this little piece of software and the team behind it.
During this time I also tried other software and I came in contact with Daz3D. I really liked the high-poly characters and assets that they provided, but I was never the one who put lots of effort into creating only one single image render. I wanted to animate, and it was fantastic to see that Daz characters could make their way into iClone 5 through 3DXchange. As I recall, I never really managed to create my own stylized characters with Daz. Of course, I bought a lot of morph assets and I used the sliders in Daz, but I never felt that I got the results that I was looking for - maybe I had to try harder, who knows. :)
Then the first promos for Character Creator (CC) were released and I was overwhelmed! Great looking real-time ready characters, and the power of slider based adjustments nearly integrated into iClone was a dream came true. When I first got my hands on this tool it was great to see how smooth and easy the character creation was and I wanted to push the limits a bit more. So I used external modelers - mainly Sculptris and 3DCoat; with these applications I adjusted the mesh the way I liked and it worked perfectly.
Additionally, I didn't have to do time-consuming texture work anymore as the Appearance Editor does a great job, and it's easy to use as well. I honestly have to say that I didn't use Daz anymore since I started working with the iClone Character Creator tool. Sure, Daz characters have their advantages, but CC fits better into my iClone/Unity workflow. Also, its fair to mention that the Character Creator is a new tool at its beginnings, and I believe that there are a lot of fantastic things that will be coming for it in the near future, so I would definitely recommend Character Creator to anyone out there listening!
Q: Studio TokoMotion has created lots of amazing assets and characters, which are now also being promoted through Reallusion. What is your inspiration behind all these great works? What else can we expect from TokoMotion?
Inspiration is everywhere - movies, games, books and of course the internet. If you search for concept arts you will find really great stuff from talented artists from all over the world. I mainly focus on 2D/hand drawn concepts and I have created a huge reference library for myself. Sometimes a shape or the general look of a character sketch fascinates me and I try to transfer it into 3D. I wouldn't describe myself as the best artist as there are a lot more talented people out there who can do a better job. But I'm not that bad in modeling and always try to give my characters something unique and distinctive. For example I never use symmetric sculpt, as in my opinion it's always better that the characters' left and right side show slight differences - just like in real life.
Currently I'm working on a lot of new characters for the Character Creator tool - a bunch of stylized males, females and animal characters. Some monsters are in the pipeline as well. I will also try to create more unique looking clothes for CC in the future and I hope to release the first packages soon. So there is a lot on my list and I hope I will be able to help many iClone/CC users by providing great assets for them. :)