Transforming Archviz with Animated 3D People

A Journey with ActorCore, iClone, and Blender! Artur Szóstakowski, a CG artist and architect, uses ActorCore, a product by Reallusion, to enhance ArchViz projects. Artur’s work, Riverside, showcases how he transitioned from static 3D people to animated ones in his designs.

Reading time 5 min 45 sec
Image by Artur Szóstakowski


Artur’s workflow involves selecting appropriate 3D people and animations from ActorCore, editing in iClone, and then exporting to Blender for final visualization. This blend of tools and resources helps bring realistic, dynamic characters into architectural visualizations, providing a more engaging experience.

" I created an urban environment that would reflect some possibilities for daily interactions of pedestrians. I used 3D characters and 3D motions from the ActorCore store with the iClone animation software. "

Table of Contents

Artur's Workflow

As we’re all familiar with the architectural visualization process, I’ll mention that in the early stages of his project, Artur utilized the PureRef software to collate images and draw inspiration, settling on a dynamic urban setting that features a river reflecting the surrounding architecture. Transitioning from ideation to creation, he crafted a preliminary architectural model in Blender. Artur then enriched the model with essential elements and add-ons, notably E-Cycles and Poliigon assets, establishing green zones and the desired urban backdrop.

Discussing this with Artur he had this to say...

Regarding the availability of 3d people for the software, by working in architectural visualization, in Blender particularly, I noticed some kinds of software called add-ons for Blender that add functionality. Still, there was no add-on for 3d people, and if you wanted to have accurate 3d models of people in your projects, you would have to download the 3d people from, you know, the 3d people providers out there. I stumbled upon the Reallusion some time ago, And I noticed that they have some excellent options for customization. It works well with Blender, and Loading it up to the software is effortless. So I just give it a go. And it is pretty good.
" In the past, I often used static people to display human activities in architectural design visualization. Recently I was introduced to 3D character animation, so I decided to integrate animated 3D people into my work. "

Integrating 3D People

To do that, Artur:

  • Headed to ActorCore to select a suitable 3D model, focusing on the Sportswear category.
  • Utilized the 3D preview window to assess the model with sample motions and lighting.
  • Searched for appropriate motions, using categories, themes, keywords, and tags to streamline the search.
  • Settled on a jogging motion and previewed it with the chosen model to ensure compatibility before purchase.

Utilizing iClone

Artur then:

  • Imported the chosen jogger and motion into iClone.
  • Took advantage of iClone’s motion blending feature for seamless animation.
  • Used animation layer editing for added customization.
  • Exported the final product as FBX for Blender use.

Implementing in Blender

After that, Artur used Reallusion’s Auto Setup for Blender add-on for quick importing, automatically adjusting materials and shaders. He positioned the 3D model strategically within the scene, designing a path by the river and central building to optimize animation focus.

The Animation

All the content Artur sourced from ActorCore came with a reassuring royalty-free license, ensuring hassle-free use across various platforms. This vast compatibility extended to prominent 3D programs I often utilize, including Unreal Engine, Unity, and Blender. The supported formats – FBX, USD, and industry-standard PBR materials – made the integration process smooth. Especially appreciated were the step-by-step guides and tutorials for each program, alongside the Auto Setup plugins, which streamlined Artur’s workflow tremendously.
" Incorporating ActorCore assets into my ArchViz workflow was a game-changer. They brought unparalleled realism and dynamism to my projects, which traditionally leaned toward static architectural visualizations. I was particularly impressed with ActorCore's vast library of 3D characters and animations, allowing me to weave lifelike human activity into my design effortlessly. And with the help of iClone, I could further tailor and tweak the motions to seamlessly fit within my Blender scene. I wholeheartedly recommend these tools to any ArchViz artist aiming to enhance the realism and interactivity of their projects. "

What to do next?

So, why not give ActorCore a try? Sign up today and start exploring the possibilities of animated 3D people in your arch-viz projects.

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