AML Template Tutorial



Avatar Open The Door

Why does opening a door in real life seem so hard to do in animation?! Not to worry, the great mysteries of opening doors (as well as closing doors) will be revealed in this lesson. It�s actually quite simple once you see how it�s done� so please, don�t kick yourself after you watch this lesson.

In this tutorial we will build the AML Template Project "Avatar Open the Door" from scratch. Follow the concepts below to create your door for the story.

  1. First, you need to create a door in the scene. Have you noticed that every prop in the scene rotate at its center axis. But is that how the door suppose to be opened?
Rotate at its pivot center Rotate at side pivot

          No, doors usually open from the side of the pivot.

  1. In this lesson, change the pivot point to a prop is really necessary. Follow the steps below to create a helper.
  • Create the helper at the center of the world.
  • Rename the helper "Door_Helper"
  • Open the Timeline .
  • Go to frame "50". Set a key for rotation of open door.
  • Go to frame "100". Set a key for rotation of close door.
  • Enable "Collect Clip" to highlight frames 0 to 50 for open door. Right click in the range of highlight to "Add to Library". Save as "OutsideDoor_Open_Door".


  • Then, highlight frames 50 to 100 for close door. Right click in the range of the highlight to "Add to Library". Save as "OutsideDoor_Close_Door".
  • Click on "Reset" to make sure all the tracks are clean.
  • Right-click on the helper to verify that the two clips are embedded within the helper in perform command.
  • Add the helper to the custom prop folder. Name the helper "Door_Helper".

Note: When you create animation clips for props in iClone, all the animation clips are embedded in the iProp itself.

  1. Create a door in the scene. Add the Door_Helper to the scene. Position the door helper (yellow box) to the door.


  1. Select the door and attach it to the door helper as the parent.


  1. Noticed that the hierarchy has changed between the door and the door helper.


  1. Set two posHelper props for the door. One for opening the door and the other one for closing the door. Why posHelper? PosHelper allows you to precisely set which target point that the character will get to. After you set these posHelper points, it allows the character to know which point the avatar should go to and where to start doing �the open door� animation. Without the posHelper the character would not know where and when to trigger the open door motion. Naming becomes a really important factor for posHelper to name correctly. So you can define them in AML Script. So before we begin, please go to a door in your house, work place or space ship, wherever has a standard door, and do the following exercise. From one side of the door, maybe in your bedroom, open the door. When you open it, you may be pulling the door to you, or pushing the door away from you. Just keep that in mind. When you push a door to open, then you must pull the door in order to close it.

          So why did I make you go to a door and practice opening and closing a door? Because I want you to understand why there are two posHelpers, each with opposite orders on opening and closing a door, depending on what side of the door you�re on. Ok, that�s enough playing around with doors, let�s get back to business on how to create posHelpers and AML for doors.

  • Drag any 3D Blocks into the scene. Position the posHelper for open door position.


  • Rename it "Outside Point".
  • Attach it to the door helper.


  • Add another posHelper for pull position.


  • Place the new posHelper in the same position as the first posHelper. Rename it "Outside Point".
  • Attach it to the door helper.


  • Select each of the three helpers (door helper, 2 posHelpers) and hide them.


  • Now you can simply follow the steps above and do another set of posHelpers for the Open Door Pull and Close Door Push on the other side of the door.


  • When all of the attachments are set. Merge all the props.
  • Export the DramaScript.

AML Script

  1. Load the DramaScript in AML Script Editor. As you can see all the commands are now in the perform command. Move the clip of both commands to Operate command. Since all the interaction between the character and the prop can only happen in Operate Command. Select the "Open Door Push" command.


  1. Select the "OutsideDoor_Open_Door" clip and click "Copy".


  1. Select "Operate Command" from the command drop down list. Add a new Operate Command and rename it "Open_Door_Push".
  2. Click "Paste" to add the clip. Now the door motion from perform command has pasted under operate command's clip. Since you have paste the clip to this command, the character is now allowed to interact with the door.


  1. Select Open_Door_Push Operate Command set open door posHelper for the character to get to. When this is set, the character will know the target position to start opening the door. Where does this name come from? May some of you still remember that we have set two posHelpers for open and close door. Since the name is Open Door Push for opening the door we need to place "$.Outside Point" to define the place of the open door.


  1. Do the same for the Close Door Pull. Copy the OutsideDoor_Close_Door animation clip from Perform Command and paste it under Operate Command. Remember to set posHelper for this command too. The posHelper for this command is "$.Outside Point".


Character Animation Clip

Now you have done all the clip transfers for the door. There are two more animation clips we need to set for the character. Once we have added animation clips for the character, we can locate the motion clip to how the character will be walking to the posHelper. You can decide whether you character is going to walk or run to the target.

  1. Select the "Open Door Push" command under Operate. Add an animation clip for the character. Get door open animation of the character from C:\Program Files\Reallusion\iClone 3\Template\iClone Template\iAnimation\Home\InsideDoor_Open_Ani.iMotion.
  1. Rename the clip "OutsideDoor_Open_Character".


  1.  Do the same for the Close Door Pull. Apply motion clip from C:\Program Files\Reallusion\iClone 3\Template\iClone Template\iAnimation\Home\InsideDoor_Close_Ani.iMotion.


  1. Save and overwrite the script.
  2. Import the script to the same animated door you did in iClone.


  1. See the character walks beautifully to the door and opens the door.