Epic Games has revealed a first look at MetaHuman Creator, a new browser-based app that empowers game developers and creators of real-time 3D content to slash the time it takes to build digital humans from weeks or months to less than an hour, while maintaining a high level of quality.
MetaHuman Creator runs in the cloud via Unreal Engine Pixel Streaming. In addition to speeding up the complex process of digital human creation, it also enables teams of all shapes and sizes to more easily scale and make many types of characters to meet the demands of next-gen platforms and high-end virtual production.
MetaHuman Creator video:
“Up until now one of the most arduous tasks in 3D content creation has been constructing truly convincing digital humans. Even the most experienced artists require significant amounts of time, effort, and equipment, just for one character,” shared Vladimir Mastilovic, VP, Digital Humans Technology at Epic Games. “After decades of research and development, and thanks to bringing companies like 3Lateral, Cubic Motion, and Quixel into the Epic family, that barrier is being erased through Unreal Engine, and we're thrilled to introduce MetaHuman Creator.”
MetaHuman Creator enables users to easily create new characters through intuitive workflows that let them sculpt and craft results as desired. As adjustments are made, MetaHuman Creator blends between actual examples in the library in a plausible, data-constrained way. Users can choose a starting point by selecting a number of preset faces to contribute to their human from the range of samples available in the database.
Users are able to apply a variety of hair styles that use Unreal Engine’s strand-based hair system, or hair cards for lower-end platforms. There’s also a set of example clothing to choose from, as well 18 differently proportioned body types. When ready, users can download the asset via Quixel Bridge, fully rigged and ready for animation and motion capture in Unreal Engine, complete with LODs. Users will also get the source data in the form of a Maya file, including meshes, skeleton, facial rig, animation controls, and materials.
Once in Unreal Engine, users can animate the digital human asset using a range of performance capture tools—they can use Unreal Engine’s Live Link Face iOS app, and Epic is also currently working with vendors on providing support for ARKit, Faceware, JALI Inc., Speech Graphics, Dynamixyz, DI4D, Digital Domain, and Cubic Motion solutions—or keyframe it manually. Animations created for one MetaHuman will run on other MetaHumans, enabling users to easily reuse a single performance across multiple Unreal Engine characters or projects.
To illustrate the quality of the digital humans made possible with MetaHuman Creator, Epic is releasing two fully finished sample characters available to explore, modify, and use in projects running on Unreal Engine 4.26.1 and later. MetaHuman Creator will be available as part of an Early Access program within the next few months.