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Epic's New MetaHuman Creator Powered by Unreal Engine Creates Digital Humans Within an Hour

Epic Games' MetaHuman Creator. (Image Credit: Epic Games)

Epic Games' MetaHuman Creator. (Image Credit: Epic Games)

To illustrate the quality of the digital humans made possible with MetaHuman Creator, Epic is releasing two fully finished sample characters.

Fortnite maker Epic Games has revealed its new MetaHuman Creator, which is a new browser-based app that allows game developers and creators of real-time 3D content to build digital humans in less than an hour, a procedure that generally takes weeks or months. The MetaHuman Creator by Epic runs in the cloud through the Unreal Engine Pixel Streaming. Apart from creating digital humans, the MetaHuman Creator also enables teams to easily scale and make many types of characters to meet the demands of next-generation platforms and high-end virtual production.

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 also animate the digital human asset using a range of performance capture tools like Unreal Engine’s Live Link Face iOS app. Epic is also currently working with vendors on providing support for ARKit, Faceware, JALI, 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.

“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,” said 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,” he said.

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