Epic Games is launching its MetaHuman Creator tool in the early access phase. This software enables users to easily create realistic human characters.
Those who join early access can use the pre-made MetaHumans in Epic’s Unreal Engine or edit them further in Digital Content Creator apps like Maya, Blender or Unity.
Users who want to toy with the character creation will have to wait their turn. Due to the cloud-based nature of the app, Epic Games will add applicants gradually. You can Request Access on their official page.
But, if you just want to test some models in Unreal Engine, you can do so right away! Epic provides 50+ ready-made MetaHumans (brought by Quixel Bridge, another startup owned by Epic Games)
The MetaHumans resemblance to actual people is uncanny. You can manipulate facial features, adjust skin complexion, edit teeth, and select from a preset range of body types, hairstyles, clothing, and much more. After you’re done, you can just as easily download and export a rigged and ready-to-animate model into Unreal Engine.
While users have the ability to create high-fidelity models, they can also choose to take advantage of more low-quality textures. The reason behind this is, of course, to create a library of various assets with all sorts of file sizes.
The animation part is also weird but in a good way. Since it’s being rendered in real-time, you can always press play to see your MetaHuman move, blink, smile, turn its head, or emulate a bunch of human emotions.
What used to take months, now takes minutesVladimir Mastilović, vice-president at Digital Humans Technology
Long gone are the days when Naughty Dog would brag about its ultra-realistic characters. MetaHuman not only brings that level of production closer to an average user but it’s also a stepping stone for even more realistic virtual people in games or movies.
What your MetaHuman needs
Epic unveiled this tool in February and, since then, it gathered a remarkable response from people who’ve tried it.
MetaHuman Creator combines technology from 3Lateral and Cubic Motion, both now part of Epic Games. The assets must be rendered with Unreal Engine. It requires a Windows or macOS computer with internet access and a Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari web browser. You also need an Epic Games account. To download your MetaHumans, you will need to install the free Quixel Bridge application.
MetaHuman Creator requires Unreal Engine 4.26.2 or later. MetaHuman source assets can be downloaded for animating in, for example, Autodesk Maya. However, you cannot publish MetaHumans as final content unless rendered with Unreal Engine.
Epic Games said that MetaHuman Creator and the MetaHuman assets may not be used to build or enhance any database, training or testing any artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, or similar technologies.
This version is an external content creation application, which means it cannot run in a game. The MetaHuman assets it generates are for real-time use in Unreal Engine and require some serious computing power to handle.
Epic Games supports Unreal Engine’s Live Link Face iOS app. It is also working with vendors on providing support for ARKit, DI4D, Digital Domain, Dynamixyz, Faceware, JALI, Speech Graphics, and Cubic Motion solutions.