One of the more difficult aspects of making video games is creating digital humans that look and feel real. It can take a tremendous amount of time, effort, skill, and money to make a single, lifelike digital human, not to mention the effort it takes to populate an entire digital world with them. Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is hoping to make that job a bit easier with the reveal of their MetaHuman Creator. This new tool will help developers with the creation of lifelike and stunningly real characters in a significantly shorter amount of time.
The MetaHuman Creator is a cloud-streamed app that is designed to scale down the time it takes a developer to create a digital human from weeks or months to less than an hour. To do this, the app draws from an ever-expanding library of variants of human appearance and motion, and it allows developers to create convincing new characters through intuitive workflows that let them sculpt and craft the exact result they are looking for. You can check out this sure-to-be revolutionary app in action in the short introductory video from Epic Games.
The tool offers a number of diverse preset faces to choose as a starting point. Then, developers can choose from around 30 different hair styles that use Unreal Engine’s strand-based hair, or hair cards for lower-end platforms. There is also a closet of example clothing to choose from and 18 differently proportioned body types. Once the developer is satisfied with their digital human, they simply download them via Quixel Bridge, and they are fully rigged and ready for animation and motion capture!
Once the digital human is created, it can be animated using performance capture tools or keyframes manually. Plus, animations created for one asset will run on any other MetaHuman, allowing developers to reuse work across multiple projects. This new tool will be ready for testing as part of an Early Access program in the next few months and will be compatible with Unreal Engine 4 and the upcoming Unreal Engine 5.
Epic Games’ Unreal Engine has already proven itself an indispensable tool in the creation of digital experiences. From gaming to television and film, Unreal Engine is working hard to push the bounds of interactivity, visual effects, and storytelling. The MetaHuman Creation tool is just the next step in the future of digital creation.
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