March 23, 2022 Allison

How to get started with MetaHuman Creator in Unreal Engine

The revolutionary new program showcased in the Unreal Engine tech demo earlier this year is now available in early access of Unreal Engine 5, bringing customizable “high-fidelity digital humans” to the public – all for free! Fully create your digital human characters easier than ever before in MetaHuman’s early access.

How to Access MetaHuman Creator

Since MetaHuman Creator is presently in early access, you’ll need to first head over to the MetaHuman Creator page and click “Request Access.” From there, you’ll be directed to sign in to your Epic Games account and complete a quick form. As they continue rolling out access, you’ll be notified via e-mail when your spot is ready. After that, you’ll simply log into the web app and be ready to go.

The current expected wait time for receiving access is in the range of “the next few days”

Following the initial unveiling of the MetaHumans, Epic Games had released two demo models for the community to get started with. These two models were a great example of how powerful MetaHuman Creator would be, featuring incredible realism and extensive facial and body rigging, and eliminating the biggest pain points of creating and rigging characters. 

It’s great to see they’ve expanded their pre-made character lineup, and it can only grow even further from here.

Getting Started with MetaHuman Creator

The magic that makes MetaHuman Creator possible is the fact that this is a cloud-powered web app, with all the heavy lifting of character generation and customization being streamed through high-end servers. None of the work is done on your local machine.

This makes it perfect for team collaboration (both on and offset), with no limit to users’ creativity when experimenting with character designs. Characters can be fine-tuned easily on a laptop at home, then accessed later in the studio for integration into the production pipeline.

Now, anyone can create their own realistic, infinitely customizable character with the MetaHuman Creator web app and it couldn’t be any easier to use! In an interface similar to generating your own character in a video game, completely unique CG characters can be made in no time.

For anyone getting started with MetaHuman Creator, Matt Workman’s CitizenMetaOne YouTube channel is by far one of the most prolific channels when it comes to helping you build a fundamental understanding of how to use MetaHuman Creator, as well as offering a glimpse at what’s possible with this technology.

Users can currently customize:

  • Facial Features
  • Skin Complexion
  • Make-Up
  • Hair (Head, Facial, Eyebrows, and Eyelashes)
  • Teeth
  • Body Type
  • Clothing

How to Import MetaHumans into the Unreal Engine

Once your character is designed in the MetaHuman UI, simply exit the editor and your changes will be automatically saved and visible in Quixel Bridge. 

Once you select your character in Bridge, you’ll spend a significant amount of time waiting for the character to be processed (an estimated hour in the video above). While this processing time will most likely see some drastic improvements in the future, it’s just something to keep in mind.

After your character has been processed, you can import your character from Bridge into the Unreal Engine with a single click.

How to Capture Facial Performance with the MetaHuman Live Link Face App

You’ve created your character and imported it into the Unreal Engine, now you can use the Unreal Engine’s Live Link Face app to capture performances with an iPhone or iPad. You need to first enable a few plugins and adjust your settings in the Unreal Engine to achieve optimum performance on your system once you’ve imported your MetaHuman.

Enabling missing plugins for your MetaHuman character is fortunately as simple as clicking the “Enable Missing” button. If you encounter any missing plugin errors from the initial import, this should take care of the problem.

Once everything has been compiled and you’ve linked the app to your computer’s IP address, your facial performance capture can then be streamed and instantly mapped to your character in real-time.  

As the Unreal Engine continues to evolve, processes are sure to become even easier and faster for working with MetaHumans. What’s cool about MetaHumans is also the fact that they’re not just limited to living in the Unreal Engine. You can bring these characters to other platforms like Maya, as well.  

To learn more, you can view the official MetaHumans guide, and also be sure to check out the Unreal Engine community page for support or questions.

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Source & pictures: Michael Harman – Makeuseof.com

 

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Allison

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