Kick Keanu to the curb and Mads Mikkelsen too. Sorry lads, we dont need your very real human faces in video games anymore. Epic Games are working on a tool to create very real looking fake humans that they say can reduce the time it takes to make digital characters from weeks to just an hour. The MetaHuman Creator isn’t available just yet, but Epic have published two sample humans (a horrifying phrase!) that you can download for use in their Unreal Engine.
They demonstrate a very quick look at the tool’s browser-based workflow in the video just below and it really does look about like messing around in a particularly detailed game character creator. I suspect it goes a bit deeper than that if you really know what you’re doing though.
“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,” Epic explain. “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.”
To demonstrate the possibilities, they’ve published two “sample humans”. Here’s a closer look at the two of them.
I might have nightmares about a person saying “I am fully rigged, ready for animation and motion capture,” but heck it sure is quite realistic innit?
After creating a real fake human, Epic say users will be able to download them as a Maya file, “including meshes, skeleton, facial rig, animation controls, and materials” which you can use to animate them by hand or use performance capture tools.
The MetaHuman Creator isn’t ready just yet, but Epic say they’ll be releasing it as part of an early access program in the next few months. You can read a bit more and download your sample humans over in Epic’s post.