Today, Epic Games launched a sneak peek at its newest Unreal Engine creation tool that promises to drastically cut down on the time needed to create realistic-looking digital humans.
“Creating one high-quality digital human is difficult and time-consuming,” the announcement post says. “Scaling that effort to create many diverse digital humans of the quality required by next-gen platforms and high-end virtual production is a formidable task indeed. That’s why today, we’re incredibly excited to offer you a first glimpse of MetaHuman Creator.”
MetaHuman Creator. That’s the name. On one hand I’m glad the name isn’t something silly like D1g1tal Humanz or Kreatr, and it does plainly state what the hell the product is supposed to do. On the other, the name still reads like something Magneto would cook up in his plans for mutant domination.
Sci-fi dystopian name aside, I tried the free demo available on the Epic Games Store and it’s...definitely not for an Unreal Engine layperson like me. I don’t know a thing about face sculpting or animation rigging, but I did appreciate toying with the model a little bit, taking her hair off or moving her eyebrows slightly off center and playing the demo video with my newly hairless creation. I was particularly excited to see what the model would look like animated after I removed her “teeth” layer, but that change didn’t take. (I know, I’m a monster.) Epic seems to be saving the real nuts and bolts of the editor for the full release, as this demo actually offers very few customization options.
I do love me a character creator so I appreciate Unreal’s attempt to make creating diverse humans easier. And based on the comments on the YouTube video, 3D character artists seem pretty excited about the possibilities, too.