Epic Games' photorealistic character creator Metahuman released in early access

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,912   +762
Staff member
In a nutshell: Epic's Metahuman Creator promises to make content creators' lives a snap when designing CG character models. The tool went live today in early access, but expect to wait a few days or longer to get into the application. Epic does not want to overwhelm the servers all at once.

Back in February, Epic Games unveiled a cloud-based Unreal Engine tool called "Metahuman Creator" that allows graphic designers to quickly create CG 3D human models for use in video games or movies. Words alone can barely do justice to the realism of the textures and animation. If you missed it, it's best just to let the characters speak for themselves, as you can see in the video from February below.

On Wednesday, Epic announced Metahuman is ready for early access. However, access is by request only for now—designers and the curious can signup through Epic's access portal. Interest in the app has been high, and due to its cloud-based nature, Epic is carefully adding people to early access. My confirmation email said it should take a few days for my account to be activated but noted that "wait times may vary."

That said, the Metahuman Creator looks user-friendly enough that even a novice can tinker with it and create unique CG characters.

"MetaHuman Creator is so easy to use, you may not even need to open the user guide," says Epic. "Simply select a starting point from the diverse range in the database, choose several more to contribute to your MetaHuman, and blend between them. Then, refine your character with sculpting tools and control guides, just by dragging on the asset."

The Unreal team released a new video today showing the tool in action, and it does indeed look pretty easy to use (above). I especially like the way you can use multiple faces to blend together into something more unique. Sculpting looks very easy as well.

Once you have created an avatar, you can animate it in real-time with no additional programming. Metahumans have default facial and body animation rigs. If you want to go beyond canned animations, Epic suggests using its Live Link Face app for iOS, which captures your facial gestures and translates them to your Unreal character.

I'm no game designer, but I am interested to see what I can do with it, if only just for curiosity's sake.

Permalink to story.

 

noel24

Posts: 718   +851
Doesn't look half as good as half of Those Youtube deepfake videos of
Schwarzenegger od Stallone. I mean, I understand, It's created in real time, but Those Youtube creators are working mostly for free or little gain. Aim higher.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 330   +236
TBH It feels like this is not a tool to make life like human models ... they certainly do not look as good as X or Y, but as efficiency of development goes, it would make a decent impact on the variety and quality of NPCs in games like GTA.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,285   +2,490
TechSpot Elite
Doesn't look half as good as half of Those Youtube deepfake videos of
Schwarzenegger od Stallone. I mean, I understand, It's created in real time, but Those Youtube creators are working mostly for free or little gain. Aim higher.
2D vs 3D. Why are you even comparing them?
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 149   +231
For how quick and fairly realistic it is, it sure looks like a good jumping off point. But I'm not an artist, so I can't actually say how productive this tool could be...
It is better than the older gens (UE4, other engines) and faster. Everything in UE5 is made to be done faster and at least as good if not better looking than UE4 (more are towards better looking). All that new tech like it was presented in the PS5 demo a year ago with Lumen, Nanite assets streaming from fast SSDs, no more LODs, etc + MetaHuman make UE5 one of the best if not the best engine for 2021 and beyond.

There are a lot of Epic haters (Apple fans?), but they can't take away how good UE5 will be.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,489   +3,321
TechSpot Elite
It is better than the older gens (UE4, other engines) and faster. Everything in UE5 is made to be done faster and at least as good if not better looking than UE4 (more are towards better looking). All that new tech like it was presented in the PS5 demo a year ago with Lumen, Nanite assets streaming from fast SSDs, no more LODs, etc + MetaHuman make UE5 one of the best if not the best engine for 2021 and beyond.

There are a lot of Epic haters (Apple fans?), but they can't take away how good UE5 will be.
Neah, people don't hate the engine even if it has some weird quicks. They hate Epic because of their anti-consumer store shenanigans.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,672   +579
I'll be honest, I was expecting/hoping that during the second speaker (of the first listed video) when they had the closeup of his eyes that the eyes would shift focus to the camera. From a filming aspect and for showcasing just another point of control it would have been pretty neat.
 

mbk34

Posts: 151   +87
It is very close now. It's just the little things like having the eye's move to something offscreen or having teeth that aren't so perfect or having little twitches that aren't scripted. I'm sure there'll soon be sliders for these types of settings soon though. Very impressive.
 

Jroc187

Posts: 51   +32
Neah, people don't hate the engine even if it has some weird quicks. They hate Epic because of their anti-consumer store shenanigans.
Neah, people don't hate the engine even if it has some weird quicks. They hate Epic because of their anti-consumer store shenanigans.
they gave away games, I have 177 in my library that I never paid for. I don't understand your hate?
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,489   +3,321
TechSpot Elite
they gave away games, I have 177 in my library that I never paid for. I don't understand your hate?
if you don't understand because you got some free games then it's not my problem. this is something well known, it's impossible for you to not know why pc gamers hate epic's store. I'll give a hint about one issue since I'm nice: "third party ex...".
 

poohbear

Posts: 613   +518
Neah, people don't hate the engine even if it has some weird quicks. They hate Epic because of their anti-consumer store shenanigans.
Anti consumer store shenanigans? All the games I got from the Epic store were free...Totalwar Troy, Hitman, Civilization 6, GTA5, Watch Dogs 2, World War Z, Batman Arkham series...giving these AAA games for free was anti-consumer??
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,489   +3,321
TechSpot Elite
Anti consumer store shenanigans? All the games I got from the Epic store were free...Totalwar Troy, Hitman, Civilization 6, GTA5, Watch Dogs 2, World War Z, Batman Arkham series...giving these AAA games for free was anti-consumer??
Since when does giving away "free games" make them pro-consumer? That's just marketing and it has nothing to do with this. I'm tired of people use this damn lame excuse over and over as if they were brainwashed by Epic. "But mah free games". --> you can get free games from so many other places.

The truth is simple: removing the option to buy from multiple stores a third party game means that you are forced to use only their store. You can't look for a better deal or choose a store you prefer if you want that game. This is as anti-consumer as it gets. Epic introduced to the PC market the cancer that is third part exclusivity deals, something consoles were known and hated for.