Update eases MetaHuman sharing, enables gene editing

The New MetaHuman version from Epic makes it easier to share creations and edit the unique characters’ DNA files.

Epic’s MetaHuman framework revolutionized the creation of realistic, high-fidelity digital humans, simplifying what was once a lengthy, difficult process and making it fast, easy, and real time. Now, in a recent update to MetaHuman, Epic has extended the framework to make it easier for users to share their MetaHuman creations for fun or for collaborative purposes.

Creating a fully rigged, photorealistic MetaHuman is simple. Using the free cloud-based app, the user chooses from a variety of attributes and the software blends them together; the result can then be refined with sculpting tools. To easily share the creation, now a person simply downloads a description of their digital human as a MetaHuman binary file from MetaHuman Creator and sends it to a recipient. This can be done using email or Google Drive. The recipient then uploads the file to Creator and can instantly view a copy of the MetaHuman and offer up their opinions or suggestions to the person who generated the model.

It is now easier to share MetaHumans and to customize the characters in new ways and add them into proprietary pipelines. (Source: Epic Games)

Each MetaHuman can now be described in a single text file (rather than as an asset, as they did previously when using the Quixel Bridge application), enabling teams to use their own versioning systems for the creation. As a result, users can quickly and easily show off their creations to friends, collaborate on MetaHumans with team members in a more streamlined manner, and hand over MetaHuman assets easily to external teams.

In this new release, users can also edit areas of a MetaHuman’s unique DNA files, customizing them or integrating them into the person’s or studio’s pipeline. This can be done with the MetaHuman DNA Calibration Library, which includes both a C++ and a Python API, as well as a DNA Viewer application that enables the user to import DNA files into Autodesk Maya, where they can edit certain MetaHuman DNA files. They can:

  • Rename and remove joints, blendshapes, animated maps, and meshes to conform with pipeline requirements.
  • Select a subset of LODs to retain, and also be able to pick the ones that make the most sense for their project.
  • Translate, rotate, and scale the rig to create, for example, MetaHumans at non-human scales (pixies, giants).
  • Adjust the neutral shape by editing the vertex positions and setting a new bind pose.

The library, which is pre-compiled for Windows and Linux, is available on the Epic Games GitHub repository. The package also includes the source code for compiling the library for custom environments, together with technical documentation comprising an overview, an explanation of the API, examples, and more.