Epic Games recently announced a new release of MetaHuman from Unreal Engine. With this release, they have extended the framework to make it easier to share your MetaHumans, either for fun with friends, or in order to collaborate and iterate on them with colleagues in professional pipelines. It is also possible to edit aspects of MetaHumans’ unique DNA files to customize them or integrate them into your pipeline.
Now sharing the MetaHumans has become a whole lot easier for the creators. Simply download the digital human’s description as a MetaHuman binary file from MetaHuman Creator and send it to a recipient using your preferred method, such as email or Google Drive; on receipt, they can instantly view a copy of that MetaHuman by uploading the file to Creator.
For teams working on characters, this new approach provides a faster way to collaborate on and refine assets. And because each MetaHuman can now be described in a single file (rather than as an asset, like you would get using Quixel Bridge), teams can use their own versioning systems to track versions and iterations.
The new sharing feature means you can:
- Quickly and easily show off your MetaHumans to friends
- Collaborate on MetaHumans with team members in a more streamlined workflow
- Smoothly hand over MetaHuman assets to external teams
- Share MetaHumans with yourself—for example, between different accounts
DNA Calibration Library:
All humans, of course, have DNA. It’s what defines them, what makes them unique. But did you know that MetaHumans also have DNA? MetaHuman DNA contains all the parameters that contribute to the form of each individual MetaHuman’s head.
Until now, the MetaHuman DNA file has been a black box, making it difficult for studios to integrate MetaHumans into their proprietary pipelines, or to customize them in ways that go beyond their original constraints. As part of this release they announced that they are making a MetaHuman DNA Calibration Library available to address this.
The library includes both a C++ and a Python API, as well as a DNA Viewer application that enables you to import DNA files into Autodesk Maya.
With these tools, you can edit MetaHuman DNA files as follows:
- Rename and remove joints, BlendShapes, animated maps, and meshes to conform with pipeline requirements
- Select a subset of LODs to retain, so you can pick the ones that make the most sense for your project
- Translate, rotate, and scale the rig, for example to create 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, enabling you to compile the library for custom environments, together with technical documentation comprising an overview, an explanation of the API, examples, and more.