Animations/Rig Logic not working on Metahuman Face imported from Maya

Hi all,

I am trying to figure out a workflow where I can apply a custom morph target to a Metahuman head (change the likeness a little), and then add animation on top of that morph target with the Metahuman control rig/live link capture.

So far, I’ve been able to take the Maya scene generated by Bridge and import my model into UE4 and accept the Face_Archetype_Skeleton. All the morph targets come in, and the skin does not appear to be broken in an ways. BUT I run into problems when I try to test out any animations like the ARKit rom:

The wrinkle maps keyed into the animation are applying to the head material, but none of the face geometry is actually moving.

After some investigation, I found this DNAasset parameter in the Anim Post Process BP section, and CLEARING it in the base Metahuman face mesh gives me a similar a result to my mesh imported from Maya (wrinkle textures key in, but the geo no longer moves).
Screenshot 2021-08-10 124657
If you then add the DNAAsset parameter back, the animation is still broken, so I wonder if this is some kind of special metadata or something that the Metahumans generate on import? In any case, I think this means that this DNA asset is responsible for feeding the rig logic to the Metahuman face skeletal mesh so it can animate and use the face control board, but I’ve found absolutely no way to customize it or maybe even have it point to the DNA files generated by bridge for the Maya scene.

Has anyone here on the forums had success in getting a face mesh from Maya to import into UE4 and respond to animations? I have tried copying the Post Process Animation settings from the working Metahuman base mesh to my re-imported mesh, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.

I also encountered the same problem in these few days.and i have no idea。Hope someone success

same issue here, did you manage to fix the issue?

I haven’t managed to fix the issue, BUT I was able to work around it: the metahuman face model with the custom morph target still won’t work with the Metahuman control rig, but I was able to use the Faceware live link with it without issues.

Seems like the rig and the driven morph targets are still functioning properly, there’s just some kind of issue with linking that up to the control rig.

Hi ,

I have done the exact the same steps you did and got stuck right at the Face_ControlBoard_CtrlRig. Somehow, all those curves like " CTRL_expressions_earUpL " no longer drive the bones of the skeleton.

Are your CTRL_expressions curves still working after the export?


About to post a tutorial!

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Awesome! Would love to see what your solution is!

Also really interested. I had actually assumed this wasn’t possible.


Just drag and drop the .dna files to unreal engine, after dragging it a window will popoup, select the skeleton mesh ( the one that you have already imported, not the archtype ) save, close all tabs, and everything should works fine.

Also dont forget to assign both the anim_postprocess and control rig to your imported head.

the .dna files are located under the file path to megascan library :

…\Megascans Library\Downloaded\DHI\AAAA\8k\asset_ue_source\MetaHumans\XXXX\SourceAssets

AAAA the name of the folder containing the metahuman project ( random name created by bridge )
XXXX is the Metahuman model name



I just tested this out quickly, and I am happy to confirm that it works:

So, to summarize, the working process for me was:

  1. Create and download a Metahuman.

  2. Open the maya source file included in the bridge directory.

  3. Export to Zbrush (or whatever 3d package you want to use) and make your changes.

  4. Bring the changed mesh back into Maya, add it as a blendshape.

  5. Fix the bone heirarchy of the skeleton in Maya (face starts at Spine_04 in Maya, but it needs to start at root).

  6. Export the head with all the morph targets included from Maya. Import it into UE.

  7. Apply materials, make sure that the Metahuman animation blueprint, Control rig, and other animation assets match the default Metahuman setup (compare to an existing MH skeletal mesh to confirm).

  8. Import the DNA file with the method described by the post above. Drag it into the editor from the SourceAssets folder, select your newly imported mesh in the dialog that appears.

  9. Your changed Metahuman face should now work properly with the Control rig! You will have to either set your blend shapes to turn on at runtime (through a metahuman or level blueprint), or you can use a plug-in from the Marketplace to bake the morph targets onto the mesh while preserving all the face deformation morphs needed by the rig.

Thanks again to MAkiNA - crazy to think the solution was sitting in front of me that whole time and that it was so simple…


Leaving this tutorial here for anyone who needs it :slight_smile:


If the modeling mesh is different, so the joints are changed.
dna is not matched.
how can i solve this probleme?
how can i make new dna file ?

1 Like

Great video.
I have a question though.
Is there any way that i can use metahuman facial and body rig to another skeletal mesh?
I have open inside maya a metahuman character.
I rigged the joints inside maya after i alter the position of these joints to match the proportions of my chr. Another head and body used, i copied the skins and transfer also the blendshapes.
The geometries are different. Not the same topology with different uvs and also different vrtx ids.
I also project and created new alpha maps for the wrinkles. Tha joint names and the hierarchy remains the same of metahumans. So inside Maya everything works great and for hand animation or even importing and connecting cvs data from the iphone.
My question is that is there any way that i can export from maya the correct skeleton with the new mesh and imported in Unreal and connect there the control rig?
If yes what joints should i select for exporting and what i have to do inside unreal? I try to to do the above steps, since everything is the same (names, hierarchy) except from geometry.
But when i imported it in unreal the engine crashed.
Thank you

I also made a pretty good tutorial. You can see the promo here which will lead you to the Artstation tutorial. Customized metahuman edited in Zbrush and Maya working in Unreal (Promo video) - YouTube

Hi. When I use this workflow I have a problem with wrinkles in face animation. Any idea what causes this issue?



Thank you!

Excuse me,if I have to reserve this"Asset Guidline",is it useful?I cancelled it ,and there is nothing different when I use Control Rig to drive the animation,

Hello,MAKANA,I imported a custom character head skeletal mesh into UE5,it can’t be controlled by Control Rig,then I saw your this post,and set the DNA Asset up as you said,but it still can’t be controlled,I want to ask do you know the reason.

Awesome! found this one, thanks a lot

guess you lost custom normal on the mesh