Best (free) humanoid base mesh?

Hello everyone,

I’m not sure if I’m posting this in the right section, so feel free to tell me so I can delete it and post elsewhere or maybe someone can move this post for me. Ty for your patience.

I’m a complete beginner in UE4 and Blender and I want to start making an Action RPG. Most cliche situation in the world.
I began my project by downloading a free humanoid female basemesh in blendswap and following a tutorial to rig it with the Uefy script.

This is the mesh that I used:
And the tutorial that I followed:
When I retargeted some animations I ran into some classic problems like twisted wrists, bendy limbs, etc. Almost all of that I managed to fix by tweaking the mesh and the skeleton in Blender. But then I thought of something: What if the problems that I had were there because I used the wrong mesh to begin with? What if I run into more problems down the line because of that? After all, I just picked some mesh that “looked good enough” and honestly I don’t have any idea of what I’m doing.

So my question really is: What should I be looking for in a base mesh to be used in gaming? High or low poly count? Is topology that important? There are many free assets out there, but I’d like to use the most appropriate one since I’m still learning.
And finally, getting to the title of the post, is there a free humanoid base mesh that you would consider to be the best for a beginner to use?

I don’t know if I’m being lazy by asking these questions instead of just getting proficient enough in 3d Modelling/game development to answer them on my own, but I feel like I would waste a lot of time doing the wrong things, while I could be learning much more by trailing the correct path. That’s why I’m asking for some guidance. Also I’m may just suck at googling things, cause I didn’t find any answers.
I also hope this post helps someone else as well.

Thank you for your attention!

That is a good question. Everybody will have their own preferences though. As for me, I am using DAZ G8 characters. You can buy them with a license that allows you to use the 3D models in your games. There are also a lot of clothing items available. My personal workflow is that I put the clothes on in DAZ Studio and then export to UE. It is not an easy or straightforward approach but it works and gives you tons of stuff like morphs that you can use in UE.
Animations is a different problem, converting them with the UE animation transform thingy is possible but you have to do a lot of experimenting with the skeleton setup. I can’t give you a layout here since it’s been a while since I did that and I don’t have the time to get back into that topic.
There’s a plugin on the marketplace called Allright Rig that allows you to do animations by hand in UE so you don’t have to use Daz Studio to animate (which is a pain in the butt) or you can use Blender etc.
I haven’t tried out the new Rig system provided by UE recently but it might do the same thing.

So for me, Daz G8 is the way to go.

Which makes me wonder why no artist has ever taken up the challenge to make a good human pair of character and provide lots of morphs and clothes for them. That could be a license to print money if done well, but apparently no artist is up to the task.

It’s a biased answer obviously, but I like the Daz characters as well, so I wrote a plugin to make them easier to transfer:…/daz-to-unreal
They’re pretty easy to bring into Unreal and put in place of the mannequin:
But they do have occasional issues still:

Daz Studio itself is free and there’s a starter pack for the characters you could use to see how it works.

i’ve recently moved to character creator 3 (reallusion) because they have facial shapekeys (morphing)… they have a 30 day free trial and you can dwnld both game chars (11,000 tris) or regular chars (28,000 tris) then move them on my avatar skeleton to use my mixamo anims… (mixamo, from what i hear, will be removed from adobe in aug or sept)

Also biased opinion :slight_smile:

Free base model: Blender with the MB-Lab addon is my favorite, but takes time to learn and to get quality results you do need to put in a lot of time.

The alternative at the moment is Real Illusion which has a 50% off “Corona stay home” sale, so Character Creator 3 and Iclone are looking very attractive at the moment.

mesh/skin shaders/uv mapping all done for you, mesh modification via morphs is great, live link now free, so import to unreal is easy, but… but… annoying to use, some features are fantastic, but it’s apparent that the workflow has been designed by the sales team,

I’m playing with the trial at the moment so can’t really comment, quick easy out of the box, but with some questionable workflow/licencing/pricing issues, I’ll spend the next week testing it out and see if it’s worth it, then build a comparable mb-lab character and see if I can produce the same quality and usability,

If this is for a commercial game I think Daz gen 8 will cost you about $100 for the export licence, which currently makes CC3 the better deal in my opinion, unless you are going to use mocap you probably don’t need iclone, but it does have an ok lip sync text to speech built in, the mocap requires additional software and an iphone which pushes it further away from free.