As someone who has made female models for the Epic skeleton, I completely agree that there needs to be a female skeleton. There are some adjustments required that appear to be at odds with the Epic recommendations. Here’s my reasoning:
To begin, you have to understand that there are fundamental differences between making a male and female base skeletal asset. Height is the most obvious and can be easily changed through scaling, but even a male and female skeleton at the same height are proportioned differently:
If you are using the same skeletal hierarchy for your male and female characters, the differences in shoulder - hip ratio, leg length - torso length, finger length - body size all necessitate joint translations in the bind pose for the female mesh.
Now take a look at the marketplace recommendations for using the epic skeleton:
>Do not scale the skeleton
>If you absolutely must move a joint, make sure that the joint isn’t move very far
So already the recommendations for the Epic skeleton are at odds with the biological differences between male and female skeletons.
So how does Epic expect us to approach female skeletons? Do we model a larger female then scale it down in our character viewport? What about the joint translations? When I’m adjusting the leg-torso ratio, do I increase the length of the leg joints or decrease the length of the spine joints to get the correct ratio?
Then another issue I’ve noticed is the location of the shoulders in the Epic skeleton. The joints are placed far back on the mannequin in relation to the upper leg joints. It kind of works for the mannequin because his delts and lats are huge, but on a real skeleton the hip joints align vertically with the shoulder joint when looking at a profile view.
So to fix this, I ended up reorienting the Epic shoulder joints to get a better alignment. But lo, this is in violation of Epic recommendations again.
>make sure the joint orientation does not change
In conclusion, there are quite a few problems with making a female mannequin that need some clarification from Epic. I would at least like to see some clarification on these issues, but as OP has stated, a simple solution is for Epic to release a female mannequin so we can see the best practices for ourselves.