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MetaHuman usage rights

I guess, I named this thread wrong, but… I’m just not sure how to name it the proper way…

I’ve been trying to find anything about it, but wasn’t able to. So… Here’s my question. Actually, several questions, but they’re all related.

  1. Let’s say, I make Keanu Reeves’ face in MetaHuman. Can I use his face in the game? Or would I need to ask him or his agents for permissions, compensation, and everything like that? Or I’m not allowed to even try to create his face in the first place, without his, or his agents’ exclusive written consent?

  2. Let’s say, I make, for example, my friend’s face, but… I sort of don’t want him to know I add him into the game, like, say, I want to give him a birthday present or whatever… Am I allowed to make his face into the game without his consent?

  3. Let’s say, I want to add into the game a face of a random guy, or gal, or whoever… That I don’t know of. Can I still call it a “metahuman”, or will it be a real person? Like, can he create a lawsuit against me/my studio/whomever?

Just curious, that’s all. I’m not planning to make anybody’s face atm or in the nearest future, just want to know sort of in advance, that’s all

There’s likeness rights, for actors they definitely fight for those, for example several actors have sued Rockstar about characters in GTA that they say were based off them. Naughty Dog also had to change the character model for Ellie in The Last of Us because it resembled Ellen Page very closely.

Even if they’re not an actor a person has rights to their own face, so if you intend on making money off a game it’s not a good idea to replicate someone you know exists as a character.

As for people you don’t know, if you happen to accidentally create a character that looks like a real person and you had no way of knowing then that’s not something that should be a problem, if they really wanted to sue then they’d have to prove that the character was knowingly based off them.

Interestingly about the original Ellie look, I never found the resemblance to be very strong. Even the newer version only made subtle changes to the nostril arc, lip size and cheekbones. And maybe the eyes were lowered slightly. Though I guess ND didn’t want another drawn out Lindsay Lohan situation. =P

To add to your points though, OP wouldn’t really have to worry about accidentally recreating someone given the limited nature of MHs controls at the moment. Even if you were trying to recreate someone you’d tend to fall short due to the lack of fine controls for the nose, eyes and mouth among other things. That isn’t to say that is the case for every one, but there are certain looks in general that you can’t create right now.

@seansyho , I’m assuming you’re inquiring about this perhaps due to the need for ideas for your faces? If so what may be a better alternative is to draw inspiration from several sources. i.e. if you like the eye shape of someone, the way the nose looks from the front from another, the way the nose looks from the side from someone else, nostril arc intensity, and so on. There’s a wide range of references you can use from the internet. Not to recreate someones specific face, but to gather inspiration for the shapes of every aspect that makes up the face. One of the things you’ll find when studying facial anatomy is that while there are many unique shapes, you’ll also find similarities between people. What makes them unique is the overall mixture of shapes, sizes, alignment, complexion, etc.

Doing a deep dive into the makeup of the face and the different features can help you in the long run with crafting unique and interesting characters. =)

So… also, what I’m trying to say is that there is a website (not to advertise it, so I’ll just tell you on how to google on it instead) this person does not exist. So… Can they prove that person doesn’t exist? If not, can the real person sue them? That’s roughly what I’m trying to say… if I create somebody’s face, do they have the right to sue me? However, as @darthviper107 said, that shouldn’t be a problem.

So yeah, like, something tells me that there are (or at least, will be, upon full release of Metahuman) a lot of faces of people’s friends or just random people, and so… whom would that real person sue? The creator or Epic Games? Or both? Or somebody else?

P.S. I haven’t touched MetaHumans yet

If you’re intentionally recreating someone who exists, yes you’d be opening yourself up to potential issues with regards to likeness.

But if you’re concerned about unintentionally making a face that may resemble someone, you won’t really have an issue. There are so many people out there who have dopplegangers, it’s virtually impossible to make a metahuman that doesn’t look like someone out there.

That said it’s pretty easy to tell when someone is trying to recreate someone because there are things beyond broad features that are unique to an individual. Subtleties that are specific.

To give an example going back to actors, JJ Feild looks like Tom Hiddleston. Younger Javier Bardem looked like younger Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Logan Marshall Green looks like Tom Hardy. Young Mark Hamill looks like Sebastian Stan. Again, the whole doppleganger thing. But when you take a closer look, each of these individuals have features that are entirely unique despite roughly looking the same.

OK, thanks, so I think my questions have been answered.