Hey everyone, I’d like to preface this by saying this is just my thoughts on the tool as a character artist who usually primarily works in zbrush/maya. The tool is fantastic and is a great asset to the gaming community. I feel as if there are some rooms for improvement however, for those who are used to really being able to refine face sculpts to their liking.
One of the things I noticed straight out of the gate was when manipulating the sculpt handles for each feature, you tend to move other areas you don’t want as well. This was very much evident with the nose and mouth especially.
For the nose, one of areas I like to tweak to give a face identity is the nostrils, tip, and sellion/rhinion.
In the case of nostrils, currently you can’t really adjust it without modifying the entire lower half of the nose, tip included. If I wanted to widen the nostrils, or raise them a bit - doing so would alter the entire nose tip as well. This made it difficult to get nose shapes I wanted to create. Another thing I noticed was a bit of a clamp on the height of the nostrils. Photo example:
Tweaking the sellion and rhinion was another area that I found difficult, as it would also modify the shape and angle of the nose tip.
Another notable mention is the eye shape. It seemed like even though there were multiple handles, all I could do was determine whether the character was squinting, the thickness of the lids, and how far it sits into the face. Eyes are another very vital area when defining the look of a character, and being able to have finer control over the shape of the eye is definitely useful.
Another area I found myself very limited was the forehead angle.
As it stands the overarching shapes are more determined by the blends than actual user manipulation. And again, this isn’t a bad thing. You can create some pretty cool characters using this, not to mention rather unique. But when you have a particular look in mind it’s almost impossible to achieve it with the current limitations. Which brings me to the next point:
External manipulation. I believe I read somewhere on here that you cannot modify these assets and then re weight them to the skeleton without causing serious issues? Is this true?
If so then that’s very unfortunate. Zbrush (Or any other sculpting program) would have been a viable alternative to be able to put the final specific tweaks I’d like to be able to as a character artist. I’m sure we could still do so if we were planning on creating a custom rig rather than using the existing one, but then that would sort of defeat the purpose of using the setup from MetaHuman Creator as it allows you to have a face rigged and ready to go right out of the box.
I’m not sure if this is something that’s in the cards for the future, but more body types such as muscular and being able to manipulate them similarly would be incredible. Especially as a base body from which we could build clothing over in Marvelous, or armor in our favorite modeling/sculpting programs.
Which brings me to the next point, the bra. This severely limits the sorts of clothes and armors you can make for the female base body. It appears to be textured on rather than a mesh, so I’m curious if there might be a way for an alternative texture or option to be available for those who might want to remove that?
A FEW FINAL NOTES
It would be cool if we could modify the intensity with which a skin texture alters the geometry of a face through a slider.
A few of the eyebrow shapes/textures have designs that I like but their texture intensity is a bit softer compared to the more bushy ones. Being able to darken those would be nice, or perhaps more defined eyebrow designs that aren’t very light.
Going back to using the body as a base model for future armor/clothes - it would be very useful to be able to select no shoes, just exposed feet. In the event you’re modeling sandals or other open footwear for example.
If we can get the head fbx or maya scene as part of the source downloaded locally that’d be great. Maya LT does not allow exportation from the Bridge so we can only access the triangulated version of the meshes after exporting from UE4. Including the assets as independent fbx or maya scene files would be a nice workaround for those of us who use LT rather than the more expensive version of Maya.
That about does it for now I think. If I can think of anything else I’ll be sure to add it to the thread or make a new one.
All in all this is a fantastic tool and I’m very grateful to have been given the early access for it. I’ve spent quite a lot of time already making different faces. I feel like with some additional features and control ability as mentioned this tool could remove the need for me to use zbrush altogether when it comes to creating base bodies or character faces.
Looking forward to seeing how this tool grows over the months and years to come. Thanks for taking the time to read. =)