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What is the point of the Metahuman project?

After my first experience with the Metahuman Creator, I have a number of questions about the basic systematics.

The models are really great, but I’m not quite sure what to do with them yet. It is clear that I can change many parameters of the model. But:

I can’t pose, move, animate, lip-sync the models - and I can’t add NPC functionality.

That leads me to the question: Are these features still coming, or have I misunderstood something fundamental about the Metahuman project?

After you make the Metahuman, you can download it with Quixel Bridge and then you can animate it in a 3d software like Maya or even in UE4.

This is a fast example/tutorial about it:

Why you say that? even in a white box you can put npc functionality on it.


The point is to have a standard top quality head for all artists, the work / hours of making a head compared to the rest of the body is abysmal.
If all artists on the markeplace use the same head system, it is a huge benefit for developers.
Who can buy only clothes without fighting 100 kinds of faces with different bones setup, morphs and styles.
and not only the marketplace, it is also a great saving in a company or if you want exclusive characters commissioned from a freelance artist

If I remember correctly ideas of Tim Sweeney, Metahumans is very fundamental technology needed for Metaverse. The ultimage goal is to translate accurately real humans to digital humans (including body mocap and detailed facial animation).

But this doesn’t mean they have no practical usage now. They’re great for virtual production and of course it’s possible to use them as NPC (or player character in third-person view) in videogames.

It’s certainly possible to use these as NPCs or any other character. It just takes a bit of work, you aren’t necessarily going to be doing it out of the box.

There are 2 things you can do with Metahumans:

  1. Use the head only, attaching it to a body mesh you created.

  2. Use both the head and provided body. Build your armor/clothes, etc. around that base body to match the proportions and default skeleton.

For #1 you’ll need to have a bit of experience with removing a head and rigging it to a separate body. Ideally you’ll want something to obfuscate the fact that the body/head are separate. This is generally done through upper body clothes/armor of some kind. If you’re going to be showing more skin, then some sort of neck guard/choker/ornament to hide the break.

Other than that make sure to retain the blendspace data in your modeling program of choice (i.e. In Maya do not delete the historty) and simply rig it, weight it to the skeleton, and you’re all set.

The blendshapes will still match the necessary requirements to work with LiveLink and you can animate the character in your preferred modeling package and bring it into UE4 to polish it up with facial capture. I don’t know if MetaHuman comes with any control rigs for the body, but they’re not too difficult to setup.

In the case of #2, you’ll simply model your clothes/armor around the existing body that is exported with the MetaHuman. That way you’ll retain the rig proportions as well as a seamless neck/body transition that will prevent the need to cover that area. You could also theoretically modify the shape of the body so long as you don’t disturb the area that connects to the head which could bring it out of alignment. Could be useful if you wanted to give your character more size or musculature for example.

Metahumans is in its infant stages as of now but already we have an entire human setup with materials, textures, Dynamic hair and a full blown skeleton and rig for body and face. To set something up like this from scratch could take well over a month or more . You can create a massive library of metahumans including LOD,s in no time and then take them from Bridge and animate them right out the box using hand or motion capture or even AI. Its truly the closest we have to bringing a realistic human from scratch into a project in less then an hour. Remember this will grow. Its a baby right now and it is incredible. You can also take these characters into a 3D software and use them as a base for new clothing, Hair or even sculpting an entirely new character, creature etc. Just mod the setup a bit and you have an entirely unique figure that just works… Pipeline is important but for someone like myself who creates characters and animates a lot. This I find mind blowing:)

Is it possible to use the rig as a base for a custom model? And is it possible to add blendshapes to the metahuman body? Trying to figure out a good workflow