Which character creator software is better to import to ue4?

Has some one tried any of the following softwares to use inside of ue4?
makehuman, poser, iclone, studio?
Which one is the best for modelling and creating a rigging ready character for animations?

I’m using makehuman right now because it’s free and nice, i’m just asking if any of the other tools are better or more compatibile with ue4 as quality and for animations.

I’m planning to make character’s head manually and add bodies created with one of program, would it be possible ti import my custom head in one of programs?

I’ve been working with Mixamo Fuse and it seems to be working just fine. You will have to create your own set of animations to go along with the characters.

Hi frisgul,

With the exception of Makehuman, the other programs you listed create base models with far too many polygons to be very useful in games IMO, requiring retopology/low poly conversion work (/Poser might have a lower poly option for an additional fee - someone else can probably tell you more). If you just need human bodies on the cheap, I’d say stick with MH, which is more than capable.

To attach a custom head, as well as model your own custom clothing/armor/hair/etc., you’ll need some proficiency with at least one of the popular 3D programs like Blender (which is very MH friendly), 3dsMax, Maya, Modo, Studio, etc. Max and Maya have the smoothest pipeline to UE4 right now through FBX 2013/2014. Some serious progress is being made in regard to Blender’s pipeline to UE4 as well, but I’m not quite up to speed with that.

If you’re using Makehuman’s pre-rigged models, then Maya (which can use Epic’s character tool), Blender, IKinema, Motionbuilder, 3dsMax, or any other animation friendly program should help you to create your own animations (they can also import motion capture animations for you to tweak). For automatic rigging (skeleton creation and placement) and skinning (attaching the skeleton to your model, usually using weights), Mixamo is pretty awesome as mentioned above, although there is a cost per model (if I understand their pricing chart correctly, you get two free auto-rigs, after which the cost is $79 per model). You can do the rigging and skinning manually in the programs listed above, but it definitely takes some time to !

Good luck!

The best tool is the tool that you know well how to use, have used on other projects already, and that will let you achieve your desired look and polygon count.
Personally, I know 3ds Max the best (with bones system and Skin modifier) so I tried that out, and it worked smooth as butter with FBX version 2013 in engine 4.1.

While it is true that you should aim for as few polygons as possible, if you just have a “hero” character, you could get away with a high-poly model.
That being said, if your 3d modeling and mojo is up to it, any 3d suite that can export to fbx can make ue4-friendly characters.

Programs such as Poser, iclone, and are technically not really character creators, but rather character modifiers, in that they depend on pre-made content which you then customize and animate. They take away a layer of complexity, but doing that reduce the amount of low-level detail and tweakability you could otherwise have. I believe is the case with makehuman, but I am not 100% sure.

My experience with kind of programs is, and mind you, it is my experience, so it surely is unintentionally biased (so please don’t let’s start a flame war):

iClone being a sort-of machinima render engine, has quite a lot of models with low polycounts. Coupled with the pro version and 3dxchange pipeline, it can output fbx files of characters that have been licensed to be exportable (and not all iClone characters are, just so you know). Importing you own mesh and rigging it is actually not done in iClone but in 3dxchange. If you’re not doing terribly complex stuff, it is straightforward enough.

Poser, or rather Poser Pro, can output ue4-ready files. On export you choose whether to export as a static mesh or an animation, whether to force textures to be a power of 2, etc. Quite straightforward. The only thing to mention is that if the figure has lots of nodes in it’s materials, the exporter can have a hard time on deciding just how the material should look. As materials (or shaders rather) are usually tweaked after import, is usually not a hassle. While you can export pretty much anything you have in a Poser scene, some Poser assets are not licensed for use in game engines etc.

Studio… I have tried to use it but I always come back to Poser. It is just wired a way that makes my head hurt. Poser does all the thingies I need, so I don’t really have a use for Studio anyway…

For the long run, I would encourage you to learn a 3d modeling app. And a character rigging/animator app. Which can be the same app, or something like Poser, Studio, Messiah, motionbuilder, endorphin etc.

Anyway you choose, just make sure that ANY asset you do not create yourself, you are actually licensed to use as you see fit.

Thank you all for the great advices; especially daydreamer and Juan.

@daydreamer: I had seen the mixamo auto- rigging and it looked pretty awesome; but still I can’t understand exactly their licence policy.
I also understood, as you did, that you can upload two static meshes for free and download it rigged and use it for commercial indie game?.
@JuanManuel: is free but for what I’v seen it required a 500$ licence for indie developers is it still the same right now?

I think I’ll go with makehuman for now as I see it is compatibile with ue4.
2 questions:
Should I use the default “game” rigging option in MH or any of the default others?
Exporting fbx from makehuman would it make an importable mesh for ue4 or should I pass through blender and export from there (I see blender fbx 2012 exporter gives an error but it doesn’t seem to create real problems, does it?)

The following could be a possible working pipeline for me; please correct me where I’m wrong and/or if you have a better advice, I’m a beginner!

  1. Making bodies with makehuman
  2. making auto rigging in makehuman (I guess if i use mh default rigging I don’t need anything else like skinning or weight painting in blender, right?)
  3. export to blender
  4. making just the head manually in blender or similar (just for 2-3 characters, the rest of the heads directly in makehuman)
  5. attach the head
  6. rigging the head in blender? ( look complicated never tried that, any suggestion is wellcome)
  7. creating clothes in blender? (doesn’t look easy at all: anyone knows a easy way or software apposite for clothes creation?)
  8. attaching clothes to the skeleton? (I’ll look for tutorials but how does it work basically?)
  9. for animations: anyone have tried makewalk with a mocap software and/or nimate with blender plugin and makehuman characters?
  10. facial expressions? At least for secondary characters I saw there was a morph creator in Mh, but I couldn’t find a tutorial about how to animate the created facial morphs

Auto rigging doesnt give you desired results , it is just a start . even maya heat mapping which works like magic , still needs some tweaks after . make sure that your rig is correct by applying an animation to your character and see how if works , notice the bending areas like elbows and such .

If your character doesnt have any facial animations , then facial rig is very easy , you probably just need to skin the eyes to the eyes bone . but if your character indeed has facial animations , it needs an exp rig artist to pull a good rig out of the face.

Good afternoon fellow iClonites. I hope helps out. I use the G3 model for most of my characters and just recently got it to import animations.

In iclone load G3 (or character of choice)
Edit in 3dxchange
From 3DXChange, export the model with no animation in FBX format

Next, add some animations in 3DXChange, I love the super powers pack

Now Export again, with animations in FBX format

Now we should be cooking…
Open up UE4. Import the base mesh that we exported with no animations. When you import base mesh it will create a new skeleton for UE4 to use

Now import the animation fbx files that we made

Let me know if there is something I missed and I will help more if I can. What happens is the first fbx (No Anim) that we imported basically gave UE4 a new skeleton. After that your just importing animations that can now be used on the skeleton. I found article looking for help with the next logical question, “How can I get an iClone skeleton converted to work with the UE4 animations.” Let me know if helps.

Tried them all and in my opinion Studio offers the highest flexibility but at a cost.

Thinking to the future, as in Moore’s Law changes things, I can see DS being the high end choice as far as procedural designed player models goes.

Honestly studio is basiclly playing with a doll house in a computer as well as poser (great name hahaha). I would like to say I was making a game for a company in Canada back in the late 90tys and we used one of the first version of poser and it was great back then, you could actually make any humanoid model you wanted. Also studio does a lot of underhanded software techniques upon install… I actually was just trying it… Decided it was a waste for a professional and upon attempting to uninstall it I could not get rid of all of it. I had to load up linux to remove it from my computer.

With that said Make Human was difficult at first but now days modeling each character (with all these new toys!!!) is time consuming. When looking into these programs, Make human was the first and I am still using it. It took a little bit to work out my pipeline but now it is pretty smooth. You do need to have blender or some other 3d skills though. I am learning blender now (I have always used 3d max and or lightwave). I am no longer happy with participating in the tyranny of audodesk in video gaming. So I actually have a pretty good quick workflow and I am learning a 3d program that is totally backward from what I have used before. So to end Make Human, Blender, Fbx coverter and unreal work just fine.

I know topic is old but i want ask about something you wrote.
The FBX converter you wrote, is an autodesk tool and somehow is free? Can be a better alternative to the blender fbx exporter?
Actually i haven’t problem in exporting coz i’m making static meshes only. But i believe that be informed in advance could be good.

There may be others here able to help you with the Blender FBX exporter, but here is a link for the FBX converter, it’s made by Autodesk, its free, and it converts 3ds, obj, dae and a few other file formats to fbx.

I am not sure if I responded to … But ya… even in blender 7.2 (they have done some work on the fbx exporter) it is still having issues… So I just make the model in makehuman (and fuse which I am currently toying with but not too happy with) then do some sculpting on the model if needed… export as fbx ascii 6.1 (I think) and then convert it to fbx 2013 binary… It works fine…

Of the ones mentioned I’ve been using Studio the longest, almost from day one, so with a bit more experience with one and looking at the others Studio is by far the more the complex as to options that requires a lot more decisions to be made as apposed to solutions that tries to make the decision for you.

To put it into perspective it would be like trying to tell you which application is better, Max Maya, or Blender when the requirement is to make some map objects that excludes all the other features that goes beyond making what seems is a simple decision.

As to use in our project as a development team we are not yet ready to make a full commitment to purchase the necessary licensing since try before you buy is an option but overall it does take a skilled hand by experience to use Studio as a development tool much in the same manner that it takes to use even Blender to do more than make simple objects.

Now my opinion part.

Of the ones mentioned Studio is the only one that I feel offers the possibility of what I consider to be next generation as far as the need for procedural character design goes and since it’s going to take a consider amount of time to complete our project a “major” consideration is to try and “guess” where the tech is going so by the time we actually do release we are not instantly obsolete by design.

Granted these are decisions that needs to be made by the individual just to learn the lessons the hard way but one should make a list of requirements as to the hard choices as to practical requirements that goes beyond the first impression. Saying one decided to go in X direction because everyone else is doing it the “right way” is not a good answer as to a decision base on the tradition in that is how things are done “today”.

As for the tip of the iceberg counts are becoming a thing of the past but if it matters DS Genesis is.

Complete model as exported.

Polycount = 21k Tris count = 42

The shell with out teeth eyes

Polycount 17k Tris count = 34

Excluded feet and hands.

Polycount 11 Tris count = 22

Just the head.

Polycount = 4 Tris count = 8

Well with in the butter zone as far as the assumed max limits goes but Studio fits best over all with my design ideology of going high first and then go low as to needs through practical observation and discovery.

Right now how do we “know” that a 50k player model “will” effect performance in an engine like UE4 that changes everything that we perceive to be best practice?

The flip side.

How can we make use of an engine that does not limit the amount of detail traditionally applied as a hard coded value that gives us the same advantages that use to be in the hands of the AAA studio?


Sorry about the book but the thing about making a decision means you have to think which is a skill best learned.