April 9, 2021By Lance Baily

MetaHumans Leads Digital Human Creation Through Cloud-Streamed App

MetaHuman Creator is a cloud-streamed app that takes real-time digital human creation from weeks or even months to less than an hour—at an unprecedented standard of quality, fidelity and realism. Developed by Epic Games, creator of Unreal Engine, MetaHumans are able to be created in minutes. The technology enables users to directly manipulate facial features, adjust skin complexion and select from preset body types, hairstyles, clothing and more.

When a character is finished, the user can export and download the digital human, rigged and ready to animate in Unreal Engine. The result is a solution that brings compelling, real-time digital humans to life, while making a typically complex process simple, fast and scalable without compromise. The possibilities for creators are limitless.

“Epic Games provides Unreal Engine, the world’s most open and advanced 3D creation tool, so that people can use it to create any sort of real-time application or cinematic experience. Developers in many sectors, such as healthcare, are using Unreal Engine to create simulation applications for research and training,” said Sébastien Lozé, Simulations Industry Manager at Epic Games. “MetaHuman Creator is one of the tools that we’re making available to the community of simulation builders, people who are changing the way we learn and interact with many types of scenarios.”

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“Using Unreal Engine provides the opportunity to develop content once and deploy it to all of the platforms we support, from personal computers to mobile devices to immersive headsets,” he continued. “When you develop for Unreal your assets are reusable, regardless of the type of experience you are making, and your work becomes future proof.”.

“We strive to make it easy for all creators to infuse their virtual worlds with great content” Lozé said. “To simplify this process we allow users to reuse their 3D assets directly. This is true for 3D objects, buildings and now humans.”

Thus, Epic designed the MetaHuman Creator interface to provide users with high-quality parametrically defined virtual humans without starting from a real human. Based on the parameters that MetaHumans enter, the user will get a unique human representation that is based on real-world data, but is not linked to any one individual real-life person. Such use unlocks a limitless supply of characters of a wide range of age, origin, body structure, etc.

“As opposed to your traditional manikins, where you get patients that typically are young or have an athletic body shape, suddenly you can have a diverse population that is more representative of actual people that your nurses or doctors are treating on the job,” Lozé explained. “We’re making it easy to produce characters that are believable in terms of realistic, high-end features. You see something that you can actually adequately relate to as a human and establish a dialogue with by looking at them in the eyes and identifying their micro-movements.”

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From all these cues, the user can glean additional information and pose diagnostic tests that wouldn’t be possible on lower-quality simulations. MetaHuman Creator brings the next level of training capabilities to developers who create training programs — including for healthcare simulation.

“We want to empower the community. That’s really our goal, and why since 2015 that Unreal Engine has been free,” Lozé said. “This allows users to integrate MetaHumans as a main component of their digital training applications.”

More About Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine (UE4) is a complete suite of creation tools for game development, architectural and automotive visualization, linear film and television content creation, broadcast and live event production, training and simulation as well as other real-time applications. Developed by Epic Games, Unreal Engine is known for the company’s unrivaled visual fidelity, toolset and performance. Unreal Engine has worked to improve the realistic quality of real-time digital humans for several years.

The company has paved the way to the creation of fictional characters like Senua and Siren as well as digital doubles of Andy Serkis and Mike Seymour. Together with the Unreal Engine team, fellow Epic Games’ companies, 3Lateral and Cubic Motion, are bringing decades of cutting-edge character research to MetaHuman Creator.

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