Epic Games (yes, the Fortnite one!) Announced a new software accessible via browser and powered by its called Unreal Engine MetaHuman Creator which can create highly realistic human faces and mimic body movements and facial animations very faithful to reality. Epic has released a preview of the platform in a couple of YouTube videos showing examples of creations made using MetaHuman Creator and “Metahuman” seems to be the term the company uses to describe this new way of molding virtual and non-real individuals.
Epic claims that MetaHuman Creator can be used in conjunction with modern motion capture techniques and animation to create realistic movement and human interaction scenes for video games, movies, TV and other formats. The company claims that these photorealistic humans can be generated in minutes and featuring unique hairstyles and clothing, so they can be further customized to meet the needs of any production. These “metahumans”, then, they can be manipulated in real time within the tool by simply using a web browser, Epic says.
“Up until now, one of the toughest tasks in creating 3D content has been build truly compelling digital humans. Even the most experienced artists need a significant amount of time, effort and equipment to create a single character, ”he said Vladimir Mastilovic, vice president of digital technologies by Epic, in a statement. “After decades of research and development and thanks to the introduction of companies such as 3Lateral, Cubic Motion and Quixel in the Epic family, this barrier has been eliminated with Unreal Engine and we are thrilled to present MetaHuman Creator “. Humans created with the new Epic tool they don’t come close to photorealism yet or digitally rendered photographs produced by neural networks. This, for example, is the artificial intelligence architecture behind projects like “This Person Does Not Exist”.
Despite this, MetaHuman Creator seems capable of creating incredibly realistic looking people who could easily pass for a real actor. We will have to wait before to see what the tool is really capable of in the hands of creators outside of Epic and it is not yet clear when the publisher intends to release MetaHuman Creator. outside of a vague “later in 2021“. Interested developers and artists can sign up for updates on the Unreal Engine website.