MB-Lab Release for Blender 2.80

Or, waste nervous energy worrying about such issues?


Maybe because software licenses do matter?
Maybe because the user might want to know what he/she can legally do with the generated models?

Right; but let’s not burden our valiant animate1978 with statements like

Now please leave the darn thing to its deserved rest.
You could have helped Manuel when it needed your help. Now it’s too late.

As if understanding and documenting json were not enough of an energy drain.
Who is going to pay animate1978 for the extra energy drain of withstanding pooh-pooh?


I just want everyone to know how much I appreciate the continued development of this project. I use it all the time in my graphic novel. I was planning on sending Manuel some money if I ever make any profits from it, but with him out of the picture, I’ll do what I can to support your hard work should I be lucky enough to make anything from the comic. The time MBL has saved me has been invaluable to me since it’s allowed me to focus more time on the story that I would have spent otherwise messing around with aspects of modeling I don’t enjoy as much. Thanks so much!


Can someone help me with the installation? I have the MB-Lab-master installation zip, I try to install it via the add-ons, it even says it has been installed but no “characters” options are found.

Hi, I’ve followed this thread since this new mb-lab-thing started, and i’m really happy it’s going on.
Thanks to everyone spending his time to push this further.

Now i see the problems with Manuels original and very high quality Figures, and the need for a replacement or at last additional content.

Had anyone here ever heared of Antonia Polygon?

It’s been a collaborative development of a high-quality figure for the Poser-world.
And it’s CC-BY -which is not CC-0, but anyways better than the cumbersome Bastioni-license.

Antonia has been developed by a growing group of people from 2008 until around 2011.
Goal was a “normal” shaped female Figure, not another supermodel, but with a high quality topology and skin.

Development was coordinated in a pretty longish thread at renderosity:

You see, they spent YEARS in optimizing this Mesh.

It has been available at several places for some time, but some of the most descriptive sites have vanished over time.
I think it’s still a high quality figure.

Antonia never became a really “popular” figure, and some of the team maybe where a bit diappointed about that - well, the real “model”-shaped figures are more popular.
But i think Antonia and her topology may be a good starting point for further development.
And I’m sure the former developers will be more than happy if Antonia gets another Life-cycle.

(some of the renders may not look as good as you’d may expect from a good model - but these are also old render engines. )
Some links:


here is an adaption for DAZ Studio

Morph Targets


Hope to post some renders from recent Render engines - current DAZ IRAY Engine and Antonia in Blender EEVEE and Cycles.

What do you think?


Here some quick renders of Antonia.
Two quick Antonia-renders from DAZ studio with different HDRIs.
No good lighting, but you get an impression.

Exported to Blender, shots in t-pose in the interface:


EEVEE view - there are some problems with the eyebrows-textures and the toenails

and Cycles preview render with 128 Samples

All blender renders in one of Greg Zaals great indoor HDRIs from HDRIhaven.


Thanks for your project, I made an animation with MB-Lab character,


I have downloaded this and have checked it out. I think it could be something to consider.

The whole process of getting new models into MB-Lab is tricky though, possible and if MB-Lab is to have a future it will need to happen. I think in my early tests with “Toon Girl” it was more or less just buggy weight paints that caused issues. I have not been able to get back to it much at the moment because I want to get MB-Lab 1.7.6 finished first.

In this case the mesh would need to be edited, the arms would need to be posed in a way to fit the armature, it would need to be scaled as well. An overhaul on the materials as well, I don’t see a need for left and right cornea shaders.

None the less, pretty cool find!

1 Like

Im sorry to bother but where do I get the assets like hair and clothing?

How did you bring it into blender?
I used the diffeomorphic DAZ importer http://diffeomorphic.blogspot.com/p/daz-importer-version-14.html

Right now i’m not at my own computer, so i can’t check how same or different the left and right cornea shaders actually are, but in the materials section of the plugin you can merge Materials that deem to be identical.
You can do a lot of (semi-)automatic cleanup there.

I’ve never ever seen a restpose like this anywhere else.
But looking at it, I can imagine this Restpose may have considerable advantages when it comes to posing, in particular in more extreme poses.

It’s a way more “natural” rest pose than others, with a lot of room for movement in all directions.
Notorious problematic areas as the shoulders and/or armpits might be better to handle using this aproach.

Antonia didn’t have this pose from the beginning but evolved into this direction.
So this people have put a lot of thoughts into this pose.

So before rushing over it when considering this as a new (female-base?) figure for MBlab, instead of fitting the figure to the armature, maybe it could be a good idea to go the other way round and switch the rest pose?

P.S. yes, it’s both the Mesh and the rig, and evolved in the very first few pages of the thread, but here is what i mean

These shoulder/armpit deformations are really impressive, and cannot be achived with current MBlab or Makehuman, and even recent DAZ studio models often fail at it (or need some serious rework)

In these areas Antonia seems to have a real advantage that it might justify serious changes in MBlab to built MBlab around Antonia rather than the other way round.

These are details that may make a BIG difference.

Sorry I did not get to you earlier, got sidetracked.

Can you send me a screen shot or a log when you are trying to install?

As for assets like clothes and hair a user has been working on some in the past, not sure if it has been worked on.

Good points.

Again a LOT has to be considered when adding a new character mesh to this project. If that means changing some things about MB-Lab then so be it :slight_smile:

Maybe it’s interesting to mention that there has been been done african, asian and other Morphs (like fantasy) of Antonia in the thread - with lots of the links now not working anymore.

But several people of the Antonia-making are still active on renderosity, and still “emotional attached” with Antonia, so might have some stuff on their disks willing to share for a new Lifecycle.

So, if there would something go on with making Antonia kind of a Base female figure, i’d be willing to look for that kind of stuff.

1 Like

@animate1978 I’ve been using Manuel Bastioni’s Lab for quite a while now. I was heartbroken when he dumped the project but totally hyped when it was picked back up and updated for Blender 2.8. Many, many thanks to you and the other devs that made this happen. I have a couple of thoughts though, on the project going forward which you are of course, free to ignore.

  • The debate over the legalities of adding new figures to the lab can really only be decided in a court of law. It’s why they exist. Two or more lawyers look at the same contract and present different interpretations. A judge decides, but even she may be overruled on appeal. In the US it can go all the way up to the supreme court who may have dissenting opinions. I wonder if Manuel is the litigious type?

  • Right now MB-Lab figures can be used for just about any purpose other than reselling the meshes and commercial games. I can’t read the man’s mind but it seems he wanted to create an open-source add-on for open-source purposes. That was extremely generous of him. Whether adding CC0 figures to the lab makes them commercially legal or not, it does seem to run counter to his original intent for the project.

  • One of the defining features of Bastioni’s lab (and most important for me personally) is the ability to dial in a range of body types and ethnicities. They also share a singular visual aesthetic which unifies the Lab. How long would it reasonably take to create all those base models with all those body types, all those ethnicities, all the face morphs, and all the facial expressions, etc? Years I’d imagine, just to get them to the point that the current meshes are now. Bastioni has already gifted us with high-quality base meshes to work from. They can be used for 90% of the possible use cases as far as I can tell.

  • The meshes can still use refinement though. The proxy system can still be advanced, the textures can still be updated, an asset library can still be created, a better IK rig can still be added. Is the drive to replace or extend the included meshes actually the most productive use of your time? I’d be interested in reviewing Bastioni’s road map if it still exists somewhere.

Sorry for the long post. I allowed these thoughts to simmer for quite a while.


Thank you for the thoughtful post.

The legal aspect of MB-Lab is pretty clear and unfortunately we can’t do anything about it.

The current meshes IMO are fine, maybe some improvement but the problem lies in how the system is really, as we don’t have the tools that Manuel uses we are limited in what we can export from Blender to JSON. The tools we have are able to export polygon, vertex and vertex group information into JSON format that can be read by MB-Lab. This is fine for basic character that has no shape keys, no configurable parts of the mesh etc… thus making the whole purpose of MB-Lab kind of null, in my experimentation the “new” character upon adding it would skip right to finalization mode with quite a bit of errors as it does not have morphs or expressions in JSON format. In order to even ADD to the current mesh we would need more code to do this, for the morphs and expressions, as they are all tied together.

We can EDIT the mesh, in fact in this upcoming version (whenever it gets done, my time has been very limited lately) I am introducing the Latino model type, which is really just edited versions of the Asian model type for the female and a very rough edited Caucasian type for male (I am still not happy with it) and a new South American phenotype. Editing the already existing mesh is possible I am just not good at it at all, you cannot add or delete to the mesh but the faces and vertex points can be moved about in 3D space and we can “record” that info to JSON. We have the tools to export that information and make it work, this is how the Latino model type was created.


This test went horribly wrong, due to weight paint issues it seems. Right now it was just a test to see if it would work, how well it would work and what, if anything, can be done to improve it. As such this has been put on the back burner for now because this next version is more of a priority.

The next version replaces the skin shader with a more “accurate” one that gets rid of quite a bit of texture maps that were not needed for simple rendering functions, uses more procedural texturing with the aid of texture masks. Still needs work I think but at this point it is good enough for release and much better than the skin shaders I made before. There are also more changes done to the existing shaders.

There are more little things to be done, some big changes to the IK rig I think once I figure THAT out, there will be changes to the code structure in the future etc… but anyways…

I am sure there is more to say but sadly need to get ready for work now, again thanks for the support and I hope my ramblings answer some of those points. If they don’t I can try to elaborate at a later time.

[quote=“animate1978, post:381, topic:1138777”]
I am sure there is more to say but sadly need to get ready for work now, again thanks for the support and I hope my ramblings answer some of those points. [/quote]

It’s time for work again? Seems like you have to do this every damn weekday?

Looking forward to when we can do our hobbies 40hrs a week and only work in our “free time” :sunglasses:

Anyhow, you do clear up some things. It sounds like getting different, usable mesh into MB-Lab is not a given. I am looking forward to checking out your Latino phenotype though. Keep on pushing!

Just use Auto Rig Pro inconjuction with Addon. ARP comes.with a built in remapper

I had mentioned in an earlier post that I was having trouble with the latest set of shaders. My aging Mac was really slow to render in the viewport using cycles and Blender would crash using Eevee. So I created simplified shaders using the 1.6 textures and plugged them into the Principled shader. Replacing the Skin and Cornea textures prevents crashing and runs much better with Subsurface Scattering turned off. Can’t figure out the new Iris shader though. Is it new for 1.7.5? Shouldn’t I be able to use the exact materials from 1.7 or 1.6 and adjust eye color manually?

I do remember this conversation and I now realized I never made that shader for you, I apologize.

The iris shader is new and actually has a mix node where you can switch (or mix) between procedural iris or texture map. BUT the UV map of the eyes have been changed. So it is unable to use the old texture map sadly. This is the whole shader…

However the texture iris can be changed here in these nodes.

The “eyes_iris_mix” in the Skin Editor of MB-Lab is the node to switch between the two, if you switch to %100 it goes to texture map, where the saturation, value and hue can be changed.

I hope this helps