MB-Lab Release for Blender 2.80

Update on the planned Base mesh and Procedural Skin shader planned for 1.8, Improvements to the skin shader, sculpt, and an overhauled eye shader. Improvements are obviously still needed though, however the result is quite good all things considered


A bit off-topic but -imo- interesting:

Disney Research has published an article (and a video) about a simplified approach to modelling/sculpting faces :


Decided to start letting people try out MB-Lab 1.7.8 in Beta, I encourage users to test out the new features and submit bug reports so that they can be worked on asap. One of our lead developers is going on extended leave at the end of the month and we want to nail down any issues before then.



Also the documentation is being worked on, so please excuse the lack of for the time being. But the feature list is pretty well done as well as the updates page



Thank you all for the support!


well done , working great so far ,

I tried it out and the shader is surely an improvement. Only there is a bit to much red in the eyes.

Hello all,

One of my users is experiencing an issue that I cannot seem to pinpoint the problem, it is related to the Hair Dynamics, possibly with Windows I am not sure.

The full issue can be read here : https://github.com/animate1978/MB-Lab/issues/286

The problems are that in MB-Lab 1.7.7 the Hair Dynamics just do not work, which I can see because this user has posted a video, the particle hair does get created but when the Hair Dynamics is checked, the sim does not seem to work. When the user creates a Hair sim with just a simple object that works just fine though.

Also in the beta of MB-Lab 1.7.8 when attempting to finalize there seems to be a bug that is related to the Modifiers.

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\sirbr\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.83\scripts\addons\MB-Lab\__init__.py", line 1717, in execute
  File "C:\Users\sirbr\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.83\scripts\addons\MB-Lab\humanoid.py", line 1194, in set_rest_pose
  File "C:\Users\sirbr\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.83\scripts\addons\MB-Lab\skeletonengine.py", line 119, in apply_armature_modifier
    algorithms.apply_modifier(obj, armature_modifier)
  File "C:\Users\sirbr\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.83\scripts\addons\MB-Lab\algorithms.py", line 1142, in apply_modifier
    enum_property = ('NONE', 'CHOOSE', 'Choose one')
  File "C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender 2.83\2.83\scripts\modules\bpy\ops.py", line 201, in __call__
    ret = op_call(self.idname_py(), None, kw)
RuntimeError: Error: Modifier cannot be applied to a mesh with shape keys

location: <unknown location>:-1

I cannot reproduce either issue, I am using Linux and this user is using Windows, so I am “thinking” it may be related to the Windows builds? I could be wrong.

So I am asking for some info here, if anyone else is experiencing these errors? Maybe some insight? I don’t know, I am at a loss here and again I can not seem to reproduce such issues on my system.

Thank you.

Quick update.

The bug in question has been fixed… turns out there is a bug in Blender related to Nvidia GPU cards that if particle hair are attached to objects and that object is set to shade smooth… hair dynamics will not function properly.


So today I modified the Hair Engine in MB-Lab, simply commenting out the code that turns the mesh object that the hair attaches to “shade smooth”. It’s not even seen anyway so there really is no reason to have it smooth.

Took some hours to pinpoint this bug in Blender and MB-Lab but once it was found, quick and easy fix.

However the MB-Lab 1.7.8 Beta ZIP on the MB-Lab website still contains this bug so anyone using Nvidia GPUs should be aware. This will not be present in the release version once it is released in the next couple of weeks.


I have been doing quite a bit on the shaders lately.

The eyeball and cornea shaders have been redone from the ground up.

Hopefully the changes I have done will reduce the “redness” you are talking about.


Just I download and tested with Blender 3D version 2.9.0 works great.
I see that only characters from the African area can be generated and I don’t see a way to create European characters.
It’s a great add-on, I’ll look at GitHub at the source code as well.
Thank you. Best regard.

no idea what you mean by African characters only… this is what I get:

Hello sir,

Yes you can make all sorts of humans. You need to click on the “Select” button to see your options.

I have not tested MB-Lab 1.7.8 (beta) on the Alpha builds of Blender 2.90.0… at least not yet. I want to make MB-Lab 1.7.8 stable for Blender 2.83 LTS before I go and start making changes for the next versions of Blender.

At the moment though I have GPU issues, that can only be solved with buying a new system, I could just get a new GPU but my system is already 7 years old at this point, so buying a whole new system is kind of the goal.

Anyway thank you for your support!

The above is an example of some work done to the freckles, now there are two colors you can choose from instead of just one.

In this example I have shaded them red and blue to show the contrast.

Also a user on the Discord server has been doing some work on the freckle size and variation as well…

size_vary_06 size_vary_05 size_vary_04

This will be added soon to the next release, MB-Lab 1.7.8, which is near. I am itching to get this release out by the end of the month as it has been over 7 months since the last version and quite a bit of work has been done since then.

That is all for now…


I just discovered this plugin and OH BOY why didn’t I hear about it before?
I am not an expert in topo or rigging, but those models look like top tier models from the best industrial sources. Thank you very much for the plugin.
But I read the story about it and it made me upset.
Are there people who develop this plugin, or it’s abandoned?

It is not abandoned at all actually, it is being actively developed by myself and several other people. After Manuel Bastioni had killed his original project… ManuelBastioniLAB… I took it upon myself to take the original code from version 1.6.1, as it is open source code and put it on GitHub almost 2 years ago.

Since then the addon has evolved.

The next release, MB-Lab 1.7.8, will introduce the character building tools that will allow users and developers alike to build their own characters. This version took a LONG time to get to this point only because of the features and tools… the primary dev who did these tools essentially had to reverse engineer the code and JSON data needed to make it happen but he made it work.

This version will be released in the next week or so


As I am testing the next release, which is coming real soon… I have also been working on the skin shader.

One thing that seems to bother certain users is the image maps. For instance the 2K albedo map which controls the color of the skin for the most part. It is not detailed enough at that resolution, as it covers the entire body. The solution of course would be to use higher resolution BUT at that same time this would increase the size of the addon exponentially, something I think most users would not like, let alone increase the size of the git project as well.

So I have been working on a new shader that uses Vertex colors rather than image maps.

The idea is this… using Vertex coloring as masks it would eliminate the image maps, however this also means that if you want to use these characters in something like a game engine, such as Unreal 4 or Unity, you would need to bake these into image maps that they can use. That is something we haven’t built into MB-Lab, so using another addon such as the Principled Baker addon would be required.

Anyway. Using vertex color maps we can still use them as masks for the shader. There is a user on GitHub who has been using this approach for Melanin variety, essentially the fact that skin is not uniform in color and certain areas have more than others.

The above shot is an example of what I am talking about.
That uses Vector color maps, rather than image maps. It is simply a mask.

Again this is something that will be worked on in a later version. As we get closer to the 1.7.8 version release having to redo the entire shader right now would be a huge undertaking and post pone the release even longer, it has been 8 months since 1.7.7 came out!

That is all for today I just wanted to share something that is currently being researched for the future.

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For instance, here… so far have two vertex maps, one of color and one for the blush map…

No, but MakeHuman can and that’s also free.

Nice to see continuing developing upon this plugin.
Is it known what Manuel Bastioni doing today?
Also I was wondering who did topo for those models and why he did it as it is. I use it as reference while retopology my models.

The drawback being that the topology isn’t nearly as good as MBL.

When Manuel had ceased developing his addon, he also pulled out of social media and has not been heard from since. As far as I know nobody really knows what happened to him, which is sad.

Manuel did all the topology for his models. He was a master in his class for human modeling.

Currently there is efforts to bring in more models into the MB-Lab addon, simply because the way that Manuel had licensed the content (models, images etc…) makes it impossible to use in commercial games without providing the source files.

So now there is the MB-Dev tools that allow users and developers to use their own models. These tools are being tested, the docs are being written up, there are at least two libraries of blend files that contain new models as a test for these tools and on Aug 1st the next version will be released to the public. It has been 8 months since the last release so it is time…