MetaHuman Creator for Blender

Does anyone know of any plans to add or port MetaHuman Creator to Blender? It’s so damn good it’s actually making me want to jump ship!

I never will of course, I’ve been loyal to Blender since before I got my first grey hair, and nothing will ever change that. But I must admit it’s incredibly frustrating that this type of thing appears to be becoming the norm for other 3D products out there, but sadly not for Blender. Cannot tell you how many times I’ve checked the official Blender roadmap hoping to see something like this, but nothing like it ever shows up.

Didn’t Blender team-up with Epic on certain development tasks some tiime back? It would be absolutely amazing to have MetaHuman Creator inside of Blender using Cycles and EEVEE, because isn’t the whole Unreal Engine thing Open Source as well?

If it is, I really hope some bright-spark out there sees the need to port it over to Blender. We really need this sort of hands-on ease of creation in Blender, and there’s no getting away from it, these things are extremely impressive, productive, and work for both amateurs and professionals alike. The more videos I see of what people are producing with it, the more painful (and worrying) it becomes that Blender doesn’t have this sort of thing built-in as standard.

I’m generally not a forum user myself but felt driven to join-up here today specifically to ask this question. MetaHuman Creator is seriously impressive and you have to admit, that if it ever gets ported over to Blender as part of the downloadable package as default, that would be quite something!

Cheers,
Chris

There is no reason for it to exist within Blender itself, when you can easily export it’s results into Blender.

I’m sure there will be some easy export add-on at some point for Blender, but for the whole thing to be made to work in Blender itself serves no purpose, as far as I can see.

if you want something in Blender, check this out:

Not used it myself, but read some good things about it. Alternately, there is Bastion Lab which is free.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I’m looking at it from a strictly Blender-using standpoint. I have no intention of using Unreal Engine or any other 3D product.

Blender is my product of choice. Not only that, I believe MetaHuman Creator is housed in the cloud, has licence restrictions upon usage, and I’m not interested in solutions that can be taken away from me whenever the maker feels like it, so unfortunately, amazing as it is, MetaHuman Creator under Epic is of no interest to me.

Regards the whole Manuel Bastioni and MakeHuman thing. I appreciate what they do, and I do try to keep up and get along with it, but they keep changing the way it intergrates with Blender, and regardless of the amount of iterations and methods used, it always manages to feel clunky. I just wish they would settle on what they consider to be the perfect mesh and have done with it, and concentrate on Blender integration. We have to remember though that the MakeHuman project has its own dedicated software, so it’s probably unfair of me to even expect better Blender integration.

Human Generator looks nice, but like MakeHuman it’s not on the same level as MetaHuman Creator in terms of realism, and if I recall, the developer of Human Generator has licence restrictions on the mesh used by Human Generator.

[EDIT - Just checked and yes, it still does]

So personally, I think something like MetaHuman Creator should form part of Blender’s toolset, downloadable as part of the Blender product.

Cheers,
Chris

Is this what you are talking about?

I can’t even get that version of the Blender integration to work, and I have no clue why. In the end I just gave up on it, which is a shame because that method looks a lot better and more capable than the previous methods.

Some time back, I intended to help out MakeHuman with morphs etc, I desperately wanted to contribute and still do I suppose, but the changing of the mesh, never knowing what is considered finalised, and what I thought was some weird decision making for the project anyway, just made me lose interest. I think if they had a more focused approach to the project it would do much better. This is why I said in my previous post that I just wish they would finalise what they consider to be the perfect mesh, and have done with it.

Once they have the perfect mesh and ensure that it has no errors or assymetry flaws, and finalise it, I think they could put the mesh part behind them and concentrate on a rock-solid Blender plugin that uses the finalised mesh. It’s a bit like with DAZ and Poser, DAZ stuck to Victoria and continued to support her, but Poser stuck to nothing, and as a result, has nothing. The result is that Victoria became the most popular figure out there, and nothing Poser has will ever come close because they changed the figure mesh on each new release instead of supporting an already existing, quality figure.

I think the whole MakeHuman project needs to understand this problem because fact is, Blender has no official figure so to speak, Blender does not yet have it’s own Victoria and Michael, and considering how often a human is depicted in a render, I’d say it desperately needs some!

Nothing would please me more than to see the MakeHuman project bring about the figure mesh that would eventually take Victoria’s and Michael’s crown. The problem is though, that the current solutions out there for Blender users are either designed for other programs or are hindered with licence restrictions. MakeHuman thankfully doesn’t suffer the licencing issues that MetaHuman Creator or Human Generator does (a big thumbs-up to MakeHuman for that), but it does seem to suffer from not having a clearly defined goal suited to large-scale acceptance and future growth.

There’s nothing miraculous about MetaHuman Creator, it’s just very well done, and we really need something like this in Blender. Something that forms part of the official Blender spec, and brings with it a pair of official Blender male and female figure meshes, meshes that the massive Blender userbase can, and surely will, be only too happy to support.

For me it is working well. If you need i can help happily. Even I am able to make my on cloths and accessories

Cheers swathi, I’ll take you up on that!

It was a fair few Blender builds previous that I last tried it, so I’ll re-download the latest and see how far I get with the latest Blender build. I previously got the plugin to show, it just wouldn’t work.

MetaHuman source assets can be downloaded for animating in Autodesk Maya. However, you cannot publish MetaHumans as final content unless rendered with Unreal Engine.

Bad news from the FAQ (See “Will I be able to download the source assets to edit in another application?”)

What you’re after, while perfectly reasonable, would unfortunately be a violation of Epic’s uniquely strict licensing for Metahuman. It is typical for “free” Unreal content by Epic to disallow rendering of the final product in external software, it’s free because it’s Unreal only (independently created Unreal content typically is not as strict)

If you don’t like MB-Lab, MakeHuman, or HumanGen, Daz Studio or Character Creator are pretty much your only options I think, but you’ll have to import them into Blender. For Daz, the base product is free, and you can pick up additional morphs and textures on sale cheaply if you wait it out. CC is more expensive to start, but I think CC’s Blender integration is way better, however I’m not sure what exactly is included in the base product, like Daz they like to make money selling you more content. There are still ways to get your hands on Mixamo/Adobe Fuse, but it won’t have the visual fidelity you’re after either.

I know the CC trial left me so unimpressed with the morph variety, I would never consider buying it, and Daz Studio cut out a lot of morphs between the G2 and current generations (never mind that the inconsistent texture quality in the market place, need for at least one good character package if you want realistic facial details, and QA has been failing a lot recently), which is why I’ve given up started my own morphable human modeling project (not a fan of MB or MH’s aesthetics either) but that won’t be completed for a long time so there’s not much to share yet, aside from an untextured, mostly rigged base mesh.

Yeah but unfortunately Character Creator suffers the same licencing issues as MetaHuman Creator and Human Generator does, and it’s not Blender anyway, so not interested in that either.

BTW, just to be clear, I never said I don’t like MakeHuman. The opposite is true, in fact out of all the character solutions out there, I have way more respect for the MakeHuman project than I do for any of the others. Through thick and thin MakeHuman has remained free, they’ve never placed licencing restrictions on their mesh, and their determination is admirable to say the least. So a big thumbs-up to everyone involved with MakeHuman, everyone from the coders to those who contribute assets etc.

At the core of it all, MakeHuman is effectively no different from MetaHuman Creator. The key to success is in undertanding that the quality of the mesh, the rig, the textures and the morphs is vital to making a product like that go viral. No doubt Epic are aware of this and is why they’re now in a position to use it as a power-grab.

They’re well aware of how powerful and attractive such a system is to the average user, which is why they’re locking it into a cloud and preventing you from using it outside of Unreal Engine. It’s a blatant power-grab even if they were to deny it. This is also why I said it’s “worrying” that this sort of thing is not part of standard Blender spec, because it absolutely should be!

People will be jumping ship from all manner of 3D products (including Blender) to get a piece of the action. I mean, take the users who were pulled into Reallusion’s Character Creator alone, how many of those users are now going to regret paying all that money for an inferior product, when MetaHuman creator is free and far superior in quality?

It’s far too good and easy to use, to ignore. It’s fantasic news for Epic and users of Unreal Engine, but it’s going to be somewhat an eye-opener (and waterer) for those wantng to compete. This is why I opened my original message stating that “it’s actually making me want to jump ship”. Personally I won’t be, but I’d bet my life that hundreds of thousands will be!

The good news is that there’s no reason that Blender could not have a system in place that is superior even to MetaHuman Creator. At its heart, all MetaHuman Creator is is just a quality mesh, quality rig, with quality drivers and quality morphs driven by a nice interface.

Blender can handle that stuff no sweat, and we have the benefit of the Cycles and EEVEE Blender environment in which to enjoy it!

Droolworthy stuff for sure, I just wish the MakeHuman or official Blender development team would realise this and do something about it, and preferably before Epic has sucked-away thousands of Blender users due to MetaHuman Creator sucking them up like a sponge :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Metahuman is basically just free so it can function a promotional item for UnrealEngine to get more people invested in the Unreal ecosystem, and thus the Unreal Marketplace, by removing the barrier to getting good looking humans in Unreal Engine for non-character modelers. Which I get, though I think it would be nice if they at least offered a commercial option that let people use the assets in their engine of choice. Licensing would probably be comparable to other commercial products of course, but that’s a given and would at least be better than their current restrictions. I think while the unreal only rule will bring some customers to Epic, it will also repel others from adopting it (I dislike the idea of locking myself into a software).

Apologies for the assumption. I respect MakeHuman’s goals and principles too, the software has the potential to be excellent (preferably with a dedicated, convenient Blender plugin), I just find the models unattractive, and haven’t heard anything that makes me think they’ll be improved anytime soon. They’re still using one, ancient 2K texture for the entire face and body (there are multiple options for that one texture though, but none of them up to modern standards) and that would be the easier to fix than redoing the mesh and all of the morphs. Much of the user produced content for download isn’t good enough to compete with Metahuman/Daz/Poser/etc, and a lot of that stuff isn’t CC0 (Mindront has some essential downloads though), so they’d need to attract some talent first, which would probably take money. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen excellent work done with MakeHuman, but it requires a complete retexture and probably sculpting to fix the eyes, nose, and other areas.

I think HumanGen is the Blender community response to MetaHuman unfortunately. I don’t think the Blender Foundation has any interest in adding their own character creation system. The Unreal users will still need DCC software for modeling, even if they skip Blender for rendering, so it’s really not much of a threat since they’d only lose the tiny minority of users who compose Blender scenes entirely from pre-made assets. Plenty of artists already use a model in blender, render in unreal or marmoset workflow anyway, pretty standard for the game artist community, especially since Eevee is still incapable of anisotropic shading for good looking hair.

There doesn’t seem to be anyone in the Blender community with the artistic skill to produce high-fidelity perfectly textured human models with a full set up morphs to create unique characters, plus rigging/driver skills, and the technical expertise to turn that into either an add-on or new Blender build, who also has the willingness to do all that for free/donation AND give it CC-0 licensing. There is work being done to give MB-Lab non-AGPL options, which might be the solution if they’re CC-0, but it’s too early to know whether whether those will be better than the default characters, or how customizable they will be, and from something one of the developers said recently, I got the impression they didn’t expect it to be as good as the defaults, at least not yet. The add-on tends to be buggy though, so I mostly use it when I want to take a look at some aspect of the model for study.

Thanks for the clarification, Nanoglyph, and actually I do agree with most of what you say :wink:

Your reservations about MakeHuman are exactly the same as mine, and I think they’re never going to compete with MetaHuman Creator or even Human Generator unless they finalise an incredibly high quality, super-well designed set of male and female base meshes and stick to them. If they did that and announced something telling the community that this is it, the final mesh for at least another decade, then providing the base mesh and base textures are realistic, I think there would be a much higher uptake of it, and support for it would sky-rocket.

Regards Human Generator, if we compare it to MakeHuman then actually, MakeHuman comes out on top right away. Human Generator is behind a paywall, it also has licence restrictions on what you can use the mesh for. MakeHuman suffers neither of those vices and was the first product of its type to arrive on the Blender scene, so out of the two, MakeHuman is the one I’d rather see become the standard for figures in Blender.

Looking at the way the Human Generator licencing works, I suppose a user could replace the mesh with their own to get around the licence restrictions. But why should a user have to do that? If a user pays for such a plugin, surely the last thing they expect is to have to create their own mesh to get around licence restrictions. There’s also an ethical flaw, because being a Blender product it shouldn’t have any licencing restrictions in the first place.

Your post got me asking myself, what would I do?

Personally, I think the only way to get anything like the sort of quality that MetaHuman Creator users will come to expect, is to make the mesh and textures yourself and contribute it to one of these projects. But who would I contribute such a mesh to if I had the skills?

I’d choose to support MakeHuman of course. I’d never support a developer who enforces licence restrictions and demands a fee for the privilege (Human Generator), when we can support a developer who doesn’t enforce licence restrictions, doesn’t demand a fee, and has been around supporting Blender for as long as I can remember (MakeHuman). It would feel unethical to support Human Generator, but supporting MakeHuman would bring-on the good vibes!

Another problem with supporting Human Generator is the knock-on effect it would have, because by making a mesh for Human Generator, you’re feeding the licence-restricting developer each time someone wants to use your mesh, because his plugin is not free whereas MakeHuman is.

So, MakeHuman all the way for me if I had to make the choice of which one to support, but as you said, the problem is finding someone with both the skills and the will to do it. It’s a massive task to expect a mesh and rig to be perfect from the outset and super-realistic, but that’s what MakeHuman really needs so that people can be confident that supporting the mesh and the project is worthwhile. If that could be achieved then it would really propel MakeHuman into the focus of people’s minds, just as MetaHuman Creator is doing.

Was just catching up with the latest from some of the Blender Artists on here and found this quote from @maniacarta who says …

"Hello Blender Artists,

This is CODE VTR, i really can’t say much about what is this exactly but my goal was to achieve the next level of realism for characters in Realtime with Blender."

She’s definitely proven that realism in realtime can be achieved in Blender. I wish I could produce work to such a standard. I suppose I could with practice, but I’m not even going to try. I intend to leave that to whoever makes stealing MetaHuman Creator’s crown from directly inside Blender, a piece of cake!

Well done dtcartamania!

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The question then becomes do you want an alternative to MetaHuman that looks good, or is free and completely unrestricted (unlike MetaHuman)? Both just isn’t an option right now. MakeHuman is admirable philosophically, but for an artist trying to get professional results, it’s not a great choice. Might as well start from scratch, frankly.

I actually am working on a morphable base mesh, largely out of frustration with MakeHuman and MB-Lab, but it’s something I work on in my free time outside work hours, and it’ll be a while before I’m anywhere near that good, I think. I totally agree DTCartaMania makes some amazing stuff - Blender isn’t the limitation here (aside from the lack of an anisotropic shader for Eevee. I’ve experimented with a couple shaders for faking it, but Unreal takes the cake for hair rendering).

I don’t think there’s anyone involved in the MakeHuman development who is particularly artistically skilled anymore - I think it’s entirely developers. I don’t mean to be rude, it’s just if there were a skilled character artist on the team, then even if they were afraid to replace the human base meshes and break compatibility with user’s character from previous versions of MH, they could still at a minimum replace those textures. But really the meshes themselves need to go. I’m not sure they’ve even expressed an interest in replacing the base meshes. If they wanted to upgrade the meshes they could probably crowd fund to commission replacement meshes/textures, but I don’t think it’s a priority. They’d need new morphs too, of course.

I agree HumanGen isn’t a perfect replacement because it’s proprietary - but that didn’t seem like a huge problem for this discussion since MetaHuman is also super proprietary and restrictive. HumanGen might be less restrictive, frankly. If the goal is to find a good looking replacement for MetaHuman that is currently available, there isn’t a cost and license free option currently available. If the priority is simply open source and free, MakeHuman is pretty much the only thing in that space, but I’m not aware of any plans to improve it, so I’m not sure there’s any value in supporting it financially. They might improve code, but the models and content haven’t been touched in years.

I don’t think we can make a human mesh for Human Generator (you can make clothes for it though). The only support they are looking for is financial. I don’t think there is any ethical problem with them charging money - just because a model was made with Blender doesn’t mean there’s an ethical obligation to give it away for free. The plugin doesn’t make the model, a guy named Alex Lashko did - the plugin just provides a handy interface for morphing it and attaching the final rig when complete. I don’t see an ethical problem with paying Alex Lashko to use his mesh, he probably likes eating. Artists with professional level skill like to get paid, and a full featured character generator is a LOT of work to do for free.

Sorry to bring up an old thread but I share the frustration with OP. I saw the Unreal metahuman creator and was excited until I saw you can only use it in unreal engine which wont work with what I want to do in Cycles.

I’m not expecting them to just give free software to use in anything but surely a paid version wouldn’t be unheard of. To make it worse I’m a linux user so Daz3d, character creator and iclone are not an option for me. MB lab is great and I appreciate the hard work the devs do but compared to other character creators it is clunky (i hate the rig why not use rigify as standard).

The others that can work in linux or have a plugin just dont compare in realism to the metahuman creator.

A post was split to a new topic: MakeHuman MPFB add-on video

Have you considered HumanGen? It looks and works WAY better than MB-Lab (especially for non-white characters, and it doesn’t forcefully change the character’s height and body shape when you change the race like MB-Lab, and the body variation is less apt to get cartoonish and deformed looking). The textures and shaders are way better too.

If you want to do commercial renders, it’s not especially cheap, but if you’d consider using Daz or CC if they were Linux compatible, you’d probably have to spend more than $128 ($68 for HG noncommercial) for the morph packs and texture packs to have what’s included by default with HumanGen. (though for body morphs, Daz and CC offer a lot more options, but MetaHuman had next to nothing for body variation anyway from what I remember, and what they had for height was scaled very poorly in the beta. Not sure if that got fixed.) HG has a couple flaws, but I’ve been much happier with it than I ever was with MB-Lab. (Not that the developers aren’t doing a great job trying to save and improve MB-Lab. Except the skin shader and new textures, those were not improvements.)

Still, would be nice if Epic would consider taking their Megascans approach and allow users to either use MetaHumans in Unreal Engine for free, or pay a fee to render them elsewhere though. Like, I get why they wouldn’t want to allow that for free, but people would pay for it if they’d let them. Seems like they’re throwing away money by not making it an option.

Thanks for the suggestion, i’ll give it a try.

I think unreal will come around in the end, just a strange approach to not let people render away from UE even when they are willing to pay.