A few weeks ago Epic showed off MetaHuman Creator, a new development tool designed to make it easier to create believable human faces. Now you can sign-up to get an early access version of it, meaning you can try it out if you're i) a game developer interested in the future of character design or ii) a curious onlooker wondering whether you can use it to recreate the Gigaknight.
Big fan of the low-poly version of the character at 2 minutes and 23 seconds into this:
In a news post, Epic explained that, since the tool is cloud-based, they're letting people in slowly over the course of a few days. There doesn't seem to be a limit or a criteria to qualify for access, however, so if you want to have a go yourself you can sign up here. You will need an Epic acocunt.
Epic released a couple of sample MetaHumans last month, but if you want to jump straight to using the characters in your game, there are now "50 ready-made MetaHumans for you to download and use your in your projects." There's also documentation explaining how to get started with the tool, and how to bring the characters into the Unreal Engine.
What seems so powerful about this - other than that it makes amazing pores - is that it also seems accessible to me, a dummy. It essentially looks like a lot of other character creators from videogames, only with a lot more power and the ability to drill deeper if you're an actual 3D artist or animator.
We continue, of course, to careen towards some sort of pretend face singularity, where the difference between real and virtual is meaningless and our own society becomes the metaverse. But hey-ho.