The digital revolution in the video game industry continues to advance at an impressive rate. This time, Epic Games surprises us with their latest innovation: an animation suite for their character creator, MetaHuman. This tool promises to democratize the creation of high-quality 3D content, by allowing the capture of facial movements with nothing more than an iPhone.
The MetaHuman Animator Presentation
The first presentation of the MetaHuman Animator technology took place at the Game Developers Conference 2023. There, the Ninja Theory team showed how an actress’s facial movements could be captured using an iPhone and then applied to a 3D character model from their upcoming game, Hellblade II.
This demo demonstrated how fast and efficient this technology is in capturing and reproducing facial movements, crucial to achieving realistic 3D characters.
Live Link Face: The Technology behind the Project
At the heart of this new process is an app called Live Link Face, released by Epic Games in 2020. This app uses the camera of an iPhone 12 or later and ARKit, Apple’s augmented reality technology, to capture movements. actor’s facials
In simple terms, augmented reality is a technology that superimposes digital information onto the real world, such as Apple’s Memoji and Animoji avatars. Live Link Face takes care of recording the actor’s gestures and expressions and applies them to the character in Unreal Engine 5.
Running with MetaHuman Animator
To publicize the possibilities of MetaHuman Animator, Epic Games has released a highly realistic animated short film. This film, along with a video tutorial, will help developers get started with this revolutionary tool.
Even though the Epic Games demo used an iPhone, the technology is compatible with any vertically oriented stereo camera. In fact, it has been tested with Technoprops and Standard Deviation equipment without encountering any problems.
Bright Future for MetaHuman Animator
Although there are still few games developed with Unreal Engine 5, many more are being worked on, and some of them will use MetaHuman Animator. Titles like Immortals of Aveum, which uses MetaHumans and will be released on July 20, and Hellblade II, planned for a 2024 release, are just the beginning of a long list.
We are, without a doubt, facing a milestone in the video game industry. This new technology from Epic Games will allow independent developers and smaller studios to compete with the industry giants, offering the highest quality graphics and animations. Only time will tell what new horizons will open thanks to MetaHuman Animator.