Epic unveils Metahuman Creator, a create-your-own-eerily-real character construction kit

Epic has already helped simplify the game development process with its Unreal Engine. But what about making realistic human characters to go in those games? Step forward, the Metahuman Creator.

Simply put, it’s an online character designer which will allow users to create “high-fidelity” human characters: anyone who’s spent hours tinkering with the character creator at the start of an RPG will have an idea of how the process works. Metahuman Creator will provide a number of basic face, body and hair types, then allow you to tweak and tinker with the results to create a unique character – albeit within a predefined set of “data constrained” parameters designed to stop you going too wild.

More impressive still is that, once you hit download, the finished character will be fully rigged and ready to import into Unreal Engine or Maya – skeleton, facial rig, animation controls and other assets are all included in the package. Once there, you’ll be able to animate it using mo-cap data or traditional keyframes.

High-fidelity humans like the ones shown off in Epic’s announcement video have previously been the preserve of big-budget games and triple-A studios. It’ll be fascinating to see what – if any – impact Metahuman Creator will have on the imaginations of indie developers.

There’s no launch date for MetaHuman Creator yet, but you can sign up for its Early Access now via Epic’s site, and they even have a demonstration project so you can see what one of their almost-photo-real MetaHumans looks like for yourself.

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