Critical Chicken
ReviewPreviewsWednesday, 16th June 2021 by

I accidentally created Zac Efron and Will Poulter’s lovechild in MetaHuman Creator

MetaHuman Creator, the new character creator/3D people-model-maker from the minds behind Unreal Engine, is frankly an uncomfortable experience. No programme, software, or otherwise cloud-based thing has the right to be this astoundingly good.

It’s easy to get lost in the promotional images for MetaHuman (which is exactly why I won’t be posting any here). The characters posited by the Unreal guys look stunning, and I honestly wasn’t expecting the software to hold up.

I was lucky enough to get access to MetaHuman’s beta, which is currently cloud-based and, therefore, useable even on a potato.

I was immediately presented with this:

A stock MetaHuman character -- a balding, middle-aged man with a beard

You start by picking a preset character to modify and, initially, I thought this would be the limiting factor. “Ah,” said I, “we’ll only be able to slightly tweak the characters they gave us!” That would perfectly explain how they could look so good, surely?

Nope. You can change everything. It’s like modelling clay.

It’s absurd.

The level of detail is arguably beyond anything I’ve ever seen for something so user friendly. Zoom in on a character, and you can see their individual eyelashes, individual pores. You can easily change the shape of their irises, the colour of the whites of their eyes, even the density of the veins in the eye.

Matthew's MetaHuman in progress. Several hotspots show parts of the face that can be customised.

Even the teeth — the teeth! — can be customised ridiculously, from the shape, density, and wear and tear, right down to the length and gum colour. I mean, holy hell!

The MetaHuman has his mouth open as if he's saying "ahh" at the dentist's office

When it comes to actually changing the structure of your MetaHuman’s face, you can move things gently, à la The Sims 4:

Draggable handles have appeared, allowing Sims-style customisation of facial features

Or alter each and every point of your MetaHuman’s face through Sculpt Mode:

A different MetaHuman character, covered in about a hundred little white dots
Each white dot you can see is a point you can move and change.

When you’re done, or even when you’re part way through if you’re inclined, you can put your creation through its paces in some creepily good animation loops.

It took me about an hour to make my Zac Efron/Will Poulter hybrid. I haven’t had an hour in a video game, let alone a video game tool, that has left me so open-mouthed and squealing with joy.

The final product of Matthew's MetaHuman machinations

I have no doubt that MetaHuman Creator will change the video games industry forever.

You can request beta access to MetaHuman Creator now.