October 14, 2022

How to Drive Metahuman Speaking with Lip-Syncing

This article comprehensively discusses everything you need to know about Metahumans, Unreal Engine, their key features, an effective tool for creating a personalized Metahuman, and the step-by-step guide to driving your Metahuman speaking. So without further prepping, let’s get started!

Have you ever wondered if Metahumans are real? Well, yes, they are. They have existed for decades and helped improve the world’s technology.

If you are anywhere near the Unreal Engine communities on any social media platform, you probably have recently heard the term “Metahuman” countless times, alongside photos and videos of people’s creations.

But what exactly is a Metahuman?

metahuman-showcase
Metahuman sample

Part1.What are Metahumans and Unreal Engine?

First, What are Metahumans and Unreal Engine?

Metahumans are a complete framework that allows creators to use hyperrealistic human characters imaginably.

Furthermore, they are more than a collection of parts brought into Unreal Engine; they are created with thoughts and care to simplify the creation process and generate content easily within the engine.  

Also, you can refer to a metahuman as a high-quality digital character created in the Unreal Engine online application, Metahuman Creator.

The Creator is a free cloud-based that lets you instantly create fully rigged photorealistic digital.

The metahumans created using this online application are easy to download through Quixel Bridge, directly into Unreal Engine, with just a few clicks.

This said, let’s discuss some of the critical features of Metahumans.

5 Key Features of Metahuman

metahuman-showcase

1. Physically Credible:

Metahuman creator derives its data from actual scans.

Adjustments are repressed to fit within the limits of the various examples in its database,

making it easy to make physically plausible metahumans.

Other factors, including the carefully selected range of hair colors, skin tones, and many more, help ensure accuracy.

2. Easy and Fun:

Metahumans are pretty easy to use. You necessarily don’t need to open the user guide! Instead,

choose a starting point from the diverse range in the database, select several more to contribute to your Metahuman, and blend them.

Then, refine your character with sculpting tools and control guides by dragging on the asset.

3. Real-Time Ready:

They also run in real-time on high-end PCs with RTX graphic cards, even at their highest quality,

with ray tracing and strand-based hair enabled.

Additionally, metahumans come with eight LODs, some of which employ hair cards, etc.,

enabling you to achieve real-time performance on everything from XSX to PS5 and android.

4. Highly Variable:

With near-infinite variations of skin tones and facial expressions, including an array of various choices of eyes,

make-up, teeth, hair, etc., you can easily craft the perfect Metahuman for your projects.

5. Diversity:

By being powered by Unreal Engine, they also provide vast access to diverse character creation options.

The inclusion of diversity on the creator side is crucial for virtual representation as digital humans, like Metahumans, reach people from every part of the world.

Part2. What is unreal engine?

What is Unreal Engine?

unreal-engine-showcas

Developed by Epic Games, Unreal Engine, also called UE, is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creator for photoreal visuals and immersive experiences.

Technically, it is a full suite of creation tools for linear film and television content creation, architectural and automotive visualization, broadcast and live event production, training and simulation, game development, and other real-time applications.

Unreal Engine is famous for its incredible graphical and lighting capabilities.

The platform features a library of materials, characters, and a high degree of portability.

More importantly, Unreal Engine supports a wide range of mobile, desktop, console, and virtual reality platforms and is the biggest Metahuman creation platform.

Top 5 Key Features of Unreal Engine

1. Animation Blueprints:

animation-blueprints

An Animation Blueprint is a specialized Blueprint controlling the animation of a Skeletal Mesh.

With Unreal Engine, you can create and manage complex animation behaviors with Animation Blueprints.

2. Integrated Media Support:

Unreal Engine enhances your project’s audio with a great audio feature set that includes real-time synthesis, physical audio propagation modeling, dynamic DSP effects, and many more.

Also, the media framework enables the playback of videos inside Unreal Engine.

Additionally, you can scrub, rewound, or pause videos and control them through C++ or Blueprints Visual Scripting.

3. Simulation and Effects:

With Unreal Engine, you can create film-quality levels of VFX polish in real time for effects like fire, smoke, dust, and water with customizable particle systems in the in-built Niagara visual effects' editor.

4. Virtual Texturing:

Unreal Engine offers two methods to enable support for vast textures by dividing them into small tiles and only loading the visible tiles.

5. Virtual Production:

Unreal Engine’s Display system allows you to render real-time content at any resolution and display it on various physical or projected screens like CAVEs, LED volumes, and many more.

Part3. Guide for Metahuman Creator to Drive 3D Avatar Speaking?

Guide for Metahuman Creator to Drive 3D Avatar Speaking

The Metahuman Creator provides various ways of creating your digital human representation in an intuitive and easy-to-learn environment.

In addition, you can customize different aspects of your Metahumans, such as hairstyles, body types, age, facial features, and many more.

A perfect example of a Metahuman Creator is Movio.

With Movio, you can easily customize human-like 3D avatars with lip-syncing and micro-expressions that accurately show your script.

More importantly, the 3D avatars are available in multiple languages, meaning you can lip-sync with over 20 languages and 200+ accents.

To create your digital human representation with Movio, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Log into the Movio 3D avatar homepage and click “Try Movio Now.”

log-into-movio

Step 2: Click on “Template” to explore the available templates for your video.

I used the “Social Media” template for this guide.

click-on-template

Step 3: Select the template of your choice.

In this guide, I used the “Halloween Costume Party.”  

select-template

The Halloween 3d avatar be like: 

Step 4: Click “Use The Template”

use-template

Step 5: Click on “Avatar” to explore the available avatars.

explore-avatar

Step 6: Select the avatar of your choice.

For this guide, I used Monica.

select-avatar

Step 7: Input your script to drive the CG avatar speaking on your video.

However, you can record your voice using the microphone icon if you don’t want to input the text.

input-script

Step 8: Select your desired accent, age, speed, and pitch.

select-accent

Step 9: Preview your video.

preview

Step 10: Finally, you can submit your video.

submit

part4. Frequently Asked Questions about Metahumans and unreal engine

Frequently Asked Questions about Metahumans and Unreal Engine

How Much Does Metahuman Cost?

Metahuman is free to use in your Unreal Engine projects, meaning that for it to be free, your assets ought to be rendered with Unreal Engine.

Is Metahuman Royalty-free?

Yes, it is. The Technology is licensed. However, the license doesn’t guarantee you any title or ownership in Metahuman Technology.

Is Metahuman Easy?

Yes, it is pretty easy to use. There might be no need for you to open the user guide.

You only have to choose a starting point from the diverse range in the database, select others to contribute to your Metahuman, and unify them.

Can I Sell Metahuman as NFT?

Yes, however, the owner of the Metahuman can only trade the right to be a metahuman (NFT) until a given period before the official game release.

Is Batman a Metahuman?

Yes. Recently, Batman has been considered a Metahuman by the Federal government in DC proper. Although this is not the first time he’s been categorized as such, it is the most recent.

Can I Download Metahuman?

You can download and export your Metahuman presets or those linked to your Epic Games account in Quixel Bridge.

Then, you only need to click the metahuman filter and select one of the two available options.

How Long Does Metahuman Take to Generate?

Averagely, Metahuman with 1K features takes up to 20-30 minutes to generate ad download the assets.

While uploading or downloading a Metahuman, Bridge displays the progress as a percentage on their thumbnail.

Final Words

The Metahuman framework has been decades in the making, and now, as part of Epic Games,

Metahumans have helped push the world’s technology even further and make it happen in real-time.

More importantly, they have made it accessible to everyone.

I believe this article has helped demystify the concept of Metahumans, Unreal Engine,

and their key features and provided you with one of the practical tools to create your digital human representations.

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