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    Animation without animators: from motion capture to MetaHumans

    McKim, Joel (2022) Animation without animators: from motion capture to MetaHumans. Animation Studies 2.0.

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    Abstract

    The digital humans are among us. In February of 2021, Epic Games, developers of the Unreal Engine, a leading video game software engine, announced the impending launch of its MetaHuman Creator application. “Creating truly convincing digital humans is hard,” acknowledged Epic’s press release (Unreal 2021), while claiming that the MetaHuman Creator could provide real-time generation of high-fidelity digital characters within minutes, drawing from an available library of pre-set faces, 30 available hairstyles, 18 body types, and with the ability to further custom sculpt the avatars. By April an early access version of the creator app was available and seemed to deliver on Epic’s early promises – near photo-realistic digital characters created with adjustable facial features, skin complexion, make-up, teeth, and hair (see Figure 1). A legion of MetaHumans ready to populate a developing Metaverse – free to travel across gaming environments, VR experiences, and animated films, but decisively tethered to the Unreal platform. Perhaps most significant in terms of their actual use, MetaHumans emerge fully “rigged” for animation (embedded with a series of manipulation control points) and available for live linking to a number of performance capture applications.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Other
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Motion Capture, Automation, AI, Computer Vision, Metaverse, MetaHumans, Unreal Engine, Animation
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology
    Depositing User: Joel McKim
    Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2022 15:29
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:54
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/50248

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