Epic's MetaHumans: Hollywood-level animations with an iPhone

Onur Demirkol
Mar 24, 2023

During the State of Unreal 2023 event, Epic announced that users will soon be able to animate their MetaHumans using videos captured on an iPhone.

Epic Games first launched MetaHumans in 2021. It is a browser-based software tool that can craft realistic human faces powered by the company's Unreal Engine. On top of crafting faces, it also lets you add realistic body movements and facial animations.

The company showcased the new technology in a video. On top of showing MetaHumans' capabilities, we also had a chance to look closer at the upcoming video game Senua's Saga: Hellblade II's main character. The video below shows that the character has very realistic facial impressions.

It can create Hollywood-level facial animation

Even though it is only a one-minute shot, we see many different impressions implemented perfectly on the character's face, and it looks promising. Epic also brought another MetaHuman to life, showing off the same animations.

"Simply use your iPhone or stereo helmet-mounted cameras to capture the individuality, realism, and fidelity of the performance, transferring its detail and nuance onto any MetaHuman. Offering a faster, simpler workflow that anyone can pick up and use—regardless of animation experience—MetaHuman Animator can produce the quality of facial animation required by AAA game developers and Hollywood filmmakers while at the same time being accessible to indie studios and even hobbyists," says Epic.

During the State of Unreal 2023 event, Epic unveiled several new technologies, including the capabilities of MetaHumans Creator.
Epic Games

During the event, Raffaele Fragapane came to the stage to provide a whirlwind tour of the component parts of MetaHuman and showed what lies beyond MetaHuman Creator with technical notes and best practices for MetaHuman Assets, the DNACalib library, and the MetaHuman for Unreal plugin. Matt Stoneham took the spotlights on him to demonstrate how it can be used to create a next-generation game character with deformations driven by full muscle, flesh, and cloth simulation.

It is currently open for early access, and you can request a ticket on the official website to get an early ride before it hits the shelves in summer. We are still a couple of months away from the official release.

"The MetaHuman framework has been decades in the making. Companies like 3Lateral and Cubic Motion have been pushing the limits of digital human creation for years. Now, as part of Epic Games, they've been able to push the technology even further—and make it happen in real time. Most importantly, they've made it accessible to everyone," says the official website.

Don't forget to check out or "Epic Games' State of Unreal 2023: Highlights So far" article to see other technologies the company brought to daylight.


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