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It’s Thursday and I’ve set aside today to do some experimentation with Epic Games Unreal Engines new metahuman creation tool – a new tool that will empower anyone with some basic Unreal Engine skills to create a bespoke photorealistic digital human, fully rigged and complete with hair and clothing, in a matter of minutes.

As an avid photographer and videographer, the Unreal Engine enables me to create realistic 3D virtual environments and, combined with their cinematic tools, to control virtual camera and lighting as if in my physical studio – e.g. from camera choice and lens to aperture and shutter speed. I can set the bokeh shape, vignettes, colour temperature and a heap of post-production capabilities (that I’ve yet to explore fully).

Following are a few shots I took today with my virtual metamodel “Hadley” in the virtual pub I created this year for my weekly Naked Punt Footy Show (my virtual production sandbox project).

metahuman hadley rocking on stage

Note: The lighting is from virtual stage lighting setup to replicate the physical lights I have in my physical studio. On my todo list is adding DMX lighting control into the virtual set to control the physical studio lights on the model/ presenter.

unreal metahuman hadley the skin and hair is simply amazing
metahuman Hadley – the skin tones and hair is simply amazing

Simply bloody WOW – the skin tones are so good and notice the catchlight in her eyes. The hair is simply amazing. Note: I’m going to experiment with video creation and add things like wind and water later.

Nothing is real but that’s not the point

Nothing in this shot is real. If you look closely you can see the weave in the jumper Hadley is wearing. The fashion opportunities are very interesting to explore.

Note: I’m thinking this may be the next area I explore and add to my research list.

The final shot is putting my portrait photography hat back on – beautiful black and white with a very wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field.

In summary, simply amazing. From a commercial perspective – will this disrupt the modelling, photographic and film production industry – YES! From product development and marketing perspectives? Yes – I think so.

Interesting times.

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Scott Maxworthy Director
Experienced, “hands-on”, results-driven, digitally savvy marketing leader specialising in customer experience, data-driven marketing strategy, content production and social media. A deep understanding of consumer behaviour, data analytics & marketing technology with over 20 years of managing people, projects, budgets, to business objectives.