MetaHuman comes to UEFN, dynamic clothing with Marvelous Designer and more

We announced some exciting news at this year’s State of Unreal—MetaHuman is now available in Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN).

This integration will enable creators to populate their islands with high-fidelity human NPCs, empowering them to tell stories that are more engaging and immersive.

The State of Unreal also saw award-winning writer and director Amy Hennig and her team from Skydance New Media give an exclusive look at their new ensemble adventure Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra at the State of Unreal. In a fascinating real-time cinematic and tools demonstration, we got a firsthand look at how MetaHuman is being used by Skydance to push creative and technical limits.

On top of that, we unveiled a new integration between CLO and Unreal Engine 5.4 that will enable you to create dynamic clothing for your MetaHuman characters.

Intrigued? Read on to learn about these big steps forward and check out the demos that show the workflows in action.

MetaHuman in UEFN

The integration of MetaHuman into UEFN provides creators and developers with powerful and intuitive tools to bring high-fidelity human characters into their Fortnite islands.

MetaHumans can be imported into UEFN directly from MetaHuman Creator. Mesh to MetaHuman and MetaHuman Animator have also been fully integrated into UEFN, providing the same familiar workflows that the MetaHuman plugin enables in Unreal Engine.

With MetaHuman Animator, anyone working with UEFN can quickly and intuitively create digital humans with realistic facial animations for use as NPCs. Using just an iPhone and a PC, you can capture an actor’s performance and turn it into high-fidelity facial animation for your MetaHuman in minutes.

You can also import any MetaHumans you’ve already created for Unreal Engine projects into UEFN, reusing previously made animation or custom assets to quickly leverage your existing content.
It’s even possible to apply animation created using MetaHuman Animator to the Fortnite characters available in UEFN, as the rig these characters use conforms to the MetaHuman Facial Description Standard. Check out the recently released Fortnite comedy show Jokenite produced by Trevor Noah for a taste of what’s achievable with MetaHuman Animator in UEFN.

We can’t wait to see how you’ll use MetaHuman to tell more engaging stories, forge deeper emotional connections with players, and populate your islands with a cast of characters that make the experience feel truly immersive.

It’s not just Fortnite creators who will benefit, however—the integration of MetaHuman into UEFN also offers a boost to developers working in Unreal Engine.

To bring MetaHumans into UEFN, we reduced the size of a MetaHuman asset. That was necessary to fit them comfortably within the memory budget of a Fortnite island and for them to perform on any device that can run Fortnite without trading off on quality.

Many of these improvements will be making their way to Unreal Engine, providing a performance uptick to Unreal devs working with MetaHuman.

Dynamic Clothing with Marvelous Designer

At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2024, we announced a new way for you to clothe your MetaHumans with custom dynamic clothing. This is thanks to a new Marvelous Designer and CLO integration that has been created as a result of collaboration between Epic Games and CLO Virtual Fashion, the products’ makers.

Marvelous Designer is built on the foundation of taking traditional clothing production concepts and applying them to 3D cloth modeling. The tool empowers artists to streamline their creative processes by enabling anyone to master cloth modeling—regardless of sculpting skill level—as well as providing fast and accurate cloth simulation.

This integration will debut with Unreal Engine 5.4 and provides more possibilities for  clothing your MetaHumans. It includes a new USD export option for your garments, including geometry, materials, and the necessary data for simulation setup.

MetaHuman bodies will also be available within Marvelous Designer, enabling you to preview how your outfit will appear on a MetaHuman before exporting your garments to Unreal Engine.

To see both MetaHumans in UEFN and the new Marvelous Designer integration in action, take a look at the Talisman Demo first shown at the State of Unreal at GDC 2024.

This demo shows how MetaHumans, dynamic clothing, and a high-fidelity environment can totally change the look and feel of a Fortnite island, and gives a sense of how creators can use MetaHuman to bring believable human characters into realistic environments in UEFN.

Skydance New Media demonstrates MetaHuman and UE 5.4

At the State of Unreal, the audience got a glimpse at how MetaHuman is helping teams push creative and technical limits to create next-generation content. Acclaimed game director Amy Hennig and her team from Skydance New Media delivered the world premiere of Marvel Games’ new ensemble adventure Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra.

The team are seeking to blend cinematics and gameplay into an interactive but photoreal experience that feels like a playable movie, thanks to great visuals combined with exciting combat.

They’ve been working with Unreal Engine 5—as well as MetaHuman—to bring photorealism to their graphics simulation, characters, and animation. MetaHuman technology has helped them depict their character’s every detail in real time with animation that matches that fidelity.

Unreal Engine-powered machine learning face, body, and cloth deformation drives characters at an incredible fidelity for games.

The facial data captured was used to calibrate a MetaHuman via 3Lateral’s processing pipeline. This data and machine learning was then used to enhance the underlying facial rig deformations to even more closely resemble the actor’s likeness.

Body and cloth deformation were powered by UE5’s Machine Learning (ML) Deformer—a powerful tool that leverages the latest machine learning techniques to drive surface deformations in Unreal Engine.

The resulting MetaHuman rigs could then be combined with MetaHuman Animator and full-body performance capture to turn wonderful actor performances into powerful digital performances. The facial animation shown during State of Unreal is using straight MetaHuman Animator solves with no additional keyframing.

Try out the new workflows for yourself

Excited to bring realistic digital human characters to UEFN and experience the new Marvelous Designer integration for yourself?

Fortnite creators can dive into MetaHuman today. Read the MetaHuman Overview in UEFN documentation to learn more about using MetaHumans in UEFN.

If you’re looking to try out the Marvelous Designer integration, watch this space—it will be available upon the release of Unreal Engine 5.4 in around a month’s time.

Try out UEFN today!

Ready to start creating virtual worlds and experiences in Fortnite? Download UEFN on your desktop and drop in.