The tech behind MetaHuman Creator face rigs

May 5, 2022
When MetaHuman Creator was released, users began experimenting with its real-time rig controls in Unreal Engine.

But what’s going on under the hood? The new white paper Rig Logic: Runtime Evaluation of MetaHuman Face Rigs explains the technical details behind Rig Logic, a fast, lean, portable facial rig solver.
Rig Logic was developed by 3Lateral, whose work has been seen on projects such as Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II and Marvel’s Spider-Man

An innovative approach to real-time facial rigging

To develop Rig Logic, 3Lateral built upon the foundations of FACS expressions and rigging values in Autodesk Maya. By streamlining data loads and calculations, the development team was able to produce a lightweight, portable, real-time solution for facial rigs that solves at a rate of 30 fps or more.

Some of the innovations described in the paper include pruning of extraneous joint deformations, zero-cost reduction of joint configurations in LODs, and smart storage and application of corrective expressions.

3Lateral also developed a new file format called MetaHuman DNA that stores a complete description of a rig and its geometry. MetaHuman DNA files are constructed with several layers, one of which is a separate geometry layer. This structure means DNA files can be geometry-independent, enabling the same DNA file to be applied to multiple characters of different shapes and sizes.

In fact, one of the guiding principles behind Rig Logic was that it must be reusable for different types of characters. 3Lateral was able to achieve this goal, which is why all MetaHumans are able to run on the same facial rig.

Read all about the breakthroughs that led to the development of Rig Logic, and what keeps it working at real-time speeds in MetaHuman Creator.

    Get the white paper

    Download your copy of Rig Logic: Runtime evaluation of MetaHuman face rigs today!
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