Epic Games announces game-changing MetaHuman integration for UEFN

 Epic Games' MetaHuman in UEFN.
Epic Games' MetaHuman in UEFN.

There were some big announcements at Epic Games' The State of Unreal 2024 presentation at GDC 2024. As well as showcasing new Unreal Engine 5.4 tools with footage from Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra, the developer and publisher announced that MetaHuman Creator and MetaHuman Animator have been integrated into Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN).

The new tools allow UEFN creators to create and animate photorealistic digital humans as NPCs for Fortnite islands. And Epic says it's fine-tuned the free online software for quality and efficiency, reducing the average size of a MetaHuman from almost 1GB in Unreal Engine 5 to just 60MB in UEFN. You can watch last night's full presentation below.

MetaHuman Animator allows footage captured from an iPhone or stereo head-mounted camera to be turned into high-quality facial animation for any MetaHuman or any Fortnite character available in UEFN. Meanwhile, the addition of the new LiveLink Hub application means users can directly transmit mocap data to UEFN.

The Talisman demo below showcases how creators can use MetaHuman to bring believable human characters into realistic environments in UEFN.

The MetaHuman in the Talisman Demo is clothed with custom dynamic clothing powered by a new Marvelous Designer and CLO integration. This integration will make its debut at the end of April. UEFN creators will be eligible for a free one-year licence of Marvelous Designer, which will enable them to create dynamic clothing using the UE 5.4 workflow to then import into UEFN projects.

Developers are suggesting the new tools will be a game-changer. "A sub 100 MB MetaHuman literally changes my life," Matt Workman of Cinematography Database wrote on X. "Import 8 of them, done: a brand new island is shippable at 30 fps. Cool demo, great compression, just not worth any of the island size cooked budget yet," someone else added.

For more on Unreal Engine, see our full guide to everything you need to know about Unreal Engine 5.