Digital human creation with Reallusion: Headshot

Sep 29, 2020 at 10:00 am by nemirc

In my quest for a better and faster game development pipeline, I try to test out different applications, including web apps (for example, Mixamo). I've now decided to test out Reallusion's iClone and Character Creator apps and how they work with Unreal Engine and Unity, my two engines of choice.

My current character creation workflow is like this: I model and rig a character in Maya, then I send the head to Face Robot (only if I need facial animation), then export the facial animation from Face Robot into Maya, put everything together and export as FBX. As you can see it's a little complicated, and if I can find a way to make it easier, it would be great.

This time I want to take a look at Headshot. Headshot is a face creation plugin for Character Creator 3. Basically, what Headshot does is take a picture and convert that picture into a face texture, adjusting the picture so it fits the character's face. Headshot also includes a bonus of 1000 facial morphs that you can use to adjust the shape of your character's face.

After you import your photograph into Headshot, you can sculpt your face by pulling and pushing face parts. This is a very intuitive process, and also very easy, since you can choose areas from a broad selection (say, the entire mouth area) to a finer section (just the lips).

This entire process makes it very easy to create your virtual copy (or copy of someone else) in just a few minutes. However, if you want more control, you also have the option to use the morphs to fine-tune your result.

Headshot lets you finetune the edges of the face via masks. If, for example, your model had some hair on the forehead, Headshot can get rid of that with a special mask. Another nice thing is how Headshot automatically picks the right skin color for the rest of the body, so it matches the face.

While my main focus is game development, Headshot can obviously be used for pretty much anything. For example, create a virtual avatar of yourself to guide clients through a presentation, or to use virtual copies of real people to make a movie (like what was done for Beowulf).

Another nice thing about Headshot is the bonus morphs. Even if you don't create your virtual avatar, you still get those 1000 morphs and that will allow you to customize your face a lot, so they are more than welcome.

Next, I will send my first character from CC3 to Unreal Engine 4 and report my results. I will return to Headshot in a future article, including the creation process for a character. See you next time!

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