STEP 1 IMPORT CHARACTER AND ANIMATIONS

First just drag and drop your downloaded character .fbx into the Content Browser window in Unreal. Just ensure that Convert Scene Unit is selected as you do so, then click Import

 

You should see all the elements layout out as such in the Content Browser

 

 

Similarly drag and drop your downloaded animation .fbx into the Content Browser Window

When the dialogue box comes up though, you’ll need to assign the skeleton of your character. So click the dropdown next to skeleton and choose from the list it provides.

Do this step with every animation that you want to import.

 

STEP 2 CREATE CHARACTER BLUEPRINT

So now we have our character asset and animations imported let’s make our character blueprint.

Now what I’m after here is something a bit different. I’m not making a game or a first person shooter. I’m making an immersive experience (target being a Hololens 2) where you observe the characters and try to determine their feelings by body language and facial expressions. So I want the characters to play through their animations while the camera is looking at them. For the moment I will do that with keyboard input. So this entry will attempt to do that.

To do this go to your Content Browser Window and Select the green Add/Import >> Blueprint Class 

 

Then select Character and give it a name. I’ve named mine AkaiCharacter

 

Double click on your character blueprint to open it up. Now you need to assign the mesh to use. In the Components panel on the left, click on Mesh.

In the right hand Details panel, scroll down to the Mesh tab, click on the dropdown and select your mesh from the list.

 

 You might need to adjust your mesh to sit in the middle of your character blueprint nicely, so do that in the viewport.

 

 

Now in the left hand side Components panel select you character – mine is AkaiCharacter(self) and then in the right hand side Details panel, scroll down to Pawn and change Auto Possess Player to Player 0 

And hit the compile button

 

 

 

Mixamo is an Adobe library of Characters and Animations that are free to use. It is quite extensive and for learning purposes it’s definitely enough to do the job. Follow these steps to download a character and an animation to use in Unreal.

STEP 1 – LOGIN or Create account

Go to Mixamo and either log in if you already have an account, and if not, sign up because it’s free.

www.mixamo.com

 

STEP 2 DOWNLOAD CHARACTER

You’ll see two tabs at the top of the page. Characters and Animations. First go into the Characters tab and search through the vast array until you find something you like. Then simple click the orange DOWNLOAD on the top right.

 

In the download dialogue box that comes up you can just keep the default .fbx Binary as the download Format,  and T-Pose as the Pose. Click the Orange DOWNLOAD button

 

STEP 3 DOWNLOAD ANIMATION

Click on the Animations tab at the top of the page. Search through the animations until you find one that you like and click on it to load it into your character panel on the right.

Now before you download the animation, you have a panel on the right, highlighted, where you can make minor adjustments to the animation so that it suits your character. Especially helpful if your character is very fat or very skinny. Have a play around with the sliders and you’ll get to know what they do.

Then click the orange DOWNLOAD button

 

Download with the following settings. I choose not to download the skin because then I can just assign the animation to as many characters as I like. 

Click the orange DOWNLOAD button.

 

One thing to note with moving animations like walk cycles, in Mixamo they cross the floor which you rarely want them to do when you are using them in the editor. If you look at the Mixamo preview when you choose a walk animation you’ll see what I mean. 

When you have your characters in Unreal though, you pretty much always want to control where the character goes with your own code, so you need to check the In Place checkbox before you download. Once you click it you’ll see the difference.

 

MAKING MYSELF IN METAHUMAN CREATOR

I’ve been lucky enough to have early access to the Unreal Metahuman Creator and I’ve made myself! Of course she needs a lot more wrinkles which I couldn’t find any exact options for. None the less, not a bad start.

 

HOW TO GET MY METAHUMAN INTO UNREAL

 

To get your creation into Unreal so that you can start to play with it, you need to have Quixel Bridge installed. You can grab it from here. Download it and sign in using your Epic Login details. Don’t create a Quixel account because you want it to link to your Epic Metahumans. Just a note, once you do have it and you’re coming back to use it on another day, search for “Bridge”, not “Quixel” when you want to open it again.

Once you have logged in, you can find your Metahumans in the menu indicated below.

 

Each of your metahumans will show in the window and there is a “download” button in the top right corner of each. Press the one you want to download. 

 

 

While it’s downloading you can go and start up Unreal. You will need to make sure you have 4.26.2 so go and update it if you haven’t already.

Open the Unreal file that you want to import your Metahuman into. Then go back to Quixel Bridge and click the “Export” button

 

 

An “Export Successful” message will appear once it has finished exporting. 

 

Go back to UE and you will see it importing into your open file. You may need to restart to apply missing settings.

 

 

Once imported then just navigate to it in the content window, Content > Metahumans > TheNameOfYourMH and then drag the blueprint onto the stage. It might look grey at first, but just wait until the shaders have finished compiling and then you’ll see your metahuman completed.