Downloading and Exporting MetaHumans User Guide

A guide to downloading and getting your MetaHumans into other applications.

Windows
MacOS
Linux

This guide shows you the required steps to get your MetaHuman characters from the MetaHuman Creator web tool to Quixel Bridge to other applications, like Unreal Engine and Autodesk Maya where you'll be able to use them.

exportingmetahumanworkflow.png

Exporting and working locally with MetaHuman Assets is officially supported on the following platforms

  • Unreal Engine 4 and Unreal Engine 5: Windows and MacOS

  • For Maya: Windows only

While exporting MetaHumans may work on other platforms, you may experience issues / instability and we cannot guarantee the results.

Required Setup

The following need to be set up for you to get your MetaHuman characters from the Creator web tool to other tools like Unreal Engine and Maya. Quixel Bridge is used to download and export your MetaHumans between these other tools and provides direct access to the source assets and Unreal Engine assets.

  1. Start by having created at least one MetaHuman from a Preset that is saved in your My MetaHumans gallery.

    Click image for full size.

  2. Download and install Quixel Bridge.

    QuixelBridge.png

  3. In Quixel Bridge, click Sign In in the top-right of the window. Select Sign in with Epic Games and enter your Epic Games account you used with MetaHuman Creator. All MetaHumans you create are linked to your Epic Games account.

    exportingsigninoptions.png

Now that you created a character and installed Quixel Bridge, a MetaHumans filter should appear in the sidebar. Any MetaHumans you have created with the MetaHuman Creator will be accessible here.

quixelbridgemetahumansfilter.png

The following icons and buttons can display on your MetaHuman thumbnails:

Icon or Button

Notes

Blue callout that says NEW

Indicates that this MetaHuman was newly created.

Exclamation mark in an orange circle

Indicates that this MetaHuman uses grooms only available at LODs 0 and 1. In practice, this means your MetaHuman will be bald and won't show any other hair (beard, mustache, etc.) for LODs 2 and above.

For more information about MetaHuman LODs, see Controlling MetaHuman Level of Detail.

Blue check mark

Indicates that this MetaHuman has been successfully downloaded to your machine.

Refresh button

Indicates that this MetaHuman has been updated in the MetaHuman Creator Tool since they were last downloaded to your machine. You must update them to see the latest changes locally. To do that, you can either:

  • Click the Refresh button.

  • Click the MetaHuman thumbnail, then click the UPDATE button.

Download button

Click this button to download your MetaHuman's files and Assets.

Export button

Click this button to export your MetaHuman to a supported platform (Unreal Engine 4 or Maya) using the parameters you specified.

Favorite button

Click this button to add this MetaHuman to your favorites. You can access all of your favorite Bridge Assets from the Favorites category in the left-hand menu bar.

Downloading and Exporting MetaHumans through Quixel Bridge

Quixel Bridge uses your Epic Games account to reference and load any MetaHumans you've created in MetaHuman Creator.

You can download and export any MetaHuman Presets or MetaHumans linked to your Epic Games account in Quixel Bridge. Click the MetaHumans filter and select one of the following two options:

  • MetaHuman Presets: Opens a gallery with all the MetaHuman Preset characters available in the MetaHuman Creator tool.

  • My MetaHumans: Opens a gallery with all the MetaHumans you've created that are currently in your My MetaHumans gallery in the MetaHuman Creator web tool.

quixelbridgemetahumansfilterdownload.png

When you click any MetaHuman, you have two configurable options to choose from: Download and Export.

  • Download Settings enable you to configure settings relevant to the MetaHumans you want to download. For example, you can specify the types and formats of textures and models/assets you want to download.

  • Export Settings enable you to configure settings for sending MetaHumans directly to a supported platform by installing a plugin. For example, having a running instance of Unreal Engine open will copy the MetaHuman game assets and configure needed project settings, plugins, and console variables to load a MetaHuman directly into your project. To use the export option, you must have already downloaded the MetaHuman you want to export.

Downloading MetaHuman Assets

The MetaHumans filter provides a couple of ways to get started downloading your characters; by hovering a MetaHuman asset tile and clicking on the download icon, or by selecting the MetaHuman asset tile and using the information panel that opens on the right side of the screen.

When hovering the mouse over a MetaHuman asset, the Download button appears in the top-right corner of the tile. When using this option, it will use the default settings if none of the Download Settings have been configured, otherwise it will use what has been previously set. This is important to know in case you've already been using Quixel Bridge to download other 3D assets from the Quixel library, as these settings are globally applied and not all settings are specific to MetaHumans.

exporting_downloadbutton.png

Clicking on a MetaHuman asset opens the information panel on the right side of the Bridge interface. It provides access to download and export settings and possibly other relevant information about this asset. This is where you'll configure settings and texture resolution options before downloading them.

exporting_informationpanel.png

Access the Download Settings through the Settings (gear) button in the bottom-left of the information panel. (See the next section for configuring these settings.)

informationpanel_downloadsettings.png

The maximum resolution of the textures is set by the Texture Resolution list. You can select from 1K, 2K, and 8K texture sizes to download.

informationpanel_textureresolution.png

Start generating your assets by clicking the Download button.

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MetaHuman asset generation can take a little while to process. It largely depends on the assets being chosen, their texture resolution, internet speeds, and how many are in the Quixel Bridge queue to generate assets. On average for a MetaHuman with 1K textures, it takes about 20-30 minutes to generate and download the assets.

While downloading or updating a MetaHuman, Bridge will display progress as a percentage on their thumbnail. This process consists of two parts: generating your MetaHuman's files and Assets, and downloading them to your machine.

MHC_GenDLPercentages.png

Configuring Download Settings

Download settings apply globally to all Quixel Library assets, and some settings and options are not available to MetaHumans even if they are visible and selectable.

The Download Settings are accessible through the Settings gear button available in the information panel when a MetaHuman is selected in the filter gallery.

ConfiguringDownloadingSettings.png

When selected, there is a Textures and Models tab that has some selectable options available for choosing which types of textures you want to include with your downloaded assets, and what type of assets you want to download.

Click image for full size.

Under the Models tab, the MetaHumans dropdown gives you choices between downloading:

downloadmetahumanassets.png

  • UAsset game assets that include meshes, textures and materials, Blueprints, and animations that work with Unreal Engine.

  • Source Asset that includes the source mesh, textures, and animation files.

  • UAsset + Source Asset that includes both source and game files.

When choosing to export MetaHumans to Unreal Engine, the MetaHumans download setting must be set to UAsset + Source Asset. Otherwise, the export process will fail.

Once download of a MetaHuman is complete, they are also available in the Local filter of Quixel Bridge, along with other assets you have downloaded. From here, you can manage your assets by navigating to where they are stored on your local drive, seeing related content, and using the export options (discussed in the next section of this guide).

LocalFilter.png

Exporting MetaHuman Assets

In addition to downloading your MetaHuman characters, you can directly export them to running instances of Unreal Engine and Maya and have them automatically imported and instantly available using the Quixel Bridge plugin.

Assuming you've already downloaded a MetaHuman asset, hovering over a MetaHuman asset tile replaces the download button with the Export button in the top-right corner of the tile. When using this option, the default settings are used for the Export Settings unless they have been previously configured.

exporting_exportbutton.png

Clicking on a MetaHuman asset opens the information panel on the right side of the Bridge interface. It provides access to download and export settings and possibly other relevant information about this asset. This is where you'll configure settings and texture resolution options before downloading and choosing to export them.

exporting_informationpanelexportbutton.png

Access the Export Settings through the Settings (gear) button in the bottom-left of the information panel. (See the next section for configuring these settings.)

export_exportsettings.png

The maximum resolution of the textures is set by the Texture Resolution list. You can select from 1K, 2K, and 8K texture sizes to export.

export_textureresolution.png

When you're ready to export your MetaHumans to Unreal Engine or Maya, keep these things in mind:

  • Only assets which have already been downloaded can be exported. For example, if you've only downloaded the 1K textures but not the 2K or 8K ones, you will need to select them and download them first.

  • Download Settings must be configured so that Model > MetaHumans is set to UAsset + Source Asset when using the export option.

  • The Export Settings > Export Target must be set and selected for a supported version of Unreal Engine and Maya while having an instance of either open and running in order for it to successfully send the MetaHuman assets from Bridge to them (see section below).

Configuring Export Settings

These settings apply globally to all Quixel Library assets and some settings and options are not available to MetaHumans even if they are visible and selectable.

The Export Settings are accessible through the Settings gear button available in the information panel when a MetaHuman is selected in the filter gallery.

exporting_configuringexportsettings.png

The Export Settings panel contains configurable settings for the following:

exporting_exportsettingspanels.png

  • Export Target tab provides a set of target platforms you can install the Quixel Bridge plugin for in order to export Quixel library assets to.

  • Textures tab provides a choice of texture maps, file formats, and configurable channel packing for maps that can be exported.

  • Models tab specifies the type of assets to export, whether to include game or source assets or both, and what LODs should be included.

  • Filenames tab specifies naming conventions used for exported textures, models, and folders that are used.

Setting Export Targets

Quixel Bridge supports many different DCC applications and game engines through plugins that enable its 3D asset library to be exported and imported. Setting an export target provides an easy-to-use way of getting assets from the Quixel Bridge library into another software where it can be used and edited. However, unlike other assets in the Quixel Bridge asset library, MetaHumans only support export to Unreal Engine and Maya.

When an export target is set to Unreal Engine or Maya and you click the Export button, if an open instance of either of them is running, the MetaHuman assets you've previously downloaded will be sent directly to that instance. A pop-up message will indicate the status of the export process. The example below shows a successful export to an open and running instance of Unreal Engine.

exporting_QBexportsuccessful.png

  1. In the information panel, open Settings > Export Target and use the Export Target dropdown to select either Unreal Engine or Maya to install their Quixel Bridge plugin.

    exporting_exporttarget.png

  2. Click Download Plugin.

    exporting_exporttarget_downloadplugin.png

  3. Once the download completes, click Install Plugin.

    exporting_exporttarget_installplugin.png

    The Unreal Engine plugin requires additional setup. You must set the Engine Version of the plugin to 4.26 (or later) and set the Plugin Location to point to the install path of the engine.

Once the plugins are installed, you're ready to start exporting your MetaHumans characters from Quixel Bridge to Unreal Engine or Maya. Follow along with the guides below to walk through the export process for each.

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