Navigating the Viewport

Viewport controls and keyboard shortcuts in MetaHuman Creator.

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After you create a MetaHuman or select an existing MetaHuman for editing, the MetaHuman Creator Viewport will open. This is where you set up, edit, and preview the changes you make to your MetaHumans.

Viewport controls are grouped into three toolbars, illustrated below. These toolbars are:

  1. Environment and Quality Toolbar

  2. Sculpting Toolbar

  3. Animation Toolbar

Environment and Quality Toolbar

The Environment and Quality Toolbar provides access to the following controls:

Environment and Quality Toolbar in MetaHuman Creator

  1. Environment

  2. Camera View

  3. Rendering Quality

  4. Level of Detail (LOD)

  5. Clay View

  6. Remove All Hair

  7. Toggle Hotkey Reference Panel

Environment

Choose from a set of environments to place your MetaHuman into. These include various combinations of backgrounds and lighting presets that simulate indoors, outdoors, and studio conditions.

Some environments offer additional customization options. For example, you can change the Studio background color, and you can blur the elements in the background for the Underpass Night, Downtown Night, and Rooftop presets.

You can also rotate the light horizontally around your MetaHuman by either:

  • Adjusting the Light Rig Rotation slider in the Environment dropdown.

  • Moving your mouse while holding down the L key.

In some environments, this rotates the background instead.

Camera View

Select from one of six preset camera positions. This is useful if you panned, rotated, or zoomed the camera, and want to quickly return focus to your MetaHuman. You can also zoom in on a specific body part, such as the torso, legs, or feet.

Use the 1-6 keys on your keyboard to quickly switch between camera presets.

Rendering Quality

Select the rendering quality of lighting, hair, MetaHumans, global illumination, and ray traced reflections.

You can set the quality Medium, High, and Epic, which is the highest possible quality. High- and epic-quality rendering uses ray tracing.

The slider below provides a side-by-side comparison of Medium and Epic lighting quality.

Medium

Epic (Ray Traced)

Because MetaHuman Creator is a cloud-streamed tool, these settings are not affected by your computer's hardware capabilities.

To learn more about rendering MetaHumans in Unreal Engine, refer to the Performance and Scalability Settings page.

Level of Detail (LOD)

Inspect all of your MetaHuman's available Levels of Detail (LODs). This is useful to preview what your MetaHumans will look like at different LODs.

MetaHumans support 8 LODs, from 0 (most detailed) to 7 (least detailed). The difference between LODs is more noticeable up close. If you create a complex project, you may use LOD 0 for characters a viewer or player would see up close, and less complex LODs for background characters and crowds.

LODs affect a MetaHuman's Skeletal Mesh geometry and hair grooms, as shown below. The more complex your character, the greater the difference between LODs.

MetaHuman hair also renders differently depending on LOD. Higher LODs use strand-based hair grooms, while lower LODs use card- or mesh-based grooms.

You can also preview what a card-based hair groom looks like on your currently active MetaHuman by enabling the Always Use Hair Cards option. This option forces card-based hair grooms at all LODs.

Some hair grooms are still in development and only display at LODs 0 and 1, which use strand-based grooms. These grooms are marked with an exclamation mark icon. Selecting them also displays a warning in the Viewport.

Using card-based grooms improves performance on certain platforms and makes MetaHumans have less of an impact on overall rendering performance. Strand-based rendering can be resource-intensive and requires a highly performant GPU to work effectively.

To learn more about MetaHuman LODs, refer to the following pages:

Toggle Clay Material and Toggle Hair

Both of these controls can help with the sculpting process by eliminating visual distractions and providing an experience that's more consistent with 3D modeling applications.

Toggle Clay Material replaces the MetaHuman's skin texture with a clay-like material. Toggle Hair enables or disables hair rendering.

The screenshot below shows a practical use case where:

  • Hiding the MetaHuman's hair exposes parts of their face that were previously hidden.

  • Using clay material instead of textured skin makes it easier to see the shape of the eyes and lips.

Toggle Hotkey Reference Panel

This option toggles the Hotkey Reference panel to the right of the viewport.

The Hotkey Reference panel on the right uses the following abbreviations:

  • RMB: Right Mouse Button

  • MMB: Middle Mouse Button

  • LMB: Left Mouse Button

Sculpting Toolbar

The Sculpting Toolbar provides access to three distinct ways to edit your MetaHuman's face shape and facial feature. It contains shortcuts to the following modes:

Sculpting Toolbar in MetaHuman Creator

  1. Blend Mode: Blend between 3 to 6 existing MetaHuman Presets to change the look of your MetaHuman.

  2. Sculpt Mode: Adjust different areas of your MetaHuman's face.

  3. Move Mode: **Move your MetaHuman's facial features.

Refer to the pages above to learn more about each of these modes.

Animation Toolbar

The Animation Toolbar controls the facial expressions and animations that play on your MetaHuman in the Viewport.

Click a facial expression or an animation to play it in the Viewport. To select a different expression or animation, click the Options button (vertical ellipsis) to the right of any of the five Animation controls.

This toolbar contains five slots. You can select a different pose or animation in each slot so you can switch between them easily; however, your MetaHuman can only be affected by one slot at a time. For example, if your active slot is a body pose, and you select a different slot, your MetaHuman's body will return to its default pose.

To activate a slot on this toolbar, click it. An active slot will be highlighted in blue. To deactivate an active slot, click it again.

While an animation slot is active, the toolbar also displays playback controls.

Animation Toolbar in MetaHuman Creator

In the example above, the Idle body animation is active and playing. Because an animation is playing, playback controls are also enabled. The other four slots hold a body animation (Idle), a face animation (Face ROM), a body pose (Artistic), and a facial pose (Surprise).

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