MetaHumans meet Looking Glass

Overview

In this tutorial we'll be going through the process of getting Unreal Engine's incredible Meta-Humans into your Looking Glass. These projects are incredibly demanding on the computer side, so make sure you've got the proper computer setup! We recommend at least an RTX 2060 or better for graphics.


For the live animation steps you'll need an iPhone with a FaceID camera and the Live Link Face App.

If you haven't already, you can follow the instructions in our Getting Started Guide to install the HoloPlay for unreal plugin. We're going to dive right into things so make sure you've followed that guide first!

Required software

Required hardware

  • A Windows 10 PC with High Performance Nvidia RTX graphics card or AMD 6000 series

Steps

1. Plugin Installation and Setup

Before we can get into getting our meta human setup we'll need to start up an unreal project and get the following plugins installed.


Make a new (or use an existing) unreal project and enable the following in the Plugins Window:

Apple ARKit
Apple ARKit Face Support
LiveLink



2. Creating your Meta Human

In order to get your Meta Human into unreal you'll need to install Quixel Bridge.




Quixel Bridge is a part of Epic Game's software stack that allows you to access their Megascans library as well as MetaHuman presets.

It's important to note that unless you have a very powerful graphics card with over 20 GBs of Video Memory, you won't be able to use the meta human presets. This is because the presets use 8k texture maps which use too much Vram when combined with the Looking Glass Plugin.

When you create your own MetaHuman you'll be given the option to download and export it into unreal with 1k textures, which are much more manageable!




On the Left Tab click the Meta Human preset and select Start MHC, this will open in a web browser and will take a moment, you might also need to login with your Epic Games account again.

Choose a MetaHuman to start with, you'll be able to change all the properties later. You can also rename your MetaHuman in the top left corner.




🚨🚨Important Note! 🚨 🚨

If you see this message "This asset uses grooms..." the MetaHuman's Hair/Facial hair will not show correctly in the Looking Glass. It is recommended you choose a hair combination that does not give this error.




Feel free to play around and design your MetaHuman as you'd like! You can learn more about MetaHuman Creator here:
https://docs.metahuman.unrealengine.com/en-US/UserGuide/
Once you're done, move onto the next step where we'll walk you through downloading and exporting them into unreal engine.

3. Exporting your MetaHuman

Once you're done editing your MetaHuman you can save and close the MetaHumans browser tab.

Return to Quixel Bridge and Click the "My MetaHumans" tab on the left panel, select the MetaHuman that you created.

Next you'll want to select the Settings Gear Icon in the bottom right and open Export Settings.





In Export Settings set your Export Target to unreal engine, and your engine version to 4.26.




If you haven't installed the Megascans plugin yet You can do that now. Typically your engine plugin directory will be at the following location, C:\Program Files\UE_4.26\Engine\Plugins

This may vary based on the location you installed unreal engine.
Note that this is the location for the Engine install, not your project folder.



Choose the 1k resolution from the quality drop down, and select download.

This will take some time as it's a lot of data, so be patient, maybe go get a cup of tea 🍡 or checkout our latest Hologram Drop while you're waiting

Once your MetaHuman is done downloading press Export, make sure unreal is still open with your project.

Wait for the Export Successful notification, then open Unreal Engine.

4. Setting up your level

There may be some Missing Plugins! notifications, don't worry! Click Enable Missing... on each of them.



Wait for Compiling Shaders to end, then click Restart Now.



Once your project has restarted go to your content browser and open the MetaHumans folder. Select BP_Name

This will load many files and start Compiling Shaders again. Wait for this to complete.
Once you're done compiling shaders Drag your MetaHuman into the scene.

In the details panel, change the Z Rotation to 90, this will face the MetaHuman towards the main axis.

In the top right, find the LKG Play Mode and Play Settings. Change the Scalability Quality to 0.



Don't have the HoloPlay Plugin installed? No worries! You can find the instructions for this in our Getting Started Tutorial!
Drag the HoloPlay Capture Actor into the scene from the Actors panel on the left. Move the capture until the center is at the MetaHuman's face and then set the size to 21.



You'll also want to delete the player start actor in the world outliner at this point.
Alright! It's finally time! Click on the HoloPlay button in the toolbar. You should be able to see your MetaHuman in the Looking Glass!

If Unreal Engine crashes immediately, make sure you have set your Scalability Settings correctly, and are using the 1K resolution Metahuman. Otherwise, it is possible your GPU does not have enough video memory.

On some MetaHumans, using Low Quality settings causes issues to the Eyelashes which look incorrect and distracting. Let’s fix the Eyelashes by disabling them in the Actor Blueprint.



Open up your MetaHuman BP in the content browser and open the Construction Script Tab.



Find the last two nodes called Create Dynamic Material Instance. They are both responsible for creating the eyelashes. Disconnect them from the rest.

5. Setting up Live Link!

This gets a bit technical, but don't worry, we're here to help!

The first thing we'll need to do is get the IP address of our PC.

open up command prompt and type ipconfig, then hit enter.

Look for the line that says IPV4 Address, this is your IP address!
Make sure you keep this number safe and don't post it on twitter.


Connect your iPhone or iPad to the same WiFi network as the PC, if the PC is connected with wired ethernet, the iDevice should be connect to the same router over WiFi.

Using The LiveLink App


1) Open the Live Link Face App on iPhone/iPad

2) Tap Settings in the top left corner and then select the Live Link row.

3) Select Add Target, and then add your PC's IP address # from above. An example would be 193.147.1.38.

Don't share this number with strangers!
Set Protocol to 4.25 and Later, then go back to settings and Enable Stream Head Rotation.




Set your iPhone or iPad somewhere secure and make sure it's not tilted.

Check the LiveLink window in unreal, You should see the name of our device, and the circle should be green whenever the iDevice can see a face.



Select your MetaHuman and go to the details panel, then set LLink Face Subj to [your device name]. Enable LLink Face Head to also affect the MetaHuman's head rotation.

6. Animate your MetaHuman!

Press the regular Play button and you should see your meta human animating along with your face movements!


We're hard at work on improving the unreal engine plugin to be able to handle the full resolution and full quality of MetaHumans, but we hope you've enjoyed this process and learned a lot! Congrats on living in the future!