For those of us in the 3D graphics world, the release of Epic Games’ Metahumans has been super exciting for a lot of reasons. The software indicates a future in which creating realistic humans for game engines is going to continually get easier and easier. Video games are going to be more realistic. Visual effects in movies and television are going to continue to improve. The lives of those of us who create images with computers are going to get easier and a lot of artistic possibilities are going to open up.
People who are likely not so excited about it: actors, extras, and stunt people. I think actors should be fine. Even if all physical production halts and people on set are replaced with Metahumans (which won’t happen for a while if it happens at all), we’re still going to need actors to voice and act as those Metahumans. However, for extras and stunt people (with exception of talented stunt people who are needed for motion capture), future careers in these fields don’t seem especially promising.
What this means for everyone working in the entertainment industry: learn Unreal. Unreal is just continuing to become more and more relevant for virtual production and with the addition of Metahumans, it seems likely that features, television shows, and many other types of media are going to be created on computers running Unreal Engine.
Metahumans really couldn’t be easier to use. Here’s MetaCoby, who I was able to create in less than 10 minutes: