Mixamo has released Fuse, a free standalone application designed to create custom 3D characters for animation.
Users assemble characters by mixing and matching from a library of pre-built male and female body parts, including 12 torsos, arms and legs, and 18 heads. There is a similar range of clothing and shoe meshes.
Texturing is handled dynamically via Allegorithmic’s Substances, with a choice of 25 base Substances, adjustable through slider controls.
All of the options are for standard human characters, although there is a zombie head.
Export options and alternatives
Characters may be exported in OBJ format with diffuse, normal and specular maps, or rigged via Mixamo’s online service and downloaded in FBX, Collada or BVH format.
Like Autodesk’s Project Pinocchio, you have to be realistic about the results you can expect: you’re unlikely to want to use the characters for anything other than previz-quality work without refining them by hand.
But as a quick way to get something useable, it looks like a winner. Plus, it’s free, and the characters it generates are licensed for use in commercial projects.
Fuse is available now for Windows and Mac OS X. If you sign up for Mixamo’s All Access package, you get 50 more body parts and textures and 75 new clothing items to play with.
Download Fuse (Registration required)