Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Quantum Human cleans and rigs characters in one click

Hong Kong firm Quantum Matrix has unveiled Quantum Human: an impressive work-in-progress Maya plugin that promises to topologise and rig any arbitrary 3D character model in a single click, readying it for animation.

(Actually, the demo videos appeared on Vimeo before Christmas, but we’ve seen a couple of forum threads about it this week, so now seems like a good time to take a look.)

Retopologise and rig any character in one click
In its Simple mode, shown in the video above, Quantum Human is literally a one-button solution.

Pressing the start button executes a series of batch actions: the plugin scans the character model for landmarks like the limbs and shoulders, then automatically repairs, subdivides, topologises and rigs it.

Alternatively, the Advanced mode lets you customise pretty much everything manually; while the plugin’s QNA framework lets you create your own presets to apply to new characters.

An impressive range of options
The source model can be hand sculpted, or 3D scan data, and there are options to repair poorly scanned parts of the body, like fingers and ears. This video shows the plugin detecting a range of bodily proportions.

The repaired and retopologised version retains a construction history “for level of detail and reshape states”, and you can round-trip the results to ZBrush or Mudbox.

As well as a skeleton, the rigging process assigns a muscle system (shown in the video above) with skin sliding and collision and an FACS-derived facial animation setup.

By default, the plugin uses Maya’s built-in HumanIK control rig or the free AdvancedSkeleton rig, but you can hook up your own custom controls.

Once created, the rig can be tested within Quantum Human by assigning mocap moves from a stock library, with the plugin handling animation retargeting automatically.

As a finishing touch, Quantum Human can even ‘style’ the character by scaling and aligning ready-made hair or clothing assets to fit the model.

The rigged character can then be used within Maya or baked and exported in FBX format.

Pricing and release date to follow
So far, there isn’t a lot of other information about Quantum Human on the product website. The FAQ consists of four questions, and essentially just says that neither the price nor the release date have been confirmed.

The features list is pretty bare-bones stuff, too, although it does hint at some interesting upcoming features (an “intelligent” eye deformer, automatic posing and skin-deformation systems).

Perhaps the best clue as to the capabilities of the plugin is the animation above, which can be found in the Gallery section of the site.

According to its Vimeo description, Primal War was created in six man-weeks using an earlier (2012) version of the technology.

The description credits all of the CG work, aside from cloth and hair, to Kwai Bun, founder of Hong Kong-based CG studio ManyMany Creations, whose work we’ve featured on the CG Channel Facebook feed in the past.

ManyMany is listed on the Quantum Matrix website as an affiliate company, so Quantum Human seems to be another example of a proprietary in-house technology being released commercially.

Either way, it’s impressive stuff, and one that has caught eyes throughout the CG community. We can’t wait to see some more definite release information.

Read a full list of features in Quantum Human on the Quantum Matrix website
(Includes a set of pretty detailed feature demo videos)