Monday, November 23rd, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

MakeHuman 1.2 ships

The team behind MakeHuman has officially released version 1.2 of the open-source character-generation software: its first major update in over four years.

The release adds a new MakeSkin tool for advanced materials, updates the existing MakeClothes and MakeTarget tools, and adds a new Mass Produce system for generating randomised characters.

Blender users get the new Makehuman plugin for Blender (MPFB), which links the two applications, making it possible to transfer characters directly without having to save an external file.

In addition, the Makehuman codebase has been overhauled to use current versions of Python and Qt.

Build custom characters for use in commercial projects
MakeHuman lets users generate characters of custom age, build, gender and ethnicity, complete with clothing, and export them to Blender, or in standard 3D file formats like FBX, OBJ and Collada.

The resulting meshes are optimised for subdivision, and the content is licensed under a CC0 licence, meaning that it can be used commercially, including in closed-source games.

New in MakeHuman 1.2: new MakeSkin tool and updates to MakeClothes and MakeTarget
New features in MakeHuman 1.2 include MakeSkin, a new tool for creating more advanced skin materials for 3D characters, shown in the video at the top of the story.

In addition, the old MakeClothes and MakeTarget tools, previously part of the accompanying Blender tools, have been rewritten from scratch as standalone projects.

Users can also now download third-party assets created by the MakeHuman user community directly within the software.

Mass Produce generates character variations for crowd scenes
Make Human 1.2 also integrates Mass Produce, a new system for generating large numbers of character variations, originally developed as a separate plugin.

It enables users to set up rules to generate variants of a character – for example, to generate sets of characters for crowd animations – including variant body parts, expressions and clothing.

New MHPB plugin establishes a direct link to Blender
Blender users get a new integration plugin: Makehuman plugin for Blender (MHPB).

It establishes a link between the two applications, making it possble to transfer characters directly, rather than having to save and load them as external files. Transfer is described as “almost instantaneous”.

The plugin supports all MakeHuman meshes, including the character’s body, hair and clothes, and supports “improved skin features such as skin pores and SSS”.

Other new features and performance improvements
Under the hood, MakeHuman – previously written for the now-deprecated Python 2.7 and Qt 4.0 – has been updated to use the current versions of the programming language and interface toolkit.

Plugins are now activated at runtime, and run in user space.

Workflow improvements include updates to asset tagging and sorting, and the option to save model thumbnails directly from the internal render engine. You can find a full list via the links below.

System requirements
MakeHuman 1.2 is available free for Windows and Linux. At the time of writing, the latest macOS build is 1.1. Makehuman plugin for Blender (MPFB) is compatible with Blender 2.83+.

If you find the software useful, you can support its development on Patreon.

Read a full list of new features in MakeHuman 1.2 on the software’s wiki

Read the developers’ new FAQs on the licence conditions for assets created in MakeHuman

Download MakeHuman