Create free, facially rigged CG characters with MB-Lab 1.7.8
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Originally released on July 22, 2019. Scroll down to get news about the 1.7.8 update.

The MB-Lab development team released MB-Lab 1.7.5, the first stable build of the promising open source 3D character creation tool for Blender 2.80.

The software, which has been developed since last December, is a community branch of the popular, but discontinued Manuel Bastioni Lab.

Features in the version include a new user interface that corresponds to that of Blender 2.80 itself, a new tongue shader and improvements to the eye and iris shaders, as well as FACS support for the facial rig generated by the software.

An attempt by the community to continue the Manuel Bastioni Lab
Directed by light artist Ted & # 39; animate1978 & # 39; Gocek is the MB Lab project a community branch of the popular CG character generator Manuel Bastioni Lab based on Blender, which was unexpectedly discontinued last November.

In the online documentation, the original code is described as "still only fully understood by Manuel Bastioni himself". With the new fork, new functions have to be added as well as how old ones work.

Create customizable, fully manipulated CG characters for Blender and other DCC software
Like its predecessor, MB-Lab generates highly customizable human characters for use in CG projects, including options to control gender, physique, and ethnicity.

The stitches are anatomically detailed, including eyebrows, teeth, tongues, eyelashes, and gums, and fully assembled, including finger and face rigs, with a simulated muscle fitting.

Once generated, characters can be placed in the software or provided with polygonal hair or clothing.

Finished characters can be exported from Blender as .json files or as native .blend files, and then re-exported to other DCC applications in other formats supported by Blender, including FBX, Collada, and OBJ.

Now officially compatible with Blender 2.80
MB-Lab also makes the software compatible with Blender 2.80, the long-awaited main update for Blender, which is expected to be delivered next week.

This includes the introduction of new shader networks for Eevee, the real-time render engine of Blender 2.80, and the existing Cycles renderer.

The team also previously introduced support for the basic BSDF shader introduced in Blender 2.79, which updates the skin settings for PBR workflows.

New in MB-Lab 1.7.5: New user interface, tongue shader and FACS-compatible facial rig
In addition, MB-Lab 1.7.5 revises the user interface of the software and adapts it to the symbol-controlled interface of Blender 2.80.

Other changes include a tongue shader separate from the main skin shader and updates to the eye shader.

The facial rig of the software has been updated for the first time since its introduction and supports FACS, the facial action coding system that is widely used in VFX and AAA games.

Users can now also save configuration files for bone settings when importing animation data in BVH format.

Updated August 5, 2020: MB-Lab 1.7.8 has been released and adds a frequently requested function: the option to add your own user-defined character to the MB-Lab library.

The change allows the use of the character creation software for closed source projects such as commercial games. This was previously prohibited by the AGPL license, which was used for the standard characters.

In a post in the BlenderArtists forum, however, Gocek warns that creating a basic character in Blender "is not an easy process and documentation is still being worked on".

In addition, the Hair Engine – a new particle-based hair system that has been added to the software since our original story – is now creating hair shaders for Blender & # 39; s Cycles and Eevee renderers.

The eyeball, eyelash and skin shader has also been updated. The software's new Skin 2 shader now supports 4K bump maps as well as new oil and freckle maps.

Availability and system requirements
MB-Lab 1.7.8 is available for Blender 2.81.16+, which runs on Windows, Linux and macOS.

The software is free and distributed using a mix of GPL and AGPL licenses. Models generated by the MB-Lab use the AGPLv3 license. More details can be found here.

Read a full list of new features in MB-Lab 1.7.8 in the online documentation

Download MB-Lab from the project website

Tags: AGPL, animation, basic character, Blender, Blender 2.80, BVH, character creator, character generator, closed source games, clothing, Collada, commercial use, custom character, cycles, download, Eevee, expression, eye shader, eyeball shader, Eyelash shader, facial animation, facial rig, FACS, FBX, free, free character, GPL, hair, hair motor, hair shader, IK, lip synchronization, Manuel Bastioni Lab, MB-Lab 1.7.8, morph, MP-Lab, MP-Lab 1.7.5, muscle system, OBJ, open source, particle-based hair, PBR, phenotype, phoneme, physique, pose, basic BSDF shader, real measurements, manipulated character, rigging, skeleton, skin shader, skinned, tongue razor

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