Autodesk Character Generator

Autodesk® Character Generator is a web browser-based tool for creating fully-rigged 3D characters for use in 3D games, animations, and scenes. Low-poly figures can be downloaded and used for free with an Autodesk account, but some content and higher-res figures require a subscription to one of Autodesk’s premium 3D tools. I tried it out so you don’t have to….

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.50.56 PM
Skins are preset textures. Fortunately there are a wide variety. My “free” figure downloaded with 2048 x 2048 diffuse, gloss, and normal maps.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.50.28 PM
Customizing the figure is a simple (simplistic?) blend of any two existing figure sets. Again there is a wide variety, but forget trying to create something specific. Do you prefer Evelyn’s or Jenna’s nose? How about somewhere between the two? These “names” are not at all helpful. Just click on a tiny thumbnail. Did I mention that once you select a darker skin you will no longer be able to see the details? Whatever, Autodesk.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.51.49 PM
A good variety of hair options. I never found a way to customize the color but this is something I’d set up in my final program anyway. Hair textures also downloaded as 2048 x 2048 with the free figure.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.52.56 PM
A decent selection of contemporary clothing even with the free version, but again I found no way to alter the textures.

My opinion:

Ever since Adobe™ bought Mixamo’s Fuse I’ve been looking around for an alternate figure/rigging tool. Autodesk’s Character Generator offers substantial variety of body shapes and is very easy to use, but lacks Fuse’s commonsense sliders for customization and has no texture controls. I’m not in the Autodesk ecosystem so I was only able to download the free “low res” model (~2600 vertices), a rigged fbx figure with no face blendshapes for expressions or lipsync, although somewhat ironically it has an inner mouth and teeth.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 1.40.38 PM
The face dominates the texture atlas, taking up almost 1/4 of the available pixels, but leaving little room for the body or clothes, a scaling issue that becomes obvious in my Unity screengrab below where the face is sharp but clothes are blurry. The paid option promises higher poly figures and larger textures as well as facial blendshapes, but I did not have access to those features and there were no technical details to be found on the website.

While I like many of the options, Character Generator won’t be replacing Adobe Fuse for me.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.48.43 PM

Access to Character Generator is an additional service provided to customers of the following products on Subscription:
Entertainment Creation Suite (all editions)
Maya
3ds Max
Softimage
MotionBuilder
Mudbox

Autodesk® also offers a subscription for Character Generator for $50/yr

Autodesk Character Generator website