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Before the MHX2 importer can be used, it must be enabled in Blender. In the Addon tab, select the MakeHuman category. Enable the MHX2 importer by clicking in the checkbox in the upper-right corner, next to the running man icon. If you wish to enable the MHX2 importer every time you initialize Blender, press the Save User Settings button at the bottom-left corner. The importer can also be invoked from the tools panel. Either way, a file selector is opened.
The importer options are found at the bottom of the left-hand side.
The only import option is called Override Exported Data. Leave it unchecked this is the defaultselect the exported. There are some things to notice.
First, the character is rigged with the skeleton chosen in MakeHuman.
In particular, the new official MakeHuman rig can be imported in this way. Second, vertices masked by clothes are removed from the human mesh. Depending on what you want, this may or may not be the desired behaviour.
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In particular, it is not possible to change or remove clothes in Blender, because there is no body below. Third, the alternative topology is imported. In the default mode, the character is imported into Blender exactly as it looked in MakeHuman, including the alternative topology. If it were only possible to import characters exactly in the same way as they were designed in MakeHuman, there would be little reason to introduce a new format; FBX and Collada can already achieve this.
The true power of MHX2 is that the exported character can be modified on import.
Select the Override Exported Data checkbox. Several new import options appear. Leave all options at their default values and import the character. Jane Doe is loaded into the scene, but this time the mesh is not rigged, because the Add Rig checkbox in the Rigging section was no selected. If the Helper Geometry option is selected, the full MakeHuman mesh including helper geometry is imported; otherwise, only the body is included. If the Offset option is selected, the mesh is displaced so the object location coincides with the ground joint helper halfway between the feet; otherwise, the origin is placed at the center of mass in the pelvis area.
If the Add Rig option is enabled, more options become available in the Rigging section. The default is Exported, i. We can also use Import Human Type to control which human mesh is imported: Body the MakeHuman base meshProxy the alternative topologyor Both. Female in the outliner. Here the base mesh and the low-poly proxy have been moved to separate layers and the mask modifiers have been removed.
If no alternative topology was selected when the character was exported from MakeHuman, the base mesh is always imported.
The MHX rig will be described on another page. For this to work, it is necessary that the Rigify add-on is enabled; it is found in the Rigging category. The MHX2 importer signals an error otherwise. With a rigified rig is selected, various panels appear in the user interface panel to the right of the viewport.
Those panels are controlled by Rigify and beyond the scope of the MHX2 importer. Finally, there is a selection of straight-forward FK rigs for special target applications. The Custom Shapes option control the visible appearance of the bones.
Note that the face shapes are not yet final, but will be tweaked in the future. To enable import with facial shapekeys, select the Face Shapes option. The body mesh becomes equipped with a large number of shapekeys, hopefully with self-explanatory names. A character typically consists of several separate meshes body, eyebrows, eyelashes, teeth, hair, clothes, etc. Shapekeys are transferred from the body to all other relevant meshes.
However, there is a problem: The picture above shows how the brows are raised on the body, but not on the eyebrows mesh. To circumvent this problem, the shapekeys can be driven by armature properties.
When the Face Shapes option is selected, the new option Face Drivers appears just below it. The Add Rig option must also be enabled, because the face shapes will be driven by armature properties. The shapekey values of all meshes are now controlled simultaneously by the properties in this panel.
The little pin icon to the right of the shape value pins that shape, i. Controlling the shapekey value by rig properties is also valuable for file linking, because normally only the armature is proxified. When the button for a certain viseme is pressed, the mouth area forms the corresponding sound.
Only the mouth area is affected, i. Other shapekeys such as the eyebrows are unchanged. It may be unintuitive to drive the face shape values from a long list of armature properties. A more user-friendly alternative is to use bones arranged around a bone with a special custom shape.
This was the way face shapes were controlled back in MakeHuman alpha 6. The face representation is added when with option is selected. Note that Face Drivers and Face Panel are mutually exclusive. The viseme buttons work with the face panel as well. The buttons move the bones in the face representation, which in turn drive the face shapekeys of all meshes.
This works with file linking as well. Just as with the default unmodified import, the modified import also hides vertices under clothes. However, unlike the unmodified import, the hidden vertices are not destructively removed. Instead, for each piece of clothing covering part of the body, the body mesh has a mask modifier.
Visibility of the body mesh can be toggled on and off in the mask modifiers. The camera button affects rendering, the eye button affects the viewport, and the cube-with-corners button affects edit mode. Visibility drivers are added after the character has been imported into Blender.
This adds visibility drivers to every mesh that is a child of the rig. Note that if extra meshes are added to the character in Blender, they will also have visibility drivers. There the visibility of every mesh can be toggle on and off with the rig selected. When the visibility of the suit is turned off, so is the corresponding mask modifier, and the whole body is visible. The MHX2 importer can add genitals to the character.
If the character was already exported with genitalia from MakeHuman, it is replaced by the added genital. The main reason to replace the standard MakeHuman genitalia is that the MHX2 version is snapped to the body mesh. If the hidden body vertices are removed and the body and genital meshes are merged, the genital is seamlessly joined with the body.
To add genitalia, press the Male or Female button in the importer. In this case the female genital is added. After visibility drivers have been added and the suit has been hidden, we see how the body and vulva meshes match at the boundary. The MHX2 importer can join the different meshes that constitute the character into a single mesh.
Any mesh modifiers corresponding to joined meshes are applied to make sure that hidden vertices are really deleted. The options that control this are found in the Merging section.
Import into Blender
In the picture above, female genitalia has been added, and the body parts have been merged with the body. Note that there are only three meshes whose visibility is controlled by rig properties: All other meshes have been joined with the body. Note also that the boundary of the female genital is not only snapped to body vertices, but duplicate vertices have been merge, making the genital seamlessly integrated with the body mesh. Merging genitals to a proxy mesh is in general a bad idea.
The genitals have been designed to integrate seamlessly with the base mesh. This will not work with a different topology. Finally, the picture above shows the result of merging all meshes, by setting the Maximum Merge Type to Clothes. MakeHuman exports polygon hair. Although this can produce excellent results, some people prefer to use particle hair, e. If Hair has been selected, the importer ends in Particle Edit mode with the human mesh selected. Before finilizing import by changing to Object mode, verify that the Free Edit and Disconnect Hair buttons appear in the particle systems context.
This is very important, because otherwise the hair will probably give you unpleasant surprises. If a proxy mesh has been imported and Hair On Proxy is selected, the hair is assigned to the proxy mesh instead.
In this case MHX2 import stops in particle edit mode with the proxy mesh selected. If Add Deflector is enabled, a low-poly deflector mesh is added to act as a collision object; the body mesh itself should not be used as a collision object, because the high poly-count makes simulations slow.