MakeHuman is developed using 3D morphing technology. Starting from a standard (unique) androgynous human base mesh, it can be transformed into a great variety of characters (male and female), mixing them with linear interpolation. For example, given the four main morphing targets (baby, teen, young, old) it is possible to obtain all the intermediate shapes.
Interpolation of MakeHuman characters: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th are targets, others intermediate shapes.
Using this technology, with a large database of morphing targets, it’s virtually possible to reproduce any character. It uses a very simple GUI in order to access and easily handle hundreds of morphings. The MakeHuman approach is to use sliders with common parameters, like height, weight, gender, ethnicity and muscularity. In order to make it available on all main operating systems, beginning from 1.0 alpha 8 it’s developed in Python using OpenGL and Qt, with an architecture fully realized with plugins.
The tool is specifically designed for the modeling of virtual humans, with a simple and complete pose system that includes the simulation of muscular movement. The interface is easy to use, with fast and intuitive access to the numerous parameters required in modeling the human form.
The development of MakeHuman is derived from a detailed technical and artistic study of the morphological characteristics of the human body. The work deals with morphing, using linear interpolation of both translation and rotation. With these two methods together with a simple calculation of a form factor and an algorithm of mesh relaxing, it is possible to achieve results such as the simulation of muscular movement that accompanies the rotation of the limbs.