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Epic Games Releases Weta’s ‘Meerkat’ Hair and Fur Sample Project

VFX powerhouse has worked closely with Epic to fine-tune Unreal Engine’s strand-based Hair and Fur system; downloadable scene gives users a firsthand look at the production tool in action.

Epic Games has announced that the Meerkat short film, recently created by visual effects powerhouse Weta Digital, showcases Unreal Engine’s new production-ready Hair and Fur system and is now available as a sample project. Users can download the entire scene and see firsthand exactly how it was created in the behind-the-scenes feature. The short film debuted as part of the Unreal Build: Virtual Production event last month.

Weta Digital’s Meerkat Real-Time Hair & Fur short:

The award-winning VFX studio is home to many leading CG hair and fur experts, with experience on such films as King Kong, The Jungle Book, and The Planet of the Apes franchise. As real-time technology becomes an increasingly important part of the filmmaking process, Weta Digital has worked closely with Epic Games to explore how far they can push final pixel-quality hair, fur, and feathers in real-time. The company has helped to fine-tune Unreal Engine’s strand-based Hair and Fur system since its initial release in 2019, and their experience and knowledge has played a key role in making Hair and Fur now production-ready for authoring, simulation, and rendering in real time in the new Unreal Engine 4.26 release.

The Making of Meerkat Real-Time Hair & Fur short:

With the Meerkat free sample project, users will get the fully rigged and animated characters, together with their desert environment, cameras, effects, and audio, to use for learning, experimentation, or to create new content. Users will also get the Maya files, final textures, and materials, and more.

Source: Epic Games