Mutable is a completely flexible character and prop customization system for UE4, with no predetermined meshes, skeletons, textures or morphs that force you into a particular template, look or functionality.
You can create the customizable prop or character you want (doesn’t even have to be a biped or an animal for that matter, you could even make customizable trees or objects) with the control parameters and degrees of freedom you want and Mutable will create a standard and efficient UE4 skeletal mesh for you to use. These skeletal meshes can either be created in realtime in-game, or can be baked into standard assets during production in the UE4 editor. This enables you to use Mutable as another powerful art pipeline tool.
Customizable characters are developed with the Mutable graph editor, which is completely integrated into the UE4 editor and very comparable to UE4’s own material editor. Mutable has both a C++ and Blueprint API to control the character customization in-game.
Why use Mutable?
Use your own assets, art, look and design
Not predefined libraries that force you into a certain look. Characters can be realistic, cartoonish or whatever your team can imagine.
Use your own skeleton and animations
Mutable doesn’t impose a skeleton, you can use your own that doesn’t even have to be a biped, for example a horse or a spider.
Mutable is completely integrated into UE4
Artists and designers can work directly in the UE4 editor reducing the overhead of having to use external tools and importing/exporting to them. Mutable will work with any skeletal mesh or texture asset that has already been imported into UE4, so there is no need for special and cumbersome asset pipelines from artist tools into Mutable.
Characters generated by Mutable are just normal UE4 meshes
Mutable just generates skeletal meshes, materials and textures without any kind of special non-standard asset.
They can be even baked to UE4 persistent assets to create a huge arsenal of characters for your offline character pipeline and used in projects that do not have the Mutable plugin installed and even imported back to your 3D editing software of choice.
The parts that can be customized are not predefined
Artists and designers are free to establish what can be customized and how.
Not restricted to characters
Can make arbitrary customizable objects that can be used independently like customizable vehicles, weapons or as part of characters like backpacks.
Custom texture layouts
Each part customizable part can get its own texture, or a subarea of a main common layout for all parts. Useful for saving texture memory and/or drawcall reduction.
Prevent z-fighting of layers of cloth on top of each other
Top cloth parts like jackets can clip the covered/hidden regions of parts like shirts while retaining the visible ones. Hats can clip hair. Loose wide trousers can be tugged into high boots.
Project multiple layers of images
Textures can be projected onto specific character parts and mask them as you wish. Useful for tattoos, stickers, scars, aging and make-up effects.
Mutable characters can have metadata
Metadata can be items such as tags and icons, which can be used to drive data-oriented customization lobbies or UIs. Mutable provides a sample lobby with the cyborg character, which can automatically add customization options to the UI as the artists add new parts to the characters.
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