These notes are under construction and may be incomplete. Further, the notes do as of yet describe an alpha version of a coming release. The final release might be different from what is described below.
"MakeHuman Community 1.2.0" is a major update of the underlying code, where the focus has been to replace outdated dependencies and modernize the system. Further, a shift in focus has been made to position MakeHuman as a shared tool serving the larger community through integrated access to third party assets and extended functionality.
The following are the changes since version 1.1.1.
- The codebase has received a major overhaul to bring it up to date with modern versions of Python and Qt
- Third party assets can be downloaded from within MakeHuman with a simple point and click procedure
- There is a completely new Blender integration, with support for socket transfers, IK and Kinect
- Improved internationalization support for non-ASCII characters (backported?)
- Plugins in user space
- Plugins activation at runtime
- Improved tag sorting capabilities
- Tags for models (with configurable tag count)
- Show Name Tags instead of file names in the file loader.
- Saving model as target
- Real weight estimation
- Configurable location for the home folder
- MHX2 is bundled in the default installation
- There is a new installer for windows
- There is a new PPA for ubuntu. This PPA also offers build of plugins.
- Using Jupyter for the shell utility, if available on the system (currently not working for MakeHuman windows builds)
- FBX skeleton will still misbehave
- There are still graphics card incompatibilities in the OpenGL code
- There is no build for OSX
This version uses the same file formats as 1.1.x in almost all cases. The only exception is MHM files (which are produced when clicking "save model" in MakeHuman). 1.2.x is able to open MHM files produced in 1.1.x, and the result will look exactly the same as in 1.1.x. However, 1.1.x will not be able to open MHM files saved by 1.2.x.
For all other assets, things should work the same and look the same in both versions, using the same files.
Running from source
If you want to run MakeHuman directly from source (rather than downloading a binary build), you will have to replace almost all dependencies. It is also possible that not all dependencies will install smoothly beside the dependencies for 1.1.x.
The following are the minimum required dependency versions for MakeHuman Community 1.2.0:
- Python: 3.6.4 or higher
- PyQt: 5.10.0 or higher
- NumPy: 1.13.0 or higher
- PyOpenGL: Any modern version will work, including the one used for MakeHuman 1.1.x
In order to fulfill the minimum dependency requirements listed above, you will need Ubuntu 18.04 or later. For earlier ubuntu versions, you would have use backports of the dependencies, as they are not available in the default installation.
The PPA for this build is here: ppa:makehuman-official/makehuman-community.
To enable it, run:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:makehuman-official/makehuman-community sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install makehuman-community
The upgraded codebase
The main focus of this release has been to modernize the code. In the prior version, large parts was written more than eight years ago, and relied on libraries and code structures which are no longer functional in a modern context. More in detail:
- The system was written for python 2.6 and then upgraded when needed to python 2.7. The expected end of life for python 2.7 is in less than two years.
- The user interface was implemented in Qt4, via PyQt4. Both Qt4 and PyQt4 got deprecated years ago, and Riverside (the authors of PyQt) removed all PyQt4 windows binaries, meaning we could no longer provide windows builds.
Thus, the need to bring the code up to modern times became critical. We realized that the system would soon not be possible to run or develop on several platforms.
Going through the code to update it has taken some considerable time (years actually), but it has had the added benefit that we have also reviewed almost all sections of the code and fixed a lot of minor bugs and glitches.
Most users will probably not notice much difference: the user interfaces in 1.2.0 and 1.1.1 are almost identical. But it was work that needed to be done before we could move forward with implementing new features.
This version of MakeHuman bundles the asset downloader plugin. By using this you can access all the hundreds of user contributed assets that are available via the MakeHuman Community.
Within the UI you can search for assets, show screenshots, read about details and download. Downloaded assets are automatically placed in your local asset directory so that you can
immediately go to the geometries tabs and, for example, equip the newly downloaded clothes.
New blender integration
This release bundles a rich set of blender functionalitites, which can be added to blender in the form of an addon. Not all functionality will be listed here, but the following are some highlights.
Import directly from MakeHuman
In blender it is now possible to fetch a toon directly from a running instance of MakeHuman, without having to first save the toon to a file. The importer will talk with the makehuman instance and fetch all meshes (such as the body, hair clothes...), materials, rigs and poses. The process is almost instantaneous (a toon with a lot of clothes might take a few seconds to import).
The importer UI supports a wide range of settings and presets. By using a preset you can, for example, import a body mesh suitable for using together with MakeClothes. This will make it significantly easier to develop assets aimed at a specific body type.
Note that for the importer to work, you will have to go to the Community -> Socket tab in MakeHuman and enable "Accept connections". Otherwise MakeHuman won't answer, and you will get an error in Blender.
IK and amputations
The importer will use the skeleton set in MakeHuman to rig the resulting character in Blender. The rig can then be extended with the "IK rig" functionality: By clicking a button you can get extra IK controls, and IK chains set up for arms, legs and fingers.
Rigs can also be amputated in case detailed bones are not required.
All rigs currently available to MakeHuman are supported.
To be written
A new windows installer
The windows version is now distributed as an executable installer that supports uninstall. After installing MakeHuman, it can now be found on the start menu like all other normal windows application.
Note that it is no longer recommended to go to the installation folder and start MakeHuman manually there. In order to do so, you would have to manually set up an environment for python, something which is handled automatically by the start menu entry.
Other bundled functionality
Apart from the above, some other functionality that previously had to be downloaded separately is now bundled:
MHX2 is now enabled per default in MakeHuman. The blender side of MHX2 is bundled as a zip file which can be added to blender via the user preferences.
MHAPI (a library with convenience calls for making addons for MakeHuman) is now included and enabled per default.