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When we revealed our short film The Heretic, the question you asked the most was, “Are you going to release this?” We’re happy to tell you that one of the most requested elements of this production — the Digital Human Character and Technology stack — is now available for you to download.

While working on the realistic digital human in The Heretic, the Demo Team needed to set up a complete data pipeline, from the acquisition of 3D and 4D data through processing and into set up in Unity. We developed some technologies to enable this. While a lot more work remains to be done in the future, we’re sharing what we have today, so that you can look into the current state of our efforts. You’re free to use these tools in your productions and build on top of them as you see fit.

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Facial animation systems
    • Tools for 4D clip import and processing. When we say 4D, we mean a sequence of meshes captured over time.
    • 4D clip rendering with timeline integration.
    • 4D frame fitting, allowing detail injection from facial rig.
    • Integration of facial rig from Snappers.
    • Pose facial rig directly in Unity.
  • Skin attachment system
    • Drive meshes and transforms in relation to dynamically deforming skin.
    • Used to drive eyebrows, eyelashes, stubble and logical markers.
    • Accelerated by C# Job System and Burst Compiler.
  • Shaders and rendering
    • Full shader graphs for skin/eyes/teeth/hair as seen in The Heretic.
    • Custom pass for cross-material normal buffer blur (tearline).
    • Custom marker-driven occlusion for eyes and teeth.


We’re also releasing the character Gawain, a digital character modeled after British actor Jake Fairbrother. This 3D character is available to you for the purpose of learning, research, and similar non-commercial use intended for the advancement and sharing of knowledge in the space of real-time graphics and content creation. 


Requirements for the Digital Human package:

  • Unity version: 2019.3.12f1 + 
  • HDRP version: 7.3.1 +
  • Git-LFS 
  • Supported platforms: All platforms supported by HDRP


You can download it from the Asset Store or clone it from GitHub: 


Use Unity Package Manager to get GitHub packages directly from the Unity Editor. See the documentation for more details.

We’ve also put together an executable version of the sample package (Windows only), which you can also get from GitHub (1.04 GB).

Extra resources

Learn more about the project on The Heretic website. We’re working on further releases, blog posts, presentations, and video breakdowns, and will be adding all the extra resources there.

18 replies on “The Heretic: Digital Human package out now”

Too late, Epic Games just hit very hard with their UE5 announcement, we still have delays on ArtEngine, no production HDRP and many other stuff. I feel even releasing the full Heretic scene as sample, will not capture the audience attention enough to start a project on Unity.

Well i disagree, hdrp has been out since one year, and the heretic demo happened last year and before that unity used photogrammetrie asset with the book of the dead demo.
So basically UE5 is two years late.

Have you seen the Unreal 5 demo?? Unity is like a dinosaur that is looking the meteor approaching. Is 10 years that I’m using Unity but it doesn’t mean that i can’t recognise something mind blowing if i see it.

in a long time i was in idea that LOD system is not most create one high quality asset and game engine reduce or increase details automatically.

There should be always some degree of doubt about anything epic demonstrates. They did show fully dynamic GI in UE4 demo in 2012. They did say that it is production ready feature. And it still weren’t happen in 2020 (for 8(!) years).

That is a bit of a rash assumption. Yes people looking to start somewhere will probably see the shiny demo and choose Unreal, but there are more factors in play.

This is something that is still a year away from being available, them promising a short upgrade path is a nice thing but a lot can happen in that time.

If you are invested in Unity, and build prior games on it you will probably have a library of things that can be reused and have to be rebuild in a new engine you have no experience in. It would have to be a clean start. And the switch from C# to C++ is one I’m not looking forward to make and is one of the main reasons I did not choose Unreal in the first place.

What I think is one of the biggest issues Unity is facing is the amount of money Epic is throwing at their platform. So much is free to use, and while Unity is also acquiring a lot of companies, I think they really are making it hard for small teams to choose Unity over Unreal when it comes to thing that are free to use.

It is unrealistic to think that Unity can compete at the same level as Epic, just because of funding. But Unity used to be a great alternative before Epic changed their pricing, and the stupid dark theme is still behind the pay wall of stuff you don’t need as an indie dev.

Epic announcing free cross platform and not fee for first $1M couple with UE5 is also landing at a very bad time for Unity. So many users and companies are frustrated with incomplete features and instability that I fear this will hurt us bad. Every community member we lose ultimately will affect us all. Epic when for the jugular here

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