Creating Deformable Avatars

2020 September Edition and newer

This section contains information about creating your own deformable avatars. It is intended for use by experienced 3D artists.

To create a deformable avatar, follow these steps.

  • Step One

    Using the 3D software of your choice, create, in order:

    1. Model of the 3D geometry.

    2. Materials - using basic Phong Shader.

    3. Textures.

    4. Transparent covers - optional. For example, for ears and fingers. For areas where your garments may become entangled with complex body parts - such as a hood becoming entangled with ears, or long sleeves becoming entangled with fingers - prepare an additional transparent layer to cover these areas.

    5. Skeleton.

    6. Skin weights - so the skeleton is bound to the geometry.

    7. Poses on keyframes.

    8. Corrective blend shapes on keyframes - this is optional. It may be useful to fix pose issues.

    9. Locators on bind pose. The locators must follow the naming convention and must be assigned when the avatar is in the bind pose. For information about the naming convention, refer to Anchor Points and Imported Avatars .

    10. Blend shapes. Required if you want to deform the avatar inside VStitcher. If required:

      1. Create each blend shape deformation as the larger size. For example, if the avatar waist is 30” and you want the larger deformation to be 40”, set the size of the blend shape deformation for the waist to 40”.

      2. Give exposed blend shapes a suitable name. When the avatar is imported into VStitcher, the names of exposed blend shapes are displayed in the Edit Avatar pane.

      3. If creating a negative blend shape, ensure it has the same filename as the regular blend shape with the added suffix _Rev. For example, Waist_Rev.

      4. Do not assign keyframes to exposed blend shapes.

  • Step Two

    1. Export the avatar in FBX binary format:

    2. FBX 2014/15 version recommended.

    3. Include blend shapes.

    4. Include morphs.

    5. If option available, enable Embed Media.

  • Step Three

    Import the FBX into VStitcher:

    1. On the Resources tabs, click 3D, then Avatars.

    2. Click Click to start the import, then Import. A file explorer window is displayed. Navigate to where the FBX file is located, select it, then click Open. The FBX file is imported.

    3. On the Edit Avatar pane, click the Measurements tab. This tab displays sliders for each blend shape with a value ranging from -1 to 1. The higher the setting, the closer the avatar shape is to the blend shape. The value of -1 is automatically assigned unless the appropriate blend shape, suitably named, has been provided. (Refer to paragraph 10 in Step One.)

 

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