Avatar Creation in 3DS MAX


Hi there! I’m pretty new to High Fidelity. I started using it like almost a week ago. I’m a really experienced 3D artist and my company (PROTOFACTOR,INC) has been contacted by HiFi to port some of our content to the upcoming premium marketplace. Basically they’d like to have more avatars…

So I did my homework as good as I could. Read the online documentation, watch online tutorials etc… And so far I managed to import an .fst of an avatar. However the problem is that it’s all jacked up…
I’m pretty sure this is due to the fact that 3DS MAX axis (Z up) are not the same as the one used in HiFi. Basically I think that it all comes down to the rigging part…
I even tried to import in 3DS MAX the default wooden mannequin that is in the install folder and re export it and make an .fst out of it and still, it’s all messed up… I’m really out of ideas… and pretty frustrated.

Does anybody knows how to rig an avatar in 3DS MAX? or even better, does anybody have a sample skeleton in .max format that works with HiFi?

Thanks in advance for your help! :slight_smile:


Hi Profactor,
I can’t help, but am interested in the situation.
If you don’t already attend, you might like to ask at the weekly Zaru Room meeting of about 25 people that happens every week in HighFidelity, Friday afternoons Pacific Standard Time. Several experienced techies there who create avatars.
Or even just go into HighFidelity anytime and ask the greeters who are normally on duty in the various venues (usually there’s about five people in one of the venues).
I myself am keen to build or buy a good avatar that is real-life representing, as well as a wardrobe of other avatars for different occasions.
Bruce Thomson in New Zealand. palmytomo@gmail.com


Thanks for trying to help! :slight_smile:
I’m new to this. Do you happen to know the specific URL for that meeting? I would be interested in attending.
For now I’m going to try my last hope. Mixamo auto rigger…


The mixamo attempt was successful. though i had to import back into 3DS max and re export from there… I still have an issue though: my character won’t walk with the tuch contrller stick… I can only teleport… is ther ea script i need to add to an avatar in order to have it walk?


I’m not in front of interface at the moment and can’t remember 100% menu location, but… what you need is an option for enabling advanced motor controls… that lets you drive AV with sticks. It’s in the menus, somewhere… you might need to enable advanced menu options before it shows.


Good evening, Protofactor!

To enable the Advanced Movement for Controllers, just follow the following steps:

If in an HMD (Oculus, Vive):

  1. Open up your tablet (the App button above the trackpad or Y/B button on the touch controllers)
  2. You should see a button titled “MENU.” Select that using your stylus.
  3. From here, you will see a few menus. One is labelled “Settings.” Select that using your stylus.
  4. You should now see an option called “Advanced Movement for Hand Controllers.” If it isn’t already checked (with a blue box), tap on it once to enable it.

If in Desktop Mode (alternative approach):

  1. Click on Settings in the menu bar.
  2. You should now see an option called “Advanced Movement for Hand Controllers.” If it isn’t already checked (with a check box), click on it once to enable it.

From here, you should be able to move using the left stick (Oculus) or left trackpad AFTER pressing around the edges like a button (Vive). You can jump by tapping up on the right stick (Oculus) or clicking the upper edge on the Vive controller. Note that by holding on the ‘jump’ function, it will cause you to fly after a brief period. Flight controls are identical to that of walking around, but the orientation is ALWAYS relative to where you are looking (example: Pressing Downward on the right stick/trackpad while looking up will cause you to fly forward, since your head’s “down” is now forward).

Hopefully this has answered your question regarding movement.

As for the Z orientation, I believe blender also has the option to define the orientation from any axis. I have used it to fix Fuse avatars in the past (for material issues), so perhaps that is an alternative solution to fixing the axis direction.


Avatar creation is possible without mixamo. I’m not here to be a mud slinger; I’m very happy your company has agreed to take the plunge. There are a few Alphas that should be able to help you.

Welcome to high fi. :wink:


Hey palmytomo, I’m in your same position. I want a bunch of avatars ready to go depending on what I’m up to in HF. I’ve been experimenting with Morph3d and their in VR avatar creation process (ReadyRoom) without much success so far - but I’ll keep at it. I’ve recently downloaded Adobe’s Fuse and I’m becoming familiar with Mixamo…and Blender. Just went to the Avatar Creator workshop earlier this week in HF with Ozan - which was very helpful. Look forward to creating, buying, and paying other people to make me a bunch of great avatars.


Thank you. I hope those alphas would be able to help. I just went in HiFi this morning and talked to some greeters. They told me when would the meeting happen to be able to talk to some techs. Hopefully they’ll be able to help me out. I’m also in touch with Caitlyn from Hifi, I’m sure she’ll be able to point me towards the right direction.
Our creations are done without mixamo initially… But so far we had to go with their services in order to rig an avatar properly for HiFi; We’re going to inspect some more the rig to see what could be the issue.
Really looking forward to being able to create our own avatar using our own tools.


Thanks for all the info. When I restarted HiFi this morning the avatar was walking… There might be some caching issue with the server or something…


Hi Andrew,
Two heads are better than one…
If you feel like comparing notes in the Zaru room or other site within
HighFidelity or by Skype sometime, just contact me there. I’m either
Palmytomo or Bruce Thomson in Palmerston North, New Zealand. I’m ‘retired’,
so my time is flexible. You could just email saying you were free and we
could go online then or some hours after perhaps.
Topics of interest…

  • Easy and cheap avatar creation
  • New dimensions of experience in VR, like ‘being other people’
  • Creating interviews in VR, either comical or purposeful role playing
  • Creating objects in VR that might be good and make money, e.g. contexts
    for discussions or psychodelic preferably without drugs (or if people
    wanted to they could use drugs as well)
  • SecondLife, and IMVU and other VR worlds.
  • Haptics

Bruce Thomson
20 Lyndhurst Street, Palmerston North, New Zealand
021 176 9711 357 7773 palmytomo@gmail.com


yes things get cached if after the url you put a ?v1 ?v1 it uncaches it so www.model.com?v1 www.model.com?v2


Hello Protofactor.

I am a long time Max user. I have very little experience with rigging but I was able to import avatars which were already rigged for HiFi, modify them and export FBXs that still worked as long as the skeletons root node was in the correct orientation. When I had problems I exported the FBXs in ASCII format so I could inspect them to get a better idea what was going wrong.

What sort of jacked/messed up results are you getting?


Oh! My savior??!!
Well, i have quite a bunch of questions I’m wondering. At the moment, my results from max are yielding to a character that is hovering horizontally above the ground… Like lying down with the face facing up… It looks obvious that is because of a wrong root orientation… trying to re orientate the root still led to the same result though…
I’m rigging with the character studio Biped. Also it looks like the rig from mixamo has the Hips joint as a root. In the 3Ds max Biped you have a root then the hips (which are still in the exact same position).
Questions i’m wondering:

  • Is it possible to create an avatar that doesn’t have 5 fingers with 4 joints per finger?
  • is it possible to have less than 3 spines bones?
  • is it possible to have more than one neck bone?

It looks like the Hi Fi package model has a re targeting feature for the bone names, are those the main bones required?
I read the documentation: https://docs.highfidelity.com/create-and-explore/avatars/avatar-standards
Is it the requirement? and we can’t have any flexibility?
I’m currently in 3ds max trying to make some tests… but it’s getting frustrating now… :frowning:
Thanks again for trying to help me out! :slight_smile:


@Photon: we can meet in hi fi if you’d like also.


here is what the root (hips) of a character of mine rigged in mixamo looks like (fbx ASCII):
Model: 2702866947808, “Model::mixamorig:Hips”, “LimbNode” {
Version: 232
Properties70: {
P: “InheritType”, “enum”, “”, “”,1
P: “ScalingMax”, “Vector3D”, “Vector”, “”,0,0,0
P: “DefaultAttributeIndex”, “int”, “Integer”, “”,0
P: “Lcl Translation”, “Lcl Translation”, “”, “A”,0.000175099383341148,0.245952814817429,113.671417236328
P: “Lcl Rotation”, “Lcl Rotation”, “”, “A+”,89.999982013911,0.00197720719556377,6.21661231605804e-05
P: “MaxHandle”, “int”, “Integer”, “UH”,196

And here is what another one but rigged in max look like:

Model: 2702866958768, “Model::VAMPIRE_ Pelvis”, “LimbNode” {
Version: 232
Properties70: {
P: “InheritType”, “enum”, “”, “”,1
P: “ScalingMax”, “Vector3D”, “Vector”, “”,0,0,0
P: “DefaultAttributeIndex”, “int”, “Integer”, “”,0
P: “LODBox”, “bool”, “”, “”,1
P: “Lcl Translation”, “Lcl Translation”, “”, “A”,0,26.4997749328613,141.73405456543
P: “Lcl Rotation”, “Lcl Rotation”, “”, “A”,90.0000453068457,-3.59721780747982e-05,0.000117934454628642
P: “mr displacement use global settings”, “Bool”, “”, “AU”,1
P: “mr displacement view dependent”, “Bool”, “”, “AU”,1
P: “mr displacement method”, “Integer”, “”, “AU”,6,0,100
P: “mr displacement smoothing on”, “Bool”, “”, “AU”,1
P: “mr displacement edge length”, “Number”, “”, “AU”,2,0,100
P: “mr displacement max displace”, “Number”, “”, “AU”,20,0,100
P: “mr displacement parametric subdivision level”, “Integer”, “”, “AU”,5,0,100
P: “MaxHandle”, “int”, “Integer”, “UH”,142.
Maybe I’ll be making one last test where, I’ll re parent the legs and spine to the real Biped’s root (not the hips) and doesn’t export that pelvis bone…


I’ve imported skeletons, you can delete the ‘root’ and use ‘Hips’ as Root.

Yes as long as the naming convention found in @Menithals documentation is closely adhered to.

I speak from a long duration deep-dive on avatar creation. If you find my answers contrary to your results; do the community a favor and publish them here.

Sharing is Caring!



@AlphaVersionD : thanks for taking part in this.

You said “I’ve imported skeletons”. What skeleton are you talking about exactly? The 3DS max Biped? Are you a 3ds max user?

Thanks a lot for all the other answers! that’s really good to know.

Where can I find @Menithals documentation? Is it different than the one from HiFi?