Bootstrapping avatar creation



Does anyone have a 30-second explanation of what tools or tutorials I could peruse to get started creating my own avatar?

So far I’ve had some false starts trying to play with Blender and a SL template.

Questions I think I’ve got so far:

  • What software are you using?
  • What (at a very high level) does your workflow look like?
  • Do I create one FBX for the head, and a totally separate headless FBX for the skeleton?

I appreciate any pointers y’all might have.



Hi Tony!

I created some docs and put them on our wiki. Hopefully they will help and answer some questions. They are works in progress so if you run into issues, give me a shout and I will modify them.

At a high level, we are using Maya to create both the head and skeleton (body) meshes, and the blendshapes and save them as fbx files. We then take the head over to Faceshfit’s client to do the rigging and save the mappings as a .fst file. We do support Blender though and depending on your version and plugins, you can import and export the fbx format.

Our client allows you to specify a .fst file for loading - one for the head and one for the skeleton.

You don’t need Faceshift’s client to create a fst file however, it is just a text file and the docs should tell you how to make it work.

As far as using the SL template, there is no reason it can’t work. Just separate the head and the body. For the body, if it doesn’t have a skelton, you will have to do that. There are some cool tools out there that do that automagically. Check out for their rigger.


Where can I buy a PrimeSense Carmine. It looks like Faceshift requires it.

Is an Asus Xtion Pro Live comparable?

For that matter, does anybody have an extra avatar lying around? I realize that avatar creation is a big part of the fun, but I want to get straight into writing Javascript articulating behaviors.


Hi @webdood,

Since Apple bought PrimeSense, you can’t really buy them anymore.
If you really want one, you could probably find a used one online.

Looks like you wouldn’t have any problem using a Asus Xtion Pro Live Pro though, see here.


Thanks @Atlante45! Looks like I am going to try to buy an Asus Xtion Pro.


I’ve had very good results with the Asus Xtion Pro Live and I picked mine up from Amazon. As soon as I get a moment I am intending to document the Faceshift setup, but in the meantime Emily sent me outline details that were enough to get me started.


I have added some links to using Faceshift on our wiki as well. Training in Faceshift.


I’ve now added my notes on Faceshift here.