Now, I’ve been working on renewed PBR version of the FenFen Avatar which I have been planning on releasing on the Marketplace for free for the use of the general Hifi Populance.
However, here comes an issue, I’d like to for the end user to have the ability to switch clothing / provide default attachments on the avatar when it is put into the marketplace.
Forexample, right now the WIP PBR version of FenFen, my old avatar that I been teasing on releasing to the market since last year, avatar looks like this
For clothing the avatar would have to be split up into components, such as, arms, hips, torso so that it could encompass multiple clothing configuration which may or may not fit. And not everyone has the modeling skills, nor the experience to do so, so it is upto the avatar creation to decide how customizable the avatar is. Especially this early on when Hifi needs to attract users, and now that we are in beta, and steam release is looming.
Head gear is fun and all, but full avatars and their inworld customization is what would differentiate HiFi from every other current released HMD based Virtual Reality social platform out there right now, other than the “open” nature. The list of these competators is just growing, but end users care about polish of content, customization of their avatars and environments more than just “Openness”.
Forexample, this is my own personal coat that you guys have seen me use around the place, which unfortunatelly I cant release to the marketplace (as its based on [clothing from an anime character] (http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/p__/images/7/75/Nyanta.png/revision/latest?cb=20160519110254&path-prefix=protagonist) even if it is my own creation)
For this avatar, the coat clips a bit, would need me to hide the torso, Like I do with my current personal avatar
I could technically also use it on the other avatars, if I did some mods to the clothing and the other avatar.
But the issue rises that If Id create a few sets of clothing for it (such as sets of shirts, shorts, pants, coat, etc), there is no way to connect the avatar to its clothing (that fit) on the marketplace, nor have the ability for someone to go sans clothing (if they so wish, I am not the one to judge as an avatar creator), nor be able to say “these are the default clothing”, and “this is the avatar as naked as the avatar creator allows it to be” without extensive mods.
Similarly, If Id be using the Photo-Real Male Avatar (Mathew), or the Photo-Real Female Avatar, End Users have no other way to customize, or create clothing for those avatars without exporting them and doing adjustments like what many of the veterans such as @Piper.Peppercorn has done. There is no way everyone will know how, nor have the time. SL’s Avatar economy is a testament to this, and every content creator vet from SL knows this.
Social VR platforms, avatars are a really, really important piece of it, even if you might not see it when you are in the HMD. After all it is a “representation of you” as a user. So, I really do suggest that we need improved avatar distribution methods onto the marketplace, and additional features that support this on it, along with avatar customization.
Hiding via vertex groups would be the ideal method, but I am not aside on splitting the avatar into parts, even if it will create material issues. But this would require for clothing to have definitions on “what groups” should be hidden when the clothing is worn.
CC: @Caitlyn, as you are the director of content