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Written by Daniel Marcinkowski
Ready Player Me avatar maker now supports exporting avatars to VRChat. Create your avatar from a photo, upload it to VRChat, and join the rest of the community on PC or Oculus Quest.
VRChat is the world’s leading social VR platform. Accessible with or without a VR headset on PC and Oculus Quest, creators can build and publish custom content to the platform using the VRChat SDK. After uploading their avatar or world, creators can share what they’ve made with the community. Users of the VRChat platform commonly spend many hours per session engaging with each other and their creations.
The VRChat community creates over 300,000 worlds. There are many incredible hangouts, games, events, performances, and imaginative places to visit. For example, during the last New Year’s Eve event, over 40,000 people logged into VRChat simultaneously to usher in 2021. There are also Avatar worlds where creators and curators set up avatar pedestals for players to use them.
VRChat players that want something unique can use the VRChat SDK to customize their avatars to express their identity. Last year, developers behind the platform announced a major expansion to their avatar SDK and systems: Avatars 3.0 (or AV3). The new avatar system allows creators to add advanced expressions and save states. Players can access them through the new Action Menu.
Create your personal VRChat avatar with Ready Player Me
VRChat integration was a top request ever since we released Ready Player Me last year. We spent months working on the integration to get it right and make it compatible with AV3, both on PC and Quest. There is no better way to express your identity in a virtual world than through an avatar that resembles yourself.
Starting today, you can upload your personal Ready Player Me avatar to VRChat.
Like with our full-body and Cyberpunk avatars, all you need to do is to upload a selfie. Our machine learning algorithm will generate a 3D model based on the photo. If you don’t want to upload a photo, you can also skip this step and go directly to the avatar maker.
You can customize every detail of your avatar. Choose a hairstyle, eyebrows, eyes and their colors, clothes, glasses, and much more. In total, Ready Player Me features 200 different avatar customization options, and the list keeps growing. Our art team is sharing new assets on our Discord. Let us know if there’s anything specific you want us to add.
For many, creating an avatar in VRChat is both a daunting and very important task. We’re excited to work with Wolf3D to help make avatar creation easier and more accessible for everyone in the VRChat universe!
~ Graham Gaylor, Co-Founder & CEO of VRChat
Creating your own Ready Player Me avatar for VRChat is simple and takes just a few steps.https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/6c1m8va0_Fg
- Visit readyplayer.me/vrchat and click on “Create your avatar.”
- Capture or upload a photo. You can also skip this step and continue without a photo.
- It will take 5-10 seconds to get you a perfect virtual avatar. Using an AI model we’ve trained on 20,000 face scans, we create an avatar from a photo.
- Customize your avatar’s hair, eyes, tattoos, clothes, and more. You can make the avatar look just like you or completely different!
- When you’re done, click “Next”. On the next page, click “Import to VRChat,” log in to your account, and give Ready Player Me app access.
- Wait around 10-15 minutes for the avatars to sync with VRChat. It’s going to appear in the “Other” section of the “Avatars” tab.
You can always revisit the website and edit your avatar’s features, like changing the outfit or hairstyle. Our art team is working hard to bring even more customization options.
We can’t wait to hear your feedback and ideas for cool new assets. Share your VRChat avatars using #readyplayerme on Twitter or Instagram.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ready Player Me VRChat 3D Avatars.
I created a VRChat avatar but can’t use it because it’s listed as private.
You’re most likely using a modified version of VRChat that our avatars do not support. If not, please try reinstalling the game.
Update: emmVRC added support for our avatars. Remember that using a modified version of VRChat is against their Terms of Services.
Can I use the VRChat avatar without a VRChat account, just with a Steam or an Oculus account?
No. A VRChat account is required.
Is it possible to export an avatar to VRM?
Not yet, but we are working on adding a VRM export option.
How can I delete an avatar in VRChat?
Currently, it’s not possible, but VRChat developers are working on adding this feature.
Where can I find the avatar after importing it to VRChat?
It’s going to appear in the “Other” section of the “Avatars” tab. Note that the avatar will appear only in the game, not on VRChat’s online platform.
Why avatar imported to Unity doesn’t have textures?
You need to extract the textures to show up in Unity.
- Click FBX avatar in the assets window.
- Click “Extract Textures…” in the Inspector window.
- It should open a window asking for a folder. You don’t have to change or click anything here. Click “Select Folder” in the bottom right corner of the window to select the folder you are already in.
Finding the right balance between realistic and abstract 3D avatars
What we learned about 3D avatars in 7 years of making them
Christoph Niemann is an illustrator whose work was featured on over thirty New Yorker magazine covers. In the first episode of Netflix’s docuseries “Abstract,” Niemann introduced a concept called abstract-o-meter. It suggests that every idea has a just-right way to represent it. It can’t be too abstract nor too realistic. For example, no one would know that you meant to talk about love if you used a red pixel to represent it. The same thing applies to a realistic drawing of heart, which looks more disgusting rather than lovely. Hence when we talk about love, we use the heart-shaped symbol that everyone is familiar with.
The same concept applies to 3D avatars we use to represent our identities in virtual worlds and show our emotions to others.
Abstract 3D avatars are too simple
It’s hard to show our expressions in games with a simple and abstract visual style. In Minecraft, the avatar’s face measures 8×8 pixels. It’s barely enough room to fit eyes and a mouth – not enough to represent a wide range of emotions. In fact, Minecraft doesn’t offer any expressions besides blinking with compatible character skins.
Showing your identity in a world made of big pixels isn’t a simple task either. You can give someone a general idea of how you look and what colors you like to wear. But it would be hard to distinguish, for example, a black denim jacket from an elegant blazer.
Hyper-realistic 3D avatars are too realistic
On the other side of the spectrum, we have hyper-realistic avatars. In Rogue One, Disney created a digital version of Wilhuff Tarkin based on the actor who played him a few decades before – Peter Cushing. This was possible thanks to advanced motion tracking technology and an actor (Guy Henry) who learned how to behave and talk like Cushing.
The same technique is used in modern AAA games, like Cyberpunk 2077. The challenging part is to make the representation perfect. Otherwise, we experience an effect called the uncanny valley. If the humanoid character or object doesn’t perfectly resemble a human, we tend to have negative emotions. In other words – we are creeped out.
In the movie and gaming industries, studios have access to and can afford advanced tracking solutions. But they also spend thousands of hours on post-processing to make the characters look like real humans. For consumers, there’s no way to use a hyper-realistic avatar based on the user’s appearance. Modern games often have advanced character creators, but customization options are limited just to pre-set values and assets.
These avatars are also not able to represent the player’s expressions. And there is no affordable face tracking devices available on the mass market that could produce results comparable to the recent Star Wars movies. Not to mention the challenge of rendering super-detailed 3D characters, especially in games like Call of Duty: Warzone with a hundred players on one server.
The just-right solution for 3D avatars
The just-right solution for avatars is a simple one. Going back to the uncanny valley concept – it’s called a valley because we dislike only humanoids that look almost like humans. But we tend to like slightly abstract representations of humans, like cartoon and game characters. These avatars are more detailed than the Minecraft ones, making it easier to show one’s identity and emotions. On the other hand, they are not too detailed, making it simpler to show basic emotions without creeping someone out. They are also less challenging to render for average hardware, even in large-scale games like Fortnite.
The current state of consumer technology allows us to use these simpler avatars to have social interactions in the virtual worlds. For example, there are software-based solutions for emulating mouth movement, like Oculus Lipsync. We can also get a good representation of body movement with the controllers that come with virtual reality headsets available today. This is essential for getting non-verbal communication in virtual worlds right.
Finding the right balance for 3D avatars
But there’s one more reason why less realistic avatars are just right, and we learned it through our company’s long history of making avatars. When we started Wolf3D seven years ago, we built full-body scanners for creating hyper-realistic human models desired by movie and gaming studios. When Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014, we realized that 3D avatars will play an important role in the future. We shifted our focus and decided to make it easy for anyone to create their own 3D avatar.
Our first step in that direction was easy-to-use, egg-shaped face scanners. We shipped them to many places worldwide, including museums in Estonia and Finland, E3 game shows in Las Vegas, and Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
The next step was to make scanning even more accessible. We decided to use the data from tens of thousands of high-resolution scans to build a software-based solution. With just fifteen photos and a phone app, anyone could create a realistic 3D model of their face.
At this stage, we learned that people didn’t want an avatar that looks exactly like them – they wanted something more. It’s like with Instagram profiles — no one posts photos of their dirty dishes (please, prove me wrong). Instead, we choose to create an idealistic version of our lives featuring pictures from trips to Bali, plates full of sushi, and selfies from Coachella.
Where are we now and what’s the future of 3D avatars
Learning this, we set Wolf3D on its current tracks and made a simpler avatar creator based on a single selfie. It allows anyone with a camera and access to the Internet to create an idealized, 3D version of themselves. All with the just-right balance – not too abstract, not too realistic. Cristian Anton, Co-founder and CEO of MeetinVR, said in an interview with Wolf3D’s CEO that “what we have here […] is like the perfect balance, at least for what is possible with the current technology.“
Ready Player Me avatars are our current just-right solution for avatars. They are available in 3,000+ apps and games, allowing people to have social interactions in virtual worlds while keeping a consistent digital identity. Think of it like this: in the morning, you can hop into a meeting via MeetinVR; in the afternoon, you join a meetup on Mozilla Hubs; in the evening, you hang out with your friends in VRChat or stream your Beat Saber session via LIV. All using the same avatar.
If future technology allows for it, we might see the shift towards more realistic avatars. But right now, we are in a perfect spot for representing our identities and showing emotions without creeping anyone out.
How to create a 3D avatar with Ready Player Me?
Creating a Ready Player Me avatar is simple, and it will take you just a few minutes. Here’s how to get started.
- Go to readyplayer.me/avatar
- Choose your Avatar Type:
- Full-body, which works great for apps like VRChat or LIV
- Half-body, designed for apps like Mozilla Hubs or WondaVR
- Choose your body type. If you decide not to specify it, our algorithm will pick the most matching body type based on the photo that you provide in the next step.
- Take or upload a selfie. To get the best results, follow these tips:
- Make sure your photo is well-lit. Dark photos will reduce the ability to define your avatar features well.
- Keep it casual. Smiling may be tempting, but think “driver’s license photo.”
- Customize your avatar’s outfit, hair, eyes, and more. Ready Player Me features over 300 customization options, with new ones coming every week.
- When you’re ready, click “Next.” You can choose to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with new features and the latest integrations.
Congratulations, you have created your Ready Player Me avatar. You can share a beautiful render to Twitter or export your avatar to VRChat, LIV, Mozilla Hubs, or one of 850+ supported apps and games.
The Avatar Creator is a web-based interface where users can interactively create and customize avatars. The Avatar Creator is available through several integration methods.
- Users can register, then create and manage their avatar collection at the readyplayer.me website.
- Users can experiment with avatars at the demo.readyplayer.me website. You can too!
- As a registered development partner, you gain access to a personalized partner Avatar Creator domain (yourapp.readyplayer.me) that enables multiple customizing options.
- From inside your app, you can offer an integrated avatar creation experience.
Avatars created with the Avatar Creator are stored on Ready Player Me servers and can be retreived by users and apps as a .glb file via a persistent and unique URL.
Are you a developer?
Do you want to join us in the mission of building the metaverse? Become a Ready Player Me partner to integrate our avatars with your app or game.
Wolf3D & Rovio Talking About 3D Avatars and Virtual Identities For Games and Metaverses
Last week, CEO Timmu Tõke was a guest on the Tomorrow with Rovio podcast. Ben Mattes, Studio Head at Rovio, talked with Timmu about avatars in games and beyond. Listen to the episode here.https://embed.acast.com/38f29807-cc63-52c3-acb6-ab338336a9b8/608f96258419fe29d4ba3f20
3D avatars based on real-life identities and social games
Timmu and Ben started their conversation by talking about the role of avatars in single and multiplayer games. Story-driven games are like movies; you wouldn’t necessarily want the main character to be yourself. But in multiplayer games, you want to create an extension of your identity, said Timmu.
Skins in online games like Fornite are the most dominant form of character customization. They play a practical role too – players with more advanced or expensive skins appear to be more skilled at the game. But most of these skins are limited when it comes to user customization, putting the virtual character far from the player’s real-life identity.
When you look at the strongest social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they are all based on real-life identities. With games becoming more social, the need for real-life identities in games is growing.
Games are becoming more social. […] that creates a bigger need for better representation of our identities in the virtual worlds.
~ Timmu Tõke, CEO of Wolf3D
Ready Player Me lets users create a 3D avatar based on a photo. Based on the type of application, 60-90% of people decide to create a character that looks like them. Avatars based on real-life identities are only going to get more important as more companies are working on metaverse-like games, experiences, and even tools for work.
Listen to the full episode to hear more about fashion brands investing in avatars and virtual worlds and more.
Become a Ready Player Me Partner
Do you want to join us in the mission of building the metaverse? Become a Ready Player Me partner to integrate our avatars with your app or game.
Integrate for free
Add 3D avatars to your app or game for free. Use our monetization tools to earn revenue.
Pick and test your integration method
Ready Player Me works with web, mobile, Unity, Unreal, and other platforms.
Become a Partner
Apply to become an official Partner to use our avatars in your commercial app or game.
Launch the integration
Add our avatar creator to your app or game, promote it on the Ready Player Me Hub.
One-Stop-Shop For Your Avatar Needs
We spent seven years building the perfect avatar system, so you don’t have to. Integrate Ready Player Me into your app or game in less than a day. For free.
Do you have a question about integration?
Articles in this section
- How to create a 3D avatar with Ready Player Me?
- How to create a custom avatar for Mozilla Hubs with Ready Player Me?
- How can I add custom content or assets to Ready Player Me?
- How to export a Ready Player Me avatar to VRM for vtubing?
- How to create a 3D avatar for LIV with Ready Player Me?
- How to create a custom 3D avatar for Animaze by FaceRig with Ready Player Me?
- Do you collect photos from people who create avatars?
- How do I use a GLB model in Unity?
- Where can I find detailed developer documentation for Ready Player Me avatar SDK?