How to Create a Metaverse Character

The metaverse is growing – it could generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030.

Meeting, working and playing virtually with people all over the world isn’t a far-off idea anymore. AR and VR technology is becoming more accessible and powerful, and companies are realising the potential that this virtual world holds.

We’ll show how you can also experience the metaverse, using your virtual self.

What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse is a collection of shared virtual spaces where people can socialise, work, play games, shop and ‘live’ virtually. Much like the internet is made up of millions of websites, the metaverse could have millions of interconnected spaces where people can meet, work and play online.

Despite the name, the metaverse isn’t owned by Meta – although the social media company is building one, and Mark Zuckerberg is a leading figure in bringing the concept to life.

We’re a long way off the virtual universe that Zuckerberg envisions, but the metaverse is growing. Roblox is perhaps the most famous example of a metaverse, where people can create virtual characters to use in a huge variety of games and environments. 

But companies across the business landscape are building metaverses or metaverse products, from retail giants like Nike to Amazon Web Services

While we may see virtual working environments in the future, gaming is the main way to experience the metaverse currently. And to enter, you’ll need an avatar.

How to Create a Metaverse Character

Choose Your Character Creator

Which metaverse are you creating an avatar for? Most will have character creation tools, and some will even let you build your character using third-party software and import it. But this isn’t always the case, so if you use something like Unreal Engine or ZBrush for your avatar, make sure your chosen platform has import options.

Popular character creation tools include:

  • VRChat: Offers extensive customisation for social VR experiences.
  • Meta (Horizon Worlds): Facebook’s platform for creating avatars in their metaverse.
  • IMVU: A social networking site with a focus on 3D avatars.
  • Ready Player Me: A cross-platform avatar creator compatible with many metaverse platforms.
  • Performit Live: A professional motion capture app that builds avatars for live streaming and events, amongst other uses. Find out more here.

Create the Avatar

We’ll use Ready Player Me as an example, as your avatar can be used in multiple virtual worlds. You start with a ‘template’ avatar and can then take a photo or upload a file. When you choose your template, you also pick your gender (currently male or female, but non-binary support is ‘coming soon’ according to the website) and one of four body types.

Source: Ready Player Me

If you use a photo, the system then generates an avatar that looks like you. Otherwise, you can customise the base avatar. You can now choose a pre-set outfit, or create your own, mixing tops, trousers and shoes. Note that Ready Player Me doesn’t allow you to change your avatar’s height. You can also change the following features:

  • Skin tone.
  • Chin shape.
  • Eye shape and colour.
  • Eyebrows, nose and mouth shape.
  • Facial hair.
  • Hairstyle.
  • Hair colour.
  • Headwear.
  • Eyewear.
  • Masks.
  • Makeup.

Source: Ready Player Me

Different character creators will have varying levels of customisation, so find one that best suits your needs. 

Once you’ve finished, click ‘Next’ and then ‘Claim Your Avatar’, which will prompt you to log in or sign up for Ready Player Me. Sign up, and then your avatar will be ready to use in the metaverse.

Additional Tools and Services

These are useful for customising your character:

  • Mixamo: For rigging and animating 3D characters.
  • Marvelous Designer: For designing realistic clothing.
  • Reallusion Character Creator: For creating highly detailed and customisable avatars.

Joining the Metaverse

With your new avatar, you’re now free to join other players in a huge range of metaverses. Ready Player Me’s ‘Discover Apps’ section has a list of compatible spaces for you to explore, as well as a dedicated ‘Play Games’ section for using your avatar in games. 

Ready Player Me is just one option for character creation – software like Reallusion Character Creator specialises in creating more realistic avatars that are then used in professional settings, so find a tool that best suits your needs.

The metaverse is growing, and it’s likely that use cases outside of gaming become more commonplace, like virtual meetings through Meta or social spaces.

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