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Computing and Science Fiction. A graphical representation of a person or
character in a computer-generated environment, esp. one which represents
a user in an interactive game or other setting, and which can move about in
its surroundings and interact with other characters.
— Oxford English Dictionary (draft entry), 2008.

Once a human being enters Habitat, he or she takes on the visual form of an Avatar,
and for all intents and purposes becomes one of these new-world beings.
Habitat, Lucasfilm Games, 1986.

An avatar is the form of a user in a given world.


An avatar is a hierarchy of slots, with an Avatar Root containing Avatar Nodes

In general, some components may (and do) appear in multiple places over the hierarchy of an avatar:

Component Summary
AvatarUserReferenceAssigner #on avatar equip, this assigns the reference of the user that equipped the avatar to the slot assigned to the assigner's target.
SimpleAwayIndicator This applies the away material to a mesh target MeshRenderer or SkinnedMeshRenderer when the user equipping the avatar goes to away state.

Avatar Root

Any slot with an active AvatarRoot (Component) defines the root of an avatar.

Commonly the avatar root will contain the following components:

Component Summary
AvatarRoot Indicates that this slot is the root of an avatar.
Grabbable Indicates the avatar can be grabbed.
ObjectRoot Indicates that this slot is the root of an object.

Avatar roots of avatars created with the Avatar Creator have these additional components:

Component Summary
PBS_RimMetallic The #away material of the avatar.
SimpleAvatarProtection Sets permissions such that only the user bound to the avatar may equip and save it.

Humanoid avatars also contain:

Component Summary
VRIK Computes the logic to map the input #IK Targets to #IK Proxies.
VRIKAvatar Chooses when and how to bind the User's controls to the #IK Proxies.

Most often, an Avatar Root contains the Avatar Nodes proxies, #Centered Root, and user defined Logix modules (modules do not need to be defined here, but they often are for ease of access).

Avatar Nodes

Any slot under an #avatar root that contains an AvatarPoseNode (Component) is considered an avatar node. Most often, avatar nodes are direct children of the Avatar Root.

Avatar nodes represent a strongly identifiable piece of the avatar, such as LeftHand or Head.

With VRIK-based avatars an Avatar Node is named <pose node name> Proxy by convention, and contains:

  • AvatarObjectComponentProxy (Component) - This copies the global transform of the avatar node, onto a target node (at least it appears to). Scans for the node kind identified by the AvatarPoseNode (Component) will find the target of the proxy as well.
  • A child slot named Target - This is where the part of the avatar model will actually try to go to. - Ex: A proxy moves to exactly where a VR tracker is in space, the Target offsets that tracker back to where that body part should be. - Avatar calibration is done by moving the Target slot under the proxies being calibrated.

The Head node of the avatar is usually where the avatar's voice comes out of, and so usually contains these additional components:

Component Summary
AvatarVoiceSourceAssigner Assigns the audio stream of the user #on avatar equip. There may be multiple of these.
AvatarAudioOutputManager Configures the avatar's AudioOutput with the configured settings based on the user voice setting.
AudioOutput Emits the user's voice. Many fields on this component are driven by the AvatarAudioOutputManager.
AvatarVoiceRangeVisualizer Configures the whisper bubble for the user based off AvatarAudioOutputManager provided settings.
VisemeAnalyzer Computes the values to be routed to DirectVisemeDriver elsewhere in the avatar, which drives blendshape movements.

In addition, the Head slot contains a child slot named Voice Range Visual. This is the whisper bubble, the slot is inactive unless the equipped user is in the whisper voice mode. This slot commonly contains:

Component Summary
MeshRenderer The visual part of the whisper bubble.
PBS_IntersectMetallic The material applied to the whisper bubble. Changes based on the user's audio volume.

Centered Root - VRIK specific

This slot represents where Neos thinks the center of the avatar is.

In World Lifecycle


Blocking avatar equip

Apply the AvatarEquipBlock component to the avatar's root.

See Also

General avatar creation

Avatar modification and customization