Create an Avastar Character

What we will do now

We first create a default Avastar character. This Object is normally used as a reference for your Avatar attachments. But you can also use the Avastar character as template for creating your own Mesh character.

Usage scenarios for Avastar

  • Dummy model for clothing attachments
  • Model for Animations
  • Basis mesh for your own character
  • Basis for your non human character creations (Create Avatar with “rig only”)

How to add a new Avastar Character -

Add Reference Model

Navigate to:

add -> Avastar -> Basic/Extended

The Avastar character is based on the
SL Avatar definition files
from Linden Lab.

The Avastar is fully compatible with the character from Second Life and all similar online worlds like OpenSim for example.

Adding a new Avastar

You add a new Avastar Character in Object mode. You navigate to the Add -> Avastar menu and select from one of the rig types:


Avastar’s default Shape is compatible with SL’s default Shape.

After a short time (typically 2-4 secs) a new Avastar character is created in the 3D View and at the center of the 3D View .

Compatibility to Second Life

Avastar is fully compatible with Second Life.

The Default Avastar character uses the exact same Default Shape in Blender that you also get when you create a new shape in SL.

The character in Blender is shown exactly like the Avatar in SL. Some users believe Avastar is wrong. If you think so as well, then please use the Avastar Restshape (see below)

Note: You also can set the character Gender in the Avastar Appearance panel (See image below)


The SL default Shape (Create new Shape).

Default Shape and Restshape

You can reset your Shape in Blender to the SL Default Shape in the Tool Shelf – Appearance panel.

Click on the yellow stickman icon in the Shape preset header at the top of the Preset Selector (see image)

If you prefer to use the SL Restshape (like with the Avatar Workbench) then select the white stickman icon instead (right to the yellow default shape icon, see image).


In SL you create the default shape from your Inventory: (See image)


What else you should know

  • New Avastar characters can only be created when you are in Object Mode.
  • A new character will always be placed at the Center of the 3D View
  • You can hide (‘h’) or remove (‘x’) not needed parts of the Avatar meshes (like the skirt or the hair for example) without breaking the tools.
  • You can create as many characters as you like aside each other and so you can create multi-character animations.
The character that you know from avatar.blend or from the workbench (sometimes also named “ruth”) is equivalent to the SL Restshape (the white stickman icon in the Appearance Sliders). Further explanations can be found in the Avastar vs. Workbench Skeleton article.

Add your own entries to the Add menu - Read more...

Avastar comes with 4 ready made Presets for adding new characters:

  • Basic Mesh (Triangles) + Basic skeleton
  • Basic skeleton (no Mesh)
  • Extended Mesh (Triangles) + Extended Skeleton
  • Extended Skeleton (no Mesh)

Besides these default presets you can add your own entries to the Add menu. You do this in the Add-on Preferences Panel of the Avastar-2 Add-on. Below you find how it is done.


Step 1: Open the Add-on Preferences Panel:

  • Open the Tool Shelf
  • Open the Settings Panel
  • Click the Avastar Preferences Button

This will open a popup window with the User preferences panel of the Avastar-2 Add-on (see below)


Step 2: Create new Presets

In the Add-on Preferences Panel you find the section Character Definitions(see image below). Here you can define your additional Character Rig Presets:


The preset Attributes…

Create Avastar with …

By default you only can create Avastar characters using Triangles. However if you also have Sparkles-Pro installed, then you can also choose to create Avastar Meshes with Quads.


The Rig Type

We support 2 Rigtypes

  • Basic (legacy rig – 26 mBones)
  • Extended (Bento rig – 136 mBones)



The Joint Type

The SL Rig support2 2 Joint types with very tiny differences. The reason why there exist 2 Joint types can only be explained as historic facts:

  • Pos Joints (Used by the System Character)
  • Pivot Joints (Used for Custom meshes, default)


In most cases you want to use Pivot Joints. But sometimes (especially when it comes to foreign developer kits) you may need to use the Pos Joints to keep best compatibility with what you get in world.

Hint: we have not yet found a good reason for when to use the POS Joints (which are slightly less precise) But we found that for example the Belleza Developer kit uses them. When in doubt, then try out which joint type matches best for your purposes.

Step 3: Create the Preset

When you have specified your settings, then you are ready to create your new Preset by clicking on the white + sign right sided to the RigPresets Drop Down Menu.

A small popup Window opens where you can give your Preset a name. You press OK to store your preset permanently. Please use only ASCII characters and avoid special keys and Umlauts.


From now on you find the new Preset in the Avastar Add menu

Note: When you delete the default Presets, then this deletion is only valid for the current Blender session. As soon as you restart Blender the default Presets get recreated.



Next — Adjust