Project: Avatar

Assignment: Design and create an avatar for a very specific circumstance.

-It has to be auto-riggable as a humanoid.
-Assign it an animation from mixamo
-Under 10K tris (that’s more than enough)
-It must have a non default material that makes sense, textured or not
-Make at least 5 thumbnails, and produce one piece of concept art
-You can start from a base mesh


In this unit we’ll talk about character design, modeling, and rigging through the lens of the avatar as representation of a user/player.

Avatar is a concept within Hinduism that in Sanskrit literally means “descent”. It signifies the material appearance or incarnation of a powerful deity, goddess or spirit on Earth.

Since the 80s the term has been used in sci-fi (Avatar the movie), online communities (the avatar pic), online worlds (the character representing the player), and games (the playable character), with slightly different connotations.

The earlier metaverse, Second Life

Second Life and the avatar marketplace



Family role-play in second life from The Digital Ruins of a Forgotten Future
Becoming Dragon by Micha Cardenas is a mixed reality performance questioning the one-year requirement of ‘Real Life Experience’ that transgender people must fulfill in order to receive Gender Confirmation Surgery, and asks if this could be replaced by one year of ‘Second Life Experience’ to lead to Species Reassignment Surgery. For the performance, I lived for 365 hours immersed in the online 3D environment of Second Life with a head mounted display, only seeing the physical world through a video feed, and used a motion capture system to map my movements into Second Life.
Artist Skawennati uses SL to imagine aboriginal futures. See She falls for ages
Virtual performance artist Gazira Babeli accelerates their avatar to the limits of the graphics card
Since 2008 Avatar artist Laturbo Avedon has performed within game engines questioning notions of physical identity and authorship. Club Zero – live collaboratory creation of NFT avatars


Manuel Palou documenting the creation of his free to download avatar
Nikita Diakur using cutting edge machine learning to train his avatar to make backflips
Lu Yang’s sophisticated motion capture performances involving various representations of the artist


Sketch a full body humanoid avatar for:

1- A particular mood. Pick one

2- A particular circumstance. Some starting points here

3- A performance starting from a mixamo mocap animation (basically pick an animation and design a character for it)

For each prompt post a dynamically posed concept art sketch + a front and a side view you can use as references in Blender.