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How do I create Cybertown gestures with a Flux Studio Avatar?

Flux Studio  is a VRML97 authoring and animation application. In addition to that, it has three tools which allow for creation of gestures which work well with Blaxxun Interactive's CCPro server software (the software that powers Cybertown).

  1. Download and install Flux Studio ( ). It is free for personal use, and reasonably priced for commercial applications.

  2. Create an avatar. Keep it simple at first. A stick man maybe.

  3. The easiest way to give it life would be to then click on the Wizards pull down menu and select "Generate Simple Avatar". This makes an avatar with "whole body" gestures, i.e. the whole avatar rocks back and forth or round and round. There are 8 gestures which you can fire off from the "gestures envelope" menu or from Chat Macros and Body Language combinations. These gestures are cute, unique, well thought out, and way better than nothing.

  4. A more sophisticated approach would be to use Flux Studio to make a simple animation and then associate that animation with a trigger called (gesture 1). In CCPro, when you type /g1 or HELLO, gesture one is fired off.

  5. Flux Studio has an additional tool which is handy to test your gestures in an entirely VRML environment. It is also located under Wizards and is called Create Avatar Arena. As the name implies it is an area where you can test your animations and evaluate the scale of your avatar. The wizard wraps your avatar with a Blaxxun Proto, creates meter sticks, and creates a series of buttons which activate each gesture.

  6. If you think about avatars as two parts, the model and the actions, then you can easily imagine giving unique actions to someone else's original model. If the avatar is constructed by the Humanoid-animation model, the joints will rotate at the correct places. There are thousands of static vrml1.0 avatars out there begging for gestures, you can give them that life without being bogged down by measurements and proportions.

  7. Blaxxun creates a VRML cache on your machine so that you do not have to download everyone's avatar every time you see them. Look in this rich resource on your machine, you may be able to use something you find there.Sorry, you need a VRML plugin.

  8. You can get a h-anim compliant avatar and lots of information about it from a very good starting place written by Peter Graf of Blaxxun and it works very well with Blaxxun's 3D server software (i.e. Cybertown). They even have a perl tool that allows you to make your own creation which you could later modify in Flux Studio.

  9. Another way to view and evaluate your avatar is through the Blaxxun "View my Avatar" facility. If you focus on the 3D window by clicking on it, and then hit the "a" key, you will go into that mode. If you then hit and hold the number 9 key your viewpoint will rotate around your avatar. The other numeric keys also have actions, usually the next number up is the opposite of the previous key. Try them.

  10. I animated a pre-existing avatar (that I got with VRCreator) using the animation tools in Flux Studio. The 2 in 1 hand move was the hardest to program (had the most key-frames). The Complex Avatar Wizard in Flux Studio made this all possible. This is saved in a Avatar Arena so you can test the gesture


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