when building characters and their worlds in VR, Understanding the pipeline of Video Games is critically important.
to successfully immerse the player in their surroundings in virtual worlds, Not only are Artists required to understand the basics of the pipeline itself, but need to have and understand solid foundations.
VRChat’s pipeline can be broken down into the following phases
Your character design is placed in a 3 column character sheet which includes but is not limited to: Front, Side, and 3/4 perspective. Any weapons or accessories are to be separated for clarity and detail purposes for the modeling and texturing phase.
This is where your 2D Concept art is transformed into a 3D mesh.
The Oculus Quest is considered a mobile device in VRChat. Because of the restrictions on mobile devices, high polygon models must be downsized to a lower resolution. Pending the complexity and requirements of the character, Quest optimization can becoming incredibly time consuming.
A virtual mannequin is built inside your character. This allows you to transform and move as the expected character inside VR.
A crucial part of the Virtual Bone system. Skinning determines how much of an effect moving a bone on the model will have on a set of vertices. In simple terms, it determines how your character behaves when your virtual bones move in specific directions. Complexity varies.
This is where your 3D model gets flattened out and painted on to bring it to life. While not currently enforced, the Oculus Quest has a limitation on how many Texture maps are allowed on the mobile device. One needs to take into account the core maps during this process and judge accordingly.
You can have your character perform specific things that VRChat does not support nativley. An example of this is pulling out a weapon or having custom animations and emoticons. A crucial part of integrating this is having your Virtual Bones and Skin set up properly.
When your Avatar performs a special routine or effect, and not surprisingly, the second most time consuming aspect of character development after the initial design is approved. It’s not often seen in VRChat due to the cost of time.
VRChat will guesstimate the effect that your eyeballs would be looking at them while speaking. These are not built in natively and take time to develop.
This is where we log into VRChat to test the final stages of the character and upload different iterations if something isn’t working as intended.
Raw assets are transferred to their respective owners.