Furniture: Introduction (Blender)

Introduction to Furniture

The most straightforward products to make for IMVU are furniture item, the simplest being a box and skeleton containing a single bone, just two items and a product can be uploaded to the catalogue!. Avatar spots can also be added so even though the item might just be a box, the avatar can sit on or stand near the mesh providing a bit more interest and usability for the end-user. To get up and running making content for IMVU furniture is a good place to start.

Furniture can be as simple as a box with seating

The simplest item to make for IMVU is literally a box. The next simplest is a box with a seat. The next, next simplest is a box with seating and a standing spot! (polka dots optional).

What is Furniture

In a nutshell, furniture is a class or category of items that can be placed by the user into furniture rooms and onto various nodes included specifically for this purpose, furniture nodes as they are called. So long as a furniture item is correctly set up to accommodate this furniture » room node system the item itself in terms of what is represented visually to the user, can be anything, from chairs to flying bats, swimming fish to drivable cars. Imagination is the only limitation!.

All furniture items rely on the same underlying structure

Furniture can present to the User as anything but will have an underlying structure that ‘snaps’ to special target locations in furniture rooms, themselves set up to accommodate furniture items (furniture nodes).

Where to Start

Before starting it’s important to first get to grips with Blender, although furniture can be very straightforward to make for IMVU, doing so requires being able to ‘mesh’, that is make and manipulate objects in Blender, to generate Materials and assign them along with UV mapping images so meshes look like they’re made from something other than flat colours.

To learn how to use Blender to make a simple item for IMVU try furniture quick start. Already know the basics of Blender, for more IMVU specific information about furniture see here.

Furniture Starter File

The Starter File for Blender users contains all the basic elements needed to make a very simple item, the aforementioned box and underlying skeleton, of which there are three versions, each to accommodate the different positions furniture can occupy in a room; floor, ceiling and wall. Accompanying the box are two avatar dummies or helpers that help with positioning seating or avatar spots (as well as providing a size/scale reference). Each helper includes a set of seat node, one set for seating, the other for standing, the two default poses the avatar uses by default when interacting with items.

Product limits: there are a number of basic limitations applicable to all product types as follows;
Physical size:
there are no limits on how big items appear to be to the User (visual size).
File size: project size is limited to two megabytes (2MB) – think of the final project contained inside a folder, everything in this must total no more than 2MB per product otherwise upload will fail.
Texture Size: the images assigned to meshes should generally be 256 x 256 pixels wide/high, and no larger than 512 pixel in any one direction, i.e. 256 x 512 or 512 x 256 but not 512 x 512 (this will be automatically resized by IMVU on import to 256 x 256 resulting in detail loss).
Relative size: make sure to use small textures for small elements or features that are rarely seen, using a full 256 x 256 consumes precious file space.

To use the furniture Starter File extract the contents to a project folder or Desktop, open the *.blend file into a compatible version of Blender and build.

Whilst the Starter Files are generally compatible with any version of Blender post 2.70, Blender 2.79 is recommended (especially when exporting to FBX).

The furniture starter file for Blender

To get started making items for IMVU use the Furniture Start File – file includes the basics components needed to make floor standing, wall mounted and ceiling hanging furniture products with sitting and standing seat or avatar spots.

Updated on June 8, 2020

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