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Texturing Optimization and Best Practices




Power Of Two

This is an important and frequently misunderstood part of the Developing process, and often the reason your 3D models and textures might not look as good in IMVU as they did in your 3D mesh building application. It is simplest to say that IMVU’s 3D engine (like many game engines) is optimized to work best when textures applied to 3D meshes are a variation of a very specific set of dimensions. For performance purposes textures are stored and rendered at specific dimensions that are based on the power of two. That is, textures with dimensions that are 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, and 512 pixels in height or width.

It is important to point out that if a texture does not follow these specific dimension requirements that IMVU Studio will STRETCH or CRUSH your texture so that it will comply. If you have ever tried to distort a image you know what a disaster it can be as the pixels desperately try to retain the image with more or less bits of information… the same is true with IMVU textures.

Any texture that is 512 x 512 or larger will be automatically re-sized by the IMVU code after submission to be 512 x 512 (IMVU Studio Only). This is done to protect the end IMVU user from waiting forever for your giant texture to download and render. Obviously, this process can make your product look different than you intended so it is best to provide IMVU with textures that are sized correctly.

Best Practice

Work with original textures that are twice the size of the final dimensions and are a power of two and then save a final copy that is half the size of the original for importing into IMVU.  Example:

Original working size (in Photoshop or GIMP): 512 x 1024

Final texture size for IMVU: 256 x 512

If you attempt to submit a texture with dimensions that are not Power of Two then IMVU will do its best to find the closest equivalent dimensions and re-size it to that. Sometimes the dimensions are close enough that this only degrades the original texture a little, but other times it can really ruin the quality of your resulting product.

The rules used by IMVU when re-sizing textures

IMVU Classic Creator

  • Any dimension (width or height) will be bumped up to the next power of two with a maximum of 512 and any dimension above 512 will be set to 512, except as described below for square and non square textures.
    • Examples:
      • 100 x 120 becomes 128 x 128
      • 100 x 473 becomes 128 x 512
      • 100 x 1024 becomes 128 x 512
  • Square textures with dimensions greater than 128 x 128 will be set to 256 x 256.
    • Examples:
      • 200 x 200 becomes 256 x 256
      • 473 x 473 becomes 256 x 256
      • 1024 x 1024 becomes 256 x 256
  • Non square textures with width and height greater than 256 will be set to either 256 x 512 or 512 x 256.
    • Examples:
      • 300 x 320 becomes 256 x 512
      • 300 x 1024 becomes 256 x 512
      • 320 x 300 becomes 512 x 256
      • 1024 x 300 becomes 512 x 256

IMVU Studio

  • Same rules as for Classic Creator except that any texture with width and height greater than 256 will get set to 512 x 512. There are no special case rules for square and non square textures.
    • Examples:
      • 473 x 473 becomes 512 x 512
      • 1024 x 1024 becomes 512 x 512
      • 300 x 320 becomes 512 x 512
      • 300 x 1024 becomes 512 x 512
  • NOTE: These rules do not apply when entering Cell Size values when using Texture Cycling Animation. See How To Make Animated Textures for more information.

Ideally, the pixel dimensions you should work within are 16 x 16, 32 x 32, 64 x 64, 128 x 128, 256 x 256, and the maximum dimensions of 512 x 512 (IMVU Studio Only). You can also work with any variation of these numbers, so 32 x 512 is OK, just as 128 x 256 is great as well. Where trouble begins is when you have a texture that is 183 x 430then you are in for some trouble.

If you are unsure if your texture is the right dimensions, be sure to double check the Texture Assets window when you import your texture files.

Remember, textures created to dimensions that are any combination of the Power of Two will look best when they finally make it into the IMVU Shop and into the virtual hands of your customers.

Oversized Textures Get Squashed

As a Developer you want to make sure your textures are as beautiful as possible, so it is tempting to make things like sky backdrops and even clothing textures as large as possible to insure every bit of detail is visible. In the case of textures larger then 512 pixels, that stunning 1024 pixel (which is a Power of Two dimension) sky texture WILL be reduced to the Max dimension of 512 before it is submitted to the IMVU Shop. So, it is always recommended that you make your textures look their best at the appropriate size before you apply it to your mesh.

A great way to make sure everything is looking its best is to double check all your texture dimensions and adjust as you see fit before hitting that Upload button.


Smeary Stretchy UVs are sad

Make sure all UVs create squares when checking the mesh, no stretching or smearing.

Single UV set/channel for all materials

IMVU does not support multiple UV sets/channels so it is important to have all UVs in a single set/channel. Here is an example of how multiple UV sets/channels will show up in Autodesk Maya:

In this example you would want to move all ‘UVChannel_1’ UVs to ‘map1’.


Number of materials should be kept to a minimum

In the example below, we can see there is a lot of empty space between the 5 images. Especially since these are all connected to the same mesh, it is good to pack them into one image, unless more resolution is needed. This change would bring the five, 512×512 images down to just one.

UV’s should use as much of the 0,0 to 1,1 UV space as possible.

Updated on July 21, 2023

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