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What Software Should I Use?

If you are interested in becoming an IMVU Creator you will need certain software to do your creating. Of course you will need IMVU Studio, the app that allows you to create and submit products to the IMVU Catalog. Moreover, you will also need one or more apps to make assets that you assemble in IMVU Studio.

IMVU Studio

IMVU Studio is the proprietary IMVU tool for getting your 2D textures and 3D models into the IMVU Catalog. Whether you are swapping textures on a T-shirt or creating your own 3D Mesh, you will need Studio to import, arrange, and finally submit your design to the Shop.

IMVU Studio Toolkit

IMVU Studio Toolkit is a toolset provided by IMVU which is installed in your 3D authoring application, such as 3ds Max, Blender, and Maya, which provides a streamlined workflow to creating mesh products for import in to IMVU Studio.

2D Applications

Whether you are making a texture for an existing product or your very own 3D model, you will be using some sort of 2D application to create and manipulate your digital images. Although Photoshop is the acknowledged industry standard, it isn’t necessarily your only choice. Photoshop is what we use here at IMVU and it is one of the most powerful image manipulation software out there. Nonetheless, there are several less expensive alternatives.

 Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is an industry standard and a powerhouse in image manipulation. It is the tool of choice for many graphic artists and professionals. However, its many features can make it a bit daunting for beginners. It also comes with a high price tag that may not suit some Creators.


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open source freeware program and it is the software of choice for many successful IMVU Creators. It is a great free alternative to Photoshop, but be aware that as it is an ongoing effort by independent software engineers, it is not completely free of bugs.

  Adobe Substance 3D Painter

Substance Painter is great application for generating diffuse (albedo), normal, shininess all at once and allows you to make amazing textures very easily. It is a very powerful texture creation tool.

 Adobe Photoshop Elements

Elements is the cheaper cousin of Photoshop. For a fraction of the price you can do many of the same things you do with Photoshop. Its focus is on photo editing and while it lacks some of the creation tools contained in Photoshop, it is definitely worth checking out for those just getting into 2D graphics.


PHOTO-PAINT is Corel’s answer to Photoshop. It is another powerful image manipulator used by many in the graphics industry. As with Photoshop, its multiple features attract a higher price so it may not be ideal for those new to 2D graphics.

 Other Software

When it comes to graphics software, there are a myriad of options available. If none of the suggestions above suit you, have a browse around the internet or talk to other Creators – there’s sure to be something that suits your budget, skill level, and work style. 

Here are a few we have found:

Sketchbook Affinity Photo Krita

3D Applications

At its core, IMVU is a 3D environment filled with 3D people, objects, and places. From rooms to avatars to clothing, everything you see within the 3D environment of IMVU has been brought to life using 3D applications. 3D products are also the basis of creating in IMVU. A 3D product can be derived from by other Creators to produce endless variations, all with the ability to provide both the 3D Creator and deriver income through IMVU’s Catalog. Below are the 3D applications we recommend for creating.


Blender is a powerful industry grade tool and best of all, it’s free! We highly recommend it especially if you are new to 3D. It’s what we use at IMVU along with 3D Studio Max to build our own products.

 3D Studio Max

3DS Max is an industry leader and a powerful tool for 3D creation which is used by professionals in both the gaming and movie industries. It is very expensive and has a steep learning curve but every skill you learn is applicable to 3D asset creation in the real world.


Maya is another professional 3D software which is used to create 3D modeling and interactive 3D applications. It is also very expensive and has a steep learning curve.


SketchUp is a cheaper alternative that is popular among a thriving community of IMVU Creators. Please note that the free version (SketchUp for Web) is not for commercial use so cannot be used for creating within IMVU.

 Marvelous Designer

Marvelous Designer is an amazing application for crafting clothing and organic shapes and is gaining popularity in the IMVU Creator community. Working with Marvelous Designer requires some optimization and cleanup in another 3d application such as Blender, 3D Studio Max, or Maya.

 Other software

There are many other 3D software options available and chances are that if you can export FBX files from them you can import them to IMVU Studio using our FBX importer. Different applications store things in FBX files differently, so results may vary and we can’t guarantee that FBX files from any source will work successfully. We have tested FBX files created in Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya, and SketchUp.

Updated on August 31, 2023

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