Making A Skin Product

In this tutorial, you’re going to learn how to make a skin product. By the end of this video, you’ll know:

  1. How to derive from the base skin product,
  2. How to edit or create a skin texture,
  3. How to name a skin texture,
  4. And how to assign textures in Studio.

If you are not familiar with texturing we recommend that you watch Introduction to Textures before trying your hand at making a skin product.

How to derive from the base skin product

Before we dive into editing a skin texture, we need to derive from the base skin product and set up what we need in Studio.

Simply switch the search mode to PID and search: 252.

You can also navigate to it by selecting Women ➞ Body ➞ Skin & Makeup. When you find the item, click on it and then click DERIVE.


When you’re making a skin, you want your avatar to wear as few items as possible in order for you to see the whole skin texture clearly and keep the loading time short.

Once you’re done, you can start making the skin.

How to edit or create a skin texture

A skin texture consists of two parts: the one for the head and the one for the body. Together, they wrap around the whole avatar, just like a gift wrap.

Female head and body skin textures

Male head and body skin textures

There are two ways to make a skin texture. You either edit the existing texture or create it from scratch.

•  Edit the existing texture

In order to edit it, you use 2D graphics editors such as Photoshop, GIMP, and so on. You can use any program as long as you can edit images with it.

To learn more about the apps you can use to make your assets, check out the article “What software should I use?”.

•  Create the texture from scratch

If you want to create a skin texture from scratch, you need to use a skin template. A skin template shows the guideline of each and every body part, so you can use it as a reference when you create your own unique texture.


If you aim to create a realistic skin texture, I recommend you to edit existing skin textures because it is so much easier to add on existing details than to draw all of them by yourself from scratch.

From here on is about editing the actual skin.

Open your favorite graphics editor and import the existing skin texture. I personally use Clip Studio Paint and you might be using a different program but it doesn’t really matter because the main features needed to edit a skin texture are very basic ones that any graphics editor has, and the techniques I’m gonna be using in this video can be applied across all such programs.

Once you open the program, go to FileImport, and select the base texture files for both the head and the body.

Base Skin Texture Files

Once you import the files, you will notice that certain parts of the texture are covered, and this is because these skins are for GA. According to IMVU’s Virtual Goods Policy, GA stands for General Audience and AP stands for Access Pass. GA skins are not supposed to include genitalia. In case you are going to make an AP skin, you can simply turn off this layer to reveal all body parts.

In order to begin editing, you add a layer on top of the file and then start adding your own details. My tip is to set a symmetry ruler in the middle of the texture so that you only have to care about one side of the texture and whatever you put here will all be mirrored on the other side. After setting up the ruler, use the airbrush tool to build on the texture. Use a darker shade for shadow, wrinkles, and other details, and a lighter shade for parts that need volume like the forehead, shoulders, breasts, abs, and so on.

How to name a skin texture

When you save your files to be imported into Studio they must be named EXACTLY like this:

  • Female Skins:
    • Female01_Anime01_Tops_naked_020degrees.tga
    • Female01_Anime01_head_default_020degrees.tga
  • Male Skins:
    • Male01_Anime01_Tops_naked_040degrees.tga
    • Male01_Anime01_head_default_040degrees.tga

This naming convention is required by IMVU in order to have skins appear correctly when other clothing items that may include avatar skin are worn by the avatar.

Failure to name the textures correctly will result in skins not appearing on heads, hands, and other body parts.

For Windows Users

If you are a Windows user, you need to make sure that “hide file extension” is unchecked when you save the file.

Depending on which version of Windows you have, you might have to check “show file extension” instead. In order to do this, locate your file in the file explorer, then click View and go to show/hide group. There, you will see an option that says “show file extension”. Click on it, and now you have the full name of your file.

How to assign textures in Studio

If you’re done saving the files correctly, you need to assign them in Studio to see how they look on the actual 3D avatar.

Go back to Studio, and on the left side under MATERIAL, you will see 2 slots. The first one is for the head texture, and the second one is for the body texture.

As of IMVU Studio 1.5.4 for Mac, the body texture is at the top.

Let’s try assigning the head texture first. Click on the slot that has the head texture, and click what’s under the Diffuse Asset. Click ADD IMAGE and you get to assign the head texture you saved earlier.

Do the same for the body texture, then click PREVIEW. Now your skin is on your avatar!

Compatibility Issue

If you set up and named the textures correctly, but your skin is not working properly, it might be because of compatibility issues.

There are certain products which will not work with your skin because of how they were constructed. Some examples of these include:

  • Clothing products of which the skin textures have been changed and the materials have not been set to ‘Overridable’.
  • Heads of which the creator has replaced the face texture.

Now that you know how to make skins, I hope you have fun creating!

Updated on July 21, 2023

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