Accessories are products that are attached in some way to your avatar. They could be items that are worn or held (like hats, glasses or bags) or that exist in the space around your avatar (like a sign that floats above your head).
Types of Accessories
Like all 3D products in the catalog, Accessories are derived from an existing product. What a mesher (the creator who made the 3D shape) derives from depends on the type of Accessory the product is.
A ‘True Accessory’ is one that is attached to only one part of the avatar and moves with that part of the avatar – for example a hat is attached to and moves with the head, a watch is attached to and moves with the wrist.
A ‘Clothing Based Accessory’ is one that is attached to multiple parts of the avatar and moves with those parts, or one that includes an avatar animation – for example a long necklace that needs to move with both the neck and the spine, a guitar that your avatar holds and plays.
The main difference is that while a True Accessory can be derived from an Accessory type base product, a Clothing Based Accessory must be derived from a Clothing type base product. This is because Clothing type products contain the information required to move a product with all parts of the avatar. If you want to add an avatar animation to an Accessory it will also need to be derived from a Clothing type base product as it contains the information required to make the avatar move.
Let’s Get Started!
For this tutorial we are going to make a sign that hovers above your avatar’s head. This is a True Accessory because it only needs to move with one body part – the avatar’s head. The product we are going to derive from is this one.
There are two ways to do this. The most simple way is to go to the product page and click Derive from product at the bottom of the page.
Alternately, open Create Mode…
…then click the Derive New Product button.
Input the Product ID number (or PID) in the text box (this can be found at the bottom of the product page, it is also the number at the end of a product page’s URL – the PID of the product we are using is 43302315). Then hit the Go button.
A window will open in Create Mode with the product loaded in it.
Understanding the Create Mode Editor
This newly opened window is the Create Mode Editor. This is where all IMVU products are assembled. Other software is used to create meshes, textures and animations, but this is where it all comes together.
On the left is the 3D preview window where you should see an avatar wearing the Tutorial Head Sign. On the right are the various tab functions of the Editor. For this tutorial we will only be changing the product’s texture, so the Meshes Tab is all we need to worry about for now.
At the bottom you will see your Inventory. If you wish to change the avatar’s outfit or the room you are working in, you can use your Inventory exactly the same way as you would use it in a chat room.
Introduction to the Meshes Tab
The Meshes Tab will be open by default when the Create Mode Editor first opens. The Meshes Tab is where you can load your product’s Mesh and Textures (also known as Materials). There are four sections within the tab. Submesh Info (which shows information about the mesh), Texture Assets (where you can load texture and opacity maps), Material Parameters (where you can adjust settings that affect how your texture appears on the product) and Texture Animation (which you can use to animate your texture).
Adding Your Texture
For this tutorial we will be “swapping” the sign’s existing texture with a new texture. Below is the texture used in this product, as well as a blank sign you could add your own text to. To save the texture right click on it then select Save image as….
You can edit one of the textures below in the graphics program of your choice or start from scratch with a new 512 pixels wide by 256 pixels high image.
To swap the sign’s texture to your own texture, click the Edit button on the Material preview image and browse to find your texture file.
Once you have found it, select it then click Open. Click the Apply Changes button and the 3D preview window will update, showing the sign with your texture on it!
Saving Your Product
Now that you have applied your own texture to the sign, it’s a good time to save your work. This is something you should remember to do periodically as you work, just in case something goes wrong.
Next to the Apply Changes button is the Save button. You can use either Save (by clicking the Save button) or Save As (by clicking the small arrow to the right of Save then clicking Save As). Save will save your file in your IMVU Projects folder with an automatically generated file name. Save As allows you to use a unique filename of your choice, making your file much easier to find if you decide you want to work on it later.
Uploading Your Product
Once you are happy with how your product looks and have saved it, it’s ready to upload to the catalog! Click the Upload button at the top right of the Create Mode Editor window.
Edit Your Product Information
After you hit the Upload button the Product Submission window will appear. This is where you can:
Visible in shop – People can see your product in the catalog
Display Only – People can see your product but cannot purchase it
Allow derivation from this product – People can derive from your product to create a new product, you will receive your set profit each time a product derived from yours sells
Allow inclusion in 3rd party bundles – Other creators can make and sell bundles that include this product, you will receive your set profit each time a bundle with your product in it sells
Fill everything out then click Submit to Shop.
Edit Your Product Page
Once you submit your product your web browser will open showing your new product’s page. From here you can access this product’s Creator Tools.
You can view Creator Reports to see how much the product has sold and to who, Derive from it, Edit the product (this will open the product in Create Mode), Edit Settings (to change any of the settings you chose during product submission), Add HTML Description (you can use HTML to generate a product page to show off your product, and also change the product icon, rating and your profit here – find more information here) and See derivations (to see what products, if any, have been derived from yours).
And Last of All…Publish Your Product!
Now that you have submitted your product you can view and use it in IMVU, but others will not be able to see or purchase it until it is Published. When your product and product page are ready to go, click the link in the red banner at the top of the page.
This will send your product to Peer Review where it will be checked by other users to ensure it adheres to the Virtual Goods Policy and IMVU community standards. To learn more about Peer Review, click here.
You will receive a message from IMVU Inc. once your product has passed Peer Review and it will then be visible in the catalog where other users can see and purchase it!
Congratulations! You are now a Bona Fide Creator!