Wolf3D’s Ready Player Me Creates a 3D Avatar for Mozilla Hubs from a Selfie

Some examples of avatars created using Ready Player Me

Wolf3D, a company that specializes in making personal 3D avatars for games and virtual worlds, has released a new browser-based program called Ready Player Me. Ready Player Me allows you to create a personalized 3D avatar for use in Mozilla Hubs, using as your starting point a single selfie from your cellphone or webcam!

(You might remember Wolf3D as the creators of a mobile app called Virtual You, which High Fidelity released to create a 3D avatar for use on the now-closed social VR platform. This app was withdrawn from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store when HiFi essentially ceased operations on Jan. 15th, 2020.)

Using Ready Player Me could not be easier. Simply visit the website, click on the blue Create Avatar button to get started, and take (or upload) a selfie. You are then given an array of options to change your skin, hair, eye and eyebrow colour, and hairstyle, facial hair, shirt and eyeglasses. After only a few minutes, here is what I was able to come up with:

Once you are satisfied, just click the checkmark in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and it saves the avatar, giving you a URL which you should bookmark somewhere for later use and re-use.

To use your newly-created avatar in Mozilla Hubs, open a world, click on the three-bars menu in the upper left-hand corner, and click on Set Name & Avatar:

On the Name & Avatar screen, click on Browse Avatars:

On the Browse Avatars screen, click on Avatar GLB URL in the upper right-hand corner of your screen:

Enter the URL you received from Ready Player Me, and click Accept:

That’s it! Here’s what my customized avatar looks like in Mozilla Hubs:

I am hoping that we will see Wolf3D-made avatars pop up in other social VR and virtual worlds! It’s such an easy way for somebody to create a personalized avatar.

P.S. Starting with this blogpost, I have created a new category called Mozilla Hubs, since I find myself writing about this platform more often. I will try to go back and add my older blogposts about Mozilla Hubs to this category, but that is going to take a little time, so please bear with me!

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The IEEE VR 2020 Conference March 22-26 Will Have a Free Online Experience Via Social VR

The recently-concluded Educators in VR 2020 International Summit was proof that you can indeed run an entire six-day conference in social VR! So I thought I would use this space to promote another VR conference which, while not being held completely in virtual reality, will have an online component via social VR. And the best part is, the online experience is completely free! All you have to do is register.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers‘ (IEEE) Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEE VR for short) is the premier international event for the presentation of research results in the broad area of virtual reality. This year, the conference runs from March 22nd-26th, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.

As part of the IEEE’s long term goal to increase the sustainability and accessibility of the conference, this year IEEE VR 2020 is hosting a collection of online social virtual spaces for people who cannot travel to Atlanta during the week of March 22-26th. These web-based 3D spaces will be accessible in traditional web browsers on most devices, and in VR via WebVR. This experimental track is IEEE VR’s first step toward future conferences adding even more meaningful remote experiences for people who are not able to physically attend the conference.

The conference organizers will be live streaming video of the technical paper sessions and keynotes (information will be available on the VR website closer to the conference). Taking advantage of these streams, they are creating 3D social spaces for remote participants to co-watch the talks with others, socialize and meet each other. They also plan to use these 3D social spaces to host a virtual poster session (for a subset of the posters whose non-attending co-authors would like to present remotely).

All of the online activities this year will take place synchronously with the real-world conference, which will generally be 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST during the week of March 22-26th, 2020. (And let’s hope that the coronavirus epidemic does not scuttle those plans!) A complete program overview is available on the official IEEE VR 2020 conference website.

The IEEE will use a customized version of the Mozilla Hubs social VR platform to host a collection of virtual rooms for people who cannot physically attend the conference. Participants can join the Hubs rooms from any web browser, using 2D screens or immersive VR displays. The conference site is located at https://hubs.ieeevr.online, and will be available to all registered conference attendees.

These rooms will include spaces to co-watch the conference video streams in small groups, visit a virtual poster session running synchronously with the live poster sessions at IEEE VR, and social rooms for remote attendees. Anyone may register for the remote experience and join other remote viewers in the shared 3D spaces, discuss the talks and posters and meet other remote attendees.

The IEEE’s goal is to increase access to the conference for remote participants who would otherwise be unable to attend due to mobility impairments, chronic health issues, temporary travel limitations, or a choice to reduce their impact on the environment due to carbon emissions from long distance travel.

Participants access the Hubs rooms by visiting https://hubs.ieeevr.online, and logging in with the email address they used to register for the conference (see information below on how to register). The IEEE will require all remote participants to register for IEEE VR on the main registration site (at no cost) to gain access to the hubs virtual spaces.

The IEEE is using their regular conference registration system to register for the Online Experience.  Please note that registration is required to gain access to the Hubs server (at https://hubs.ieeevr.online) and the VR 2020 Slack server (used by both local and online attendees to chat about the conference).

To register for the online experience, use the main registration website for the conference. Fill out the registration form via the “Click here to Register” button on http://ieeevr.org/2020/attend/registration.html and select only the “Online Experience” on the final page (Registration Items). Some of the questions (such as whether you need a Visa Letter and Dietary Restrictions) are only relevant for people attending in person, so you can select “No” for the Visa Letter and ignore the Dietary Restrictions selections.

The IEEE will be uploading the registration list to the hubs.ieeevr.online system and to the Slack invitation system (https://ieeevr-slack-invite.glitch.me/) at regular intervals leading up to the conference.  They will post updates to the http://ieeevr.org/2020/online/ website about social and training sessions with the online system, over the next few weeks.

In addition, the IEEE VR 2020 conference is looking for volunteers to help run the social experiences. If you are interested in remotely participating, and would like to help make this a great experience for everyone, please consider volunteering! To sign up as a possible volunteer, please fill out this form:

Hope to see you there!

Photo by stephan sorkin on Unsplash

Mozilla Hubs Releases the Spoke Architecture Kit: Build Your Own Environments for Mozilla Hubs!

Yesterday Mozilla Hubs released a new architecture kit called Spoke, which can be used to build worlds for use by their social VR platform:

We’re excited to release the Spoke by Mozilla Architecture Kit! This tool allows anyone to create 3D models and buildings from within their browser to be used as environments for our social VR platform, Hubs.

You can get more information about Spoke here.

This new feature just adds to the appeal of the open source Mozilla Hubs platform, which supports every single VR headset and browser:

Because we are using web standards (WebVR and eventually WebXR) to deliver this content, we are able to support every single Mixed Reality headset. Every. Single. One. You can enjoy this experience with advanced hardware such as an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive, or you can use alternatives such as a Daydream or cardboard viewer. You can even use your desktop or mobile phone if you don’t have access to any VR hardware. Everyone can come together and communicate with each other in this online social space. The experience will progressively scale to make use of the hardware that is available to you.

Mozilla Hubs and Sketchfab Announce a Design Challenge: Create Your Own Clubhouse!

Mozilla Hubs 30 Oct 2018.png

Sketchfab and Mozilla Hubs are teaming up for a contest: design your own clubhouse! (Apparently, this is a trend in virtual world contests…)

Welcome to our new community contest! Once again we’ve joined up with the Mozilla crew to build virtual worlds. This time we’re exploring their new Hubs platform and populating it with new spaces and props.

The theme is ‘Clubhouse’ – this can be anything from a treehouse to a speakeasy, a space station to a super-secret gathering space at the bottom of the ocean. You’ll be challenged to design both the space as well as props for it so that other people can use them on Mozilla Hubs.

About Mozilla Hubs

Hubs is Mozilla’s new social 3D platform. It lets you meet friends, ‘voice talk’ to them, and decorate the space with any kind of content, including YouTube videos, images and, of course, Sketchfab models – just by visiting a link.

Give it a try now! Visit this room on Hubs, open a second window with downloadable Sketchfab models and just copy and paste the page URL for in any downloadable Sketchfab model to add it to your space.

The prizes are pretty sweet, too:

1st Place

  • $1,000 Amazon Gift Card
  • Oculus Go – If Amazon supports shipping in country ($200 gift card if not)
  • 1 year of Sketchfab PRO

2nd Place

  • $750 Amazon Gift Card
  • Oculus Go – If Amazon supports shipping in country ($200 gift card if not)
  • 6 months of Sketchfab PRO

3rd Place

  • $350 Amazon Gift Card
  • Oculus Go – If Amazon supports shipping in country ($200 gift card if not)
  • 3 months of Sketchfab PRO

10 Honorable Mentions

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • 1 month of Sketchfab PRO

The contest deadline is Tuesday, November 27th, 2018. The complete list of contest details and rules can be found here.