Avatar Work in Progress

I got to thinking that, short of a real multi-user environment, it would add interest to have some of the original avatars in the worlds – they could even wander about. I’ve done a few experiments and it’s starting to look fairly close to the original:

(apologies to JamesC for nicking his name, but I wanted a close comparison with one of the few clear images from the original application to survive on the www:

This turned out to be rather trickier than first expected or rather it is tricky to maintain the pixelated look. The Century Gothic font isn’t quite the same – maybe a bit of stretching is in order.

In the end I used an X3dOM RenderedTexture with an OrthoViewpoint for the text. I’ve also bundled it all up into a JavaScript function so that avatars can be created and inserted into worlds. I’ll detail this in a future post, mainly so I don’t forget how I did it.

Also I couldn’t recall whether the whole avatar should have a billboard so it always faces the viewer, or just the floating name, or neither. Since there is a back view in the original avatar frames, I opted for having just the name billboarded. Ultimately I’ll animate the avatars.

15 Replies to “Avatar Work in Progress”

  1. I have good news! I got a zip file that seems to contain bugworld.exe and practice.exe but I can’t seem to use timigis contact page, either in chrome or edge browsers, I was wondering if you are still in contact with them. I tried to email your gmail that you shared with me, but im not sure thats the proper way to contact you

  2. I have look at Timigi.com, that was part of what got me looking again.I would be very interested to see what user created rooms you have! You might even have one of mine! but i doubt it, i couldn’t find my own. Marihuana, and Jazz Bar

    • I haven’t checked them for completeness, but the rooms I have (all I think from cybernosis) are:
      Doggy Party FunHouse
      Foxtail Lodge
      Ghostly Memories
      Medieval Fantasy
      Secret Mother

      Neither of the ones you mention unfortunatley.

      • I recognize a few of those. I wasnt able to find any rooms when i checked cybernosis, maybe i didnt check well enough LOL. I know for sure the largest trove of custom avatars i found on https://web.archive.org/web/20011029025901/http://www.eternaldream.com/vchat/avatars-1-50.htm dont forget to look at the domains and search it, then browse the listed files to make sure they are actual gif or pngs i think there is around 150 or so. If you are having trouble with automatic redirects, i use an extension in chrome named ScriptBlock it allows me to prevents java based redirects, and the short cut to stop a page loading is the escape key on chrome.

        • Thanks for that, I’ll check it out. I think the cybernosis stuff came from the site itself years ago rather than from archive. I know how frustrating it can be trying to track things down there! If I get the time this weekend I’ll put the fan worlds and avatars I have in a shared folder and send you the link, if that’s any help.

          • That would be amazing! Also I am in the process of updating my website with a guide of how to install V-Chat on windows 10 and 11. The guide to get it running is done but I have so much I want to put on the website, but it will be done fairly soon at

        • Thanks. Yes, I knew about that one. Sadly it seems that they were only ever hosted by ms in a form that archive.org couldn’t scrape. I used to have them on a hard drive that failed, tried everything to recover but failed. Turned out the Iomega zip drive backup I had was just a bunch of empty folders. I’m glad things are different these days!

      • i got an irc server up and running with the rooms properly linked so chatters can navigate through the worlds but it occurred to me that timigi doesnt have the National Soccer Hall Of Fame, if possible could you let me know where you got the world files? my server has mostly all the rooms excluding the betas and alternative versions, Thank you in advance, if you want to check out my server its listed on my site http://msvchat.github.io

        • Brilliant – I shall have to have a look this weekend. Do you mind if I add a link to your server to my (currently rather short!) links page? I did send the nshof to him a while back, but I think it’s a fan site rather than an MS release. Origins are murky, but it could well have been from v-chatterbox. I’ll make sure I include the files in the share – apologies for taking so long on that, busy week!

  3. Thank you so much for doing this, I have loved V-chat ever since I found out about it way back when I was 12 years old. As I type this I’ve been on a week bender looking at the way back machine trying to find anything I can related to V-Chat. I even found old avatars I had made and I managed to remember the passwords to unlock them. So far I have accumulated around 227 public avatars, but I’m sure many of them are duplicates. As for rooms, none of the sites had full copies of rooms. I am aware of the few livenet sites that host rooms but my goal was to find something I didn’t back in 2004, I knew James he was a cool dude he even let me have some space on his site and i was the youngest moderator on his forum. V-chatterbox. I went by Kolestan back then.

    • Hi Bread, glad you like it! I’ve paused any additions for a while now that all the original worlds I had backups of are up and running. I do have a small archive of user-designed worlds I plan to put up some time, of the sort where people changed the graphics. I too have spent many hours scraping archive.org. Found a few interesting snippets, but sadly none of the missing worlds. Have you looked at Timigi.com?

What do you think?