Microsoft Avatars


I did not expect Microsoft Avatars for XBOX LIVE MarketPlace to be one of the most challenging experiences.  As part of the initial team developing assets for Xbox Live’s
new avatar creation system I found myself working with very specified restrictions
in terms of polygon counts and texture space.

Here I will try to show you some of the clear examples of why I think creating assets for the Avatars was harder than I thought. And hopefully you will see it from my perspective.

Every one knows nowadays what the avatars are and what they mean for Microsoft's games community but what they don't know is that behind the scenes there is a lot to learn and to deal with.  Basically, avatars aren't easy to make!
The biggest texture size we could use was 128x128 px  but we mostly have to see ourselves dealing with 32x32px or 64x64px and yet be able to have amazing results by UVing intelligently just like it had to be done on the golden years of Nintendo 64.

Our quality control was really high. Avatars had to be perfect or to be perfect! There was no other option.

We developed hundreds of assets before the first dashboard with Avatars was realised. The first pack consisted of standard fashionable clothes.

Star Wars Lightsaber

Soon after, we developed assets for important franchises like: Star Wars, Gears of
War 2, Fable 2, Forza 3, Halo 3, Bio Shock 2, EA, Adidas, Tokidoki,
Skullcandy, Marvel comics, DC comics, Fantasy Pets, Robots Collection
 and more, creating art concepts and developing assets later launched and sold on
the XBOX LIVE MarketPlace.

"Its the first time in 10 years that an outsourcing team does a job without any feedback.
Perfect work"    LionHead