flying avatars on Babelx3d/ABNet - all about

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vcard's picture
flying avatars on Babelx3d/ABNet - all about

The switch role of gravity sensor

Avatar Studio standard avatars are walkers despite the fly/floating options available on bs contact (see here an image of bscontact navigation menu). You can fly over a scene but the avatar will keep moving the legs while floating over the scene, ugly and un-natural you may say; yeah but that is the case for vrml online worlds and servers that use Avatar Studio avatars or compatible: blaxxun servers and others that decided to keep the legacy - bitmanagement servers, ABNet, X-Robotica, etc. Of course, a fly animation can easily be put in place instead of the standard walk but that only changes a "walker" into a "flier" and that is not what we need or want. We need both: a avatar that can fly or walk switching automatically from one mode to the other according to what the "context" demands.  After some thinking and testing we come up with the idea that the gravity sensor was a key aspect in building a seamless automatic switch.

1- Absence of gravity and flying/floating

Gravity and flying are somehow related since to fly in real world we need to overcome the gravity attraction. Althoug in planet Earth there is never a situation of "absence of gravity" we know that it happens in outer space where astronauts (and every other object) float. In virtual worlds the gravity can be switched off by user command (see bscontact navigation menu) like when we select FLY, on the navigation menu, to "float" over a scene. That is it, gravity was chosen as the  automatic trigger to seamless switch between the Walk mode animation and the Fly mode animation of the avatar.

A specific Fly/float animation was made for this purpose and, sensing gravity, the avatar switches to Fly/float animation not only when the user selects Fly, on bscontact navigation menu but also when he selects Slide, Jump or any other navigation mode that has gravity off.

When a navigation mode with gravity off (like Fly, Slide, Jump or Examine) is selected
the avatar launches the Fly/float animation. It comes back to Walk anim when a navigation mode with gravity on (like Walk) is selected.

Test it!

To test the first flying avatar, futebolista, in Desolation Outpost world on babelx3d/abnet server, please click here.

(info: this version of futebolista avatar is not handcoded. It was was made with avatar studio only, using a version of the the forecoming "avatar.ASTmpl" export file we are preparing for release)

Enjoy, comment and share images of your explorations!

(to be continued)

Public - accessible to all site users
babelx3d's picture
two fliers

2 fliers


Alain's picture

first trying ( it is OK )



Second trying in Korben's world ,
and 2  questions :

1 - When you choose Fly in the list of gestures,
you have to reclick in the 3d window, and you ...walk !

2 - When you use the mode Fly , instead of Walk or Examine etc ,
it is Ok , you fly .
BUT : how to go up ??

I used the roofs and the hills to increase my height  :)



vcard's picture
Hi Alain, welcome!

Hi Alain, welcome!

1)To fly or float you don't need to choose the fly anim, the same way you don't need to chose the walk anim to walk. Just select fly on bscontact navigation menu as is normally selected Fly mode and the fly avatar animation will start automatically when you move.

2) Eheheh! you used a launch pad.

To go up or down you need to look up or down first. there is more than one way, I think. I use the mouse scroll wheel to adjust the point of view (look up or look down) and move the mouse or the keyboard arrows. It is the usual navigation info and is explained on abnet/babel help page:

See you,




Alain's picture

pffffff I am stupid !! Yes you are right , it is with the wheel of course !!!

artur's picture
Flying on the moon...!


awesome. better than walking! astronaut avatars needed :)

artur's picture
robots and ogres... oh,, my!

robots and ogres... oh,, my! the new export file gives a great flexibility with creating avatars. the ogre's POSE and WALK anims were customized and worked fine in abnet (as far a i could see) .

vcard's picture
Hi all

Hi all cheers

About the (over) menu of the flying avatars

The typical AV Studio avatar responds to a touch (click) by showing an animation (the Zen). Could we not find a more useful touch function? The idea started there and grow into a small menu popping over the avatar. The menu opens with a click and closes the same way. It is conceived to not interfere with world's code but if needed the over menu can be disabled by world builders.

This is useful in some aspects:

  • gives a direct access to avatar main functions, gestures and options
    (a builder can easily change the menu to add other options for special avatars).
  • can be viewed with the avatar in standalone, allowing an easy test of the avatar
  • In multiuser worlds we can launch (in shared) the gestures/functions /options directly from the avatar.

The Still Mode
Is one option in avatar's over menu. Still mode disables automatic movement animations (walk, fly and idle).
Normally, When you move the avatar it launches the movement animation (walk or fly) and stops any other gesture. This can be annoying sometimes.

  • If you are seated in a table and by accident click on the keyboard movement arrows the av gets up and starts walking.
  • if you try to seat inside a dragging viewpoint of a moving train the avatar starts walking by itself.
  • If you are dancing and try to move around dancing the av automatically stops the dance gesture and starts walking.
  • The idle animation can also be annoying if you intend to be seated on a gardens bench since idle starts from time to time .

So, Still mode disables all automatic movement animations (walk, fly and idle) and solves these kind of issues.

Use in babelx3d/abnet and other blaxxun contact or bs contact communities

This over menu and the flying avatars were conceived specifically to be used with babel/abnet worlds since they use specific shared (multiuser) commands of the server.

In other communities that use blaxxun contact or bs contact the flying avatars can be used to enjoy the fly mode. Yet the fly mode is not shared, so it's not viewd by other visitors, nor the gestures lauched from the over menu, since that would imply using specific shared/multiuser controls for those servers.

Another thing is that in multiuser worlds other users don't see the menu when they click on "us", they see our nickname over the avatar (a second click removes it).


Click here to test amanda avatar in Lemurian Sunset

(obs: the "avatar.ASTmpl" export file for avatar studio mentioned in previous posts is coming soon (still needs a bit more testing for bug catching).


Alain's picture
Thats seem perfect , vitor ,

Thats seem perfect , vitor ,
easy to get it :



vcard's picture
Hi Alain,

Hi Alain,

Noticed problems with some gestures in your av.
I was not sure why, at first, because I opened your av file in avatar studio, saved and the av come out fine.

Then I find out what is the problem. There is one thing we need to take in attention when saving avatars in Av Studio 2.
Before saving the AV in Avatar Studio 2, please ensure the av is in a stand up position (that is what I do normally with AS2, so I did not see, at first, your problem).
If you save with the avatar in a horizontal position that may trouble some gestures (it is not a general case but happens when using some particular gestures).


(PS: Alain is using a test export file "avatar.ASTmpl" for saving avatars. I will make it available for everyone to use, very soon. Still trying to detect some aspects/issues like this one in order to avoid problems to everyone and have them dealt with before the release)

vcard's picture
Avatar gestures and options on context menu

When the the avatar is far, the 3D over menu can be too small or hiding behind other objects. This motivated a new 2D menu accessed on context menu.This is, sometimes, a more convenient menu (click the 3D scene with right mouse button to see it). As seen below this menu also shows gesture's names.

The avatar 2D context menu

flying avatars kit available for download

The kit to generate babelx3d/ABnet flying avatars is available on the section "Tools  - Tutorials" of this babelx3d portal
(or download_here )