Manual #002: Adding
What is an 'avatar'?
avatar is a digital representation of an internet user. It
can be a photo, a drawing or a complex rendering. For the
purpose of this paper, we will look at an avatar as a 3d
model of a human or animal. The avatar list and it's components
In order for us to add or update our list of avatars, we
need a few things. We need an avatar model, the avatar textures
and the avatar data file. The avatar model The avatar model
is a file that ends with the 3-letter extension 'rwx'. It
is a collection of data in text format which controls the
shape and lighting of the avatar itself. The avatar file,
which we will refer to as "avatar.rwx", should
be zipped and placed into the 'avatars' folder on your object
path. The avatar textures Also included with your avatar
file may be several 'jpg' texture files and zipped 'bmp'
mask images. These should go into the 'textures' folder on
your object path. If your avatar doesn't have any of these
files, it may be because the avatar is the type that doesn’t
require any. The avatar list The avatar list, or what appears
under the 'Avatars' menu selection in your Activeworlds browser,
is a text file that contains the information for each avatar
on your list. If you open this file with notepad or wordpad,
you will see one or more "collections" of avatar
information. Each collection starts with the line "avatar" and
ends with the line "endavatar". The first line
AFTER the line that says "avatar" begins with "name=".
This is what will appear in your avatar list in your aw browser
The line that follows starts with "geometry=".
This is the rwx filename of the avatar. The next line starts
a section called "beginimp/endimp". These r the
actions or "sequences" your avatar will use when
performing standard activities such as walking, swimming,
flying in activeworlds. You can usually get away with leaving
these alone. Of course, a good avatarist will provide you
with sequences and a text file depicting the entries to use.
If you find a sequence that you like, simply replace the
filename to the right of the action. For example, let's say
you found a new "walk" sequence called "limpwalk.seq".
Go to the "walk=" line and change the name to the
right to "limpwalk" (the filename of the new sequence.)
The section that follows is the "beginexp/endexp" section.
These are the buttons that appear at the top of your screen.
Most avatars have a "wave" or "turn" button.
You can add action buttons (custom sequences) in the same
manner as standard sequences. To add more, just add another
line using similar syntax. The word to the left of the "=" will
be the word that appears on the button while the word to
the right is the filename of the custom sequence.