Facebook Spaces, the company’s social VR application which launched in beta one year ago, is getting an entirely new avatar system and customization tool, something Facebook says in a recent blog post was designed to make avatars “more expressive and customizable than ever.”
The new avatar system, which includes “hundreds of new options” will feature new head shapes, hairstyles, facial features, and the ability to choose your body type. The update will also come with new controls to adjust the size, position and angle of your avatar’s features, as well as an overhaul to the automatic avatar creator which runs your photos through a machine learning algorithm to extrapolate an avatar.
The company says the update will arrive sometime this week. Check out a preview of Facebook Spaces’ new avatars below:
“Bringing together artists and engineers from across our team, we drew on techniques from film animation, graphics, game character design, and mathematics to create a whole new, re-vamped version of avatars for Spaces,” the company said.
“We’ve worked on making avatars feel more present in the VR space with richer materials, better lighting and shadows. We’ve also fine-tuned the tech under the hood to make avatar body movements look more fluid and natural,” Facebook Spaces creators continued.
Released in beta last year on Rift, the app essentially lets you connect with friends and family in a private multiuser environment where you can communally watch 360 videos, draw in the air, and play mini-games. You can also interact directly via Facebook by posting VR selfies to your Timeline, engage in a Messenger video chat with anyone regardless of whether they’re inside VR or not, and even livestream your in-app exploits directly to Facebook Live.
Facebook Spaces has since updated to include support for HTC Vive, which includes cross-platform access. Facebook’s head of social VR Rachel Rubin Franklin said late last year that Vive support is “only the beginning: We’re working to bring Facebook Spaces to even more VR platforms and devices in the future, so stay tuned.”