Note: After finishing this avatar, I made a skin based on milk carton full of spider’s Basil catgirl design, and recreated everything in this post but on the new skin.
This is the first time I’ve used Blockbench and Figura. Blockbench is “a low-poly 3D model editor,” which the folks at Mojang use to make things for Minecraft, and Figura is “a client-side [Minecraft] mod that allows for extensive customization of the player model,” and allows you to load Blockbench models and write Lua scripts to control them.
Here’s what I made:
It’s not the most intricate thing in the world, but I was pleasantly surprised at how I managed to make something that I’m proud of in half a day, especially given that this is the first time I’ve worked with either tool.
Figura actually gives you a lot of control, and so the model is a bit more complex than that. Here are the features that I managed to implement:
The ears have a subtle idle animation.
There’s a head-tilt animation that can be triggered through the action wheel to express confusion.
You can switch between two other facial expressions, a happy one and an unamused one, and I built it in a way that makes it easy to add more.
The happy one works well with the head tilt if you want to express affection instead of confusion.
A handful of other Figura models I’ve looked at don’t seem to handle movement in skirts very well. I took the very simple approach of making two halves of the skirt and attaching them to each leg. It looks a bit quirky when walking, but it’s fine enough and I don’t know of a better approach.1
This is actually an edited version of a skin that Cookie had made for me some time ago.2 I only changed the top (removed the shoulders), removed the skirt and ears so that they don’t clash with the 3D skirt and ears, and made a few small tweaks.
The character doesn’t actually have a name, but I believe this specific design was made by Cookie. I don’t think any of the different catgirl designs that various artists made of my leaf have names, but have been colloquially referred to as “Basil Catgirl.”
The Figura compatible isn’t for download (just for my private use :3), though I’m sure if you really wanted to, you could take the
.gltf model used in these animations and use it to reconstruct the model in Blockbench.
…also, bonus fun fact: This is the first Real Thing I’ve made with Three.js. The second version of my website had an easter egg that used Three.js, but this is the first truly public-facing thing.
Now that I’m writing this, I’m thinking that if I made the skirt segments move at maybe 0.8 of the speed of the legs, it could maybe look a bit better? Though it feels like it would be a lot of work… ↩
Long (not really) story. It’s a part of the whole “Basil Catgirl” saga, which I could potentially detail. It’s probably not the most interesting given how straight-forward it is, but was quite an amusing experience. ↩