First Look at The Sandbox’s Avatar System

Freely choose the way you look using a system based on ERC-1155 customizable parts.

The Sandbox
3 min readDec 12, 2018

The Avatar system in The Sandbox ecosystem is the default way players will see themselves inside the different gaming experiences available. As such, The Sandbox team’s goal is to create an avatar style that will let potential users quickly identify the Avatar as belonging in The Sandbox.

The Avatar with the 14 different body parts clearly depicted

The Avatar needs to allow players to express themselves visually through different customization options. Those customizations will come in the form of interchangeable body pieces.

Each Avatar will be composed of 14 swappable parts:

  • Head
  • Chest
  • Arm x2
  • Forearm x2
  • Hand x2
  • Thigh x2
  • Calf & Shin x2
  • Foot x2

Each of these separate parts will each be an ASSET token, meaning that each should be able to be sold separately in the marketplace, providing further uses for the ASSET token. Equipping different parts will not be registered on the blockchain since we don’t want players to have to pay “gas prices” for transactions each time they equip a body part.

Front View

Avatar Details

The Avatar will be comprised of several pieces (one for each body part) that will determine the maximum number of voxels in each body part of the Avatar.

Within those body pieces, creators will be able to create whichever voxel model they desire. The sizes of each piece were selected to allow creative freedom while maintaining a set standard of rules to allow interoperability with other creators’ pieces.

Bounding boxes — Each one is an NFT

Specifically, the total dimensions of the Avatar in T pose are 211x264x88, separated into 14 parts as follows (in voxel units):

  • Head: 72x72x72
  • Chest: 72x56x72
  • Arm: 40x32x32
  • Forearm: 40x32x32
  • Hand: 40x32x32
  • Thigh: 32x32x40
  • Calf & Shin: 32x32x40
  • Foot: 32x48x18

Avatar Animation

Each of the body parts will be linked together to a skeletal hierarchy that will control the whole Avatar. Each body part will be assigned one bone of this hierarchy, and the whole model of that body part will move according to that bone.

There will only be a single bone controlling the movement of a single body part, in order to avoid voxel deformation and stay true to voxel animation.

Visual Representation of Animation Bones

The team will provide creators with a standard set of animations for the base Avatar, such as walk, jump, wave, etc., but creators will be able to create their own animations in order to suit the needs of their gaming experiences.

In order to avoid as much model breaking as possible in the joints (forearm to hand, chest to head, etc.) there will be an intentional overlapping between consecutive body parts, which creators will have to take into account while creating the parts themselves in order to avoid things like z-fighting, which happens when two faces of 3D geometry are exactly over each other.

Z-Fighting — What we’re trying to avoid.

Sample animation video:

As we can see in the video, the model has separate pieces that are not connected but instead follow a hierarchy in the that goes from the main body of the spider to the tiny piece of the leg. We’re pleased with the system’s progress thus far — if you have any thoughts on Avatars in The Sandbox, please let us know in the comments!

To learn more about VoxEdit, we invite you to check out our website!