People Putty is a tool (and also, a toy!) that allows you to make your very own interactive 3-D character, then use it to play dress up or act as a tour guide for your own web page.
Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, in fact it´s true and, even more, it´s fairly easy to accomplish. Right after you start People Putty (try to read the funny descriptions while loading), you face… no, well, actually a 3D character faces you, a nice girl who quietly stares at you while behaving in a very realistic manner. (actually only the face is represented, though it is possible to get full bodied characters from the company) . This is already quite impressive, but it´s only the tip of the iceberg. The interface to the program is self explanatory, intuitive and very well documented, comprising all the stages which take part in the creation of a character in a single row, from top to bottom: skin, shapes, emotions, accesories and theatre. Continue reading Let´s make a mini-me! now, in 3-D
In sanscrit, the term Avatar comes to mean “the terrestrial incarnation of a god”. In nerd, it is an image that you use to represent yourself in forums or while chatting, usually a picture of some person or character you feel attached to or a caricature of yourself.
Besides searching for a premade picture, you can make use of one of the many avilable automated generators, from which I chose the two examples above, to tailor one to your liking. The Gaia Dream Creator offers you full-body manga style characters with lots of accesories and a high cuteness factor; the Avatar Creator (which I found in numerous sites) is a flash application focused on face portraits. Both of them are very intuitive to use, and the Gaia Creator even outputs a rendered image that automatically gets hosted in ImageShack for you to use; as for the Avatar Creator, you´ll need to make a screen capture (printscreen button), then paste and cut the portrait with an appropriate program. Have fun!
[Update|26.12.05] If you liked the Dream Creator, you may want to try gavsim too.