ADR-57: Avatar assembling instructions for visualization

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An Avatar in Decentraland is a set of wearables on top of a bodyshape. Its complexity lies in the relations between different wearables, how they interact with one another and their capability to shift form based on the bodyshape they are attached. This documents breaks down the steps and requirements to visualize an Avatar properly.


Hides and Force Render

To avoid issues such as clipping when rendering, each wearable contains sets of categories to hide. In addition, the avatar definition contains a field called forceRender to allow specific hidden categories to be displayed anyway. More info at ADR-239


This list represents the categories a wearable hides. They are still part of the profile, but just invisible. For instance, your helmet wearable might want to hide the facial hair to avoid a beard from coming out of the mesh, but you want your beard to still be equiped if you remove the helmet.

Conflicts are solved in order within the profile. If two wearables mutually hide one another, the first one in the list of wearables in the profile will hide the other one (which won’t be taken into account).

Hides list is mostly used at rendering time.


A wearable definition holds an array of representations that determines its content for a specific bodyshape. The lack of a representation for a bodyshape is handled as an incompatibility.

  "bodyShapes": ["urn:decentraland:off-chain:base-avatars:BaseMale"],
  "mainFile": "F_Eyewear_BlackSunglasses.glb",
  "overrideHides": [],
  "contents": [
      "key": "AvatarWearables_TX.png",
      "hash": "QmRaHnacT5G7oLYTYGsRWZtLXzXuTNEq7gWAcvXRSxfwEU"
      "key": "F_Eyewear_BlackSunglasses.glb",
      "hash": "QmXLrokLeJkmyFD64xGicQyD3R3M4AWcPFLXJMNQx9U7eK"

Required Categories

Avatars shouldn’t run naked around the world, to prevent this a fallback system was designed when something goes wrong. Only missing wearables in specific categories will be fallen back.

Cheat sheet

This is a summary of the process to render an avatar.

  1. Gather the bodyshape.
  2. Filter out wearables that doesn’t contain a representation for that bodyshape.
  3. Iterate the hides list and remove affected wearables from the process if not present in the forceRender field.
  4. Fill required categories with default wearables for the bodyshape.
  5. Download the wearable assets.
    1. If the download fails, fallback to a default one.
  6. Apply coloring to hair and skin.


Each wearable carries its own set of bones (only the needed ones) which makes them completely autonomous and capable of playing animations on their own.


The only requirement about shading is tinting the correct materials with skin/hair colors. Any material matching (?i)\bskin\b will be tinted with the skin color and any other matching (?i)\bhair\b will be tinted with the hair color.

Three different shaders are used when rendering an avatar.


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