Fuse Updated for Steam Games 3D Character Creation

If you're not familiar with Steam, the first thing to know is that there now more than 65 million active members of Valve's platform for the delivery and management of PC and Mac games, which now number more than 2,000 titles. And active they are. At the time of writing, more than two million members were online and playing, with more than 240 million community content contributions have been logged to date.

Content contributions? The Steam community is keen on modding games as well as creating and sharing content in the Steam Workshop. And this is where Fuse shows up. Developer Mixamo earlier created an online character animation service that provides game developers with the ability to customize and create professional-quality character animations. An extension of this is Fuse, which was developed in collaboration with Stanford University and Allegorithmic, with the goal of allowing gamers to quickly create customized, high-quality game characters by dragging digital body parts, such as heads, torsos, arms and legs, as well as textures, into the Fuse interface.

Fuse, a data-driven 3D character creation tool, was introduced in March of this year and included characters from the mythic Valve game Team Fortress 2, which was a good start. It was also possible to import and integrate user-created clothing, body parts and substances, allowing users to add content created in other modeling tools to the existing Fuse character library. When characters are complete, they could then be imported into compatible Steam games. According to Mark Richardson of Valve, “With Fuse 1.0 and the ability to integrate user generated assets, the character creation possibilities become endless." To us this sounded more creative and a lot more fun than strapping on an Oculus Rift and dodging Facebook ads.

Fuse 1.1 adds more than 280 possible adjustment shapes, which also work on imported characters. 3D characters can also receive such customizations as fantasy items, alpha moustaches and beards. Also new are improved scaling options; the ability to choose from 2k or 4k maps, with new texture packing options; automatic body assembly via Shift-Click; instant color picking; and a content library.

More information is available on the Mixamo site.