How to make items for IMVU
Get started using Blender, Cal3D & FBX

Getting started with Blender for IMVU

Making 3D products for IMVU is now easier than ever, all that's needed is some time and a bit of dedication to the process, learning common techniques on how to make the different product types for IMVU. The below information and resources are provided to help start this journey.

Important: the information below is considered obsolete but remains available for legacy purpose. To make IMVU content using the latest version of Blender see here ».

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Installing Blender

Which version of Blender do I need? ^

For up-to-date content creation and the ability to export to FBX download the latest version of Blender.

To export using the Cal3D export script Blender 2.64 is the minimum requirement - newer versions can be used but are typically untested.

Design Note: support is no longer provided for Blender 2.63 or below.

[duration: 3:00 mins] Installing Blender on Windows 10

download Cal3D exporter ^

To export content for use in IMVU two options are available; 1) native FBX export or 2) the third-party Cal3D export scripts. For information on exporting content from Blender using FBX click below.

To download Cal3D for Blender 2.64+ click below.

IMCU Cal3D export script

IMPORANT NOTICE: support is no longer provided for Blender 2.63 and below, or the associated Cal3D export scripts. The below is provided for convenience only.

Installing Cal3D exporter? ^

The use of a third-party export script is only required for Cal3D files. Exporting FBX files can be done from within Blender directly.

To install the Cal3D export script for Blender 2.64+.

  • Open Blender, click "File » User Preferences" then the "Install from File..." button. Browse to the downloaded ZIP file (do not unpack/extract contents). Select then click "Install from File...".

  • Once installed script then needs to be enabled - click "Addons". In "Categories" on the left click "Import-Export" (alternatively type "Cal3D" into the search box). In the list that appears click the "checkbox" to the right of "Import-Export: IMVU Cal3D export" entry to activate. Finally click "Save User Settings" to load exporter when Blender starts. Close Preferences.

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Learn to Create

First: learn Create Mode ^

To make products for IMVU it's essential to know how to use Create Mode. The best way to learn is to get stuck in and start with the basics, 'Stickers' and move on to 'furniture' and more complex items.

IMVU Creator Center

Second: learn Blender 3D ^

This best and simplest way to learn how to use Blender is to follow the tutorials linked below, which provides a basic overview of Blender and using it to make meshes that can then be used in IMVU (the following is for 2.49. most actions are applicable to 2.45 except where noted above).


[duration: 2:00 mins] A first-look, first-use over-view of Blender and its confusing Interface

[duration: 4:00 mins] A second look at Blenders confusing Interface and how mouse and keyboard are used together and why left and right button are used the way they are

Third: learn to make IMVU content ^

Learn how to make clothes, poses, rooms, furniture and more for IMVU using Blender.

Important: IMVU's default scale, the size objects appear to be in the 3D View, is approximately 100x LARGER than Blenders. Always start a project by opening the appropriate template for the product type being made to ensure everything is the correct size relative to IMVU, else scene "Scale" and "Clip" values will need to be increased to properly view view content (press "N" to access "View" properties, adjust "Scale:" under "Display", and "Start:" and "End:" under "Clipping").

Learning how to make custom avatar poses is just one type of item that can be made amongst others...

"My first mesh..." make a simple pumpkin furniture seat in Blender, exported to FBX and then assembled in IMVU using the fbx import feature

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Cal3D/FBX Troubleshooting

FBX Frequently Asked Questions ^

An official FAQ for FBX exporting can be found on IMVU Creator site here.

Blender says Python is missing? ^

For Blender 2.64+ Python is optional as the necessary files are included during installation of Blender. On starting Blender however, there may be an error displayed in the Console to the effect that " installed Python found". To fix this error Python needs to be downloaded and installed (download the exact files below).

Design note: for Blender 2.64+ Python is optional. Support is no longer provided for Blender 2.64 or below, including 2.45 and 2.49.

I installed Python but still get the error in Blender ^

If using Blender 2.45 or 2.49 it's possible that even though Python has been installed an error message is received when starting. The fix for this is relatively technical and can be found by reading through, and doing, the following tutorial.

Making products for IMVU using Blender