Meez

From 2005 to 2008, I was the Art Director for Meez.com, a site where you could customize your own 3D avatar, explore environments, and chat with friends. The avatars were viewable in a 3d Java applet viewable in the web browser. As a streaming applet, textures and poly-counts had to be relatively small. I designed the versatile character creation system for Meez and modeled all of the base characters. I set up the pipeline for all of the clothing, hairstyle, accessory and prop modeling and texturing and oversaw all outsourcing and asset creation. In 2008, Meez boasted nearly 7 million users.

The Meez character body was just over 1000 triangles and the head is about 450 triangles. The other assets – hair and clothing – were a few hundred tris each and layered over the base body geometry. Textures were layered so that users could choose the base color from a defined palette and get different color shirts, dresses, etcetera. We also had many props for your characters. Our 3D engine did not support transparency, so I designed cartoony “glare-lines” to indicate glass surfaces, as seen in the top vehicle’s windshield.

Meez users had a wide variety of 2D backdrops to place behind their avatar.
For these illustrations, I aimed for a detailed graphic style which complemented
the look of the 3d characters. These images were mostly created by out-of-house art teams.

Meez also featured customizable spaces for the users to decorate and inhabit. I created concepts of how these spaces might look. Much of the artwork for the actual room spaces was done out of house with  various freelancers and art studios. The chat-room spaces had to accommodate a large number of characters. The furniture was rendered separately from the background so that the user could move items around and decorate.

We also developed a number of games for players to bright their avatars into. Dance Floor Destroyer, shown here, was a rhythm game where players could see their Meez avatar DJing at various clubs. I designed the background locations, the UI look and feel, and the menu flow. All games also featured winnable badges, which I also oversaw the creation of.

frontpage 01
Meez web site landing page

 

Meez Characters mixed
Meez character variations. (We had a lot of player options for faces, hair, clothing – all with editable color palettes – and a wide variety of animations.)

 

 

 

Meez Props sheet
Meez props

 

Meez Props sheet 02
Meez props, 3D detail

 

BackgroundPrintSheet 02
Meez backgrounds

 

Meez Room concepts
Meez room concepts

 

meezrooms
Meez 3D rooms, fully customizable by the players. All props could be moved around, placed in any room, etc.)

 

Meez Hangouts
Meez multi-player hangouts

 

Meez_DFD_01
Meez game ‘Dance Floor Destroyer’ title screen

 

Meez_DFD_02
Meez game ‘Dance Floor Destroyer’ Rave Warehouse environment

 

 

Meez_DFD_03
Meez game ‘Dance Floor Destroyer’ Beach Dance Party environment

 

 

Meez_DFD_04
Meez game ‘Dance Floor Destroyer’ Disco Club environment

 

 

Meez_DFD_05
Meez game ‘Dance Floor Destroyer’ – This is what the Warehouse looked like in-game, fully populated with your avatar at the turntable

 

 

Meez game badges
Meez featured many games that the user could play and earn badges for.  I created all of the graphics for the awards, often incorporating imagery from the specific games themselves. Here are just a few of the awards I created.