From 2005 to 2008, I was the Art Director for, 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 app in the earlier days of the Internet, 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 assets and animations created by an internal art team and a constant art pipeline of work created by an external studio. In 2008, Meez boasted nearly 7 million users.

Meez web site landing page.

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 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.

Meez props, 3D detail.

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 backgrounds.

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.

Meez room concepts.

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

Meez multi-player hangouts.

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.

You could also play games with your Meez avatar. This is the title screen for ‘Dance Floor Destroyer,' a rhythm game where your Meez would DJ.

Meez game ‘Dance Floor Destroyer’ Rave Warehouse environment.

‘Dance Floor Destroyer’ Beach Dance Party environment.

‘Dance Floor Destroyer’ Disco Club environment.

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

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.

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