Apple has been granted a patent (number 11481988) for an “avatar editing environment.” It involves the creation of Animoji and Memoji.
About the patent
Animojis allow a user to choose an avatar (e.g., a puppet) to represent themselves. The Animoji can move and talk as if it were a video of the user. Animojis enable users to create personalized versions of emojis in a fun and creative way, and Memoji is the name used for Apple’s personalized “Animoji” characters that can be created and customized right within Messages by choosing from a set of inclusive and diverse characteristics to form a unique personality.
In the patent filing Apple notes that a=Avatars in video games are the player’s physical representation in the game world. Online games often provide means for creating varied and sophisticated avatars. In some online games, players can construct a customized avatar by selecting from a number of preset facial structures, hairstyles, skin tones, clothes, accessories, etc. (collectively referred to as “elements”).
However, once the preset elements are selected, there is no facility for allowing users to manually adjust the elements (e.g., resize or position elements). Apple wants to change this.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “An avatar editing environment is disclosed that allows users to create custom avatars for use in online games and other applications. Starting with a blank face the user can add, rescale and position different elements (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth) on the blank face. The user can also change the shape of the avatar’s face, the avatar’s skin color and the color of all the elements.
“In some implementations, touch input and gestures can be used to manually edit the avatar. Various controls can be used to create the avatar, such as controls for resizing, rotating, positioning, etc. The user can choose between manual and automatic avatar creation. The avatar editing environment can be part of a framework that is available to applications. One or more elements of the avatar can be animated.”