This is an exciting new feature, and I was eager to try it, seeing it announced on the Oculus interface main screen. Unfortunately, clicking on the link only brought you to a webpage, which brought you back to your Oculus app, but did not give instructions on how to launch the editor.
Fortunately, I found out that it’s accessed through your Oculus home. Rather than taking you to a special, futuristic room like the old editor did, it simply calls up a floating “mirror” in your existing home. It’s accessed through the home editor area, which is a bit unintuitive.
I ran through the tutorial, which automatically launches the first time you enter the editor, a nice feature. Unfortunately, the Oculus home screen tends to intersect and conflict with the placement of the editor mirror. How do you get that not to happen? Oh I see… You click the Menu button on the left-hand to close the main menu, turn your head away from the mirror, then click the Menu button again. Took awhile to figure that out.
A little confusing at first that you can't move the mirror up and down, but I see once you go into edit mode, the mirror automatically adjusts its height. So funny to see that row of mannequin heads floating in front of me. It seems a little close, but that's where the software put it. I can physically back up a little.
The mannequin heads don't seem to have much order — might be nice if they put them in ascending order of maturity or male/female. I guess the younger faces could double as female faces as well, but still a little hard to see what exactly the order is, if any.
OK, switching to hair, it shows pirate hats and three musketeers hats first. A little confusing! Perhaps a special category for chateaus would be in order. Scrolling over, all the hairstyles look like black blobs. You really need to change your hair color first before the hair becomes recognizable as such.
Which brings us to the color menu – it's hard to find! On the main screen, I see eyebrows, eyes, eyelashes, lips, face, hair, eyewear, facial hair, and clothing — where is the color menu?? It would be nice to be able to change the skin tones to various wacky colors like the old editor did.
I think my favorite feature is the “Randomize“ button. But can you save multiple versions of your avatar for later use? Say that, with the randomize button, I find something I like, but I want to keep playing with the editor. Could I put my current avatar into a queue for possible later retrieval?
Avatar animation is nice. I see it randomly changing facial expressions from time to time. Eye movement is realistic the way the eyes blink and move from side to side. Someday, with eye tracking, I'm sure it will be even more so.
Mouth animation to synchronize with the words you're saying is nice. The way it moves its mouth to try to synchronize with your voice is a very nice feature. It even tries to mimic your lip movements based on the consonants you say. I noticed a bit of a lag of a few microseconds between what you say and the movement, but I suppose that's to be expected, considering it has to figure out what you’re saying and do the animation at the same time.
Once you're done editing your avatar, how do you remove the mirror? There is no visible control to do that. Pressing the various buttons of my controller don't give a clue.
All in all, the avatar editor is a lot of fun, and despite a few frustrations, it‘s something users, myself included, will have a lot of fun playing around with