Pixiv-powered program turns otaku daydreams into on-your-desk-reality, and here’s how it works.

Shopping for anime figures is one of our favorite ways to treat ourselves to something nice, but today we’re going a step further and designing one.

However, our boss isn’t quite generous enough to spring for an entire figure-making factory for us. That’s OK, though, because thanks to a new online service called VRoid Studio you can design your figure, specifying all sorts of details, in the comfort of your own home and then have it produced and shipped to you.

After downloading the VRoid Studio software (a free download with Windows, macOS, and Steam versions available), the first step is to choose one of two body types/starting outfits.

This is just the very beginning, though, because VRoid allows for all sorts of customization by utilizing sliders and other onscreen controls to fine-tune your figure’s look.

We decided to sort out our figure’s clothing first, and the user interface is easy to navigate even for beginners without a background in 3-D modeling, with a number of apparel pieces to choose from.

Something especially cool happens when you fiddle with the texture pattern for a piece of clothing, like with the dress pictured below. If you use the on-screen eraser to rub out a section of the texture, VRoid doesn’t just make that part of the garment clear, it also removes the wireframe for the part as well.

Because of that, converting long sleeves to short ones, or making a top sleeveless entirely, is a snap, as is turning pants into shorts.

You can even import your own textures for clothing, and since we’d decided to make a mascot character for our site, we proudly pasted “24” onto the back of her coat.

Next up: eyes, eyebrows, and hairstyling.

Once again, there are all sorts of options here, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s also a function called “procedural hair,” in which you set some broad parameters, and VRoid Studio will come up with candidates that meet those specifications.

In keeping with our logo’s rocket ship motif, we decided to go with some fin-shaped twintails, and our fiery red image color was the natural choice of color.

Of course, no one wants a figure who’s just doing a T-pose like a glitched video game character, so next it was time to decide on a more dramatic pose.

You can easily spend a couple hours on this point, but not because the interface is unintuitive. The figures VRoid Studio produces, like most anime figures, are non-articulated, so the permanent pose is a big decision. The program even includes a few animation loops you can apply, to help you figure out what the character’s comprehensive boy language would be for certain actions.

In the end, we opted for something dynamic and energetic, since that’s how we like to think of ourselves too.

Then it was just a few more clicks to finalize our order, including selecting what size of figure we want. We opted for the most affordable size, a 10-centimeter (3.9-inch) figure for 9,900 yen (US$96), but if you’ve got deeper pockets/more spacious shelves you can also get a 12-centimeter figure for 15,940 yen or a 15-centimeter one for 21,780 yen.

From the time your order is placed, there’s a 20-business day wait until delivery, and after waiting patiently, ours arrived.

First things first, the pose was spot-on to how we’d designed it!

The clothes and colors were to spec too, right down to the black hair bands we’d selected.

We were especially impressed by the skirt, which is a mere one millimeter (0.04-inch) in thickness, but still keeps its shape nicely.

That said, there are some less-than-stellar points to the final product. The fingers are unnaturally chubby, for one, and the boots have a sort of translucent aspect to them we hadn’t anticipated.

The texture also exhibits the kind of layering characteristic of 3-D-printed objects.

And the facial expressions weren’t quite what we’d been hoping for either.

Overall, this isn’t the sort of quality you’d demand from a professionally licensed figure of an existing anime character. It’s a bit more on the level of a capsule toy, just in 10-inch scale.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have any love for her though, and it’s still pretty cool to have a figure we designed ourselves.

Sure, she may not be the world’s number-one figure, but she’s still one-of-a-kind.

Related: VRoid Studio
Photos ©SoraNews24
Screenshots: VRoid Studio
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