AWS Game Tech Blog

How Tafi is Democratizing Avatar and Character Solutions

This guest post is authored by Jesse Janzer, Director of Technology for Tafi, a leading provider of 3D avatar and character solutions. Tafi has over a decade of experience bringing digital avatar content to life. In addition, as the owner of Daz 3D, Tafi operates a digital marketplace with a global community of creators and over five million 3D content assets.

How Tafi is democratizing avatar and character solutions


Identity and expression in the digital space is constantly evolving. As the physical and digital worlds become more enmeshed, customers desire digital representations that accurately reflect their unique and nuanced virtual identities. Whether you are playing a video game or participating in a video conference, our virtual identities are now core to who we are in the “real” world. As a leading provider of 3D avatar and character solutions, Tafi is at the forefront of this evolution.

We currently provide our avatar technology and content to desktop, mobile devices, VR/AR, gaming, video streaming, social applications, and the newly emerging NFT marketplace. We are also a trusted partner for leading companies from the fashion, entertainment, and technology industries to bring branded content to the virtual world. Looking forward, we are thrilled to partner with AWS and Lumberyard to further expand the accessibility and reach of our 3D avatar and digital content solutions.

Leveraging nearly two decades of experience in 3D digital content, we recently released our SDK for avatar and character creation. Our SDK is the first-of-its-kind to provide a full suite of avatar and character solutions. The SDK includes a cutting edge character creation and customization technology designed fully for on-demand, streaming, and run-time use. Plus, it also comes with a substantial 3D content library and an out-of-the-box monetization engine for in-game and in-app purchasing. Whether you’re designing an application, game, or creating the next breakout 3D world, our SDK will help you accelerate avatar and character development.

A selection of Tafi’s WIP avatar styles

A selection of Tafi’s WIP avatar styles

Tafi, powered by AWS and Lumberyard

We are excited and grateful for our new collaboration with AWS and Amazon Lumberyard. With AWS, we found a partner that sees the future the same way as us. We share a mission to build, support, and democratize the highest performing and most accessible cloud solutions. Additionally, it was natural for us to choose Amazon Lumberyard as the next backbone for our avatar and character creation SDK. Much of what we do at Tafi pushes the limits of what’s currently possible, and having an engine as powerful as Lumberyard allows us to do what wouldn’t have been possible before.

With our partnership, Tafi and Amazon will enable developers, designers, and creators to focus on what they do best: building the best possible experience for 3D worlds, AAA games, and simulations.

Tafi’s Astra SDK Features

Tafi’s mission is to democratize access to personalized avatars and digital content across the virtual worlds for both developers and customers. With Tafi’s Astra SDK, building and monetizing custom avatars is instantly unlocked with just a few lines of code. Tafi’s Astra SDK features include:

  • Realtime autofit of clothing
  • Automatic skin hiding beneath surfaces
  • Morphing
  • Streamable assets
  • Dynamic decals
  • A full ecommerce platform
  • Included full featured content library
  • Seamless integration across multiple platforms
  • Tools that let you create your own content

Creating content in Astra is easily done using tools that artists are already familiar with such as Max, Maya, Blender, Substance, ZBrush, and others. After a simple setup of information about the asset being created, the content is processed and can be uploaded to Tafi’s servers for instant streaming to any application. This allows artists and developers to quickly iterate, ship, and monetize off their work without having to rollout and retest their games and applications — speeding up development and driving new revenue paths for monetizing digital goods.

WIP avatar styles: initial models and photorealistic

WIP avatar styles: initial models and photorealistic

Tafi, AWS, and the Future

At Tafi, we are constantly looking to push the boundaries of what’s possible for run-time, streaming content customization. We are focused on providing state-of-the-art features and algorithms to enable developers, designers, and creators to be more successful. We are proud to partner with AWS and Amazon Lumberyard to advance our shared vision. We are very excited to work with all the other talented developers and partners, as we begin the work to bring our SDK to Lumberyard. Be sure to keep in touch and watch this work unfold!