How can I get an image to sync to the icon_state of the loc it is set to?

var/image/i = image('clothing.dmi')
i.loc = src
src << i

If we do something like that, the hamster will just be a static object that hovers over the user and adjusts direction to the users direction, but any changes to the user's icon_state will not apply to the image.

This can be solved by adding the image as an overlay, but this turns the image to an appearance in the overlay list, it is no longer an image and cannot be modified, nor can it be shown to one person only with src << i

vis_contents can be made to sync icon_state with the vis_flags variable.

There is no such thing for images, and while I am sure icon_states were synced for images at one point, this seems to no longer be the case.

What can I do to get the image icon_state to sync?
Images are not static objects, you said yourself that using an overlay would prevent it from being modified later.

i.icon_state = icon_state

Images never changed icon states on their own as far as I remember, just overlays
I guess I can only hope something like vis_flags is implemented for images then, and will do it manually until then.

Thanks for the reply!

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