A VTuber is a virtual content creator who uses an animated avatar. To become one, create an avatar, use motion capture technology, and produce content.
Virtual YouTubers, also known as VTubers, rose in popularity in recent years. VTubers employ computer-generated avatars to produce material for their channels. VTubers are especially well-liked in Japan and other Asian nations, but the craze is gradually catching on everywhere else.
This article will explore what a VTuber is and how to become one, including the necessary equipment, software and the skills needed to succeed in this field. Additionally, we will compare the role of a VTuber to that of a traditional YouTube content creator, highlighting the unique benefits and challenges of each platform.
What is a VTuber?
A virtual YouTuber is a type of online personality who uses a computer-generated avatar to stream content on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. These avatars can be personalized to represent the VTuber’s personality, and since they frequently incorporate anime-like traits, they are well-liked by fans of both anime and video games.
VTubers can include real people who broadcast gaming, commentaries and fictional characters made up by businesses or agencies for marketing goals. Motion capture technology is used to build the avatars, which let VTubers move around and engage with their viewers in real-time. Some VTubers are more than just online personalities because they have their own storylines and personalities.
Motion capture technology — also referred to as mo-cap or mocap — is a technique for digitally capturing human motions for usage in a variety of contexts, including movies, video games and virtual reality. It entails recording an actor’s bodily movements by placing sensors or markers on various body parts, which are subsequently followed by cameras or other devices. A 3D model of the actor’s movements is then made using the collected data, and this representation can be utilized to animate a virtual character or object.
The appeal of VTubers lies in their capacity to engage with their audience in a manner that sets them apart from conventional YouTubers. VTubers can express themselves more freely because of the anonymity provided by their virtual avatars.
It takes some technical know-how and financial investment to become a VTuber. A VTuber must have a computer, webcam, microphone, motion capture software and animation software at the very least. To make their avatars as realistic as possible, many VTubers also invest in top-notch cameras and lighting tools. Also, in order to draw in and keep viewers, VTubers need to create a distinct identity and interesting material.
The increasing popularity of VTubers reflects the growing importance of digital interactions and the influence of online personalities. As technology advances, one can expect to see more innovative methods for individuals to express themselves and connect through electronic means.
Tools and software for VTubing
VTubing requires the use of various tools and software to create a virtual avatar, control its movements and expressions, and record and edit content. Nonetheless, the specific tools and software used will depend on the individual VTuber’s needs and preferences.
As mentioned, motion capture technology is the foundation of VTubing and enables the creation of a virtual avatar that can mimic the movements and expressions of the performer. VUP, Live2D and 3D modeling tools like Blender are a few common motion capture technology possibilities.
Additionally, 3D modeling software, such as Blender, Maya and Cinema 4D, is used to create the 3D models for the virtual avatars used in VTubing. Moreover, a VTuber’s content is livestreamed using special software on websites like Twitch and YouTube. OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS and XSplit are a few of the most well-liked choices. Video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro and DaVinci Resolve are also required to edit VTuber content before it is uploaded to platforms like YouTube.
To change the performer’s voice to match the virtual avatar’s voice, voice changers such as Voicemod, Clownfish Voice Changer and MorphVOX may be utilized. Furthermore, graphics software, such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP and Canva, can be used to create custom graphics, overlays and backgrounds for VTuber content.
Related: What is Web3: A beginner’s guide to the decentralized internet of the future
How VTubing works
VTubers are online users who use motion capture technology to control virtual avatars or characters. Through playing games, live broadcasting and engaging in other content-creation activities, these virtual avatars communicate with their audience.
Here’s how VTubing works:
- Create a virtual avatar: Creating a virtual character, or avatar, is the first step in the process of becoming a VTuber. It can be done using 3D modeling software, already existing software or tools made for the purpose.
- Motion capture technology: After that, the virtual avatar is animated with the use of motion capture technologies. This entails tracking the movements of the person operating the avatar using cameras and sensors, which enables the virtual character to imitate those movements in real-time.
- Livestreaming and content creation: After the virtual avatar has been made and animated, the VTuber can begin making content for livestreaming. This covers pre-recorded videos, gaming streams and livestreaming on websites like YouTube, Twitch and others.
- Engaging the audience: One of the distinctive aspects of VTubing is the virtual avatar’s capacity to engage the audience in real-time conversation. You can do this by using voice recognition software or chat to reply to audience members’ remarks and inquiries.
- Establishing a brand: Much like with other forms of content creation, becoming a successful VTuber depends on building a reputable brand. With the virtual avatar, this entails building a distinctive persona or character and producing material that appeals to the target audience.
Some well-known VTubers include Kaguya Luna, Mirai Akari and Kizuna AI. Another example is Hololive Production, a virtual talent agency that oversees a team of VTubers who collaborate on content and have a significant social media following.
How to become a VTuber: A step-by-step guide
Becoming a successful VTuber takes time and effort, but with a unique concept and engaging content, it’s possible to build a dedicated following and achieve success in the growing VTuber community. The general steps to become a VTuber are explained below:
Develop a concept
The first step to becoming a VTuber is creating a concept. It is crucial to develop your virtual avatar, a distinctive and intriguing profile, including personality, interests and biography of your avatar. This will make you stand out in the competitive VTuber market.
Choose a motion capture technology
The next step is to pick a motion capture system that suits your requirements and budget. VUP, Live2D and 3D modeling programs like Blender are some choices available.
Create your virtual avatar
After deciding on technology, the next step is to create a virtual avatar. You must personalize its features, attire and accessories to make it distinctive and representative of your idea.
Set up a recording space
To produce material for VTubers, a specific recording space must be set up. This might be a spare room that can be used as a recording space or a home studio. Also, make sure the area is well-lit and sound-free.
Practice your character’s movements and expressions
Once you have your virtual avatar and recording space set up, it’s time to practice using motion capture technology. To produce captivating content for your audience, you will need to learn how to control the gestures and facial expressions of your character.
Begin content production
Start producing videos for your YouTube channel or other platforms as soon as you feel comfortable with the motion capture technology. Try out several content formats, such as gaming videos, livestreams and vlogs, to see which resonates with your audience the most.
Engage with your audience
Finally, interaction with your audience is essential to developing a VTuber following. To expand one’s following, it is crucial to interact with viewers, work with other VTubers, and actively market your channel on social media.
Related: Augmented reality vs. virtual reality: Key differences
How to create your VTuber avatar
To create a VTuber avatar, you will need to use motion capture technology and 3D modeling software, as discussed in the above sections. Here are the steps you can follow to become a VTuber:
- Create a concept and choose a motion capture technology: You need to decide on the traits, passions and history of your vlogger persona. This will enable you to design a distinctive avatar that captures the attention of others. Then, you can choose from various motion capture technology options available, such as VUP, Live2D and 3D modeling programs like Blender.
- Create a base model: To construct your VTuber avatar, you need to start with a simple model that you can customize. You can create this model using 3D modeling software like Blender.
- Customize your avatar: After creating the foundation model, the next step is to customize your avatar according to your preferences and concept. This entails incorporating distinctive features like hair, attire and accessories.
- Generate facial expressions for your avatar: You may do this by using motion capture software like Live2D. This makes your content more intriguing and helps give life to your character.
- Add animation: Motion capture technology can be used to add animation to your VTuber avatar. This can involve actions like walking, dancing or hand gestures.
Users can choose an animal or character to create a VTuber avatar and build a foundation model using 3D modeling software like Blender. One can make a cat model and add things like a gaming headset and controller, for instance, if they wish to be a cat who enjoys playing video games. Motion capture technology like Live2D can be utilized to add facial expressions like blinking and smiling. Also, users have the option of animating their avatar by letting it play a video game or respond to various in-game scenarios.
VTuber vs. traditional YouTube content creator
As the popularity of VTubers continues to rise, it’s natural to wonder how they differ from traditional YouTube content creators. While both types of creators produce online video content, the methods and approaches to content creation differ significantly. Here are some of the key differences between VTubers and traditional YouTube content creators.
Is VTubing right for you?
There are a few considerations to make if you’re thinking about becoming a VTuber. First and foremost, it is crucial for users to have a love for producing content and connecting with an audience. Being dedicated to the process is essential because VTubing takes a lot of work.
Whether users feel comfortable using an anonymous online identity is another thing to take into account. Since VTubers frequently portray themselves through avatars, it is crucial for users to feel at ease with the idea of hiding their face or true identity from their audience.
Also, since generating and animating an avatar requires certain technical skills, it is crucial for users to have a basic understanding of technology and software. To help users get started, there are numerous tutorials and resources online.
VTubing can be a highly competitive industry, so it is critical for users to stand out from the crowd with a distinctive personality and quality content. VTubing may be a productive and enjoyable way to create content and interact with an audience in virtual worlds if users are ready to put in the time and effort.