What is a VTuber?
A VTuber or a Virtual YouTuber is an online content creator which uses a certain avatar to represent him or herself. These avatars are created by the computer graphics CG. and represent a design inspired by Anime.
According to its name Vtubers uses YouTube as their main platform to represent themselves or some of them use other platforms to stream it like Facebook Gaming, Twitch etc.
These avatars are typically 3D or 2D and resemble anime characters with big eyes and boisterous personalities. These are animated characters with the voices given by their creator only. Some of them have mythical or complex backstories while others present average characters who sing, dance, and so on. It is quite there for entertainment especially for kids, who are keen to watch Anime characters which are really attractive. This is the main reason why these creators are quite famous in their doings.
The History of VTubers
The word “Virtual YouTuber” was first generated in 2016 by Japanese Vtuber Kizuna Ai. as she was the one to use the CG avatar for her video blogging as Ami Yamato.
Now because Kizuna AI became so famous all of a sudden that other Vtubers started moving left and right. In fact, some creators started to create such content by showing their faces on the camera but still considered creating a Vtuber version to become more famous. As the trend grew so famous some VTubers started to make the agencies, especially in Japan to dedicate it to the VTubers particularly. Some well-known organizations include Hololive Production, Vshojo, etc.
As per the Japanese data of technology, there are currently 10,000 active Vtubers alone on Youtube as of 2021. However, Kizuna AI at the time of writing has got the huge fan following of all the Youtubers. She has over 10 million followers and subscribers all over her social media (YouTube, twitter, Facebook, Bilibili).
Now before we dig into all the technicality of the Vtubers, let us note that it is not entirely AI creation. There is always a human behind the actions which controls the avatar through the motion controller.
The process usually consists of the creators fitted with motion trackers in order to record their movement. Then these actions are mapped over the shape proportions of the animated character. This is the technology on which Kizuna operates on to communicate with fans or give interviews.
VTubers also have the responsibility to give their voice their character. However, some of them use audio pitching controllers to give them the perfect animated voice. However, you do not need to be a professional artist to do so. You simply have to have some knowledge of how you would be shaping your avatar or how would you make it look. Hence you do not need to panic for starting it as your passion or work.
Future of VTuber Industry
VTubers basically blurs the poundage between AI and reality. It has provided big opportunities for online creators. “No one can stream so easily,” said Pokimane during her virat Vtube content. Mostly because one gets tired of people who will keep on commenting on you, anyone would rather want people to comment on the cute avatar made by the creator and not on the creator.
In the past days YouTube stars have been criticized a lot on their live streaming. Especially for women on their looks and makeup. Which by the end can be tiring to handle such comments or criticism.
However, in less than 4 years VTubers have actually upgraded to a higher level of business. Kizuna AI can be seen on several ads like cup noodles and eye drops. Similarly, we believe that Vtubers have a good future, as these days everything is live and online or virtual.
How to become a Virtual YouTube
You are not required to invest anything for the virtual set up like others content creators. However, buying such equipment can be of good results but it is ok and you can start by little or nothing at all.
Select your model
The usual thing you need to be a virtual YouTuber is that you will have to select your character or your persona. You can use the Live 2D tool to do it. It will give you base models that you can use as your avatar. Additionally, these characters already come with the shaping and styling so you do not need to take any headache in order to create them.
Make your avatar or model move
It can be a tricky task and the main task because you will not want your model to be rigid. However, if you go through some online tutorials, you will easily be able to learn it about how to rig your model.
Recording and Streaming
In this part you will have to capture the footage of your avatars similar to your movements. And this is the most common part for every Youtuber or online creator to do.
For pre-recording the video, you can use the virtual – cast it’s a free VR service that allows you to be who you want to be!
You can use some general streaming software for streaming. Such as OBS studios. LIV (Free) or SUV ($1).
It is not that hard to become a VTuber or a Virtual YouTuber, you simply have to gain knowledge about the software, and will have to go through some online tutorial to make it work. However, any work, be it small or big, needs a little hard work. So go ahead and make you Avatar rock!