There is no one right way to become a successful VTuber. Some people start by making videos with friends, while others prefer to work on their own.
You can do several things to increase your chances of becoming a popular VTuber, but the most important thing is just to get started! Vtubing is constantly growing in popularity, and VTubers are using their avatars to highlight their creativity.
However, getting into Vtubing may seem daunting, particularly to the uninitiated. Here are some things to consider on how to make a vtuber avatar.
Understanding Vtuber Avatars
A Vtuber avatar refers to a virtual character or digital representation that is used by a Virtual YouTuber (Vtuber) to interact with their audience in online videos, livestreams, and other forms of content.
These avatars are typically animated and can range from 2D illustrations to 3D models or even a combination of both (known as live2D).
The purpose of a Vtuber avatar is to provide a visual identity for the content creator, allowing them to maintain a consistent persona and engage with their viewers in a more immersive and entertaining manner.
Different Types of Vtuber Avatars
- 2D Avatars: These avatars are two-dimensional illustrations that are animated to simulate movements and expressions. They are often drawn in a manga or anime style and can be created using software like Adobe Photoshop or Clip Studio Paint. 2D avatars are commonly used by Vtubers who prefer a more traditional anime aesthetic.
- 3D Avatars: These avatars are three-dimensional models that are rigged and animated using specialized software such as Blender or Maya. They allow for more realistic movements and can be viewed from various angles. 3D avatars are often used by Vtubers who aim for a more lifelike representation or want to explore different camera perspectives during their streams.
- Live2D Avatars: Live2D is a technique that combines elements of 2D and 3D animation. It involves creating a 2D illustration with multiple layers that can be manipulated in real-time to give the illusion of depth and movement. Live2D avatars are popular among Vtubers because they provide a dynamic and expressive character while still retaining the charm of 2D art.
Examples of Popular Vtuber Avatars
These examples showcase the diversity in Vtuber avatars and highlight how they contribute to the popularity and success of Vtubers in the online content creation industry.
- Kizuna AI: Kizuna AI is one of the pioneering Vtubers and gained significant popularity with her 2D anime-style avatar. She is known for her energetic and bubbly personality, and her avatar represents her as a cute, virtual girl.
- Hololive Production: Hololive is a talent agency that manages a group of Vtubers with various avatars. They have a mix of 2D, 3D, and Live2D avatars, each with their own distinct character and style. Some popular examples include Shirakami Fubuki, a fox girl with a 2D avatar, and Gawr Gura, a shark girl with a 3D avatar.
- Projekt Melody: Projekt Melody is a Vtuber known for her 3D avatar, which has a more realistic appearance. She gained attention for being one of the first Vtubers to stream adult-oriented content while maintaining a playful and cheerful demeanor.
Planning Your Vtuber Avatar
Planning Your Vtuber Avatar involves several key aspects, including the equipment, defining your Vtuber persona, setting goals and objectives for your avatar, and conducting research to gather inspiration. Let’s explore each of these aspects in detail:
While the exact setup you will need depends on the type of VTuber you want to be, some basic pieces of equipment are essential for any Vtubing project. The most important items include:
- Web Cam: In order to create videos, you’ll need a webcam with good audio and video quality. For instance, if you plan to do 3D Vtubing, you’ll need a camera that can handle the special lighting and effects.
- Lighting: Lighting is an important factor in making sure your videos look professional. Investing in good-quality lighting will go a long way towards creating high-quality Vtubing content. And if you’re looking to make 3D Vtubing videos, you’ll need special lighting equipment.
- Decent Gaming Rig: If you plan on doing 3D Vtubing, you will need a decent gaming rig that can handle the graphics and effects. You will also need a good microphone and headset in order to communicate with your viewers.
- Face and Hand Tracking Tools: These tools will help you to accurately capture your facial expressions, hand movements, and body language.
- Unity3D: Unity 3D is a powerful game engine that can be used to create 3D Vtubing videos.
- Vtubing Software: There are several Vtubing software available, each with different features and capabilities. You’ll need to choose one that best fits your needs.
- Video Editing Software: To make sure your VTuber videos look professional and capture the attention of viewers, you’ll need a good video editing program.
Defining Your Vtuber Persona
You have to figure out the backstory and lore of your Vtuber first in order to make an Avatar that fits perfectly.
- Personality: Consider the personality traits you want your Vtuber persona to exhibit. Determine whether you want to be energetic, calm, comedic, serious, or a combination of different traits. Think about the tone of voice, mannerisms, and overall demeanor you want to portray.
- Backstory: Develop a backstory for your Vtuber persona. Consider their origin, interests, and any unique characteristics that set them apart. This backstory will help you stay consistent and provide depth to your character.
- Visual Appearance: Decide on the visual design of your Vtuber avatar. Consider the style, color scheme, and any specific features or accessories that align with your persona. Pay attention to details like hairstyle, clothing, and overall aesthetics to ensure they reflect your character’s personality.
Setting Goals and Objectives for Your Avatar
- Purpose: Determine the purpose of your Vtuber avatar. Are you creating content for entertainment, education, or a specific niche? Clarify your intentions and what you hope to achieve with your avatar.
- Target Audience: Identify your target audience. Understand their interests, preferences, and what they might expect from a Vtuber. Tailor your content and persona to resonate with this audience while staying true to yourself.
- Content Strategy: Develop a content strategy based on your goals and target audience. Decide on the type of content you want to create, such as gameplay, live streaming, tutorials, or vlogs. Consider the frequency of uploads, duration of streams, and any additional features you want to incorporate.
- How will I entertain? You’ll need to decide what type of content you’ll be creating, what your audience’s interests are, and how to keep them entertained.
- 2D or 3D? Vtubing can be done in either 2D or 3D. The choice depends on your budget, time constraints, and the type of content you plan to create.
- Kinds of Facial Expressions: If you plan on doing 3D Vtubing, you’ll need to think about the different facial expressions and movements you will use in your videos.
- Expected Movement: Consider how your avatar should move and interact with others in the virtual world. And if you plan on doing 3D Vtubing, think about how to use special effects and animations to bring your avatar to life.
How to Make a Vtuber Avatar as a Newbie
Purchasing Pre-made Avatars
If you don’t have the time or resources to create a custom avatar from scratch, there are several places online where you can purchase pre-made avatars.
These avatars come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs. In addition, you can purchase custom parts and clothing for your avatar, allowing you to customize it further.
Commissioning an Artist
In some cases, it might be best to commission an artist to create your VTuber avatar for you. When doing so, here are a few tips:
- Find an Artist Who’s Art Style You Like: Do some research and find an artist whose art style matches your vision. Having a clear idea of what you want will help the artist create something that fits your needs.
- Communicate Your Needs: Be sure to communicate clearly and effectively with the artist so they know exactly what you’re looking for. With a little bit of back and forth, you should be able to come up with something that’s perfect for your VTuber project.
- Be Very Clear and Descriptive: Provide as much detail as possible so that the artist can accurately create your vision. Your description should include things like the character’s age, gender, facial expressions, body language, background story, etc.
Once you have an artist and a plan in place, you can begin creating your VTuber avatar. With the right tools and equipment, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful VTuber!
Making Your Own Avatar
Step 1: Designing the appearance and visual style
- Choosing the art style: The first step in creating a VTuber avatar is deciding on the art style you want to use. You can choose from various options such as anime, chibi, realistic, or any other art style that suits your preferences and desired aesthetic.
- Customizing facial features, hair, and accessories: Once you have chosen the art style, you can start customizing your avatar’s appearance. This involves designing facial features like eyes, nose, and mouth, selecting the hairstyle and color, and adding accessories such as glasses, hats, or earrings. These choices contribute to the unique visual identity of your VTuber avatar.
- Selecting clothing and outfit design: Another important aspect of designing your VTuber avatar is selecting its clothing and outfit design. You can choose outfits that align with your personal style or reflect the theme or branding you want to convey. This includes selecting tops, bottoms, dresses, or even costumes that represent your avatar’s character.
Step 2: Rigging and animating the avatar
- Understanding the basics of rigging and animation: Rigging is the process of adding a skeletal structure to your avatar model, enabling it to move and perform various animations. Understanding the basics of rigging involves creating a hierarchical structure of bones and joints that mimic the movement of a human body. Animation, on the other hand, involves creating movement and gestures for your avatar using the rigged structure.
- Applying rigging techniques to the avatar model: Once you have a basic understanding of rigging, you can apply the rigging techniques to your avatar model. This typically involves assigning the bones and joints to specific parts of the avatar, such as the head, torso, limbs, etc. Rigging software or tools can help you with this process, allowing you to manipulate the rig and define the range of motion for each joint.
- Creating different facial expressions and gestures: After rigging your avatar, you can create various facial expressions and gestures to bring it to life. This can be done by manipulating the facial rig to control the movement of the eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and other facial features. Additionally, you can create gestures for the body and limbs, allowing your avatar to express emotions or perform actions during live streams or recorded videos.
Step 3: Adding voice and personality
- Recording and editing voice samples: To add voice to your VTuber avatar, you need to record voice samples using a microphone or other recording equipment. You can script and record various phrases, sentences, or dialogues that your avatar will use during interactions. After recording, you may need to edit the audio files to remove any background noise or enhance the quality if necessary.
- Adjusting voice modulation and pitch: To match the voice with your avatar’s character, you can adjust the voice modulation and pitch. This can be done using audio editing software that allows you to manipulate the pitch, tone, and other parameters of the recorded voice samples. By adjusting these settings, you can create a unique voice that complements your avatar’s appearance and personality.
- Infusing personality traits into your avatar’s behavior and speech: Once you have the voice ready, you can infuse personality traits into your avatar’s behavior and speech. This involves defining the way your avatar interacts with the audience, its speech patterns, mannerisms, and overall demeanor. You can also decide on the avatar’s backstory, interests, and preferences, which will further shape its personality during live streams or recorded content. By incorporating these traits, you can create a more engaging and relatable character for your VTuber persona.
Creating your own VTuber avatar is an exciting and rewarding experience. Vtuber avatars are, by far, the crowning glory of any Vtuber. They’re even front and center when it comes to making your own merch!
By deciding on the type of content you’ll be creating, choosing software, and finding an artist to create your avatar, you can take the first steps towards Vtubing success. With the right tools and some creative thinking, you’re sure to make something extraordinary.
Furthermore, don’t forget to have fun and be creative – VTubers are all about expressing yourself, so make sure you’re happy with what you create! Good luck on your journey to becoming a successful VTuber.