VTubers, content creators who use virtual avatars to interact with their viewers, have seen a lot of attention in recent times. The creativity in this area is limitless. But, setting up the software for VTubering (is that a word?) is no simple task. It is important to pay attention to the types of VTuber software out there and determine the best software for your unique situation and needs.
Here are some of the main things to consider when looking at VTuber software and some examples of the best, current software.
What to Look for in VTuber Software
Not all software is available for systems. Some are only for Windows, some are only for MacOS, and some are more multiplatform; some even have ways of being used on iOS and Android. Make sure that the software you are looking at is able to be used by the systems you have.
With all types of software, companies have different ways of dealing with both payment and ownership of user content. Some software is free to use but requires payment to unlock more features down the road. Other software requires a payment upfront but gives full access to all of its features.
Furthermore, various software has different ways in which they give ownership of a user’s materials, in this case, 3D models. Most software will have a proprietary license, giving complete ownership to its users. However, it is important to make sure of this before creating anything in the software.
Features and Complexity/Ease
While all of the software for VTubers have been used successfully and has certain basic functions, there are going to be differences between what each software can do. Some may do implement a feature well, while others may still have that feature, just not in the same capacity.
For example, each software should have some sort of model system implemented. However, some might have you pick from a pre-made model, some may have a model-making system but it only allows you to mix and match parts, and some may allow you to completely make a model from scratch. Depending on what you want to accomplish, you may decide on which of these options is the best.
Along with these features, there is the idea of complexity versus ease of the software. While some software might be easier to use, it may not allow enough customization to achieve everything you want. In that same regard, more complex does not necessarily mean better; trying to figure out a complex piece of software can be difficult, and, if it is not necessary to do so, it is recommended that you keep things as simple as possible.
Last but not least is the price. At the end of the day, you have to decide if you are willing to pay for this software. There is some software that is free, but many need to be paid for. Even if you decide to go with free software, you are still “paying” something, given that the software is more likely to limit what you can do. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what software is worth the cost, and, as previously stated, will depend on your needs.
Best VTuber Software in 2022
With all of that information on how to evaluate software, let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy software of today!
FaceRig is a frequently used software available through Steam for Windows devices. For just one payment of $14.99, you get full access to the software’s technical abilities. If you make above $500 monthly using the software, you will have to upgrade to a different type of license. The big things to note for FaceRig are that it offers to have a lot of control over your 3D models, having good render quality, and potentially assisting resources on Steam and elsewhere. For $15, FaceRig is clearly a good place to start.
Of note, the company has new software, Animaze, that is also available, but is in early access. It is also worth looking into.
Live2D is a Japanese software that is used by both VTubers and game studios. It is available for both Windows and MacOS. Live2D offers a 42-day free trial to try out the premium version. Once the trial is up, you are able to continue using the free version.
While these aspects seem nice, there are some downsides, given that this is industry-level software that is more complex. Be aware that the manual and tutorial are in Japanese and the payment is also in Japanese currency. There are tutorials in English and other languages on the web, but just know that it might be more difficult to learn how to use the software. Otherwise, this software is another good option to consider.
VSeeFace is another Japanese Software, but is more focused on VTubers. It is available for Windows completely free! This software boasts robust tracking functionality and high-quality rendering. while having similar features to Luppet, another popular VTuber software.
The major barrier for this software is setting up the initial model. This requires knowledge of other 3D software such as Unity. Again, while the manual is in Japanese, there are plenty of tutorials in English and other languages. So, if you are confident in your tech abilities, this is a great (and free) option.
VTube Studio is a software designed to work with models from Live2D, one of the other software mentioned earlier. Now, you might ask: “Why would you recommend this software if it requires using the other one?” First of all, VTube Studio is free to download, with a freemium model with extra features to unlock. Furthermore, the software allows you to take a model from Live2D and very easily integrate it with VTube Studio to make it ready for content. While there are advanced things to with this software, the interface is very easy to use for beginners.
So, with this software, you have a couple of options you could consider. You could learn how to use Live2D and VTube Studio in order to make your own model and then animate it. Another option is to commission, download, or otherwise obtain a Live2D model, and then all you have to learn how to use is VTube Studio.
Whatever you decide to do with it, this software has a lot to offer to both those who are starting out and those who are experienced in VTuber software.
VTubers have so much creativity to work with. With so many people interested in the trend, now is a great time to get into it. Whether it is an animal or an anime girl, get excited to create and use your VTuber model! Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the different factors to consider when looking at VTuber software and given you some ideas for good software to use.