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What Do You Need to Be a VTuber?

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VTubing is essentially live streaming, but instead of displaying your face, your facial expressions and movements are being tracked on a digital avatar. Vtubing has become much more accessible, with an exceptional amount of users browsing Vtubing content on YouTube.

Equipment Needed to Be a Vtuber

  • camera

    Camera

    Since Vtubing requires capturing your face in real-time, naturally, you’ll use some form of camera equipment. Many popular Vtubers use DSLR cameras; however, using a basic webcam with a decent resolution is more than enough to get started. A Webcam such as a Logitech C920 or C922 will be perfectly fine.

  • desktop

    Decent PC System

    If you’re looking to stream your Vtube model, you’re likely going to need a good PC build with a decent specification. You’ll be simultaneously running your video game on stream; however, your PC will also have to calculate in the background your Vtubing avatar information.

  • lightbulb

    Good Lighting

    The most important piece of equipment for Vtubing is your lighting setup. Having great lighting will make it easier for your Vtubing software to interpret your face movements, as the webcam has more detail to capture. With better lighting, you’ll get a much more accurate representation of your facial expressions and movement on air. Always prioritize your lighting conditions over camera quality when it comes to vtubing. In terms of what lighting to get, any form of ring light or key light will be enough.

    Our last tip here is if you’re distracted by having light aimed at your face during streaming, make the lighting source face the wall and let the light reflect your face. This will create a nice diffusion while also making it much easier to be on camera.

Where to Get an Avatar for Vtubing

Vtubing avatars can cost either $0 or go up to triple digits depending on how complex the vtubing avatar will be. It might have really detailed face animations or a varied amount. The vtubing avatar might stretch beyond facial expressions and has animations for a full-bodied model. All of these factors drive up the cost, so it’s important to know your options. Let’s take a look at a few.

  1. 1. Commission an Avatar

    If you want something unique, but aren’t particularly artistic, your best choice is to commission an artist to create a Vtuber model for you. The price of an avatar can vary wildly depending on the complexity of the Vtubing model. Make sure to outline clearly what it is you want from your vtube model, so the artist can create your model as accurately as possible!

    Check out artists on Fiverr, a freelance marketplace of designers and artists. You can search through portfolios to find the right artist (and pricing) for you.

  2. 2. Purchase a premade avatar

    Some creators have marketplaces where they sell premade Vtuber models. Websites such as Sketchfab are a great way to explore some creations, and if you like them, you can contact these artists directly!

  3. 3. Create Your Own

    The first option is to create your own avatar! Obviously, this is the cheapest choice; however, it does require some experience in understanding Modelling. However, there are options such as VTuber Maker on Steam, which attempts to create a streamlined and easy experience for new vtubers to create their own models. If you do have 3D Modelling experience, another great option is using Blender, which is a free software used for 3D Modelling.

Software Needed to Be a Vtuber

For Vtubing, naturally, you’ll need software that can interpret webcams feed and use it to make your Vtuber model come to life! Let’s take a look at some of the best Vtubing software on the market.

wakaru

1. Wakaru

Features

  • Works with webcam
  • Support vrm model
  • Free

The two main low-budget options are Wakaru and Facerig, both of which you can download via Steam. Wakura is free but isn’t as robust as Facerig, so you might have some small hiccups along the way. The face tracking pretty much just syncs the lips, iris, and head movement and can be difficult to get used to and run smoothly. Wakaru allows the use of MMD and VRM models, which gives you more freedom in finding or building a model that suits you. Wakaru is a fairly good program to use and is very good value considering you get a comprehensive program for free.

facerig

2. Facerig

Features

  • Instant digital cosplay
  • Good render quality
  • Affordable

As mentioned previously, Facerig is another great alternative. It does have a small cost of $15; however, the experience of using Facerig is superior to Wakaru. The overall facial tracking is less prone to errors, and it overall looks smoother. Facerig also allows you to change the background of where your character is, so for example; you can create a chroma green color and chroma key it out on OBS, giving you a perfect cutout of your avatar! Facerig also allows hand tracking with leap motion controllers if you’d like to show off your Vtubing model’s full potential.

Popular Vtubers

Stats

  • 2.95M Subscribers on YouTube

Kizuna AI became the first virtual YouTuber to start up her own channel, with her slogan being “I want to connect with everyone.” Her official YouTube channel, “A.I.Channel” has reached over 2.8 million subscribers. Typically you’ll find music-based content on the main channel.

Stats

  • 2.72M Subscribers on YouTube

Gawr Gura is an English Virtual YouTuber associated with hololive, as part of its English (EN) branch first generation of VTubers alongside Ninomae Ina’nis, Takanashi Kiara, Watson Amelia, and Mori Calliope. She uploads gaming and reacting content and regularly live streams about twice a day. Most of her live gaming streams are usually Minecraft – Let’s Plays and other miscellaneous gaming streams. The channel currently has 2.68M subscribers.

inugami korone

Inugami Korone

Stats

  • 1.52M Subscribers on YouTube

Inugami Korone is a female Japanese virtual YouTuber associated with hololive, and is a member of the subgroup hololive Gamers. She was first announced on 22 March 2019 in Shirakami Fubuki’s stream, during which Fubuki debuted her new 3D model. Inugami Korone currently has 1.51 million subscribers.

Stats

  • 1.14M Subscribers on YouTube

Kiryu Coco is a female Japanese Virtual YouTuber associated with hololive, as part of its fourth generation of VTubers. Her video features her gaming, teasing other vtubers, and generally acting like standard YouTubers. She currently holds 1.12 Million Subscribers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • wallet

    How Much Does It Cost to Be a Vtuber?

    Being a Vtuber doesn’t have to cost anything! There’s plenty of free software that Vtuber uses, and if you’re looking to get creative, and build your own model, then the entire process can be a personal experience. Otherwise, you will have to invest in a camera or decent lighting to get the full benefits from the software and model respectively.

  • laptop

    What Does It Mean to Be a Vtuber?

    Urban Dictionary defines Vtuber as a virtual YouTuber who is typically animated on the screen and voiced by the content creator. However Vtuber, or Vtubing has very much expanded beyond YouTube and you’ll find it on all sorts of social media platforms such as Twitch, Tiktok, and more.

  • profile-female

    Who Was the First Vtuber?

    The first Vtuber was not in fact a person using an avatar. The very first Vtuber was Kizuna AI. It was created by digital production company Activ8 and voice-acted by Nozomi Kasuga, Kizuna AI was responsive to fans and their questions. As a result, people quickly realized they could give a similar experience if they built a digital avatar for themselves.

About the Author

Igi

Igi is a Content Strategist from England and makes streams on Twitch and YouTube. He's big into self-improvement and loves fitness! He excels at data analysis and experimenting with new ideas.

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