Becoming a Vtuber requires a lot of preparation to fully immerse yourself in streaming and hit the Go Live button for the first time. It takes a lot of effort to figure out the themes of your stream and come up with a complete plan instead of doing what needs to be done. But it doesn’t have to be very complicated. If you are looking for tips to get started as a Vtuber, here are some recommendations on how to use and get started.
How to make or create a Vtuber avatar
If you are new to creating a Vtuber from scratch, there are many avenues you can take, whether it’s creating a custom avatar of your own liking, purchasing one already made, or even collaborating with other artists, to realize your vision.
The best software to create a Vtuber avatar
More experienced artists can use illustration software like Procreate, Photoshop or ClipStudio Paint to create 2D elements for your avatar and then import them into rigging programs like Vtube Studio or Live2D Cubism. On the 3D side, creating a 3D model can get a lot more complex (and expensive). Software like Blender is free but can be quite daunting for new users.
Related: How to Make a Vtuber Avatar – The Best Software to Make a Vtuber
If you’re not so inclined to create from scratch, there are other Vtuber libraries and software for creating avatars. Online sites that sell or distribute VR chat models can be ported to Vtuber programs. There is also software like Vroid Studio that can create a Vtuber from pre-made assets, much like assembling an action figure from separate parts.
If you want to build a Vtuber from scratch and get it up and running, this is where things can get a bit complicated. An excellent general tip would be to surf your favorite vtubers on Twitch and check their bios. Typically, most list their vtuber artists and have their own social links embedded in the bio under a stream. From there, it would be best to get in touch with the artist through their website or social media and see how he works. For a more vetted process, the Live2D Discord community created Vtuber.GG. This site lists artists that have been verified by the community to be relatively trustworthy and even lists common prices for the artists listed. From this point on, it is up to the client and the artist to manage the project from start to finish.
The best streaming platform and software
Streamlabs and OBS
When it comes to streaming to your platform of choice, the best streaming software is either Streamlabs or the original OBS itself. Streamlabs is built on the open-source backbone of OBS, but has many streamlined features that the average Users can quickly transition from setting up a stream to going live. Some features include things like direct integration with a digital storefront to purchase and consume packaged stream layouts, a more refined experience when collaborating with other streamers, and built-in chatbot moderation and interactive features.
OBS or Open Broadcast Software is the oldest streaming software solution but is popular with Vtuber for its open source solutions and many add-ons available on sites like GitHub and the OBS project’s own forums. OBS is more complex and complicated than other streaming software, but the complexity comes with the added benefit of being able to work with almost anything. Most Vtuber animation programs integrate easily with OBS by default. There are add-ons developed by others that can help in adding additional features like chat integration and interactivity, soundboards, etc.
Twitch and Youtube streams
If you want to stream to any platform, Twitch is currently the most popular choice. The biggest benefit of other streaming platforms is that Twitch has a stronger community and more robust features for chat interactions and streamer partnerships. Overall, Twitch has been built on more of a foundation over the years compared to other platforms.
Youtube has been gaining ground as a competitor to Twitch lately by introducing more direct chat interactions like the ability to give away paid subscriptions, a revenue split that gives the streamer a 70/30 versus Twitch’s 50/50 split favored. Youtube also has the benefit of combining a video channel and your streaming platform under one unified account, making it easy to save long streams to the same account you’re streaming on.
What is the best animation software for Vtuber?
Luppet, Facerig and other animation software
Once you’ve created a Vtuber, you’ll need to choose software to animate it with your own face tracking and/or voice activation.
For 2D vtubers, the most popular options are Vtube Studio or Live2D Cubism. Both provide detailed solutions for rigging and animating 2D avatars live in stream. If you use a 3D Vtuber, there are other options. Most users will use Facerig, which is free for personal use, but the main downside is the lack of hand controls or rigging. If you’re looking for more complex solutions, check out Luppet, which is usually the gold standard for the best 3D Vtuber animation pack, as it includes hand controls with a LeapMotion controller and webcam in tandem. Other recommendations would be VeeSeeFace, which is available for free and is an open source program with tons of flexible rigging and animation options.
How to create or use stream graphics
Now that you have a good-looking avatar, your stream might not be all that handsome. If you want to spice things up, it’s time to get yourself a stream layout pack. Animations and callouts for things like subscribers, followers, and donations are all things to consider, along with an on-screen layout that displays your chat and follows feeds alongside your avatar.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to create your own, most broadcast software will accept files from programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects, and Premiere. Common image and video file formats with transparent backgrounds, such as PNGs or WEBM files, work best here. For cheaper options besides the Adobe Creative Suite, check out programs like DaVinci Resolve, GIMP, or Corel Draw.
If you’re not the artistic type and want to hire an artist for a layout, you can look at dedicated companies that do nothing but stream layouts or buy a layout already made. For ready-made solutions, get full stream suites from places like Own3d.TV, Get Rekt Labs, and Streamplay. For a more personalized solution, look to design studios and communities that specialize in streamer graphics. Get Rekt Labs also offers custom solutions at a higher cost.
Other sources of stream graphics can be searching communities on Discord or a private commission through Fiverr.