If you love streaming games or sharing your life on social media, you and a virtual streamer may have much in common. Virtual streaming is a great way to connect with people worldwide and share your passions with others, but it’s also more than that. This blog will discuss virtual streaming, who virtual streamers are, and what kind of equipment you need. So, if you’re ready to start streaming like a pro, keep reading!
What is a Virtual Streamer?
Virtual streaming, also known as Vstreaming, is a new and growing form of online entertainment. You may stream on Twitch or YouTube, for example. Vstreaming is the practice of live streaming your material, such as games or interviews, without revealing your face and using a digital avatar in its place.
So, virtual streamers are just like any other livestreamer; they engage with viewers, build a sense of community, and collaborate with other streamers. The only difference is that they aren’t “real” —virtual streamers use animated characters, or avatars, instead of their webcam feed.
There are many different types of virtual streamers, but all of them share one common goal: to entertain their viewers! So, what kind of equipment do you need to be a Vstreamer? To become a virtual streamer, you will need some essential equipment, but some of it may be optional, depending on your virtual streaming goals.
Anyone can be a virtual streamer, but you can’t just decide tomorrow that you want to be one and start immediately; it requires a bit of preparation first.
What Equipment Do You Need for Vstreaming?
You can’t just be any type of content creator and expect to find success as a Vtuber. You need to know what you want to do, who your niche audience is that you’re targeting, and, most importantly, what supplies or tools you’ll need before getting started.
Here are the essentials for setting up your Vtuber setup:
You’ll need a reliable computer to virtual stream. It doesn’t have to be the newest and most powerful model on the market, but it should be able to handle the software you plan on using. The PC should have a minimum of 8GB of RAM; you’ll be running heavy software on this computer, so you’ll need to ensure that your computer meets your program’s requirements.
Good Internet Connection
A virtual streamer with a lousy internet connection is a recipe for disaster. A virtual streamer needs a fast and stable internet connection to avoid issues like lag, dropped frames, or worse – getting booted off their virtual stream!
A High-Quality, Motion-Tracking Webcam
You’ll need a webcam to interact with your viewers. These don’t have to be fancy or expensive; any decent-quality webcam will do. Just make sure it has good low-light performance and can capture high-resolution video. You’ll need a webcam with a built-in microphone for clear audio, or you can purchase a separate microphone. The important thing is that your viewers can see you clearly and that there’s no lag in the webcam’s image.
As mentioned before, you’ll need a microphone to virtual stream. Therefore, a good quality microphone is vital to your stream. The one you choose should be able to filter background noise and give your viewers a clear representation of your voice.
A Green Screen
You’ll need a green screen to change your virtual background or use special effects. This will allow you to use special software to add virtual locations or other effects to your virtual stream. With this setup, you’ll be able to create a virtual environment perfect for your needs!
How to Create Your Avatar
Part of virtual streaming means that you need to utilize programs like Vtube Studio, Vroid Studio, and VTuber Maker to make an avatar with a particular style and backstory. In addition, to explain the gist without being too complicated, you’ll have to decide if you want to use 2D modeling or 3D for your avatar; either path requires software to create.
The technology is similar to deepfake software, which allows a person in an image or video to be replaced with someone else’s likeness using artificial neural networks. To better understand his concept think NEON, Samsung introduced this company and its AI avatars at CES 2020. The resulting virtual being is so realistic that it’s hard to tell if you’re looking at a real person or a digital copy. An excellent example of a realistic virtual avatar is Code Miko, a virtual YouTuber and Twitch streamer with over 917,000 followers.
If you’re not technically inclined or don’t want to fool with making your avatar, you can pay someone to create your avatar for you. Of course, commissioning an avatar will cost you, but paying a professional to take care of business may suit your needs best. You can find capable artists on Fiverr or Upwork.
You also need to consider your virtual stream’s purpose or theme, including factors like your avatar’s personality, virtual environment or home, and content you’ll be streaming. Will your avatar be based on your real-life self, or will it be an original character? What kind of virtual environment or home will you create for your avatar? How often will you virtual stream, and what type of content will you produce?
Answering these questions is essential to creating a successful virtual stream because it allows you to determine what equipment and software you’ll need and what kind of avatar and the virtual world you’ll make. It also helps you focus on your virtual stream’s purpose so that you can produce enjoyable and engaging content for your viewers.
What is VTube Studio?
VTube Studio is an app made for Virtual YouTubers. It makes it easy and fun to animate your Live2D models so that you can bring them to life. VTube Studio uses webcam and iPhone face tracking to provide accurate control over your Live2D model, including eye-tracking and winking.
You can use VTube Studio to create virtual YouTubers, or “VTubers,” digital avatars you can control in real-time. You can use them to create videos, live stream your gameplay, or just have fun! VTube Studio is in constant development, and some of its new features are:
- Item System – You can import and attach props to your Live2D model. This function supports images, animations, and even Live2D props highly customizable with tracking and hotkeys.
- Hand Gestures – The webcam-based hand tracking feature allows you to use your hands to control expressions, animations, and more.
- Audio Lipsync – Use your speech to control your model’s mouth movements or any other Live2D parameter of your model.
- A Versatile Plugin System – The versatile VTube Studio API lets developers create and distribute their plugins; popular plugins for this feature are Twitch donations or animations and expressions.
What is Vroid Studio?
VRoid Studio is a free-to-use program designed for anyone to be able to create an avatar, regardless of experience. Even if you have no formal training in 3D modeling, you’ll be able to create a basic avatar that looks like a Sim. However, if you are experienced with 3D software, you can build avatars that look more visually dynamic and realistic. With this program, virtual streamers are highly customizable. You can make avatars with any hairstyle, clothes, and personality.
Other Useful Resources For Vtubers
New users or those interested in breaking into the Vstreaming world often wonder how much it would cost to get started. The good news is that you don’t need to spend much money on equipment or software to be a virtual streamer; however, how much you’re willing to pay translates into how professional or “realistic” your virtual stream will look. Potential vtubers should be looking to spend $500-$2,000 to outfit their virtual stream setup.
Vtubers aren’t limited to the avatar creation programs used here; there are also programs like VTuber Maker, which is available on Steam. With VTuber Maker, users can create simple, life-like 3D Avatars for content using a Webcam. You’ll also want to use programs that track your face, hands, and other movements; otherwise, your stream won’t be realistic. Most up-and-coming Vtubers use applications like FaceRig, 3Tene, Animaze, and Wakaru to take care of tracking. Code Miko and other popular streamers like her use game industry technology like a motion capture suit from Xsens, which goes for $30,000.
Pick Your Streaming Platform
The next step is to decide where you want to virtual stream. The two most popular platforms for virtual streaming are YouTube and Twitch; however, Facebook Gaming, Smashcast, and Mixer are also viable options. The platform you choose will likely come down to where your audience is or which streaming site, you’re most comfortable using.
Set up Your Channel
Once you’ve decided on a platform, it’s time to set up your channel. Your channel’s name, banner, and profile picture are what viewers will see first, so make sure they’re eye-catching and represent you and your virtual stream well. Your virtual stream is only as good as your content, so ensure you’re putting out quality videos you want to watch. Plan your content, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Engage with Your Viewers
The most important part of virtual streaming is engaging with your viewers. Talk to them in the chat, respond to their questions, and take their suggestions. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll create a more personal connection with them.
Virtual Streamers Are Still Streamers
Virtual streaming is a great way to connect with people from all over the world while staying in the comfort of your own home. However, it’s important to remember that virtual streamers are still streamers. Therefore, they must follow the same rules and guidelines as any other streamer.
Be respectful to your viewers and moderators, don’t spam the chat, follow all guidelines, and don’t play copyrighted music. By following these tips, you’ll be well to becoming a virtual streamer. Remember to have fun and be yourself, and you’ll do great!