2D VTubing Essentials

So you wanna be a 2D VTuber? Not sure what software to use or how to get started? Today, I’m going to give you the rundown on what you’ll need to become a 2D VTuber and how to go about putting it all together.

First, you’ll need an avatar to use, we’ll talk more about that in a minute. Then you’ll also need a few pieces of software including VTube Studio (available on Steam) and streaming software such as OBS. (I have included links to the software in their respective sections below!) So let’s dive into it. 

Please note, that for proper tracking in VTube Studio, you will require a webcam or iPhone as well. iPhone tracking is considered superior to a webcam, but the webcam is by far more affordable, so keep this in mind! If you need a webcam you can check out Amazon for a cheap one, like this one!

First up, just what is a 2D VTuber? I’m glad you asked!

What IS a 2D VTuber?

A 2D VTuber is a flat image drawn in many layers and then rigged or animated. It utilizes the rigging in software such as VTube Studio with a camera (either webcam or iPhone) to provide face-tracking details. Other animations such as different emotions may be added and applied via button presses in a 2D VTuber. Some may also have fun animations such as a wave or hand-hearts.

2D VTubers use these animated images as their avatars, in place of a traditional camera of their real selves. This allows for an increase in creativity and expression and may decrease things like discrimination due to physical appearance.

For me, it takes away the stress of being on camera while allowing me to express myself to my viewers in my own unique and creative style. For more on my streams, and even the artists and riggers I’ve used, please see my Twitch Channel.

The 2D VTubing Avatar

The first and likely most important thing you’ll need as a 2D VTuber is a 2D VTubing avatar! This is also the most exciting part as this will be your face to your viewers when you’re live or when you’re doing VOD-based content for platforms such as YouTube.

2D Avatars range in style, selection, and price. I, personally, have gotten all the avatars I’ve used over the years from Etsy. There are plenty of customizable pre-made ones that are affordable. However, if you’re so inclined and have the budget for it, you can usually also find custom packages, just make sure that your model comes rigged or hire a rigger separately if your chosen artist doesn’t do rigging.

To side note, rigging is what makes the 2D image come alive on screen. It tells the VTubing software how things should move and perform.

Once you have a complete, rigged model, you’re ready to get started!

VTube Studio Setup

VTube Studio

Alright, you’ve got your model, now what do you do with it? Well, you’ll need to put it into VTube Studio next! VTube Studio is a free software available on Steam. However, there is a small fee if you want to remove their watermarking, and a purchasable DLC if you wish to do a collaborative effort with other VTubers.

Right, first you’ll need to locate the folder where all your avatars are stored for VTube Studio, once you have it installed. You’ll simply drag and drop your folder with your model into the avatars folder and then you’ll be able to pull it up in VTube Studio!

Next, go into the settings of VTube Studio and make sure your webcam (or iPhone) is set correctly and if you’d like, set it up so that your chosen camera automatically starts when you start VTube Studio. Finally, check the settings of your animations so that you know what buttons to push to change emotions if your model has any.

Finally, go back to your webcam and make sure it is calibrated for your needs. Once that’s all done, you’re ready to load into our next piece of software, OBS.

OBS Setup

The final piece of setup is getting your avatar into OBS. This is as simple as creating a scene or selecting a scene that you want your avatar to appear in. Once that’s ready all you have to do is set up a game capture and set it to VTube studio.

Now you should see your avatar and your background. If you don’t wish for a background with your avatar to have that “green screen” effect, you just have to go into your backgrounds in VTube Studio and set it to transparent!

Resize your new VTube Model to what size you’d like it to be. The size of your window matters when setting this up, so make sure you have the VTube Studio window maximized each time you’re working with it.

Repeat this process for each different scene you’d like your VTuber to appear in. Except, once you’ve created the VTube Studio Game Capture source, you’ll be able to select it to add to new scenes rather than having to create another.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have your VTuber in your scene, there’s only one thing left to decide! What kind of content are you going to create?! Maybe you already have a game in mind, or maybe a niche like horror or card-based, whatever you decide, you’re all set to go do it!

Happy VTubing!

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