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How Nana prepares their model for Live2D (Part 10)

Continuing from where we left off last time we are going to have a brief introduction to VTube Studio and toggles you can setup in Live2D to turn certain parts on and off, the basic method to change facial expressions, hand gestures, etc.


Let's go through what the plan is here
  • We are going to have a quick look in VTube Studio and learn how to set it up. I will not cover complex topics such as fine tuning the model.

  • We are going back into Live2D and I will create a simple example of the character changing the left arm with one facing down like the right arm.

  • I am going to use the word 'intuitive' a lot in this blog entry and I will admit beforehand how much I hate that word, but I can't think of a better word to express the whole thing.


Without further ado, let's start.


VTube Studio

As I've been hinting on in my previous blog entry, VTube Studio is an alternative face tracking software available on the market which is probably currently the most popular one.


Just like before, I will try to list some of its ups and downs to help you determine which program you should take into consideration.


Now before I do that, let me point out that VTube Studio on iPhone is very different from the PC and Android versions and I would consider the iPhone version to be superior than prprlive - since most of the strengths of prprlive are also available on the iPhone version of VTube Studio (apart from the bilibili gift support). However, this is a PC to PC comparison, and as a result, the downsides listed in a bit are to be taken into consideration, unless you use an iPhone.


Ups:

  • Tons of tutorials available out there as it is the most popular program used by people who are using Live2D models to represent themselves online.

  • Feels more 'intuitive' once everything is set up.

  • Has a library of props and backgrounds already available and that library can be easily extended.

  • Many ways to finetune parameters.

  • Allows many different kind of short key commands and also have the option to create overlay buttons in VTube Studio which the streamer can easily have access to.

  • Fully in English.

Downs:

  • Annoying to set up compared to prprlive, there are dedicated folders which the user has to store their file in.

  • Due to how 'intuitive' the movement of the model is in VTube Studio, you have to be careful to not move the model when you don't have to. There is a lock model function, but if you rely on that anyway, then what is the point of being more 'intuitive'.

  • Eye tracking can't track eyes individually (on PC).

  • Setting up the hot keys and shortcuts aren't as 'intuitive' as you'd expect.


How to setup VTube Studio

Contrary to prprlive, setting up VTube Studio is a bit more annoying. As mentioned before the first thing you need to do after installing VTube Studio and exporting your Live2D model is to locate the folder where you have to move your Live2D model to.

First you'll have to click on that button with the 'person' icon on the top left side of your screen which will then show a new row of buttons on the bottom of the window. There, click on the 'import your own model' and it will pop up a window where you can gain access to the folder for VTube Studio models.

Create a new folder (in my example 'tcg_nana_vts') and put all relevant files into that folder, aka the texture folder, all .json files and the .moc3 file.

After you're done you should be able to load up your model. You will have to restart the program however. Once you've restarted you should be able to find the new model in the list.

Once you click on that file, it should boot up your model and ask you if you want to auto-setup the model, choose whichever device you're using. In our example the first option.

Congratulations, you've just successfully imported your model to VTube Studio. your face tracker should be working now. If not, the you'd have to go to the settings. Click on the cog wheel icon (fourth on the left side of the window) and this will open up your settings. Go to the camera settings by choosing the second icon on the top left corner. Here you can calibrate your camera and make sure that VTube Studio has recognized your webcam.

On the right side you have many options which you can check out on your own, but the most relevant for now is to install the virtual webcam for VTube Studio, scroll down to the bottom for that.


Once you've installed the virtual webcam, you should be able to activate the virtual webcam, you'll have to select that virtual webcam in your OBS / streaming software.


If you go to the next option you will gain access to the model settings. Here you can make changes to all your model related parameters. Take your time to explore all the settings, I usually turn off movement config and turn up the physics a bit, but it's up to personal preferences. You can also choose an icon (which you have to store in the same project folder as the other files).

The final setting allows you to add hotkeys and gain access to various actions, the most relevant ones would probably be setting expressions and moving the model to a predefined position on the stage. I may get into this one a bit deeper sometime in the future. But there are already some tutorials out there and video tutorials seem to be the better medium to explain those functions.

We will however set up a quick example with this model, since I've created an alternate left arm for this model in Live2D already and we just need to set up a toggle for it in Live2D.


First however, here's the sample of a recording in VTube Studio:


Let's go back to Live2D real quick. I will unhide the arm I was hiding while exporting the last model. As you can see, there are 2 left arms now (the one I was hiding has already been animated at this point). What we need to do now is to create a new parameter where we can hide one as we are going to show the other and vice versa.

On the bottom of the parameter window, there's a new parameter button and a new folder button. We will need a parameter, so select that one.


As you can see the free version already has 27 parameters set, so your options are rather limited, however, remember that you can delete parameters which are not in use (I have a couple of those on this model.)


Now in this example I have 4 parts, non of them are animated in any parameter so far, so as a free version user, I can make them invisible on that new parameter without problem.


This once again is crucial if you have a free version. If you are using a pro version, you don't have to worry about it.


Now either make this into a 2 or 3 point parameter and make sure that both states are on that parameter.


Unlike the other parameters we've been using so far, this one we are going to manually move from one side to the other and back once we are using this new model on either of our tracking software, hence that's why we are talking about a 'toggle' here, since you can turn it on and off.


Once you are done, export a new .moc3 file, different than before, this time, open that file, we'll be setting up the toggle.


This is the first time you see this file opened. We will set up the toggle here.

Under file, you will have an 'add expression' option. Once you've named your expression and confirmed it, you will see, that we now have an additional folder named 'expression' on the top left side of the window.


Open that folder and you will find that new expression file. click on that file and you will find some settings on the bottom left side of the window. Select the parameter you want to have changed with the toggle, in my case 'Toggle LArm'.

Once you have it checked, you'll be able to move a slider. Move it to the position, where the arm is exchanged.


You can define a fade-in and fade-out speed of the transition, try out what works best for you.


Once you're done, click Ctrl + S to save the file. (There is no save button in this program, only the shortcut...). It will ask you if you want to save all related files, if you say yes, it will also export the new expression.


Now you can select all new files and replace your VTube Studio files of that model with the new ones. As for prprlive, just open the new model3.json file.


Add expressions in VTube Studio

Let's jump over to Vtube Studio once again and load up the new model. In this following screen do the following things:

  1. Click on the '+' icon to add a new action.

  2. Turn on any slider you want in the hotkey settings. I will be using keyboard and screen buttons for this example.

  3. Name that new hotkey to something you'll recognize. I will name mine 'ToggleLArm'

  4. Select a Hotkey action. In this case 'Set/Unset Expression'.

  5. Select an expression, your expression should be on that list that pops up if you did everything correctly.

  6. Select the key(s) you want which triggers the action.

  7. Select the hot key button you want to have this animation on.

  8. You're good to go, test out your keyboard input or click on that new button on the right side of the window.

This is how you set up hot key commands and buttons. You can do a lot more, just take your time and explore the options in VTube Studio.


Add Expressions in prprlive

Prpr wins once again when it comes to easy setup. As you can see, it automatically recognizes all the expressions which have been generated. And a key has already been assigned to it which you can change. Unfortunately, you can't create any buttons unlike VTube Studio.


With that, we finally come to an end with this little introduction to Live2D, prprlive, as well as VTube Studio. I really hope that my blog posts were insightful and helpful for newcomers and that you had fun reading as well as trying things out on your own while you were reading it.


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