How to become a VTuber – Programs, streaming setups, and more

Become an animal, or a waifu, or anything you want.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Becoming a Vtuber takes a lot of preparation to dive into streaming fully and hitting that “Go Live” button for the first time. Figuring out your stream’s themes and getting a whole plan in place of what to do, it’s all very involved. But it doesn’t have to be very complicated. If you’re looking for tips on how to get started as a Vtuber, here are some recommendations on what to use and how to get started.

How to create or build a Vtuber avatar

If you’re fresh to building a Vtuber from scratch, there are many avenues to go down, whether it be building a custom avatar of your own liking, buying one already made, or even working with other artists to realize your vision.

The best software to create Vtuber avatar

For the more skilled aritsans, you can use illustration software such as Procreate, Photoshop, or ClipStudio Paint to create 2D assets for your avatar and then import them into rigging programs such as Vtube Studio or Live2D Cubism. On the 3D side, it can get much more complex (and expensive) when creating a 3D model. Software like Blender is free but can be quite daunting to new users.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Related: How to make a Vtuber Avatar – The best software to use to create a Vtuber

If you’re not as inclined to build from scratch, there are other Vtuber libraries and avatar-building software. Online sites that sell or distribute VR Chat models can be ported over to Vtuber programs. There are also software like Vroid Studio, which can make a Vtuber from pre-made assets, much like assembling an action figure from pieces.

If you wish to build a Vtuber from scratch and want to commission it, this is where it can get a little complicated. An excellent general tip would be to surf your favorite Vtubers on Twitch and check their bios. Typically most will list their Vtuber artists and have their own social links embedded in the bio below a stream. From there, it would be best to initiate contact with the artist via their website or social media and see how they operate. For a more vetted process, the Live2D Discord community has created Vtuber.GG. This website lists artists verified by the community as relatively trustworthy and even lists going rates for the artists listed. From that point on, it is up to the commissioner and artist to navigate 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 OBS’ own open-source backbone, but it possesses many streamlined features for the average user to quickly go from setting up a stream to going live. Some features include things like direct integration with a digital storefront to purchase and utilize packaged stream layouts, a refined experience collaborating with other streamers, and integrated chat bot moderation and interactive features.

OBS, or Open Broadcast Software, is the oldest streaming software solution but is popular among Vtubers for its open-source solutions and many add-ons available on sites such as GitHub and the OBS Project’s own forums. OBS is more complex and involved than other streaming software, but the complexity comes with the added benefit of working with nearly anything. Most Vtuber animation software is easily integrated into OBS by default. There are add-ons developed by others that can assist with adding additional features such as chat integration and interactivity, soundboards, etc.

Twitch and Youtube streams

If you’re looking to stream to a platform, typically, the most popular choice right now is Twitch. The biggest upside of other streaming platforms is that Twitch possesses a stronger community and more robust features for chat interaction and streamer partnerships. Overall, there is more of a foundation built over the years on Twitch versus other platforms.

Youtube has recently been gaining ground as a competitor to Twitch by introducing more direct chat interactions like the ability to gift paid subscriptions, a revenue split favoring the streamer at 70/30 over Twitch’s now 50/50 split. Youtube also has the benefit of combining a video channel and your streaming platform under a unified account, so you can easily save long-form streams to the same account you stream on.

Screenshot by Gamepur

What are best animation software for Vtuber?

Luppet, Facerig, and other animation software

When you have a Vtuber made up, you need to choose software to animate it with your own face tracking and/or voice activation.

For 2D Vtubers, the most popular choices are Vtube Studio or Live2D Cubism. Both provide detailed solutions to rigging and animating 2D avatars live on stream. If you’re using a 3D Vtuber, there are other options. Most users will use Facerig, which is free for personal use, but the biggest downside is that there is a lack of hand controls or rigging. If you are looking for more involved solutions, check out Luppet, which is usually the gold standard for the best 3D Vtuber animating package due to the inclusion of hand controls using a LeapMotion controller and webcam in tandem. Other recommendations would be VeeSeeFace, which is available at no cost and is an open source program with tons of flexible rigging and animating options.

How to make or use stream graphics

Now that you’ve gotten a good-looking avatar, maybe your stream isn’t really all that much to look at. If you want to spice things up, then it’s time to look at getting a stream layout package made. Animations and callouts for things like subscribers, followers, and donations are all things to consider, along with a layout on screen that shows your chat and follow feeds next to your avatar.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to make your own, most broadcast software accepts files from programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects, and Premiere. Common image and video file formats with transparent backgrounds, such as PNGs or WEBM files, work the best here. For lower-cost options besides Adobe Creative Suite, check out programs such as DaVinci Resolve, GIMP, or Corel Draw.

If you’re not the artistic type and want to look at commissioning an artist for a layout, you can look at dedicated companies that do nothing but stream layouts or buy a layout already made. For prepackaged solutions, you can get full-stream suites from places like Own3d.TV, Get Rekt Labs, and Streamplay. For a more personalized solution, look for design studios and communities specializing in streamer graphics. Get Rekt Labs also offers customized solutions at a higher cost.

Other sources of stream graphics can include searching for communities on Discord or a private commission via Fiverr.