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How to keep up with Japanese streams
[was: New to this VTuber thing...]
Question 10.1. I got into this like 3 days ago and I'm already addicted. Currently, I'm really liking Hoshimachi Suisei and Shirakami Fubuki... but it's kind of difficult to keep up with the stuff... the streams are all in japanese (yeah, I'm eng) and all that I can actually watch are clips. Yeah, I expected it but still... it just feels boring when you can't understand. I checked HoloLiveEN but it just isn't the same (I watched some of Amelia Watson's streams).
Also, I just found out another VTuber: Pikamee. She isn't from HoloLive but she's a VTuber nonetheless.
How do you people deal with this? — Original question by TheKShell
Getting used to subtitles will take some time
I think a lot of people are used to reading subs because of anime. I remember when I started watching anime I relied a lot on dubs and it took me a bit to adjust to watching subbed anime too. Now I have no issue with them and I'll watch sub over dub if I like the Japanese actors more. When you get used to reading the subs, it might get easier for you to start enjoying the content and voice acting more too (this was definitely the case for me looking back on my first subbed anime). It will take some time, but when you watch enough it will get easier as you adjust. I'd say that vtubers have given me more of an appreciation for Japanese than anime due to the more natural way they talk which has been cool.
Keep an open mind
It is worth noting that if vtubers just aren't your thing, that's completely ok too. If you are finding a particular vtubers' clips uninteresting, then they may not be your thing and that's also fine. Clips are taken from notable moments in a streamer's video, often comedic but not always, so watching these will be a good gage of who you like and want to see more of. There is a good variety of personalities and content among vtubers, so figuring that out is completely understandable.
There are lots of choices
If you aren't into gaming, which makes up many streams, there are other types of streams like karaoke, art, just chatting, English/Japanese learning, or ASMR. If you like a vtuber but aren't into one of those types, then it's also ok to just not watch that type. Overall, it's usually the vtubers themselves that's the main draw as opposed to the game they're playing or type of content (it can be a factor, but usually isn't the primary reason).
All of that said, it's also a good idea to keep an open mind, as your opinion may change, the translations may have errors, it will take time to adjust to subs (which is worth it imo), or you might just not gel with the clip you watched and there might be others of the vtuber you do like.
Participate in the community
Another factor is the community too, which can be found on Youtube, Discord, Reddit and Twitter. Once you figure out who you like, it can add to the experience by participating in chats on live streams (English vtubers like Hololive EN, ID, and CN, and Independents are usually better for this than JP streamers in my experience, but it can still be fun even with the language barrier due to the previously mentioned point that the vtubers themselves are what make it fun to watch; I watched two Fubuki streams live and was surprised with how much I understood despite not knowing Japanese; also, there are translators in some chats for JP streamers for English viewers), talking with other people who enjoy the same vtubers, discussing streams, sharing fanart and memes, etc. Twitter is especially neat since you can directly tweet to and share your fanart with vtubers that they might share on stream. This also applies to Reddit and Discord to varying extents, depending on the vtuber and content.
Non-Japanese VTubers are fun, too
It's also worth noting that Hololive EN are not the only vtubers who speak English. There are many independent English speaking vtubers on Twitch and Youtube, two of which are some of my absolute favorites (Haruka Karibu and Nyatasha Nyanners). The reason I enjoy Haruka is similar to many Hololive streamers, her streams have a comfy feeling that's nice to sit back to and watch, and Nyanners is really funny imo. Independents' communities tend to be smaller than Hololive, which can make them feel more connected at times. They're fun all the same though. Honestly them speaking English over Japanese doesn't mater to me. Each vtuber I like appeals to me for different reasons that make them unique and enjoyable, so the language doesn't really affect my enjoyment at all. So when you say that Hololive EN wasn't the same, personally I prefer that since I do like that each vtuber has their own unique identity and aren't just copying another person to be popular. In addition to independents, some of the Hololive girls do speak English fluently or semi-fluently, so English-only streams can be fun to watch. I can't speak for all of Hololive CN and ID, but I do know Moona and Artia speak English primarily in their streams.
With the variety of clips, content and personalities among vtubers, you have the ability to sit back and watch whatever person or content type you prefer, so I'd recommend just checking out different clips of vtubers to see what you like. In some cases, if you are in a particular mood, you might want to watch a stream, clip or vtuber that fits with that mood. For example, some vtubers have very energetic and comedic personalities while others are much more laid back and their streams have a more chill tone. Overall, I'd just say that you will adjust as you watch more subbed clips, and to keep an open mind while you discover who you like. Sorry for the essay, but I hope this helps, and that you have a lot of fun in the rabbit hole! — Answer by TheFlyingOrange24
Thanks a ton for the reply! This kind of tells me to check and explore the horizon, I think I still need to check some more of them. Also, I watched one of Suisei's streams in which she played Fall Guys, I may just agree with you on the language barrier part. It wasn't that hard to understand what she was saying (Well, I didn't get the specific words but I think I understood what she meant). Although, VTubers who mainly just do chatting and speaking are still pretty perplexing to me.
And, thanks for the recommendations, I'll tune in to one of their streams one day and see. ^_^
But yeah, I'm kinda glad I fell into this hole. — TheKShell
Glad I could help, have fun! — TheFlyingOrange24
Avatar is ready. How to animate it?
Question 11.1. The user would like to know how to animate their VTuber avatar.
Knowledge of basic computer graphics definitely helps. Usually, Blender is used for modeling and Unity for post-processing. Although the degree of customization varies among software packages, you may want to know these concepts:
Look and feel
- Texture: A flat image projected onto the surface of a model, giving the model colors.
- Shader: A tiny computer program that operates on each graphic primitive. It is often used to give models a distinct look, although some shaders are purely computational.
- Material: A set of input parameters for some shader. Usually, there are options like specular color, specular intensity, hardness and color ramp.
- Blendshapes: A vertex-based animation technique that allows you to transition from one expression to another.
- Skinning: The animation technique that allows arms and legs to bend. A popular skinning algorithm is Skeletal Subspace Deformation or SSD.
- Volume-preserving skinning or dual-quarternion skinning: A skinning algorithm that preserves the mesh's volume. With SSD, joints will shrink when bent at extreme angles. With DQN, joints will "bulge" rather than shrink.
- Weights: The input required by the skinning algorithm (SSD, DQN...)
- Inverse kinematics: A solver that automatically determines joint positions when the "tip bone" is moved. For example, when a hand is moved, the upper limb's position may be automatically determined by the IK solver. However, the modeler will have to specify which bones are IK-compatible.
- End-effector: In the context of inverse kinematics, a control point that is movable. In Blender, however, you cannot move the end-effector directly. You move the tip bone that is connected to the end effector.
- Chain: In the context of inverse kinematics, a collection of inter-connected joints that shall be treated as one whole unit. For example, all joints from the left arm to the left shoulder form a chain. Note that the last joint in a chain is always fixed. For example, the left shoulder is not supposed to detach from the body.
This Blender tutorial explains inverse kinematics, chain length, and tip bones. It also covers pole targets and pole angles.