Hello, my lovely inkblots! As some of you may know, I have been making some guides for people who want to become VTubers, but are hung-up on the character creation aspect. Today’s guide focuses specifically on crafting the visual components of your avatar.
While I was making my own avatar, I realized that creating a VTuber avatar is very similar to designing an original character, but I wanted to share my own tips for creating a character that is unique to you. Anyway, let’s get into them.
#1: Come Up With A Persona And Go From There
I have a whole guide on this both on my blog and my YouTube channel and I think that getting this out of the way first makes the whole process of creating an avatar much smoother. Knowing what your character is like personality-wise can help you make decisions about what visual traits suit them best. Is your character a fiery gamer? You could give them spiky hair or make it a color that reflects that energy. Is your character more mature and calm? This can be shown by giving the character smaller eyes and using a mellow color palette. When making anime-styled characters, it is important to remember that their personality influences their physical appearance more often than not.
#2: List Physical Traits That You Like From Other Characters
This isn’t limited to just other VTubers or even anime characters because you can draw inspiration from anywhere! Look at different outfits that you like or people that you look up to. It might be easiest to look at anime characters, especially if you intend to have an anime-styled avatar, but you are not confined to it.
Even while redesigning and updating my avatar, I was still collecting examples of traits that I like on characters. For example, the color of my eyeliner mimics the eyeliner for the female characters in The Quintessential Quintuplets and just recently I decided to give myself a hairstyle similar to Miku Nakano’s. From the very beginning, I picked out certain details and added them to my Pinterest board. I then looked at traits that I liked from other characters and began choosing other details that I would like to add. I even added freckles because I have them in real life and didn’t see many other avatars with them when I started. Take your time when exploring all of the possibilities.
#3: Take Personality Quizzes For Certain Physical Traits
As I mentioned earlier, anime-styled characters tend to have physical traits that correlate with their personalities. If you understand your character’s personality, but aren’t sure how to go about reflecting that in their appearance, try taking some personality quizzes online. Start with simple ones like “What is your anime hair color” and things like that. If your avatar is based on yourself, answer the questions the way that you normally would. If your avatar is being made for a character you want to act as, answer the questions as if you are that character.
Just remember that your results from these quizzes don’t have to determine how you create your avatar and are just a fun way to weigh all of your options and explore possibilities.
#4: Make Your Avatar’s Appearance Reflect Your Content
This may seem basic, but a lot of people forget it when they first try to design their avatar. Are you a gamer that is planning on streaming gameplay? Try giving your avatar some headphones or apparel from your favorite game. You could even make your character reflect your job in real life if you want to. In my case, my avatar is an elf-like shapeshifter with inkblots on different parts of her body because I enjoy writing fantasy stories and I thought that having a fantasy-related avatar would reflect that very well.
Try to be aware of your limitations, though. Different programs have different limits when it comes to making avatars, so try to keep that in mind. Making an avatar in VRoid Studio without the use of Unity or Blender has different limits than one made for Live 2D.
#5: Give Your Character Memorable Features
This is one of the most important parts. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen VTubers with very similar avatars to other VTubers. Many of these designs get heckled by the community enough as it is, so I’m not going to list any here, but I would recommend that you try to give your avatar enough unique traits that they become distinguishable from the others. This can be in the form of specific styles of makeup and hair, tattoos/markings, piercings, etc.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been recognized by my avatar’s hair alone. Pair that with her inkblots, freckles, heterochromia, and multi-colored eyeliner, and she stands out from the others and becomes more recognizable. Try to experiment with this! You may be surprised by what you come up with.
Bonus Tip #1: Make Pinterest Boards For Your Avatars
As I mentioned before, I used Pinterest every step of the way when designing my avatar and it has been a life-saver. You can make separate boards for each of your avatars and then use sections to sort images that show the kinds of eyes, outfits, and hairstyles you want to give your character. I honestly can’t recommend it enough. (No, I am not sponsored, I just really love using Pinterest.)
Bonus Tip #2: Make Sketches of Your Avatar Before You Actually Make It
This is something that I do whenever I am planning any sort of redesign. Even if you aren’t very artistic, you should try this at least once. Since I use VRoid Studio and Unity for my models, I usually just take a picture of my model and sketch any clothes or details that I want on it in Autodesk Sketchbook. That way I can see what looks right or wrong before I spend hours making everything in VRoid Studio or adding 3D objects in Unity. Overall, sketching my designs beforehand has saved me a lot of time and also helps me envision what the final product will look like.
I hope these tips helped you with trying to design your VTuber avatar and thank you for reading this little article. If it did help, please let me know with a like or a comment below! I would love to hear from you guys!
Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful day.