To stream as their ethereal alter ego, Mai, a VTuber known as M41H41, typically juggled four to seven different programs. Running all of them at once was mentally exhausting and a burden on their computer, risking overheating mid-stream. If a program crashed, Mai would have to break character to fix it.
VTubers — a portmanteau of “virtual YouTuber” — stream as a 2D or 3D model, rather than reveal their actual faces. The genre has produced successful streamers but demands high technical skills and startup costs.
Obskur, an all-in-one broadcasting application, aims to make VTubing accessible by allowing users to create 3D models and interactive environments without technical skills. The company debuted several new features at TwitchCon, including Character Creator.
The Character Creator lets users customize 3D models by picking from a selection of free hairstyles, facial features and body types, and adjusting the features with sliders to change shape and size. Users can also buy models and 3D assets from the integrated marketplace, making VTubing more accessible.
Mai used up to a dozen applications to run their streams, including programs for basic animations, chat interactions, and integrating those interactions with Twitch’s monetization features. They also needed a program to upload their model into a 3D background.
Mai noted the cost of creating a model as a barrier for entry, prompting them to use free software for model creation. Artists commissioning for high-quality 2D models and 3D models can be expensive. Additional assets, such as outfits and hairstyles, are similarly expensive and challenging to source.
Obskur takes a standard 20% developer cut, which Aslanyan hopes will make the monetization process more seamless for streamers.
Neither Mai nor Aslanyan are concerned about Obskur’s Character Creator pushing out artists. Instead, they see the platform’s marketplace creating opportunities for artists to expand their clientele. They see the Character Creator as a “baseline” opportunity for absolute beginners to step into VTubing without breaking the bank or learning complex animation.
Aslanyan added that Obskur took artist feedback into account when designing the Character Creator. Obskur’s art director, known for designing models for popular VTubers, oversaw the development.
Mai is excited that tech companies are finally paying attention to the VTuber industry, calling it “underutilized.”