Alive 2022, Live2D's Annual Creators Conference was streamed live December 3rd, supporting creators who use Live2D as their animation format of choice.
The keynote address presented by the Live2D JUKU Online School brought new information that will benefit users in the future. Here's what we understand from the conference which ran the whole afternoon.
Live2D By The Numbers
Live2D CEO Tetsuya Nakajo introduced this year's conference theme "Community," in which the company is committed to develop.
- Contests on its Nizima marketplace has been held 22 times, with a total of 3,475 works submitted.
- The "Buzz Creator" program honored over 140 creators for their contributions to Live2D.
- Tweets about Live2D have reached an approximate 16.55 million Twitter engagements in the past year.
- Its English-speaking Discord community is approaching 40,000 users.
- Overseas sales of Cubism PRO accounted for more than half of the total sales for the first time.
- Over 600 commercial licenses of its Cubism SDK are in use, while its Student Discount Program for Cubism PRO has benefitted 240 schools.
- The number of Live2D users have increased by 184% compared to last year.
New, Important Updates
Despite being held online for the third time, the 9th edition of the Alive 2022 Conference saw several new updates, including:
Live2D Cubism 5
The 2D modeler's important companion for rigging will have a new version coming up next year, with an alpha version in both English and Japanese to be released next Spring.
Notable key features to be expected in the next version of Cubism software include:
- Dark Mode UI option
- Support for High DPI displays
- Palette docking for multiple displays
- Improvements to the physics settings dialog for better visibility and operability
- Native support for Apple M1 and M2
- Blendshapes will now support all elements including opacity
- Added functions for lip syncing which estimates mouth movement according to the phonemes of the voice
- Further improvements in the accuracy of automatic mesh generation
- Automatic facial animation which will help creators devote more time in improving rig quality
Live2D's Cubism SDK, implemented entirely in Java, is set to be released on December 8. They said Android developers will benefit from this release, making it easier to develop for the OS versus the native version.
Cubism SDK for Cocos Creator
Cubism SDK is also now being developed for Cocos Creator. Cocos' managing director Luke Stapley said: "When Cocos Creator came out, we knew that Live2D needed to be available for our new game engine."
- Stapley has announced that the alpha version of the Cubism SDK for Cocos Creator is now available for download after months of developing it with the Live2D Cubism team.
- The addition of the SDK will help developers to "build games with the same tools as triple-A game companies have used."
Cubism Plugin for Adobe After Effects
- Cubism AE Plugin will enable Adobe After Effects users to work with motion directly in the program.
- A separate presentation was broadcast hours after the keynote, demonstrating the use of the plugin.
A version of the editor, CubismM, is under development. This editor is dedicated to video creation.
- CubismM will enable its users to check each frame, akin to the animator's task of flipping through papers.
- It will also have a history panel, letting users undo or redo their edits.
- It also records the state of the object before and after the operation, helping users understand what the generated object looks like.
Live2D's Stand on AI
With the heated discussion on the use of Artificial Intelligence, Live2D stood its ground that it will use AI research to assist creators and make them happy, not replace them.
- One of the uses of AI is the automatic deformer generation, which identifies the parts of the body each art mesh represents and automatically generates a deformer while attaching a hierarchy to that art mesh.
- Another use of AI is Material Separation Assistance, which makes work efficient as a material can be checked if it's sufficient while moving parameters.
- The company will continue its creator-friendly research and development initiatives
- Live2D's tutorial/manual website will be improved starting January next year.
- The 4th Cubism SDK Workshop will be held, slated for this month.
Creative Awards 2022 Recipients
Since 2014, Live2D has been honoring the best original Live2D works every year. This year's recipients are:
- Future Award: Kitajima Kazuki—Exploration with "Live2D" x "3DCG/live action"
- Next Future Award: chiepomme & zippo—Digital Shadow Box
- Student Award (High School and below): Miri—Customizable Live2D models
- Student Award (University and Vocational School): Kawaii Shinkou—Oil and acrylic painting with rich animation
- Live2D Model Award: Studio Momoko—Seno Kokoha [VTuber Rigging]
- Interactive Work Award: Rebun Getaro—Friend in 2032
- Video Expression Award: eggutarto—Cecilia
- Grand Prix: Kuroama—Cyber - Live2D Model Showcase
Select segments not included in this story can be viewed on the official Live2D YouTube Channel.Source: Live2D / Banner Photo from Live2D on YouTube