After the song, Teresa Teng “returns” to the stage, what can the virtual idol do?

Looking back at the entertainment industry in 2021, virtual idols are an important keyword among them.

At the beginning of 2021, Roblox’s market value exceeded US$40 billion on the day of its listing, a 10-fold increase from the previous year, laying the foundation for the “first year” of Metaverse. Its virtual idols in related industries have gradually improved, and related industries have continued to prosper. In 2021, industry-related companies including Next World Culture, Wanxiang Culture, Yunbo Technology, and Zhongke Zhishen have successively obtained round A/A+ rounds of financing in the amount of one million to ten million yuan.

Top Internet companies have increased their resource tilt towards the virtual idol industry ; the country’s first full-virtual character variety show “2060” ended; virtual idol concerts, virtual beauty bloggers and other tracks have successively entered new players, Further expand the industry influence.

Virtual idols are also a bright spot in the New Year’s Eve party recently. At the Jiangsu Satellite TV New Year’s Eve Party in 2022, Vsinger Luo Tianyi and V family members Le Zhengling, Yan He, Le Zheng Longya, Zheng Yu Mo Ke, Mo Qingxian and other virtual idols will appear one after another, breaking the television virtual technology. Ceiling-level performance.

When the virtual Teresa Teng and Zhou Shen sang the classic works “Little Town Story”, “Walking the Road of Life” and Zhou Shen’s “Big Fish” on the same stage, the singing across time and space merged, the memories of generations were intertwined, and technology brought The audiovisual feast makes people sigh with emotion.

After the song, Teresa Teng "returns" to the stage, what can the virtual idol do?

After the song, Teresa Teng "returns" to the stage, what can the virtual idol do?

“How did you do it? The most surprising thing is how to make Teresa Teng sing “Big Fish”?”

“The folds of Teresa Teng’s skirt can still move, and the microphone, fingers and shadows can also move. The technology is too powerful.”

In the face of this tribute performance across time and space, it was not only the audience who received enthusiastic feedback. The production company behind it, Digital Kingdom, which was born in Hollywood, also soared over 23% in intraday trading on January 3 to HK$0.79, and its share price hit a new high since the end of November.

When the era of virtual idols swept overwhelmingly. In 2021 when celebrities and idols have repeatedly collapsed and talent shows have ceased broadcasting, what is the next step for the idol industry? What kind of imagination can virtual idols provide the public?

From acting, beauty to consultants,

“Full Attack” of Virtual Idol

In 2021, the domestic entertainment market will be ups and downs, talent shows will be suspended one after another, public entertainers have frequent incidents of ethics, idols have collapsed one after another, and fan groups with true feelings of star chasing will fall into the “pit” if they are not careful. In this context, virtual idols seem to be becoming an energy field where emotions and enthusiasm can be thrown at ease, and the public and the market have increasingly positive feedback on virtual idols .

Cross-dimensional chasing stars will never collapse, and the downturn of the general environment has also become the beginning of a large-scale prosperity of the virtual idol industry. All platforms and industries have launched their own virtual characters or programs. In the field of performance, CCTV launched an AI sign language anchor, Hunan Satellite TV launched a virtual host “Xiao Yang”, Spring Festival Gala, New Year’s Eve concerts also let stars sing in the same frame through mature virtual technology.

In the process of continuous development and refinement of virtual technology, it is also delivering more diverse virtual images to the market. Beginning in 2021, virtual people such as Liu Yexi, MERROR, and Ling have been born one after another. From the fields of traditional virtual idols and functional consultants, they have come to the beauty, national style, and human observation tracks. With the continuous discovery of commercial value, more and more industries are associated with virtual idols . According to iiMedia Consulting’s data: preliminary estimates indicate that virtual idols will drive an industry scale of 107.49 billion yuan in 2021.

After the song, Teresa Teng "returns" to the stage, what can the virtual idol do?

While the virtual idol industry is booming, it is also infiltrating and actually affecting multiple industry circuits. We might as well divide virtual idols into three broad categories. The first category is the avatars of classic IPs such as celebrities and games. Such as this virtual Teresa Teng, the previous avatar of Di Lieba “Di Li Leng Ba”, Ouyang Nana’s virtual band “NAND” and so on.

The second category is brand customized virtual IP. For example, the avatar “Happy Sister” of the restaurant brand McDonald’s; the virtual idols “Ouye” and “Sister Lai” of the skin care brand L’Oreal China; the national style avatar “Huaxizi” of the makeup brand Huaxizi, etc.; CCTV launched AI sign language The anchor, Hunan Satellite TV also launched a virtual host “Xiao Yang” and so on.

The third category is also the original virtual human IP. For example, the virtual singer Luo Tianyi born in 2012, the beauty blogger Liu Yexi born in 2021, the virtual music artist Ha Jiang signed by Warner, the virtual blogger AYAYI of Xiaohongshu and so on. This type of avatar is also regarded by the market as a pioneering track to cultivate the market in the early days of the Metaverse.

Numerous race tracks all need to be supported by capital, technology and experience, and there are also leading companies with mature technologies that have been deeply cultivated for many years.

Capital, technology and mental strength,

Multiple driving forces of virtual idols

Take the virtual stage of Teresa Teng and Zhou Shen in this concert as an example. The production company behind it is Digital Domain Group from Hollywood. The company’s representative works include well-known film and television works“Titanic”, “Dreams Come True”, “Rejuvenation” and “Avengers” series .

The virtual Teresa Teng on this stage was created by Digital Realm through virtual human technology. The high-end rendering system “Mystique Live” under the blessing of fusion machine learning , the technology that gave the soul of “Thanks” in the “Avengers” series gradually tilts towards real-time capture, real-time rendering and real-time driving.

A single consumer-grade camera can be used to simultaneously track subtle facial expressions to create realistic and emotionally expressive full real-time digital characters. The virtual Teresa Teng is one of the results of this cutting-edge application-with the help of digital re-engineering, Teng Lijun injects A brand-new personality that fits the characteristics of the times, thereby promoting the continuation and transformation of cultural values.

So we can see that the virtual Teresa Teng on the stage is vivid and lifelike, with a frown and a smile, and the flow of facial muscles is commendable. This is also one of the most anticipated trends in the virtual idol industry: the technology of virtual idols is becoming more mature, even more “lifelike” than real people.

After the song, Teresa Teng "returns" to the stage, what can the virtual idol do?

As early as in the classic movie “Rejuvenation” in 2008, the virtual image setting has been original. It is understood that visual effects artists also from the Digital Realm designed three head images based on Brad Pitt’s appearance, collected about 120 real human expressions, and created thousands of appearance models.

Then, frame by frame, compare the similarities and differences between the real-life performance and the facial expression data to adjust, such as the changes in the corners of the eyes and the twitching of the corners of the mouth. As human beings, it is difficult to imagine how to make 120 expressions on our faces. From this point of view, virtual people are simply more “lively” than real people.

After the song, Teresa Teng "returns" to the stage, what can the virtual idol do?

Another case is that in the first virtual idol variety show “2060” last year, a virtual singer’s process of listening to autumn tears also sparked discussion among the audience: tears are generated from the lacrimal glands, the savings stay in the eye sockets, and then slowly gush out along the facial lines. , And formed a tear mark, the process was completed in one go.

After the song, Teresa Teng "returns" to the stage, what can the virtual idol do?

Virtual idol performances with increasingly mature technologies require considerable financial, technical and mental support. Last year’s team of beauty bloggers Liu Yexi, who became popular on the short video platform last year, said in an interview with the media that its investment in research and development costs, personnel costs, and technology costs “far exceeded one million in the six months before the launch of Liu Yexi.” “.

Nowadays, the iteration of technology has gradually made the output of virtual idols become more efficient. Digital Realm, which has realized the upgrade from pre-production to real-time output, has emphasized that this is a huge change for virtual humans. It has not only changed the way digital assets are used, but the accuracy and automation of technology has even spared artists the step of correcting errors. , Prompting it to ensure that the virtual person achieves unprecedented realistic effects, greatly simplify the production process, shorten the production cycle , and the past time cost has been reduced from requiring more than one year to deliver to just a few months or even a few weeks.

Technological iteration and the large-scale prosperity of the industry not only enable the audience to have a stronger empathy for virtual idols, but also bring new imagination to the entertainment industry.

The big bang of the Metaverse,

What can virtual idols do?

During the New Year’s Eve party, a hot topic #周深岁年有多忙# attracted public attention. According to statistics, in 2022, Zhou Shen will appear at four New Year’s Eve parties, which is worth the small half of the concert. Some netizens commented, “Whether Digital Realm can create a virtual person for Zhou Shen is too busy.”

Can the avatar of an artist bring convenience to the performance and at the same time recreate and feed back value for him? The answer seems to be clear. On the one hand, whether it is a new year’s model worker or a top-tier artist whose schedule is difficult to adjust, after the promotion of such technology, more stars can “live” on the stage across the distance of space, which greatly saves time and cost, and also allows the audience to enjoy To more stage works .In fact, Digital Domain has produced a stage performance of JJ Lin’s avatar before.

on the other hand. Taking the celebrity as the incision of the avatar design is also destined to be a complete “hot start”. The traffic carried by the celebrity will be proportional to the fan meeting to the avatar IP field . Under the dominance of technology, the artist’s publicity business resources It can also feed back its image value to a certain extent.

As one of the industries most closely related to the Metaverse, in the imagination space of the Metaverse, the virtual idol industry is also full of infinite possibilities . In the movie “The Matrix”, Keanu Reeves uses a hacker clone to shuttle through the virtual world Matrix; in the movie “The Number One Player”, Spielberg uses “Oasis Oasis” to carry the virtual reality world of gamers. The movie ” “Avatar” constructs a planet of Pandora that enters in the form of Na’vi people. These are the universal forms of the Metaverse.

In addition to movies, virtual idols in games have also caused waves. Previously, rapper Lil Nas X held virtual concerts in Roblox and Travis Scott in “Fortnite”. A few minutes of performance took players to fantasy scenes such as deep sea and space.

Nowadays, as the technology matures, we may be able to imagine more virtual idol scenes that travel through time and space, and various “organization” methods, like the virtual stage of Teresa Teng and star avatars. Whether it is NFT digital collections, “Rainbow Universe”, or virtual reality scenes used in various games, while chasing stars across dimensions and across time and space, more interactive methods between the audience’s virtual idols are also worth looking forward to.

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