Another “top player” is here.
On October 31, the Douyin account “Liu Yexi” released a video. In the video, a group of people were watching a woman in ancient costume putting on makeup in the mirror. After the woman turned her head, her unique makeup frightened everyone, and only a little boy appeared. Before asking: “Are you a human?” Then, the woman who claimed to be “Liu Yexi” opened the eyes of the little boy with the pen in her hand, and the little boy saw the ghosts appearing above the crowd.
In this two-minute video, the pictures, plots, and special effects all have a movie texture. The virtual and real people interact smoothly, and they are both fantasy and reality. The story of both “cyberpunk and Chinese fantasy” style unfolds.
As the account was labeled “Meta Universe” under the video, it was just catching up with Facebook’s renaming to “Meta (the prefix of MetaVerse in English MetaVerse).” For a while, there was a lot of online controversy.
There is a view that Liu Yexi is not worthy of being so sought after by the outside world, but just rubbing the heat of the “meta universe”, “Isn’t this a dummy, what’s so beautiful? It seems that everyone’s understanding of the meta universe is still a bit simple”, “The modeling characters in movies and games are nothing but new wines in old bottles. There is no new concept.”
The other faction saw Liu Yexi breaking the circle, bringing a turn for the entire virtual human racetrack. Short video creators and people in the virtual/digital industry are typical representatives. They believe that “when the special effects of movie textures are moved to the short video platform, what will be a dimensionality reduction blow”, “make virtual idol skits on Douyin , Is the easiest and fastest way to increase public awareness.”
Liu Yexi also lived up to expectations. After the video was online for 4 days, his account gained more than 3 million followers, and he has even received “polite inquiries” from multiple brands and technology companies.
Some people in the industry predict that Liu Yexi will personally prove that “this year is the first year of virtual idols” and that the era of virtual idol sales is coming soon, and leading technology companies will also participate in the production and promotion of virtual images.
Liu Yexi, a virtual beauty expert who can catch demons, has become popular. Will MCN replicate the “next Liu Yexi” in large numbers? Can virtual human producers who have been serving movies and games find new opportunities on the short video platform? This article will take you to meet a different Liu Yexi.
3 million fans in 4 days,
Why is Liu Yexi so hot?
On October 31, the virtual person “Liu Yexi” turned out to be popular with just one video. Netizens called it “the dimensionality reduction blow in the short video world” and “the ceiling of Douyin beauty makeup artist.”
In the video, Liu Yexi is a virtual beauty expert who can catch demons. With the blessing of Metaverse + virtual idol + beauty makeup, the number of likes for a single video has exceeded 2.7 million. The next day, Liu Yexi sent two more “concept photos”, and the popularity continued to rise. So far, it has gained more than 3 million fans, and the number of fans is still rising at a high speed .
This video, which is only 2 minutes long, has attracted many comments from the big V. A beauty blogger with 1.91 million fans, “One is a black cat”, left a message: “You can do beauty bloggers and I won’t do it.” “JF”, a vibrato musician with 2.86 million fans, commented: “It’s too big, you can make short videos in the future, I won’t shoot.” These two big Vs continued to gain popularity in the few days after leaving their messages.
Photo source / Liu Yexi’s short video comment area
Beauty bloggers also followed Liu Yexi to work overtime overnight. At present, the topic “When Beauty Meets Metaverse” on Douyin has been played 120 million times, and the topic “Challenge Liu Yexi’s Imitation Makeup” has also been played nearly 92 million times.
Why is Liu Yexi so hot? The answer of many people in the industry is that they have stepped on “the right time, the right place and the right people”. This is the result of a combination of many emotions .
Let’s look at Tianshi first. Liu Yexi’s fire has the inevitability of the times.
“Star artists have collapsed one after another, and the emergence of virtual idols with higher security and controllability meets the needs of the market.” said Fei Fei, a practitioner in the live broadcast industry.
At the same time, the technical content of the video reminds itself of the hottest “Meta Universe” at the moment, and the account itself is also labeled as “Meta Universe” to further guide the audience.
Regarding whether Liu Yexi can belong to the meta-universe category, Yang Ge, the founding partner of Xinghan Capital, said that she can at least help more public users understand the meta-universe. She is like a ticket or pass, “enlightening” the public’s meta The world view of the universe .
Picture source / Liu Yexi Douyin account
Let’s look at the location. Like virtual idols such as AYAYI and Lingling, Liu Yexi cut into the beauty track and used suspenseful plots to arouse the audience’s enthusiasm for “chasing drama”. “In this way, only one video has paved the way for the subsequent plot development and commercial realization.” Fei Fei said.
As a colleague, Lao Mu, CEO of Beijing Buttercat Culture Co., Ltd. saw the sincerity in Liu Yexi’s works. “Audiences often watch Hollywood blockbusters, and they have higher and higher requirements for virtual people’s picture accuracy, emotional rendering, plot creativity, etc. When they find that something that originally appeared on the big screen can be watched on a short video, they naturally feel very novel. .” In Liu Yexi’s comment area, many users sighed, “You can watch movies without buying tickets”?
Liu Yexi’s “human and harmonious” factor is indispensable for getting angry. The account preparation period of “Liu Yexi” lasted for half a year, and Chuangyi Video behind it had been established for three and a half years. The number of the team has reached about 150, and more than half of them are post-technical personnel.
This team is not born out of nowhere. In the early stage, it has incubated “Huihuizhou (13.92 million fans)”, “Feifeiyu Fay (3.21 million fans)”, “Astronaut Xiaowu (2.31 million fans)” and many others. A short video account with strong special effects scenes. Liu Yexi’s account also only followed the above 4 accounts to divert each other.
Dummy Liu Yexi, with “living” virtual human race track
Virtual people are not a new thing. Before Liu Yexi appeared, virtual idols had gone through several stages of iterations and changes, filling the needs of fans and brands for “cool and non-overturned idols”.
The term virtual idol was born in Japan in the 1990s. In the early days, it specifically referred to virtual singers, such as Hatsune Miku, Luo Tianyi, and the virtual idol group A-SOUL launched by Lehua Entertainment. Therefore, virtual idols often carry a strong two-dimensional cultural imprint in the early stage, and the main ways to realize it are to release new songs and hold concerts.
With the iteration of technology, virtual idols are closer to the concept of digital people, and gradually expanded to virtual anchors, virtual idols, virtual brand spokespersons, etc., and the commercialization potential is gradually opening up, involving live broadcasts, brand endorsements, variety shows and other fields. For example, Luo Tianyi walked into the live broadcast room of Li Jiaqi and other anchors, AYAYI cooperated with the headset brand Bose, and Lingling co-branded with brands such as Naixue’s tea and Tesla.
AYAYI and Lingling’s Xiaohongshu accounts are close to real life
In the past few years, many brands have also launched their own virtual spokespersons, such as Meiji’s virtual spokesperson “Mister M”, Watson’s Qu Chenxi, and Huaxizi’s avatar of the same name brand.
From left to right: the virtual spokespersons of Meiji, Huaxizi, and Watsons
The explosive “Liu Yexi” has naturally been spotted by many brands. Although it has only released two videos, according to Liang Zikang, co-founder and CEO of Chuangyi Video, many brands have come to seek cooperation. Including beauty and skin care, food and daily chemical brands and Internet technology companies.
Lao Mu saw the intergenerational changes of the entire virtual idol from Liu Yexi. “Previous virtual people were mostly flat images. As an IP with’active, story-telling’, Liu Yexi’s commercial value has increased. This also means that virtual idols have entered the era of enhancement from the era of creating concepts .”
“For a time, the virtual human market became even hotter.” This is the common feeling of many people in the industry.
Lao Mu is one of the entrepreneurs in the “virtual human production” track. Six months ago, he proactively contacted many MCN agencies to hope to cooperate, and the other party was either indifferent or refused directly.
“Why should I invest money in this kid’s play?” Lao Mu often received similar replies. He said that in the eyes of the MCN organization, virtual people have many drawbacks. First of all, they are not suitable for spreading on the current short video platform, and the commercialization path is not clear.
” The appearance of Liu Yexi proves to the outside world that virtual people can also have beautiful data on short video platforms .” Lao Mu said that now people are talking about the commercial value of Liu Yexi’s account, but he believes that Liu Yexi The greatest value is that her appearance has made many people who didn’t understand the “virtual human” industry understand it all at once.
“Liu Yexi broke the concept of virtual humans.” Yang Ge also held the same view. “She is a character that is acceptable to the whole people, not so two-dimensional.”
Recently, domestic entertainment guilds, MCN agencies and brands have all taken the initiative to find Lao Mu and expressed their intention to start a virtual human content plan.
A video cost millions,
Short video is hard to have the next Liu Yexi
But the reality is that creating a virtual person is not easy, and the transition to the delivery of goods requires a lot of pitfalls.
Many people underestimated the cost behind producing a “Liu Yexi” . According to the production process announced by Chuangyi Video, shooting and post-production are the main cost-consuming links.
Picture source / Create One Video
Lao Mu has calculated an account for Kaipao Finance: According to the lowest cost estimate, to achieve a virtual person like Liu Yexi’s accuracy, the estimated value is about 500,000 yuan . “This is just basic 3D modeling. The details of the characters need to be adjusted and rendered in the later stage. There are motion capture actors behind the virtual humans. The animators need to optimize each frame of action, and the man-hours are very difficult. Estimated.”
The production cost of each video is also expensive. Liang Zikang said in an interview that the creative cycle of each issue of Liu Yexi’s video still takes about one month , and the behind-the-scenes creative team includes directors, planning, production, 3D, and operations personnel. “If you count the investment in the previous few years, the investment may have already exceeded one million.”
Due to the high cost and technical threshold of using short videos to make virtual idols, this is not something that an ordinary MCN organization can afford. Therefore, Yang Ge suggested that a group of teams that previously provided virtual person production services (to B end) to game and film companies can gradually switch to producing short drama content (to C end), seize the video track, and shorten the realization path. . “Virtual people in the short video industry do not need to achieve the same high precision as movies and games, and can control the cost within a relatively reasonable range.” Lao Mu said.
But people in the industry are not optimistic. Professional virtual human production companies, although they have technology, do not necessarily have the ability to plan content, nor do they necessarily understand the gameplay and rhythm of short videos.
Lao Mu is more optimistic. He believes that in the future, it is necessary to rely on different types of companies in the industry chain to jointly promote the applicability and scalability of virtual humans, attract more people to participate in PGC, or even UGC, and expand the industry. cost. “
On the short video platform, the next step in the realization of virtual people is to bring goods?
At present, Liu Yexi’s team has not disclosed the live broadcast plan, and many people speculate whether she will realize the cash by bringing the goods. Liang Zikang said that ” Liu Yexi ” is still in its infancy. After 2-3 months, the account development enters a stable period before considering commercial cooperation .
In this regard, industry insiders have pointed out that if Liu Yexi broadcasts live broadcasts, the stickiness and commercial value of fans will increase, but the costs in all aspects will also increase. Yang Ge said that AIGC technology is used for live streaming of virtual humans , that is, artificial intelligence is used to allow virtual humans to conduct logical and personalized feedback and interactions like real humans. The technical difficulty is very high and the cost is also high.
Many people in the industry believe that the threshold for live streaming of virtual idols is mainly in three aspects. First, the audience and number of virtual anchors are not as broad as the user groups of real anchors, and many users are still in a stage where they cannot understand and watch the excitement of virtual anchors. Second, there are limitations to the delivery of goods by virtual anchors. Color testing, tasting, and try-on are impossible . For a long time, real people are required to cooperate with virtual anchors. Some scenes such as cars and homes require virtual people to go. There are also certain technical thresholds for touching real objects. Third, more people’s desire for virtual idols is companionship. Once they start to bring goods, they will inevitably break this sense of companionship.
Before bringing the goods, Liu Yexi has more urgent “personal design and renewal” issues to consider . “On the one hand, Liu Yexi’s current elements are rather mixed, including the elements of “Blade Runner 2049” and the shadow of the faceless ghost in Hayao Miyazaki’s movie “Spirited Away”, and Liu Yexi’s forehead The Huatian on the top and the cranes behind are also Chinese elements. On the other hand, Liu Yexi won a good start with the suspenseful wind, but how to continue and the full character image is a test of the content ability of this main special effects team. “In this regard, Faey Fei held a wait-and-see attitude.
It cannot be denied that the appearance of Liu Yexi is a beautiful runaway in the field of short video in the meta universe. “I believe that the future shown in “Top Player” will really come true. When the meta-universe system is formed, Liu Yexi will definitely be the front wave among them.” Lao Mu said.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/metavese-short-video-do-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8byou-really-understand-liu-yexi/
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