The new experience manager of the first Metaverse coffee shop in Guangzhou is a virtual person. Ordering is “cross-dimensional”

The new experience manager of the first Metaverse coffee shop in Guangzhou is a virtual person. Ordering is "cross-dimensional"

“Ben” virtual avatar (picture provided by interviewee)

When the Metaverse is gradually moving from concept to reality, digital virtual humans have taken the lead in “out of the circle” and become a new outlet for the cultural industry. In the first Metaverse Cafe in Guangzhou in Haizhu District, the reporter saw that the virtual store manager “Ben” breaks the physical space and conducts “cross-dimensional” interaction with customers. The perfect integration of virtual technology and content brings a new visual experience. .

According to iiMedia Research’s “2021 China Virtual Idol Industry Development and Netizen Survey and Research Report” and the “Virtual Digital Human In-depth Industry Report” released by the qubit think tank, by 2030, the overall market size of China’s virtual human will reach 270 billion yuan. Driven by factors such as the continuous maturity of technology, younger consumers, diversified marketing methods and changing scenarios, the overall scale of the digital virtual human market will continue to expand.

“Virtual store manager” prototype: “I hope there is an image to face the camera for me”

According to the first “Annual Development Report on the Influence of China’s Virtual Digital Humans” launched by the Communication University of China, at present, virtual digital human beings are mainly divided into three categories: virtual idols, virtual anchors, and corporate IP. Singers, actors, models, hosts, “digital employees” of enterprises… The “occupation” of virtual people is becoming more and more abundant, and the landing scene is also constantly expanding.

The new experience manager of the first Metaverse coffee shop in Guangzhou is a virtual person. Ordering is "cross-dimensional"

“Ben”, the first experience store manager of “YMeta Coffee”

In Guangzhou’s first Metaverse Cafe “YMeta Coffee”, the virtual person “Ben” appeared as the store manager. The image is a one-to-one replica of Gu Zhibin, the chairman and president of Yongsheng Animation. Through “cross-dimensional” ordering and interaction, he brings a cup of “Metaverse” coffee prepared by the virtual person at close range. It is reported that YMeta Coffee is not only a coffee shop, but behind it is a newly established virtual human incubation and operation studio by Yingnao Technology, a subsidiary of Yongsheng Animation.

“To put it simply, I have a fear of the camera, and I hope to have an image that can face the camera for me, so that I can express my views more freely.” Talking about why he created his own virtual avatar, Gu Zhibin, chairman of Yongsheng Animation, laughed Word.

So, was “Ben” difficult to build? Roughly three steps are required: completing the shaping of the “skin” through graphic scanning, 3D modeling, and textured materials. Complete the definition of the character’s behavior pattern through binding, action library, expression library, and sound clone. Finally, through motion capture and facial capture, the skin is driven to perform and interact according to the behavior mode defined by AI.

Yan Bing, general manager of Yongsheng’s animation virtual human business department, said that with the continuous expansion of virtual human application scenarios, Yongsheng not only pays attention to online, but also pays more attention to offline space. “The Metaverse is a virtual ecology, but not nothingness. It is to create a better future through interaction and mapping with the physical world. At YMeta Coffee, through the interaction with the virtual human barista, the order of coffee is completed, and a cup of coffee is tasted. With well-brewed coffee, the joy of social interaction is also met here.”

In the future, everyone will have a digital double in the virtual world?

Animation and game companies have natural advantages in creating virtual content

In recent years, Yingsheng, who owns IPs such as “Pig Man”, “Variety School Bus”, “Crazy Candy” and “Diddy”, is committed to realizing the cross-border integration of new business formats with high-quality animation IP as the core.The hyper-realistic digital man is another attack by this senior comic company.

As an enterprise deeply cultivating original IP digital animation, Yongsheng has accumulated rich ability to create virtual IP.”In the application of virtual people, we are positioned in hyper-realism and virtuality. Hyper-realism is a style and represents the future trend. Another aspect is that we also hope to challenge ourselves, after all, cartoon style is too familiar to us. “In Gu Zhibin’s view, the virtual digital human will become the most important interactive carrier in the Metaverse world . In the future, almost everyone will have a digital double in the virtual world. There is still a huge space in the market, and the current virtual human industry is in Pre-cultivation stage. Innao Technology has laid out the hyper-realistic virtual human incubation and operation track in advance, which will give more directions and possibilities for the Metaverse virtual human. In the future, virtual people like “Ben” will appear more and more frequently in the public eye.

“We currently see that in the domestic market, the underlying technology is maturing rapidly, but it is still constrained by basic technologies such as computing power and transmission. Digital and digital content ecology can be said to be ‘mixed’.” Talking about the current domestic virtual people In the development of ecology, Yan Bing believes that there are still many problems. In her view, animation companies and game companies naturally have the technical accumulation of digital animation and have greater advantages in virtual content. “The threshold for digital animation is actually quite high. This is an industrialized production line of art and technology. It requires art and technology, and it is even more necessary to find the optimal solution of creativity, cost and efficiency between the two. There are opportunities in The success of this track must be a company that dances with elephants, which requires both agile strategic implementation capabilities and real content creative team incubation.”

It has a mature animation production team, an algorithm team with virtual application technologies such as graphics and algorithms, rich project resources and a standardized intelligent management system for CG animation production.

At the same time, Yingnao Technology has built a production line for cross-dimensional content, supporting a variety of creative content needs such as virtual human still frame pictures, dynamic vlogs, TVC short films, and fan dramas. At the same time, it meets the interactive needs of various digital people such as virtual live broadcast and virtual performance, and is committed to providing a richer entertainment experience for the Metaverse world.

Yan Bing revealed that at the beginning of April, the virtual idol Xixi of the hyper-realism development department will be launched soon, and the first live-streaming project of hyper-realistic digital human life in “The World of Xixi” will be launched. In addition, the studio is also preparing hyper-realistic digital pets. “People in the virtual world also need emotional companionship.” Yan Bing revealed that the project has completed the asset construction and live test of the technology side, and will meet you soon.

The new experience manager of the first Metaverse coffee shop in Guangzhou is a virtual person. Ordering is "cross-dimensional"

Hyper-realistic development system digital man Xixi

“Virtual Digital Man”:

  1. Created by aggregated technologies such as computer graphics, speech synthesis technology, deep learning, brain-inspired science, biotechnology, and computing science;
  2. Has the appearance, behavior, and even thoughts of a “human” person;
  3. Interactive avatars.

Thanks to the superimposed application of AR/VR, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, 5G, motion capture, cloud rendering and other virtual reality technologies, the past 2021 is called the first year of the Metaverse. On this new track, digital virtual humans took the lead in “out of the circle”.

In 1992, American writer Neil Stephenson created two concepts of Metaverse and virtual avatar in his science fiction novel “Avalanche”. Since its development in China, virtual avatars have a wider name – “virtual digital people”. The so-called virtual digital human is an interactive virtual image created by computer graphics, speech synthesis technology, deep learning, brain science, biotechnology, computing science and other aggregated technologies, and has the appearance, behavior, and even thoughts of a “human”. .

As early as the 1980s, people began to try to introduce virtual characters into the real business world. In 1990, the Japanese animation producer produced and released the album with the image of the heroine in “Macro Stronghold”. Since then, popular idols such as Luo Tianyi have gained popularity among fans.

After the concept of the Metaverse became popular, it led to the development of the virtual digital human industry to a certain extent. At Jiangsu Satellite TV’s New Year’s Eve party in 2022, the virtual human based on Teresa Teng sang a “Small Town Story” with Zhou Shen. The “resurrection” Teresa Teng sang a song that filled the audience with “killing memories” and was moved. Tears. Last year, Liu Yexi, a virtual beauty expert, was born on Douyin. He attracted many “onlookers” by interpreting the story of “catching monsters” with a group of real people. At present, the number of fans has exceeded 8 million, and he is called “the head of the house” by netizens as a virtual person. “.

It is worth mentioning that Guangzhou is currently accelerating the development of the Metaverse industry. A few days ago, the Guangzhou Science and Technology Bureau organized a Metaverse Technology Development Seminar to discuss in-depth technology, industry, policy and other related content, and to promote the joint efforts of all districts in the city to promote the development and implementation of Metaverse technology. At the same time, the Guangzhou Metaverse Innovation Alliance was established in Nansha Chuangxiang Bay, and Guangzhou’s first shot in the “Metaverse Track” was launched.

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