Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

A virtual digital human is a virtual character with a digital appearance. It is an innovative “new species” formed by the integration of CG (computer graphics) technology, motion capture, graphics rendering, holographic projection and artificial intelligence.

The virtual digital human is an important part of the Metaverse, and it is also a new generation of human-computer interaction platform under the trend of intelligence.

Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

The virtual digital human industry has rich application scenarios, especially the current application attempts in the field of pan-entertainment, which have been verified by word-of-mouth and commercialization, bringing commercial changes to traditional fields.

At present, the industrial application of virtual digital human is mainly divided into service-based application model and identity-based application model.

The main function of the virtual human service is to replace the real service and provide daily companionship. It is a service-oriented virtualized role in reality, including virtual anchor, virtual teacher, virtual customer service, virtual assistant, etc. Its industrial value is mainly to reduce the cost of the existing service industry, reduce costs, and improve the efficiency of the stock market.

Baidu Virtual Assistant – Du Xiaoxiao:

Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

Identity avatars are mainly used for entertainment and social interaction, and can be used as virtual IP/virtual idols for content production, or as clones of personal virtual worlds for social interaction. It is the second clone of the individual in the virtual world (or Metaverse). Its industrial value is reflected in providing a human-core interactive intermediary for the future virtualized world and creating new value growth points in the incremental market.

According to the “Virtual Digital Human Depth Industry Report”, the virtual digital human replaces the virtual anchor in the real human service and the virtual idol in the virtual IP, which is the current market hotspot.

Virtual Singer – Luo Tianyi:

Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

After the production of virtual idols is completed, IP creation and operation are required. After accumulating a certain number of fans, they can make profits through concerts, music, advertising endorsements, and live broadcasts.

Media companies participate in the virtual digital human business by investing in mergers and acquisitions of technology companies or purchasing technical services, and realize commercialization at the application level by cultivating virtual idols.

According to qubit’s forecast, by 2030, the overall market size of China’s virtual digital human will reach 270 billion yuan, of which the identity digital human will be about 175 billion yuan, and the service virtual digital human market will reach about 95 billion yuan.

High Fidelity Digital Human Siren:

Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

Virtual Digital Human Industry Chain

The virtual digital human industry chain consists of technical solutions (basic layer, platform layer) and content application (application layer).

From the perspective of the virtual digital human industry pattern, the basic layer has formed a solid pattern, and the application layer has emerged as a new frontier enterprise.

Overseas giants focus on the basic layer and platform layer; domestic leading enterprises focus on the platform layer and application layer, and more are self-developed AI systems, exploring the application of virtual race in social activities, news media, cultural tourism and other fields.

Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

Virtual Digital Human: Upstream Base Layer

The upstream base layer provides basic hardware and software support for the production of virtual humans.

Hardware includes display devices, optical devices, sensors, chips, etc.; basic software includes modeling software and rendering engines.

Modeling, AI, motion capture and rendering are the four key technologies for developing virtual humans.

At present, data accumulation and models can achieve millisecond-level high-speed photography and scanning, which meets the needs of digital human body scanning and reconstruction, and has become the mainstream way of current character modeling. However, 3D digital human modeling still requires a lot of manual production participation, and the overall production efficiency is relatively low.

Grassroots leaders are overseas giants with deep technical barriers. Typical representatives such as Nvidia, Meta, Epic Games, Unity and other companies have extended to downstream production technology service platforms based on their own technical advantages.

Among them, the chip giant NVIDIA has launched its “engineer Metaverse” Omniverse, which can simulate the digital world with high detail in real time, becoming an important leader in building virtual worlds and empowering real worlds.

Virtual Digital Human: Midstream Platform Layer

The midstream platform layer of virtual digital human includes software and hardware systems, production technology service platform and AI capability platform.

The software and hardware system company obtains data from the base layer and reproduces the actions of the characters through software algorithms. The production technology service platform provides one-stop virtual human solutions, and the AI ​​capability platform provides interactive technology capabilities.

Software and hardware systems mainly include modeling systems and motion capture systems; production technology service platforms mainly include rendering platforms and solution platforms; AI capability platforms include AI technology, NLP (Natural Language Processing) and speech recognition.

The core technology of virtual digital human is mainly provided by midstream technology service providers, including integrated/Internet technology providers, professional AI providers, CG providers and XR providers.

Participants in the virtual digital human computing power mainly include ZTE, Xinyisheng, Zhongjili Optoelectronics, Guanghetong and MG Intelligence.

At present, the representative domestic R&D manufacturers on the technology side mainly include Sogou AI Open Platform, NetEase Fuxi, Baidu AI Open Platform, Tencent Cloud, Tencent NEXTStudios, Ali, and iFLYTEK Open Platform.

iFLYTEK independently developed virtual human:

Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

AYAYI are exceptionally realistic superhuman images created using Unreal Engine. In September 2021, Tmall officially announced that AYAYI will become the first digital employee of Alibaba Group to serve as the digital manager of Tmall Super Brand Day.

Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

Virtual Digital Human: Downstream Application Layer

From the application point of view, virtual humans can be used in film and television, media, games, cultural tourism, retail and other fields. The implementation methods include live broadcast rewards and placements, commercial performances, brand endorsements, and film and television syndicates.

From the perspective of the downstream market, the main players of digital avatars for film and television are Digital Domain and Novartis; the main players in the field of virtual anchors and virtual hosts include SMG, Bilibili, etc.; the main players in digital roles include Internet such as NetEase and Tencent . Dachang; Pioneers in the field of digital staffing in the financial sector include Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China; virtual tour guides and some players in virtual tours include Tencent and SenseTime.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Digital Staff – Xiaopu:

Virtual digital people will usher in a broad industry space

Virtual digital human operation link

After building the “shell” of the virtual person based on the technical solution, some virtual people still need the content operation company to inject “soul” into it. In recent years, many new companies have sprung up in the application layer.

The participants in the virtual digital human-machine operation mainly include Mango Super Media, BlueFocus, Saturday, Aofei Entertainment, Zhewen, etc. There are also cutting-edge companies such as Wanxiang Technology and Yitian Culture, which focus on the incubation and operation of virtual idols.

On January 1, 2022, Hunan Radio and Television, the major shareholder of Mango Super Media, launched a new version of the Happy Camp “Hello Saturday” program, and activated the virtual host Xiao Yang, becoming the first resident and personally trained virtual host in China.

At the same time, Blue Cursor released the first digital virtual character “Su Xiaomei”, which is not only a milestone for Blue Cursor’s Metaverse strategy, but also a new layout of Blue Cursor’s virtual IP business.

Thanks to the breakthrough of deep learning algorithms, the production process of virtual digital humans has been effectively simplified. Virtual humans provide a means of communication with strong visual effects between the real world and the virtual world. The current industry is developing in the direction of intelligence, facilitation and diversification. The corresponding business models are also constantly developing and diversifying, and the industry is entering a period of accelerated development.

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