Streaming with a PNGTuber avatar is the latest way to bring your gaming experience to the next level. This innovative technology emerged in 2020 and quickly gained popularity among live streamers on platforms such as Twitch. Since then, the concept of a PNGTuber has become more widespread, with a massive community being built up around it.
What Is a PNGTuber?
A PNGTuber is a streamer who streams with a 2D virtual avatar, created from PNG images to represent them on social and gaming platforms. These avatars move in response to the streamer’s voice through specialized software and can be set up to express different emotions. PNGTubers can maintain anonymity, safeguarding personal information, and some audiences enjoy the unique interaction with these virtual characters.
How To Be a PNGTuber
Having the correct equipment is the first step to becoming a PNGTuber. You will need both a microphone and device to run the stream from. A good microphone is very important as PNGTuber software relies on voice input for bringing the avatars to life. If a microphone picks up a lot of background noise, this leads to the avatar moving when it shouldn’t.
Ideally, streaming from a PC with specs that run both the broadcasting software and running the PNGTuber software is the best option.
2. Create Your Avatar
The 2 primary ways of getting hold of a PNGTuber avatar is either to make it yourself or to hire an artist to create one based on your instructions. At the very minimum the avatar will need 2 images – one for mouth open and one for mouth closed. Of course, more images and expressions can be added to bring your character to life.
- Making your own avatar: Using tools like Photopea or Procreate you can start drawing up your own characters. It’s also possible to buy a PNGTuber base which contains premade expressions, poses and outlines to build on top of. Before you start drawing, find the recommended size for the avatars images. The max image size in software such as Veadotube is 2048×2048.
- Hire an artist: If you don’t have the time to create your own avatar, you can hire a professional artist. Make a “looking for artists” post on Reddit or Twitter. You can go to artists directly on platforms such as Etsy or Fiverr. Make sure you do your due diligence first. Some so-called artists are stealing assets or claiming other artists’ designs as their own.
3. Choose The Best PNGTuber Software
Selecting the right software for your avatar is crucial. We’ve tested a bunch of popular ones used in the PNGTubing community and listed their benefits for you.
Veadotube mini is the most highly rated and popular of all the PNGTuber software currently available. It’s available for windows, mac and linux installations. You can set hotkeys to activate different states that express different emotions. The software detects input from your voice and will open the mouth when talking. Static and animated images like GIF’s are supported which gives even more flexibility.
PNGTuber plus is the latest software released for PNGTubers. Overall it offers a lot more customisation and features than some other software. By using sprite sheets you can add animations to your characters, giving them an extra dimension. It’s totally free and is available for Windows and Mac.
PNGTuber Maker on Steam
PNGTuber maker is a free to use app on steam, and it’s another very popular choice with PNGTubers. The goal of this app is to make it easy for anyone to become a PNGTuber. In just a couple of steps you’ll be able to set up your avatar, and will only need 2 images to get everything up and running.
Once your avatar is all set up you’ll be able to go live and share your new avatar with the world. Make sure that you’ve configured all of the settings, and that the avatar is reacting correctly to your voice.
PRISM Live Studio
Great news for mobile users, PRISM live studio has released new features to support PNGTubers on mobile. Set up to 5 emotions for your avatar, each with 4 states. Motion is also supported to give your avatar some dynamic movements so it’s not just static.
5. Add Avatar to Streaming Software
Once you’ve configured your avatar you need to display them in your broadcasting software. OBS and Streamlabs are some of the most popular options when it comes to broadcasting live on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. Displaying your 2D avatar is a 2 step process.
- Create a new game capture source in OBS or Streamlabs.
- With mode set to Capture specific window, choose your software from the dropdown, and make sure Allow Transparency is checked.
5. Go Live
Double check all your software is functioning correctly and that you have a plan for your stream content, then hit that Go Live button. Make sure to engage with your audience just like any other content creator, and most importantly don’t just stream quietly. Practice asking questions and just rambling about what you’re up to.
A PNGTuber vs VTuber
VTubers use a lot more sophisticated technology compared to PNGTubers. Whilst VTubers use advanced motion capture technology and intricate 3D models, PNGTubers use simple 2D images that change based on the streamers voice input or preset hotkeys to change expressions.
PNGTubers have had their fair share of controversy catching flack for being viewed as low effort content creation. However, not everyone is in a position to be a VTuber and PNGTubing can be a great alternative to achieve the same level of anonymity.
The main differences between VTubers and PNGTubers can be summarized as follows.
- Models: VTubers use 3D models whereas PNGTuber use simple 2D images.
- Animation: VTubers react in real time to the streamers movements. PNGTubers can be given premade animations, but need to be triggered manually.
- Cost: VTubing bears a significantly higher cost than PNGTubing. We’ve seen models upwards of $5000 for custom made models. Whereas a custom PNGTuber avatar with expressions will cost less than $100. As we mentioned before, this makes PNGTubing a great alternative for those unable to afford VTubing.
- Engagement: Clearly, with intricate 3D models and motion capture technology, watching a VTubers stream will feel a lot more engaging.
In conclusion, the digital landscape offers innovative ways to connect and entertain. PNGTubers represent a unique niche in this space, using 2D avatars to interact with their audiences. For those aspiring to join the ranks, understanding the tools and nuances is vital. It’s also essential to differentiate between PNGTubers and VTubers, with the latter focusing more on 3D animated avatars. Both have their distinct appeal and methods of engagement.
As the virtual streaming realm continues to evolve, it’s exciting to see where these dynamic content creators will take us next. Whether you’re a viewer, aspiring streamer, or just someone curious about the trend, there’s no denying the impact and allure of this digital phenomenon.