Considering Live2D, questions...

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Chimaera9
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Considering Live2D, questions...

#1 Post by Chimaera9 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:54 pm

Hello, I'm designing a visual novel and am planning a Kickstarter in the coming months. One of the stretch goals I've been considering is adding Live2D animation to the sprites, but I have no experience with it yet, beyond watching YouTube videos on its use. In order to reasonably project time and costs for this stretch goal, I was wondering if anyone could share their experience with Live2D?

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Borisu
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Re: Considering Live2D, questions...

#2 Post by Borisu » Mon May 20, 2019 5:48 pm

Hello there
Certainly having your characters animated via live2D or whatever can add a lot to how much you'll be spending in art, it can make your project way eyecatchier.
For example, consider checking these visual novels, they use live2D in sightly different ways.
Maitetsu
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmBAGmUMAks
Crystalinne
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggHFtWDQsVM
Nekopara (doesnt use live2D, but E-mote which is pretty similar)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcgvNZXoU2E

Animating the characters doesnt really take that much time, as I see it the issue can be with two things:
1. The engine you'll be using to make your visual novel, it might not be as straightforward to use it with live2D, so you or your programmer might need to take a good look at it.
2. The preparation for the characters to be animated, when drawing the characters you'll need to take an unconventional approach, that meaning not giving the animator a flat image, but instead having the illustrator draw the characters with every part in a separate layer, for example: fronthair, right hair, left hair, back hair, eyewhite, pupil, etc each one on a separate layer.
And this might take some time, and probably the artist will charge you more for drawing this way.

Either way, this can be only one of many parts on your project that can help it stand out, a lot of the cost in money and time can vary a lot depending on how you want to implement live2D on your visualnovel, it might be slight movements for the sprites, or only for the CGs (money shots), or animate everything, but as you know, you can reuse a lot of the assets throughout a visual novel, and many doesnt even have that many characters.
Also check the Neptunia games, the main characters are animated, but a lot of the secondary ones are just static sprites.

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Re: Considering Live2D, questions...

#3 Post by Imperf3kt » Mon May 20, 2019 8:45 pm

Renpy and Live2D currently aren't compatible, so keep that in mind if you're using renpy.
Borisu wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:48 pm
2. The preparation for the characters to be animated, when drawing the characters you'll need to take an unconventional approach, that meaning not giving the animator a flat image, but instead having the illustrator draw the characters with every part in a separate layer, for example: fronthair, right hair, left hair, back hair, eyewhite, pupil, etc each one on a separate layer.
And this might take some time, and probably the artist will charge you more for drawing this way.
Any artist who doesn't draw like this, will have a hard time editing mistakes or changing things after the drawing is completed.
Use of layers is highly important, in my opinion and most artists should already be drawing like this.
Warning: May contain trace amounts of gratuitous plot.
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Re: Considering Live2D, questions...

#4 Post by Autumnotopia » Mon May 20, 2019 8:57 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 8:45 pm
Any artist who doesn't draw like this, will have a hard time editing mistakes or changing things after the drawing is completed.
Use of layers is highly important, in my opinion and most artists should already be drawing like this.
Layers are important, but layers for animation are different than layers for illustration. Like for illustration I'd have a lineart layer, a shading layer, etc, but for making a puppet/rig you need specific parts instead (like Borisu said, front-hair, back-hair, eyes, mouth...) . It's a slightly different process that isn't the most difficult thing to do, but for most people it'll almost definitely involve some amount of meddling that you wouldn't be doing otherwise.

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Re: Considering Live2D, questions...

#5 Post by Andredron » Mon May 20, 2019 10:44 pm

I studied another VN engine, where live2D is included in the engine, and from my own experience I’ll say that you should use live2D in the project at the very end of the project.
For while you are doing a project, a lot of ideas "can do this or something like that?".
I did not know this, since I myself animated the sprites and the money did not burn.

My opinion is
If the project is an amateur one, live2d is not worth spending time on it.

I don’t know how abroad, and in Russia the average animator requires as much for work as a good video editor that has experience (or 11 background images in anime style from an artist to order at a price as much as it turns out).

If the project is a kickstar, then the demo is without animation, and the final project at the very end will be re-animated.
I know, I'm writing terribly in English.

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Re: Considering Live2D, questions...

#6 Post by illuminate001 » Tue May 21, 2019 12:53 pm

Mmm, I have abit of Live2D experience from utilizing it for sprites in 1 of my VN's. I'd say from someone who's never used it before, to getting it working (at least in Renpy)...it's more than just keeping the PSD layered.

I think there needs to be alot of planning as to how the sprite will be animated and what on them is animating, and how, per expressions etc. Also, maybe (for example) that left arm ISN'T going to animate...meaning they're free to paint/color it as they want. So 1 less thing for your artist to worry about, which would make it easier for them.

If you're planning on learning, then using Live2D to animate it yourself, it won't matter too much as to budget or time. (Although, depending on the anims and how much of a perfectionist you are, time can get eaten up) But to actually hire someone to animate sprites for you...well, tbh I'm not sure how costly that would be.

I know if someone approached me to animate their sprites with what I know of Live2D, it wouldn't be cheap.
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