Virtual digital people don't live easily

Tiger sniff app 2022-04-03 18:50:32 阅读数:970

virtual digital people don live

Title Map | Virtual digital human AYAYI, Burning wheat technology official website

3 month 25 Japan , Tiktok @ Yeliu drama account updated “ Ground branch maze ” The fifth episode of , In science fiction + In the background of fantasy , The virtual digital human and the real human are fighting each other , Cold technology and warm human nature burst into sparks . In the comment area , except “ You can tiktok and watch movies. ” In addition to such praise , also “ Ask the author , How much does this video cost ” The curious , as well as “ Is it time to update ” Look forward to of .

And in the past six months ,“ Liu Yexi ” The account is actually only published 11 Article works , Remove a few 30 About seconds of promotional video , Only the initial debut video and 5 strip 4 Positive film of about minutes . as everyone knows , The Internet has no long memory , Such output is tiktok for short video creators. , Is far from satisfactory .

In fact, for domestic users , In the past six months , It has been a period of time since the birth of virtual digital human with the highest sense of existence .

One side , With Meta(Facebook) As the representative of the technology giant once again threw out the concept of meta universe , Trigger Market pursuit ,“ Virtual digital human ” It is regarded as the medium for human beings to enter the meta universe in the future , Then stand on the tuyere of public opinion ; On the other hand , The Beijing Winter Olympics has become the exhibition stage of virtual digital human technology , Whether it's the virtual separation of sports and entertainment stars ( Rugu ailing virtual separation Meet Gu), Or a public service-oriented virtual anchor ( Such as CCTV AI Sign language anchor ), It makes the public have a more intuitive understanding of virtual digital people 、 Deeper understanding .

Meet Gu 3D Avatar Stylized digital savvy / picture : The Internet

The data can also reflect the popularity of the domestic virtual digital human industry . According to qixinbao data ,2020 In, the number of domestic virtual digital human related enterprises increased by 36080 home ,2021 In, the data reached 66293 home , Year-on-year growth 80%. Sky eye data display , Existing in China “ Virtual digital human ” Relevant enterprises about 30 Thousands of families .

The number of virtual digital human projects currently hatching is unknown , But according to a ubiquitous team 、 A technical link supports multiple virtual digital people at the same time IP Parallel mode estimation of incubation , This number should be in tens of thousands , Even more .

If the history of virtual digital human in pure concept stage is blurred , that Crypton Future Media( Japanese sound production and music software company ) On 2007 , launched in “ Hatsune Miku ” It can be regarded as the first well-known virtual digital person , The virtual digital people we have seen before are also virtual idols and Vtuber Mostly . And in this boom , Virtual digital people are gradually opening up diversified development : External perception level , Relying on a new generation of engines and technologies , Super realistic digital people 、 Virtual separation has been difficult to distinguish between true and false human beings ; Functional application level , Virtual employees with more service attributes 、 The virtual anchor began to show the trend of large-scale application .

It was released by AI media 《2022 Research Report on the development of China's virtual human industry 》 in , The development process of domestic virtual human industry is divided into 4 Stages : Embryonic stage (1980-1999)、 The exploration phase (2000-2014)、 Primary stage (2015-2019)、 Development stage (2020 so far ), The characteristics of the development stage are ,“ technology 、 Breakthrough in demand , Virtual idols attract young people with their unique human settings .”

The development of virtual human industry in China / picture : AI media consultation

At this stage of development , The whole industry has entered a period of rapid expansion , But there is still a distance from maturity . In terms of proximity , There is still no widely recognized authoritative definition and standardized classification of virtual digital human ; In the long run , The idea of the meta universe is still early , Virtual digital human force lacks environmental support .

So from now on , People who have hatched and are about to hatch may face the same problem —— How to live ? Just like many new things in the Internet age , Digital people will also experience “ Spring up - sweep - The survival of the fittest ” The test of , therefore , Technology iteration 、 Long term operation 、 Commercialization path may be the most important issues for the industry in the near future .

notes : This paper adopts Communication University of China 《 China virtual digital human influence index report 》 Classification method in . technical , Virtual digital people can be divided into intelligent drivers 、 Real people ( The man in ) There are two types of drivers . The application includes identity ( Such as real-life virtual separation )、 Service type ( Such as virtual employees )、 Performance type ( Such as virtual idol ) Three broad categories .”

Technology goes first ?

The production of virtual digital human is a relatively complex process . Jointly with Xinhua news agency tencent Under the banner of mutual entertainment NExT Studios Take the virtual digital astronaut Xiaozheng launched as an example ,NExT The technical team introduced the production process of super realistic digital man .

scanning : use Photogrammetry The scanning system scans specific actors in all directions , Including facial models 、 The body 、 Clothes, etc. , The point cloud model is then generated .

modeling : For body and facial features , Convert the point cloud model to low model , It is convenient for subsequent binding production . At the same time, manually make the place where the scanning error or scanning cannot be found , Such as inside the mouth 、 eyes 、 teeth 、 hair .

binding : be based on FACS( Facial expression coding system )、MotionBuilder(3D Character animation software ) and Maya( Three dimensional modeling 、 Animation software ), Finish face 、 Body binding , Generate virtual image of simulation .

Animation : Use face 、 Body motion capture scheme , Combined with later artificial animation refinement , Realize the dynamic display of virtual image .

Rendering : Through the Unreal Engine , Complete character rendering and animation output , What you see is what you get .

And the production of virtual digital human , Like other industrial processes , Not just product iterations , It is also accompanied by the innovation of production tools . for example , Through development based on FACS Expression model (Blendshape) Production tools , Significantly increase the number of expression models , Solve the problem of stiff facial expression of virtual image ; Through automated algorithms , Solve the problem of role wearing caused by the different body proportion between virtual characters and real actors .

since 2017 Since then ,NExT Studios The team gradually found out two production pipelines of super realistic virtual personification , They are called xFaceBuilder and xMoCap, Corresponding to the face and body of virtual digital human , In addition to the digital human field , Both also apply to Tencent's PC Games and mobile games .

Virtual digital astronaut Xiaozheng / picture : The xinhua news agency

at present , Most large technology companies have technical teams to test the water and incubate virtual digital people . And there is a real need for , Only for users who lack technical reserves , Baidu Intelligent Cloud digital platform provides a relatively simple one-stop access scheme. .

Baidu intelligent cloud AI Li Shiyan, the person in charge of Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory , Xiling platform can meet the low-cost and rapid customization of digital people , At the same time, provide personnel and equipment 、 Business 、 Operational support for content . among 3D Cartoon digital people can recognize faces 、 Photo modeling minute level generation ,2D Graphic digital people can be generated by uploading live video hours . and 3D HD digital human , Nonspecific digital human ( There is no real or virtual specific reference image ) Support minute level generation , Support at the same time AI drive ; Idiotypic digital people ( There are specific reference image requirements ) The cost is the highest , need 10 To 30 God .

We need to pay attention to , The digital people generated quickly and at low cost fit well with the service needs of virtual employees , After the training, it can be seamlessly connected to the current application scenario . But for the performance demand such as virtual idols , Creating a virtual image is only the first step , Finer grinding and long-term operation support are essential .

CCTV AI Sign language anchor / picture : CCTV news

Several virtual digital human teams that have communicated with tiger sniff , They all think that the industrial production of digital people is coming . so to speak , At present, virtual digital human technology is developing and iterating rapidly , At least in appearance, it is infinitely close to what you want is what you get , Even some super realistic digital people are just too perfect in the aesthetic level , And is identified as false .

But at the same time , At present, the bottleneck of digital human interaction is obvious , existing AI Technology is not enough to support digital people to develop independent behavior , Independent thinking goes further . Just driven by the concept of trend and Technology , The development of digital people is one step ahead of demand , However, it is precisely because of the bottleneck of Technology , Digital people have not yet opened up their own survival path . Reflected in the present , Every digital person wants to be a long-standing “ people ”, It depends more on the operation team behind the scenes .

Weak operation follow-up

The application of identity virtual digital human will not be considered for the time being , At present, performance virtual digital people are mainly To C Mainly , The practical digital people mainly take To B and To G Application oriented . Remain active 、 Keep an eye on , It is the sword of Damocles hanging over the head of every virtual digital person .

At present, the exposure methods of virtual digital human mainly include the following ways : Post offline video 、 picture ( Like Liu Yexi ,AYAYI Such as super realistic digital people ); Talent live 、 Stage performance ( Such as A-SOUL, Luo Tianyi and other two-dimensional virtual idols ); Participate in major events 、 Special scene report ( If CCTV network is small C、 Xinhua News Agency Xiaozheng and other media virtual employees ). The above figures are IP challenges , It is also a problem that the whole industry must face directly .

One is cost . last year 10 month 31 Japan , Liu Yexi relies on “ exorcise ” Short videos on the theme are popular , All night 363 ten thousand , Influence released by Communication University of China 《 China virtual digital human influence index report 》 Ranked first in . But so far 5 Months since , Liu Yexi's total number of videos released by official accounts is tiktok. 11 strip , Update frequency: monthly 2 Time , In the fan message “ Hurry up ” Frequently .

And in the 《 Impact index report 》 Ranked fifth in AYAYI Has been active in print media , Maintain a high exposure frequency through hard exposure . But looking at the dynamics of its little red book, you can find , High frequency exposure did not continue to boost popularity and interaction , Instead, it fell back from the initial peak , The comment area below the dynamic also receives from time to time “ The quality of the new film is not as exquisite as the early photos ” Feedback .

Phenomenal virtual digital man Liu Yexi / picture : The Internet

Baidu... According to Li Shiyan ,“ Made by traditional methods CG Class video 、 Posters cost a lot , One minute video for a month may be short ,2 To 3 Months is also normal . At present, the production tools have not been done very well , Limit productivity , Productivity further limits the innovation of production relations . In the future, deep learning through artificial intelligence , It can compress the production cycle to a certain extent .”

tencent NExT Studios The team also confirmed the cost bottleneck ,“ Super realistic digital human is the Pearl of the crown of virtual digital human technology , It is much more difficult than the second-dimensional paper person , Domestic industry accumulation is limited , Relevant technical personnel are also scarce , The production capacity of most domestic manufacturers is suppressed at a relatively primary level . But at the same time , The team only needs to have a long board in one or two links , It's easy to stand out .

At present, most of the virtual digital human production companies in the market are entrepreneurial companies , There is a strong demand for short-term financing , Therefore, they will pursue rapid production or large-scale , It's hard to give consideration to fine work . I'm afraid a super realistic virtual digital human image needs at least investment 100 to 200 Million production costs can not be ashamed to see people , Even if you put in, you may not be able to play a satisfactory role .”

The once sensational Huang Renxun virtual human can also be used as a reference , According to NVIDIA's official blog , Huang Renxun appeared at the press conference 14 Second video , share 34 position 3D Artists and 15 Two software engineers are involved in , Nearly 1000 man hours in total .

The second is content and operation . about A-SOUL、 Luo Tianyi and other virtual idols , The development path for direct reference is star artists , Then business ability and fan operation ability are two hard indicators . Just at home Vtuber The industry started late , And has been confined to the minority , Professional people 、 Creative teams that can customize content for virtual idols are scarce ; meanwhile , Can understand “ The second dimension generates electricity for love ”, Can play with the fan economy , Only a handful of operation teams can be familiar with the culture of the rice circle .

With many years of traffic Star Training 、 Management experience of Lehua entertainment , It can be said that it represents the high level of domestic virtual idol operation . In the past year , Both Lehua and Fang Wenshan 、 Xu Song cooperates , by A-SOUL A pen tailored to create new works , I have also made the mistake that the operation is not refined enough more than once —— such as “ Jiaran live playing mobile phone ” event 、“ The person in the evening is suspected to be exposed ” event .

Virtual idol group A-SOUL/ picture :A-SOUL Official micro-blog

besides , Some other cases also reflect the current barriers to digital people's operation . Mid year last year , National style realistic digital human feather _Ling Release Little Red Book Notes , Call a brand of lipstick “ Moisture does not dry ”, Raise questions from netizens .“AI Do you know if lipstick is good ?”“AI It's similar to people with clothes , cosmetics 、 Skin care products are exempted .”

The red ancestor of foreign digital human network Lil Miquela It has also been controversial ——2019 year ,Lil Miquela adopt Vlog Shared a process of being harassed when sharing a taxi with a stranger , But netizens believe that it is obviously beyond the bounds to take sexual assault as a marketing means .

so , Users' trust in digital people , Mainly focus on audio-visual perception . Although digital people are close enough to humans in appearance , But the gap between reality and virtual is still difficult to bridge .

But in Li Shiyan's opinion , Time can solve many problems ,“ Because of the development of computer technology , Has been pursuing the digitization of the information of the physical world , If there is enough development cycle , Feeling 、 Everything else can be digitized .”

The third is to break the homogenization . At present, there are a large number of virtual hosts 、 Virtual goods anchor 、Vtuber etc. , yes AI Driving the scene with the most applications .7*24 Hours on duty , At any time 、 The characteristics of working anywhere reflect the advantages of Technology . But as mentioned earlier 《 Impact index report 》 for , At present, there are many advantages of virtual Anchor Technology 、 Less autonomy , Need to pay attention to 、 promote .“ Homogeneous competition ” Is an important challenge for virtual anchors , Whether it's professional media management , It is also operated by enterprises or individuals , Its host 、 The live broadcast function is the same , To stand out from the tight encirclement, we need stronger content planning and operation capabilities .

tencent NExT Studios The team says ,“ Virtual digital human is a new product , Cause certain attention in the market 、 degree of heat 、 Flattery is also normal . With the increasing advancement of digital human technology 、 Threshold lowered , Like NVIDIA's Omniverse Avatar、Epic Of MetaHuman Creator Wait for tools to launch , Users can see more and more things of the same level , Aesthetic taste will also improve , The demand for excellent works will enlarge . At that time, users will not only be attracted by the beautiful image of virtual digital people , And will see further TA Behind the show 、 Connotation and even spirit . that The kind that depends on only one skin 、 A picture , The digital people who lack the deep operation ability behind the image will surely ebb quickly , Die on the beach .

The business path is unclear

Released according to qubits 《 Virtual digital human depth Industry Report 》, To 2030 year , The overall market scale of virtual digital human in China will reach 2700 Billion , Including identity digital person ( Including virtual idols 、 Virtual separation, etc ) About occupy 1750 Billion , The service-oriented digital person is about 950 Billion , The market is still in the cultivation stage . As for the application level , A virtual anchor that replaces real-life services and has IP Potential virtual idols are hot spots in the current market .

In the data provided by AI media consulting , The virtual idol industry has maintained a steady growth trend ,2021 year , The overall market scale and core market scale driven by virtual idols are 1074.9 Million dollars 62.2 One hundred million yuan , expect 2022 Years will reach 1866.1 Million dollars 120.8 One hundred million yuan .

tencent NExT Studios The team also believes that virtual idols 、Vtuber It may be the most promising direction for commercialization at present ,“ After all, it can interact directly with users , Imagination is more than one-way CG The video is bigger .”

When the future of a group of virtual digital people is uncertain , Virtual idol group A-SOUL Inject a lot of confidence into the industry .3 month 8 Japan , Lehua entertainment submits a prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange , Through the interpretation of the prospectus by various institutions , Conjecture A-SOUL stay 2021 The annual income should be no less than 1700 ten thousand . Although this figure only accounts for less than... Of the total revenue of Lehua 3%, It is far from being comparable to the traffic stars under Lehua , But it has been the best achievement of virtual digital human so far .

Forecast of domestic virtual idol industry / picture : AI media consultation

As for other acting types 、 Service oriented digital people , In addition to the realization of traffic , We haven't seen a clear business path yet . The virtual goods anchor can save the labor cost of businesses , But can it replace the evaluation function of real people , Whether the relationship with real people is competition or cooperation remains to be verified ; With the help of Spring Festival Gala 、 The virtual media anchor who attracted wide attention to the Winter Olympics 、 The reporter , It seems that the mission has been completed , It has returned to the previous tepid state ; And most of today's enterprises “ Virtual employees ”, There is little difference from the previous intelligent customer service , What can be remembered , Only a few use unique personal design to show the enterprise brand image 、 For marketing IP.

Tiger sniffing also comes from wheat burning technology (AYAYI Incubation team ) come to know ,“ At present, digital people account for only a quarter of the company's business segment , When AYAYI After leading the digital human industry , In fact, her task has been completed , We are now preparing for digital brands , Incubate digital artists , Hold Digital Art Exhibition , Online digital collection platform, etc .”

Every kind of 、 Even every digital person , May be exploring their own way of survival . Then for a while , What kind of number people may be close to success ?

At a more recent stage , tencent NExT Studios The team believes that the mainstream is to create virtual digital people IP There may be the following ways :

1. Bring their own IP Property star . For example, virtual Teresa Teng 、 Mei Lanfang 、 Digital reproduction of real people such as Will Smith , The operation idea is actually the reproduction of real stars , It is a form of digital human with the most technical and product challenges .

2. Virtual digital human linked with real people IP. Such kind IP The operation mode will have more professional and overall requirements for the operator , Generally, there are traditional artist brokerage companies involved , Mainly to break through the existing user circle 、 Avoiding the risk of real person house collapse is the core demand .

3. Based on mature MCN Net red IP. In this dimension , Due to considerable technology investment, the cost is in the top , Virtual digital people are bound to be inferior .

4. Based on the story 、 Created by the game virtual world IP. Such kind IP The way of making is more in line with tradition IP The idea of building , From text to plane 、 Three-dimensional 、 dynamic … The content form will also change from traditional paper media 、 Multiple screens cover all dimensions of new media , It belongs to the form of holding high and fighting high . The overall investment is huge , And the probability of success is funnel , Only constant content and quality can continue to impress the audience , Form the real IP.

5. A virtual digital human created based on the two-dimensional image IP. Although this kind of virtual idol has a relatively low technical threshold , But it is difficult for users to reach , You can't succeed just by throwing money at people .

Domestic virtual human industry chain / picture : AI media consultation

In a longer cycle , Baidu Li Shiyan thinks , Digital human is an interactive carrier based on computer platform , Will present a paragraph development .“ The current era of plane Computing , It mainly focuses on the application of service-oriented and performance-oriented digital people , The next stage is a larger era , Temporarily defined as the era of spatial computing . In the era of spatial computing, the information presented by the computing platform is no longer planar , It's real-time three-dimensional , At that time, the behavior of core users will probably have social 、 Access to goods 、 Information consumption 、 There are four types of services , Then it can provide personalized interaction 、 A virtual avatar that provides emotional value and content value is a must , Able to provide humanistic and emotional care 、 The service-oriented digital man, which can ensure efficiency, is another application form . In the future era of spatial computing , There will certainly be a larger market than in the current era of flat Computing .

At the end

Just like Liu Yexi “ Ground branch maze ” The core contradiction thrown out in the short film —— With the further development of virtual digital human technology , Public opinion bubble 、 Ethical constraints and other issues may become potential risks , Human beings will also face AI And human 、 Digital man and human issues .

Regarding this , Li Shiyan thinks ,“ In the current field of virtual digital human , AI is more like a production tool , Human creativity plus production tools , Can produce content more efficiently and cost effectively .”

tencent NExT Studios The team also shared their views .

“ As a product of Technology , Behind the virtual digital human “ soul ” or “ god ”, Still need to rely on people 、 Or the complete expression of artificial intelligence . With the development of computer graphics technology 、 Mobile capture technology and AI Technological development , Virtual digital human will be in the scene technology 、 Emotional Technology 、 Great progress has been made in interactive technology , This will make the future digital people closer and closer to real people , Even beyond .

On the whole , The evolution path of virtual digital human is from anthropomorphism to homomorphism , Will eventually move towards Superman , Realize the return to truth and super reality . In the anthropomorphic stage , Digital virtual human is synthesized by computer 、 Highly realistic 3D animated characters ; In the humanization stage , Appearance of digital virtual human 、 emotional 、 Communication ability 、 Understanding ability and other aspects are the same as real people ; In the superhuman stage , The ability of digital virtual human will surpass that of natural human .

The development of virtual digital human in the future cannot rely on technology alone , Have enough competitiveness , Must create a new experience , Deep understanding of the whole application scenario . Meet the needs of users , Give users an unprecedented emotional experience , Let users accept virtual people , Is the only way for virtual people to succeed .”

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