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Creative Consultant Client

Vivi: Vtuber and Content Creator


About the Project: Vivi was one of my first clients when I first stepped into the world of Vtuber design. She helped me refine and research how this type of work differs from traditional character design. When I design for Vtuber clients I always like to choose a focal piece. Usually it will be something that leads the eye to the facial area as much as possible. Vtubers in particular have an upper body focus with their designs becauset that is what the audience sees the most regardless of their content. There is only so much screen space to work with compositionally. As such with Vivi's design I focsed on her hat as my focal piece which led to further discussions about the overall aesthetic and elements of the design. What we collaborated on was a swampy slime witch with necromantic elements.


Due to NDA I am unable to discuss client lore or story crafting, however, there are elements incorporated into her design that are pertinent to its proper visual communication. 

Client Brief: 

  • Witch aesthetic 

  • Frogs

  • Swamp aesthetic 

  • Green, purple, and black color palete

  • Necromancer

  • Glowing design elements

  • Candles 

  • Different types of  "slime" 


Inky Cap Witch Hat: Within the Vtuber content creator space there are quite a few slime characters. Vivi's I really wanted to make unique so I started with the hat silhouette in order to drive the direction of the rest of the project. The research phase led me to the inky cap mushroom which I took inspiration from to excentuate the drip and slime feel of her design. There is also some twisted trunks that I used to compliment the witch hat shape language.


Ribs and Bones: Vivi expressed to me that she wanted to have some elements in the design that would possibly allude to a more nefarious backstory when it came to necromancy. Since she is a slime character I defintely wanted to take a more whimsical aproach to this as sticking a floating ribcage would clutter the already complicated design choices. I made sure that the osteological anatomy of her arms and legs were correct but decided that her ribs had disolved or broken off, floating with her slime body. This allows for outside artistic interpretation to expand on the design elements presented. One of the marks of a great design in my opinion is being able to simplify certain aspects of a character design into its base parts but still retain the likeness of the character. Vivi's design is rather complex, however, I have seen many different interpretations of her and they all translate fantstically. 

Expressions and Emotions: When working with a Vtuber client it is important to also keep their rigging infromation in mind. All of my clients of this type recieve a document that allows them to organize their thoughts when taking my designs to a model artist or rigger. Vivi is no exception as we wanted to be sure that she had more exagerated expressions and that aspects of her design would accentuate that. 


The flames are a great example of this thought process as when she becomes enraged the flames will grow in size but her wax like hair will also melt more, causing more dripping effects. her eyes will also change shape to become more creature like, specifically amphibian as Vivi's character is closely tied to frogs. 


Designing with L2D in Mind: One of the most important aspects of Vtuber projects is the makeability of the design. Live 2 D is a program used to create fully rigged avatars utilizing layers of 2 dimension artwork. This can be used in a variety of ways but one of the most prevelant is for content creators. The technology has grown exponentially in regard to its tracking and animation abilities as such it is a huge factor that determines specific design choices. As such it is my job to not only create a stunning unique design that suits my clients needs but also to handle the logistics and presentation of the character in its entirity.


Vivi's design has a lot of complexity within it that had to be laid out before the designing phase. The best comparison would be animation understanding. In animation you do not just move a character around the space there is far more nuance within movement then is generally realized. Every human being walks a certain way and outside factors atribute to these choices. Vivi's design had to be planned in order to provide her exactly what she was looking for. An example of this is the design of her hat. I left a section in which a mascot could be placed in the future that would compliment the design. He pops out of the knot hole of the gnarled tree section of the hat which is great for the rigging notes in the future. Another thing that I wanted to keep in mind was how her body functions. Do the sylized rib pieces move around within her body because she is slime? These are the kinds of questions that come up when doing this type of design. 

The finished design is important but with this technology you have to truly think about all the parts that make the design functional be it fantatstical or not. It is personally one of my favorite parts about working with Vtuber clients because it takes design theory and decissions even deeper then just a singular finished product. The creativity is endless and it will continue to improve opening new doors for those that want to push the marriage of animation and real time tracking to the next level. 

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