Digital Divas: Japan Has 3D Digital Popstars



Megpoid and Akikoroid

Megpoid and Akikoroid

Japan are always producing things which excite the imagination and delves into the creative. Well it hasn’t ended with the country seeing the rise of two new stars which have everything that it required to become pop sensations. The only thing is they do not exist, they are animated singers ready to take on the music industry.

Megpoid and Akikoroid

There are two of them, the green-haired ‘Megpoid’ and the red-haired ‘Akikoroid’ which are both 100% computer generated. Although it is not the most original idea especially when you bring the British band the Gorrilaz into the mix, the difference with these is that the characters are based on a voice-synthesizing program which will allow users to create their own music. They took the recent Digital Content Expo in Tokyo by storm.

‘Vocaloid’ is how the music is made, it is a voice-synthesizing program and its spin-off characters have made it into the top 10 on Japan’s weekly music charts. For people at the concert, the performance was anything but thin air. The characters could only be seen on the screen showing an augmented reality (AR) scene with the 3-dimensional characters inserted into the live video.

The concert employed a complicated bit of software which used a system of sensors and motion capture technology to create the two singers. The sensors placed around the venue, on cameras and the hands of two backing dancers interacted to produce the composite that was inserted into the real time video.

Not to different from Japan’s pop singers

The popstars are completely fake, their high voices are digitally generated, but they are not to dissimilar to many of Japan’s pop singers.

“Though there have been few concerts with the characters before, this is the first time they could interact with others, including the audience, and appear to move around in a true 3D space. This is a world first in that the character is actually 3D and can sing and dance with others,” said Masaru Ishikawa, a Tokyo University researcher.

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