Live2D Rigging Tutorials

Welcome to my Live2D Rigging Tutorials! Here are my step-by-step video tutorials and written guides on mastering the art of Live2D animations. Whether you’re a beginner looking to understand the basics or an enthusiast eager to delve into advanced rigging techniques, you’re in the right place.

Try to uncover all the rigging secrets here! Feel free to make requests for specific rigging tutorials that you would like to see. 

If you’d like to explore more of my Live2D animation work, feel free to check out my portfolio here!

Exploring Live2D Animation:

Live2D animation is a technique that transforms your static 2D illustrations into animated creations with an expressive 2.5D appearance. By breaking the illustration down into layers and parts, you gain the freedom to animate each part independently. This enables you to bring your 2D drawings to life without the complexities of frame-by-frame animation or intricate 3D models.

  1. Create or design original characters/objects and background illustrations.
  2. Cut the illustrations into separate parts.
  3. Use various Live2D animation tools to animate the separated parts.
  4. Integrate the Live2D model/animation into videos, face-tracking (VTuber), or games.
  1. Technique:

    • Live2D Animation: A form of 2D animation, employs the technique of rigging 2D illustrations to generate dynamic character movements with a sense of depth.

    • Traditional Animation: Also known as hand-drawn, 2D animation, or frame by frame animation. Involves creating individual frames by hand, with each frame being a separate, hand-drawn image that, when played sequentially, creates the illusion of movement.

  2. Process:

    • Live2D Animation: The process entails cutting an image into different parts (e.g., head, body, limbs) as textures, assembling them using an armature skeletal structure. Rigging binds moving parts (e.g., eye blinking) to parameters, and animations are generated by manipulating these parameters or moving parts in real-time. Deformers are used to provide a faux 3D appearance.

    • Traditional Animation: Artists draw each frame by hand, and these frames are played in sequence.

  3. Flexibility:

    • Live2D Animation: Offers dynamic and fluid animations, especially for character expressions and subtle movements, making it suitable for interactive applications like games and VTubers.

    • Traditional Animation: Conveys a distinct aesthetic with a handcrafted, artistic quality, though it may lack the same interactivity as Live2D.

  4. Efficiency:

    • Live2D Animation: Generally more efficient in production time, especially for certain types of animations, due to rigging. This enables the reuse of assets and smoother creation of various expressions and movements.

    • Traditional Animation: Can be labor-intensive, time-consuming, requiring meticulous frame-by-frame drawing, especially for longer animations.

  5. Prep Works:

    • Live2D Animation: Requires more time for setup and planning for character movements, including separating body parts and creating different movements. Once set up, various animations can be produced quickly.

    • Traditional Animation: No need to separate or rig characters separately; animation can commence immediately.

  6. File Size:

    • Live2D Animation: Involves a texture sheet with separated parts in a single image file, along with text files detailing how the texture pieces fit together and other text files specifying movements and animations. The file size is relatively small, primarily containing animation data in text files.

    • Traditional Animation: File sizes increase significantly, especially at 24 frames per second, requiring 12 images per second (on twos). This results in a larger file size due to the numerous images per second.

  7. Applications:

    • Live2D Animation: Commonly used in VTuber content, mobile games, and digital applications requiring dynamic, expressive characters.

    • Traditional Animation: Historically used in classic cartoons, films, and television shows. While less common in mainstream media today, it is still appreciated for its artistic value.

1. Live2D:

Live2D is animation technique used to create animation from statics image, by separating the image into parts and animating each part accordingly.

2. Live2D Animation:

Live2D animation is the animation created using the Live2D method.

3. Live2D Model:

Live2D model is the characters/items/objects crafted using the Live2D method.

4. Live2D Rigging/Modelling:

Live2D rigging/modelling is the act of animators/riggers creating Live2D models/animations using the Live2D method.

5. Live2D Animator/Rigger/Modeler:

Live2D animator/rigger/modeler is the animator who create Live2D animations using the Live2D method.

6. Cutting:

Cutting is the process of breaking down and separate the illustrations into separate parts – like the head, body, hands and others.

Live2D animation allows your characters to move with a fantastic 2.5D effect while maintaining that authentic original drawing vibe. Moreover, it introduces interactivity to enhance the experience!

Experience this in my Live2D Animation showcase here!

You can use these tools to create Live2D animation:

1. Live2D Cubism

(Free version + Paid subscription)

2. Inochi2D

(Open source + Free!)

3. Spine 2D

(Free trial version, but you can’t save + One time purchase!)

4. DragonBones

(Open source + Free!)

5. Others


**Live2D Cubsim and Inochi2D are compatible with VTubing, but other are not.**

You can use your Live2D animations or model in:
  • VTubers (Face-tracking)
  • Games
  • Visual Novel
  • Mobile App
  • Wallpaper Engine
  • Webpage
  • Videos
  • Others
Explore some cool Live2D animations application right here! *Please note that face-tracking is compatible only with Live2D Cubism and Inochi2D.*
Software used for face-tracking:

  1. VTubeStudio
  2. Prprlive
  3. Live2DViewerEx
  4. VUP
  5. Animaze (previously Facerig)
  6. Others
Game engines that are compatible with Live2D models:
  • Other

**The compatibility of Live2D models is highly dependent on the software and SDKs used in their creation, as well as the respective software versions. Please feel free to inform me if there are additional engines that are compatible with Live2D.**
1. Live2D Cubism is NOT equivalent to Live2D.
  • Live2D is an animation technique.
  • Live2D Cubism is the software used to create Live2D animation.
2. “Live2D animator” can have two meanings:
  • The individual who create Live2D animations, which can also be referred as Live2D rigger or Live2D modeler.
  • The animation software, which is the animator tool in Live2D Cubism.

Absolutely not! Getting into Live2D is actually pretty easy, even if you DO NOT have a background in drawing or animation. If you put in the effort, you can get the hang of the basics in just a week.

Live2D is easy to learn but hard to master. You can read my blog post “Is Live2D Hard to Learn?” for more information.

Live2D Rigging Tutorials - Articles

Live2D Rigging Tutorials - Videos

These are the tutorial videos I’ve crafted. Feel free to join my YouTube Channel as well!

Making Hair Looks More 3D

Link Parameters in Physics Window + Secret

Fluffy Skirt Movement

Auto Remove Pixel Dirt using Photoshop Script

How to Create Shuddering Effect

How to Edit After Skinning

Copy Paste Parameter Value

How to Create Glittering/Shining Effect

Creating Magnifying Effect

How to Create Dancing Flame Animation in VTube Studio (VTS)

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