How to Learn Live2D and Master It in 3 Months
Learn Live2D and quickly become an expert using a scientific approach! This method, inspired by the deliberate practice framework, enables you to achieve proficiency in Live2D within just 3 months, making you capable of professional work. However, there are always new techniques and skills that you can acquire beyond this point. The steps include:
Table of Contents
Drawing on my background in psychology counseling, a solid understanding of learning science, and over three years of experience in Live2D commissions, I’ll use this knowledge to guide you through the process of learning Live2D.
Step 1: Identifying the Skills You Need
“What are you talking about? I’m here to learn Live2D! Isn’t that obvious?”
No, it’s not as obvious as it seems. Many people make the mistake of not correctly identifying the necessary skills and end up heading in the wrong direction. You don’t want to go off track right from the start. When I am learning , I never considered that drawing skills are not a must-have requirement to learn Live2D, which came as a surprise to me!
Here are the skills and components you should concentrate on when learning Live2D:
- Learning Live2D Processes
- Learning Animation Principles
- Learning to Process Live2D Illustrations
- Learning Live2D Animation Tools
- Learning Live2D Supplementary Tools
- Optional – Learning to Draw Live2D Illustration
Step 2: Follow a Quality Tutorial From Start to Finish
The crucial term here is a “Quality Tutorial“, not just any tutorial. It’s essential to learn from the best—someone with authority and experience, Live2D rigging tutorials (shameless self-plug), especially in the early stages. Avoid picking up the ‘wrong’ methods.
While there are various ways to achieve the same result, but not all methods is the best practice. Some practice can simplify the overall workflow or reduce resource usage, which are the considerations experienced riggers always take into account. Newcomers often struggle to distinguish between best practices and less effective methods. Hence, it’s advisable to learn the best practices from the best, emphasizing the importance of quality tutorials.
Another critical aspect is to embrace the “Start to Finish” approach. Instead of fixating on a specific area initially, understand the entire workflow from beginning to the end. Understanding the comprehensive workflow is crucial; it shapes your perspective holistically, proving immensely beneficial in the later stage. This saved me a lot of time on trials and errors and spared me the trouble of unlearning bad practices.
Quick Tip: Checking out other Live2D riggers’ streams is a big help in the process. It can be very time-consuming, but it’s super useful, and you can throw in your questions during the stream! I also stream my Live2D rigging on Twitch (though currently taking a break)!
Step 3: Setting SMART Goals
After grasping the entire Live2D working process, the next step is goal-setting.
Not just any random goal, but a SMART goal! Having a specific goal in mind is what motivates me to achieve it.
Example:I will produce a Live2D animation featuring eye blinking, share it on my Twitter account, and aim for a minimum of 10 likes within the next two weeks.
- S = Specific (Produce a Live2D animation featuring eye blinking – Providing clear direction for what you have to do)
- M = Measurable (Aim for 10 likes on your Twitter post – Give tangible measure of progress)
- A = Achievable (Eye blinking animation is a fundamental and satisfying achievement for newcomers – Making sure that the goal is achievable and fulfilling)
- R = Relevant (Align with the ultimate goal of learning Live2D – Making sure that everything to related to ultimate goal!)
- T = Time-bound (Complete within 2 weeks – A helpful deadline for those prone to procrastination!)
When setting goals, it’s crucial to consistently identify the areas in which you should seek improvement.
Step 4: Establishing a Solid Foundation
Mastering Live2D is all about mastering the foundation!
When I refer to the foundation, I mean the less exciting aspects—but the kind of stuff that actually takes you far. While social media showcases many cool and fancy stuffs, these aren’t where your primary focus should be. It’s tempting to delve into creating these flashy things, but resist the urge! Tune out the noise, and dedicate yourself to learning the fundamentals. Delve into those seemingly mundane manuals, and make practicing these basics a daily habit.
Here is the snapshot of the boring Live2D manual:
Drawing from my personal experience, my mentors consistently emphasized the importance of working on these seemingly boring fundamentals and read the Live2D manual every day. After 1-2 years, I discovered that I could effortlessly decipher and analyze the workings of the fancy and flashy animations often showcased on social media. I could then replicate them, and 90% of the time, I could recreate them with ease—all thanks to my solid foundation! Now, I am one of the creator of those flashy and cool things on social media!
Step 5: Joining the Live2D Community
Having someone by your side when learning is always beneficial. Joining a community (eg. Reddit r/Live2D) proves extremely helpful as you can learn from others, exchange opinions, getting feedbacks, and share all your questions. If you’re fortunate, you might even come across a skilled coach or guide who can accelerate your learning journey!
One of the very core components in efficient learning is to get timely feedback from the expert, you need someone to point out what and where you are good at and bad at. You need feedback from the people.
The community has helped me a lot with my questions on Live2D, not to mention the sense of camaraderie and the psychological support they provide when you feel like quitting. Don’t go it alone; stay connected! Networking can take you far, especially if you plan to take on commissions and pursue other ventures!
Step 6: Engaging in Deliberate Practice and Experimenting
It’s not just about practicing; not all practice leads to perfection. Practice deliberately! Deliberate practice is distinct. It involves substantial, targeted, and sustained efforts to improve in areas where you may lack proficiency or knowledge. Focus on the fundamentals and seemingly mundane tasks, but not the ones you’re already good at.
Always experiment with new, less familiar tasks and those that challenge your current skill set! The quality of practice is crucial. Instead of unfocused and random practice for hours, deliberate and focused practice for just 5 minutes is always more effective!
I always have a clear objective of what I want to learn and identify the areas I should improve before practice. It not only helps me to focus and ignore all the noise, but it also pushes me to learn and do things I’m not familiar with, thus accelerating my learning.
Step 7: Practicing Consistently
While everyone acknowledges the importance of consistent practice, not everyone is familiar with the underlying science.
Consider the following scenarios:
- Practice for 2 hours in one day of a week.
- Practice for 5 minutes every day.
Which one is better? According to the perspective of atomic habits, the latter is more effective despite having less total practice time. Starting with a 5-minute daily practice is easy, but committing to 2 hours per day might demotivate people and eventually lead to giving up. The priority is to establish a consistent practice habit.
The key is to make a practice session (1) obvious, (2) attractive, (3) easy, and (4) satisfying. Do not underestimate the power of the compound effect. If you improve by just 1% every day for a year, you’ll be 37 times better by the end of the year—not 3.7 times!—thanks to the compound effect.
Although atomic habits contradict goal setting, personally, I believe it’s still good to have a guiding goal. To each their own, I suppose.
I personally make it a point to practice daily, to wire my brain and send signals that this is important. Usually, the first 5 minutes to get started are the toughest, but once you get past it, time just flies by. By the end of the day, I’ve learned a lot before I even realize it.
Step 8: Studying Sample Model
One of the best resources to learn Live2D is the sample model. You can often discover a wealth of new and interesting techniques from a Live2D sample model—it’s truly one of the best resources. This helps me immensely in discover what is usually not talked about by others or something that I missed. It truly accelerates my learning progress.
However, it’s advisable not to dive into this right from the beginning. First, you need to grasp the entire workflow and the fundamentals before you can fully leverage the insights from sample models. Here are some free Live2D sample models that I’ve created; feel free to check them out (another shameless self-plug).
Step 9: Teaching and Sharing Your Knowledge with Others
“While we teach, we learn”–Seneca
The Protégé Effect is observed when individuals exert more effort to learn information if they know they’ll be teaching it to someone else, compared to the effort they would put in if learning solely for themselves. Those who take on the role of teaching end up solidifying and consolidating the information in their own minds. This is very helpful in Live2D learning.
If you lack confidence in teaching others during the early stages, which is what I have experienced, begin with The Rubber Duck Method. Instead of immediately teaching to a human, explain your content to a rubber duck. Once you feel confident enough, then proceed to answer questions from others and consider creating tutorials, just as I have.
By helping others, you’re also aiding your own learning process! In my personal experience, I believe that creating tutorials and attempting to explain things to others is one of the most effective methods of learning and retaining knowledge.
Step 10: Mimicking Others (Controversial)
I enjoy imitating animations that I find impressive. But isn’t that considered plagiarism? Wouldn’t it stifle someone’s creativity?
Mimicking is one of the best ways to learn Live2D, especially in the early stages when you might not have a clue about what to do. It gives you a roadmap and a sense of direction. Copy and learn from animations you admire, add your own twist, make improvements, and eventually, it becomes your unique style that you develop over time! In simpler terms, it’s like using something you like as a reference. Your unique style will only emerge after you’ve mastered the basics!
Personally, I think there’s a fine line between imitating and outright copying an animation. Creating something 100% original is pretty tough or nearly impossible these days; there’s always a hint of unoriginality in every piece of work. So, referencing other works is totally okay.
Speaking of creativity, maybe I’m more inclined towards logic. I’m strong in reasoning but lacking in raw creativity. That’s why referencing is crucial for me. However, if you’re naturally creative, you might want to steer clear of this approach. It’s all about what works best for each individual, I suppose.
You can acquire proficiency in Live2D within just 3 months by following the outlined steps. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be good to go. However, there are always new techniques and skills that you can learn and acquire beyond this point.
And, of course, if there’s anything I said was wrong, I’m sorry. I must’ve stupefied, please knock me out of it.
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