Could virtual idols soon replace human performers?
Thousands of fans convened at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz arena on Saturday to see an unusual show: a virtual hologram singer named Luo Tianyi, accompanied by world famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang.
But rather than basing the holographic performance on a particular human performer’s movement and voice — the way holograms of Michael Jackson and Tupac have “performed” on stage over the last decade — Tianyi’s performance is the result of six months of hard work by roughly 200 production staff, as the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports.
Because she doesn’t exist as a real person, Tianyi is an intriguing vision of the future of entertainment.
Her voice and personality are created through sophisticated tech, including motion capture and 3D modelling. A backstage voice dubber and motion-capture actress even allowed Tianyi to interact with Lang Lang in real-time.
“Luo Tianyi is perfect,” Kit Cheung Jie, a 17-year-old senior high school student in Hong Kong told the South China Morning Post. “She is not a real person so she can be whatever you want her to be. It’s like a customized idol that only belongs to you.”
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