Live2D, developed by Cybernoids, is the world’s first drawing technology to enable 3D rendering of 2D images. This technology supports a variety of portable consoles and smartphones, and Live2D is already being utilized for games that take advantage of the unique characteristics of hand drawn artwork.
“In 3D, the unique attractions of 2D art like Osamu Tezuka’s can’t be rendered properly. But with Live2D, we’ve worked to enable smooth 3D motion using entirely the original 2D drawings. So, this system makes the graphics appear exactly as the creator intended.”
“When the face turns sideways, you can show perfectly how the eyelashes and eyes move. You can also use the tools to work more easily and efficiently. This can be done in all kinds of ways, with all kinds of emphasis, depending on what the creator wants to do. This technology is an extension of drawing, so it works best if the creator has a good artistic sense.”
The Live2D creation tools are available in two versions, supporting content creation using either polygons or vectors. A 3D engine is used to power the polygon based version, so it can achieve fast, fluid motion even on mobile devices.
Currently, Live2D is used mainly for dialog-type games with limited movement. But over the next year or two, Cybernoids aims for the tools to evolve to a point where the motions of the characters can be rendered through 360 degrees.
“We’re aiming for this technology to be used worldwide, hopefully creating a market for revolving graphics in 2D, like with 3D. So, our goal is for this technology to become a de facto standard worldwide.”