Creative Cyborgs: virtual 3D characters as artist identities for musicians

Hermes, K. 2024. Creative Cyborgs: virtual 3D characters as artist identities for musicians. in: Gullö, Jan-Olof, Hepworth-Sawyer, Russ, Hook, Dave, Marrington, Mark, Paterson, Justin and Toulson, Rob (ed.) Innovation in Music: Adjusting Perspectives Routledge.

Chapter titleCreative Cyborgs: virtual 3D characters as artist identities for musicians
AuthorsHermes, K.
EditorsGullö, Jan-Olof, Hepworth-Sawyer, Russ, Hook, Dave, Marrington, Mark, Paterson, Justin and Toulson, Rob
Abstract

This paper explores DIY approaches to creating virtual avatars as a means of creating a compelling artistic identity. Custom 3D characters can form part of strong marketing strategies and allow musicians to explore their creativity in the visual domain. After a review of existing case studies, which include ABBA Voyage, Lil Miquela, Holly+, Hatsune Miku and others, the landscape of DIY tools for creating virtual characters is investigated. These include video game engines, 3D graphics software, simplified character creation tools, commercially released video games, virtual chat rooms and generative AI. An experiment is carried out, whereby the author creates a virtual doll in Blender, and uses Mixamo and Plask, an AI-based motion capture tool, to apply movement from a real-live dance performance to the doll. Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory is used to reflect on the overall creative process. While the creative process was enjoyable and productive, flow was often hindered by the fact that some tools had a very steep learning curve, while others were easy to use, but creatively restrictive. Overall, while it is possible for musicians to create virtual characters through a DIY approach, this requires considerable skill development and extra time on the behalf of the artist.

Book titleInnovation in Music: Adjusting Perspectives
Year2024
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published09 Dec 2024
ISBN9781032500256

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