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    How I VTuber a11y christine.website
    VTubing on Linux nix christine.website
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    a poor intern that had a difficult to describe kind of flabbergasted expression on his face once the call connected.

    … is it really that surprising?

    I mean this project is interesting and all that, but it seems kind of unusual to use it for social interaction with coworkers. It seems even more distancing than just not having video. Is it really necessary to distract your coworkers with things like these?

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      Agreed. This kind of pushes the bounds of “professional” behavior well beyond what I’d expect people to accept. I’m 100% in favor of people being able to express themselves at work, when it’s not a distraction to actually doing work. However these avatars fall so deeply into the depths of the uncanny valley that they can be incredibly painfully distracting to look at, and I find myself unable to actually pay attention to the content. I’d immediately ask a coworker who used one to turn it off… no webcam at all would be vastly preferable.

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        At work, I never turn on my webcam. On my desktop, I don’t even have one plugged in. No one cares.

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        I admit that in hindsight that was a mistake. However a lot of the reason I use it sparingly is because I hate how I look and would much rather have the ability to present myself in a way that is not the body I was cursed into when I was born into this plane.

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          I think this is fine as long as it is opt-in. The UI would advise everyone involved that there is a ridiculous distraction and only show it to those who are OK with it.

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          “Anime is real?!” –Intern

          Honestly I’m personally glad that people are putting in the social capital to make this acceptable. Morphological freedom should be a human right; this is a small step towards that.

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          While this is an interesting post, I’m not sure how the content here is relevant to this website.

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            wut. It’s about configuring a variety of software and hardware components to enable streaming an avatar over the internet. That seems pretty par for the course to me…

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              What config though? I don’t see a single line of config. I don’t see much more than a line or two on the justification for picking any of those options. Don’t get me wrong, these sorts of explorations are important, but important in the way that organizing my house is important; important but not necessarily useful to share to a programming audience. The tag chosen, “programming”, also doesn’t really apply to the content of the post which is another Yellow Flag in my mind.

              Once content like this becomes relevant, what’s stopping us from sharing personal productivity tips (explicitly called out in the rules), Twitch streaming setups, DVR setups, Usenet downloading chains, etc, etc. This feels more like “nerd lifestyle” than it does coding which I’m seeing more and more of in Lobsters in recent years.

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                I’m interested in doing the exact same kind of vtuber-style streaming as the OP, and would definitely appreciate a technical writeup of exactly how they got their hardware+software setup working and their overall impression of the quality of it. I recall seeing other articles on @cadey ‘s blog about this sort of thing a while ago (about setups which, disappointingly, didn’t seem to work all that well). I haven’t gotten to reading the post in detail yet; I would hope that it has enough technical detail that someone else can replicate the setup. But even so I think it’s topical on the grounds of being an example of what one can in principle achieve with modern video streaming and VR tech.

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                  The hardware bit that I missed in the post and will edit in soon:

                  CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600

                  RAM: 48GB DDR4

                  GPU: AMD RX6700XT

                  Webcam: Logitech Logi Stream (it’s impossible to get a solid model number on this, sorry)

                  VR headset: Valve Index / Oculus Quest 2

                  Other tools (not mentioned in the article): Steam Controller (with OBS keybinds), Xbox Series X controller (for games), NAS to store stream recordings offline

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                    Also, this stuff only really works on Windows. I haven’t tried running it on Linux, mostly because VSeeFace pretends to be a webcam and that doesn’t work on Linux.

                    1. [Comment removed by author]

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                        I’ll take a look at that after work, I’ve been kind of afraid to try this on Linux though. It’s a rickety chain of bullshit on windows.

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                          I tried to run it on NixOS on my work laptop over lunch. It crashes after this:

                          $ wine64 VSeeFace.exe
                          MESA-INTEL: warning: Performance support disabled, consider sysctl dev.i915.perf_stream_paranoid=0
                          
                          0024:fixme:ver:GetCurrentPackageId (000000000020F5D0 0000000000000000): stub```
                          
                          Exit code 256.
                          
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                            I was tinkering with FacetracKNoIR a while back. I wonder if there is a way to use that.

                            Edit: ah scratch that, I thought they had a linux version, seems they don’t

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                  The “programming” tag’s description is,

                  Use when every tag or no specific tag applies

                  So I’ll hazard a guess it was chosen in its role as the default fallback. We don’t have a VR tag or a system setup tag, though those topics are of interest to many of us.

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                    though those topics are of interest to many of us

                    That doesn’t matter. There are many here that are interested in personal productivity, yet it is off topic. Same with the vague definition of “business news” (anything with products, except Apple it seems).

                    This site has a set of things that are on topic, otherwise they are not. If you can’t find a fitting tag, don’t use “programming”, just don’t submit, because it is off topic.

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                      If you can’t find a fitting tag, don’t use “programming”, just don’t submit, because it is off topic.

                      The definition of the “programming” tag literally is “Use when every tag or no specific tag applies” though.

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                        If it is not about programming and you use that tag, it is very likely off-topic.

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                          I agree :).

                          Since there is a backlog of tags that the lobste.rs community wants (= thinks is on-topic for lobste.rs) but that haven’t been created yet, the absence of a tag isn’t a perfect heuristic for whether something is on-topic or not (otherwise nix wouldn’t have been on-topic until last month ;) ).

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                            For me there is a difference: I think that nix was always on-topic, since Unixy systems are on-topic. The new tag represents a specialization. It is as if we did not have a python tag here and programming was flooded with python related articles. The python tag is a specialization of programming,

                            The above article however has nothing to do with programming, so when we add a tag that captures “tech setups” the site broadens its topical landscape. That is different to me. I am not against it, but I think they are not comparable.

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                        I don’t think personal productivity is an equivalent point of comparison. This is specifically a technical puzzle. I think it’s surely in the spirit of the site’s topic law if not also the letter. The best evidence I can give is the vote count on this thread. There are many naysayers, but it’s still an overwhelmingly positive score.

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                          This is specifically a technical puzzle.

                          This site isn’t just about technical things. For example, we don’t talk about civil engineering or automotive engineering here despite both of these fields being deeply technical. From the rules: “Some rules of thumb for great stories to submit: Will this improve the reader’s next program? Will it deepen their understanding of their last program? Will it be more interesting in five or ten years?” I don’t think stories about personal setups do any of these things. Nor does discussing viaduct construction or catalytic converters.

                          The best evidence I can give is the vote count on this thread. There are many naysayers, but it’s still an overwhelmingly positive score.

                          This gets to the heart of the question. Should Lobsters be a site foremost driven by its community and only slightly driven by its rules, or should it be bound by rules with the community acting as a guide around these rules? When I joined Lobsters ~7 years ago I had finished my graduate studies a couple years back. I was looking for a site that offered me what academic conferences used to offer me. The strong topicality on Lobsters made it feel like a good fit. From what I’ve been seeing, many Lobsters who have joined over the last 3-4 or so years (N.B. this may just be recency bias and I’m not feeling motivated enough to make a Bayesian CI around my hypothesis to check, though I may at some point, so take this with a large dose of salt) seem to be more interested in creating a community than sticking to a topic. You can actually see the differences in the topics being posted and the discussions being had though. To me the topicality of Lobsters is what makes it unique, not just Yet Another Tech Forum.

                          There are many other technical sites with a focus on community. Off the top of my head, there’s HackerNews, Slashdot, Reddit, Twitter, Tildes, Yarn/twtxt, Usenet newsgroups, and the hundreds of Mastodon instances that discuss tech. What makes Lobsters unique is its strong focus on topicality. Ideally, I can come here and be guaranteed to read a story that would “improve my next program.” If I wanted a community, I could go onto any of the many other community sites that are out there. Moreover I’m definitely not a fan of building closed communities around invite only systems because they almost always lead to predictable clique dynamics (for that matter, I have pretty negative thoughts on closed general communities as a whole but this is off-topic). For me, losing the topicality of the site would probably cause me to want to leave the site, truth be told.

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                          lol I love that “except Apple it seems” - why is it that they can maintain such a good brand and be so hostile to open source? I just don’t get it. I’m not sure microsoft has ever been as bad as apple when it comes to FOSS but still they have somehow a bit worse optics fwict. Absurd.

                          Anyway, that was off-topic… I don’t really care about trying to find the infinitely thin line that separates “acceptable on lobste.rs” from “unacceptable on lobste.rs” … the question itself only exists because we have to coordinate this aggregate entity “lobste.rs” and while we try to be a bit decentralized with the voting and the discussing I think the definition will always be “whatever the mods think” - so right now I guess I am making a risky comment if this whole discussion ends up in some purge like has happened a couple of times (where I only arrived to see the aftermath but could have been baited into it if I had arrived sooner).

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                          Good desserts are interesting to many of us, but sadly off-topic. I’ve always been a bit concerned about Lobsters getting overrun with consumer product trip reports, which in some ways this is. Still a neat article though–I’m just a little torn on its topicality.

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                            What is your favorite dessert? I like chocolate-y things :)

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                      Well for what it is worth, some of the information in this article was extremely interesting and potentially useful to me in my job as a professional programmer. I agree it is niche and I can see how it might be irrelevant to 99.99% of programmers but for me, well lets just say I will look into building this functionality directly into the application I my company is building.

                      Having said that, more technical details would be useful. On the other hand I probably can’t use the exact software the author was using anyway so I will have to do my own research.

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                      I agree this isn’t “programming”, but I used the suggest mechanism to suggest tagging it as a11y. The author is using this technology to help control how they present themselves, and it enables them to do that while including hand gestures, etc., which “just turn the camera off” doesn’t allow.

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                        I went down this rabbit hole last week looking for a suitable VTuber set up for my role playing games. I don’t have much interest in the anime models, but I was hoping that I could find a basic setup that would enable me to create my next D&D character in Blender and use that via virtual camera in Roll20. Sadly linux support for the software is quite poor. VSeeFace has some Wine configuration hints, but I couldn’t get them to work. I found a really basic POC on Githhub that worked with my camera and tracked motion and blinks well, but I couldn’t load any 3rd party models into it, nor did it output to a virtual cam.

                        I would love to explore this more, and I think there’s a great value in it for table-top virtual gaming. Hopefully Linux support will continue to grow.

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                          @cadey I wonder if something like this can improve hand/body tracking: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/opencv/opencv-ai-kit-oak-depth-camera-4k-cv-edge-object-detection/description

                          I got one, haven’t done much, but it can do fast 3d human pose estimation, including hands. It’s out of Kickstarter but I think you can order them on their site