Online entertainment service iQIYI Inc. is launching China’s first virtual idol talent variety show, Dimension Nova.
iQIYI has integrated a number of cutting-edge technologies in the Show’s production. Dimension Nova pioneers the combination of real-time data from motion capture and real-time rendering for recording, allowing celebrity guests to interact directly with avatars and delivering audio-visual effects previously unimaginable in variety shows. In addition, iQIYI piloted the use of “digital twin technology” in the filming of the Show. By creating a full 3D virtual environment or “twin” of the real world, the technology integrates the real with the virtual, creating an ideal stage on which the avatars can perform. Moreover, CG real-time rendering and compositing technology as well as a proprietary toolset enable Dimension Nova to achieve a non-linear production process, significantly improving the production efficiency of the Show. iQIYI believes that these innovative production techniques will be the driving forces behind the rise of virtual idol-based variety shows.
Dimension Nova is also iQIYI’s first foray into a new genre that innovatively combines the traditional variety show format with Nijigen culture. Nijigen is an umbrella term for a wide range of Japanese-influenced media, including manga, anime and video games. In China, Nijigen culture has risen in popularity in recent years. According to data from market research firm iResearch, the number of pan-Nijigen users in China reached 390 million at the end of last year.
Chinese stars Angelababy, Wang Linkai and Esther Yu from THE9 will serve as mentors on the show, leading more than 30 virtual competitors through a series of competitions and challenges to select the final winner.
Although Dimension Nova is the first virtual variety show produced by iQIYI, it is not the first time the Company has innovated in the virtual space. In 2018, iQIYI unveiled the world’s first virtual AI/AR sign language interpreter, allowing hearing-impaired viewers to enjoy the Company’s content with greater ease. Last year, iQIYI also launched RiCH BOOM, iQIYI’s first virtual idol label and pop band. Since then, Producer C, the leader of RiCH BOOM, and Rainbow, the band’s drummer, have made appearances at public events and in variety shows.