ARTIFICIAL: FACTIONS Is Using Motion Capture Technology To Create Virtual Animated Characters

Twitch's Emmy, Peabody, and Webby Award-winning original series Artificial is set to debut its fourth season this week and for the newest outing, virtual animation is involved using motion capture technology!

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Bernie Su is one of the most innovative creatives in the web-series television business. After winning the first Youtube Primetime Emmy for his Pride and Prejudice adaptation, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the director, writer, and producer moved on to Emma Approved, which spanned five platforms and netted him the same award two more times.

Moving on from his Austen adaptations, Artificial was Bernie's following creation. As innovative as he is, he brought Twitch its first web series, which, much like Emma Approved, is interactive and also much like Emma Approved, received an Emmy right out the gate with Season 1.

In the seasons that followed, an extremely talented cast joined the project, including the likes of Dante Basco (Hook, Avatar: The Last Airbender), Tohoru Masamune (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Inception), Jennifer Field (Swim, Miss Asia-America), Justin Lee (Arrested Development, The Interview), Stephen Chang (Captain Marvel, The Last of Us II), and Alejandra Reynoso (Castlevania, Winx Club). In addition, Tiffany Chu, Veronica Mitsuk, Devon Werkheiser, LaTrice Harper, Christy St. John, and others helped fill out the cast in the first three seasons.

Stepping things up for Season 4, which is titled Artificial: Factions and premieres this Thursday on Twitch, two virtual animated characters are being created using motion capture technology, which isn't the least bit surprising given Bernie's interactive and innovative career. Continuing the rivalry between the characters played by Dante Basco and Stephen A. Chang, the AI's of each will see the audience of the web series split down the middle and forced to choose a faction to back.

Los Angeles, Calif., August 31, 2020 – Airing exclusively on Twitch, the award-winning, live, scripted, serialized, audience-interactive sci-fi series Artificial returns for its fourth season on September 9, 2021, featuring all new innovative ways for the audience to collaborate together and determine the outcome of the characters.
From three-time Primetime Emmy® award-winning writer/producer Bernie Su, Season 4 of Artificial will introduce factions, an interactive storytelling tool that allows the audience to choose a side and make decisions that determine the outcome of the series. The leaders of these rival factions are Kai and Ember - virtual characters (known as Vtubers) played by live actors using motion capture technology. The Vtubers are created by Obskur, an interactive multimedia software developer.

"We are thrilled to see the heart pounding drama of season 4 of Artificial exclusively on Twitch,” said Steven Flisler, head of original content at Twitch. “Artificial: Factions truly embodies what Twitch is all about - the future of entertainment. Through innovative extensions, cutting edge technology, and live audience interaction available on our service, viewers can be closely involved and have an impact on the direction of the story. We look forward to watching what Bernie, the team, and our community have in store for this upcoming season."

“This season, we’re taking our consequential audience storytelling to yet another level by allowing the viewers to side with their favorite characters to directly oppose and compete with others,” said Bernie Su, co-creator and founder of 96 Next. “This collectively shared audience experience has never been executed in scripted television.”
Artificial: Factions will follow the competition between two rival tech CEOs, played by Stephen Chang (Captain Marvel, The Last of Us Part II) and Dante Basco (Hook, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”), and their AIs, Ember and Kai, as they race to be the first to capture a rare piece of technology. Viewers will join factions, picking the side of either Sebastian (Chang) or Zander (Basco), and help their team develop their AI in order to win the heist by voting in faction-specific polls and using Twitch channel points to upgrade their team, and sabotage their enemies.
This season will place heist strategy decisions directly into the hands of the viewer, as the audience will make decisions that will greatly impact the final episode. Additionally, every third episode will be a Worldbuilding Episode, a dynamic interactive experience with the creatives behind the show that allow the audience to make major decisions in the course of the story, including character creation and set design.

Featuring new characters, settings and inventive technology only available through Twitch, Artificial: Factions will air live every Thursday at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET beginning September 9, 2021 through November 18, 2021.

While there is plenty of information in the above press release, you can also see the official announcement tweet and teaser for Artificial: Factions, a.k.a. Artificial Season 4, below.

What do you guys think of these advancements and changes to Artificial for Season 4? We'll have a full chat with creator Bernie Su coming your way to help explain exactly what is happening in the new season, which kicks off on Thursday, so stay tuned for more information!

In the meantime, anyone interested in the series should check out our brand new chat with the model, actress, and former Miss Asian America Jennifer Field (Swim), in which we discuss the character she plays in the show, Dr. Ruby.

Artificial Season 4 - Artificial Factions kicks off on Twitch this week on Thursday, September 9th.

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