By Lu-Hai Liang
BBC News

Publishedduration1 hour agoimage copyrightiQIYIimage captionContestants on Dimension Nova are either 2D or 3D and are judged on their personality, style and back story, as well as their performance

At first glance, there's nothing very remarkable about yet another singing competition in talent show-obsessed China, but Dimension Nova is different – this time, all the contestants are virtual.

This "virtual idol variety show", from Chinese streaming platform iQIYI, features three celebrity judges hoping to find the next big star.

Yet while the concept is familiar, the execution is like nothing we've seen before.

Contestants walk out into a capacious hall, complete with a looming T-Rex skeleton hanging from the high ceiling, and perform to the judging panel in real-time.

But these hopefuls are not your familiar pub-gigging wannabes, instead they are digital creations, drawn and styled like Japanese anime figures.