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MikuMikuDance (commonly abbreviated to MMD) is a popular freeware 3D animation engine created for the production of videos featuring VOCALOID mascots. It is a part of the VOCALOID Promotion Video Project (VPVP), and can be downloaded in both English and Japanese. The application itself was programmed by Yu Higuchi (HiguchiM) and has experienced many significant upgrades since the initial release. Originally, the program featured only Hatsune Miku, but has since been upgraded to support any 3D models using the .PMD or .PMX format.
- Main article: MikuMIkuDance Wiki
On February 24, 2008, MikuMikuDance was released as free software. This program simplified many aspects of 3D animation creation and its user friendliness, ease and simplicity attracted many creators. Soon, it became a worthy alternative to other existing 3D programs and fans can now publish 3D videos of vocaloids on video-streaming websites such as Nico Nico Douga and YouTube.
| Yu Higuchi (樋口M /ヒグチエム) was one of the leading 3D program developers of Vocaloid characters on Nico Nico Douga and is most well known as the creator of MikuMikuDance. On October 2007, shortly after Hatsune Miku was introduced, some 3D animators began to post 3D Promotional Videos of Miku on Nico Nico Douga. However, because each creator had their own different 3D programs which were difficult to utilize, fans with little or no knowledge of 3D animation skills had little opportunities to make similar videos of their own unless they invested a lot of time just learning the basics of each software.
On May 26, 2011, he announced he would retire from developing the program any further. However, in June 2013, he appeared to come out of retirement and updated the program to it's version 8 release in July.
| Animasa (あにまさ) is known for creating the MMD "default" models consist of MEIKO, KAITO, Kagamine Rin, Kagamine Len, Akita Neru, and Yowane Haku. He posted his first 3D Miku movie on November 30, 2007 and this event led to the development of MMD by HiguchiM.
Originally only a Miku model was supplied it was later that additional models were added, including models of popular Vocaloid fanmades. These models are released for editing and general use for the MMD software and often serve as the base model for other models produced by users.
|Kio () created the default model of Sakine Meiko.|
|M2 () created the default model of Akita Neru.|
- MMD model Kagamine Rin was introduced on May 3, 2008.
- Version 3 (Multi-model edition) allowed multiple models to be on the same stage, background animations, and introduced models Kagamine Len, Akita Neru and Kaito.
- Version 4 provided an English user interface and an upgraded version of Miku's MMD model.
- Version 5 implemented the "Bullet Physics Engine", "shiny textures" and sphere mapping.
- Version 6 implemented "Anti-Aliasing", "Shadow Mapping", "Ability to render screenshots in various formats" and users are now able to click and drag MMD-related files onto a MMD interface to automatically load them.
- Version 7 provided the "Separate Window" option for a bigger screen on a separate window. A "register all facial frames" option is also added.
- On May 26, 2011 HiguchiM announced he would retire from developing MMD.
- On June 3, 2013 HiguchiM appeared to come out of retirement to update the MikuMikuDance software and release version 7.39m. This was to combat the illegitimate version that had been spreading around during 2012.
- Shortly after the relase of version 7.39m, HiguchiM continued releasing multiple updates throughout the month of June into the beginning of July 2013:
- June 7 - MikuMikuDance 7.41
- June 8 - MikuMikuDance 7.42
- June 11 - MikuMikuDance 7.94
- June 24 - MikuMikuDance 7.96
- June 28 - MikuMikuDance 7.97
- June 30 - MikuMikuDance 7.98
- July 1 - MikuMikuDance 7.99
- July 5 - MikuMikuDance 8.01
- July 8 - MikuMikuDance 8.03
- MikuMikuDance is currently at Version 8.10, released on February 8, 2014. The main change for this version is the addition of the Megurine Luka starter model by Animasa.
- Animating various 3D models and accessories
- IK Bone animation
- Import background animations
- Import/Export Motion Data
- Import WAV sound files to play along with your movie
- Adjust camera position and properties
- Adjust light source and properties
- "Bullet Physics Engine" and the ability to adjust the "physics" of models and gravity
- Adjust resolution
- Render AVI file of movie at desired frame rate and compression technique
- Render screenshots in various formats
- Shadow Mapping
- Track bone movement while in Camera Mode. Also a camera button on the view section.
- Volume setting
- Camera button on the view section
- An English tutorial for Versions 2 and 3 was released on September 25, 2008 by Mikudan and it is recommended reading for those wishing to use MikuMikuDance and its later versions.
- For more models, accessories, backgrounds, stages and other addons, it is recommended to visit VPVP Wiki. (Japanese Language)
３Ｄミクを躍らせるツールを自作してみた(説明前編） / Note, older ver of software
３Ｄミクを躍らせるツールを自作してみた(説明前編） / Note, older ver of software
As well as the software itself MMD users have occasionally made addition plugins that will work with the software such as MikuMiku Effect.
- Motion capture using Xbox360 Kinect interface.
- Miku Miku Effect, this feature gives the user the ability to create interactive special effects that can happen on or around the model and within the MMD environment.
- PMX format, this format gives the user the ability to take advantage of slider options by using expressions to change colors, edit uv mapping, and make objects invisible to visible without manually shrinking or removing them.
The software comes with a number of models by Animasa. Originally, only a Miku model was supplied. Later, new models have been added, including models of popular Vocaloid fanmades. These models are released for editing and general use for the MMD software and often serve as the base model for other models produced by users.
They are relatively low quality overall in comparison to the models often produced by independent model makers, but as they come with the software, they naturally may be updated as the software updates occur, to demonstrate the improvements implemented into the MMD software. Miku's model, for instance, was originally quite plain and simple. Users unsure of the restrictions of MMD models are advised to stick with the Animasa models, they are the safest models to work with. Use of these models is well documented and comply with the first 2 of the 4 basic MMD outlines, although fanmades made from these models no longer fall under the first two outlines and instead fall under the 3rd outlines.
Windows 100% magazineEdit
MMD's popularity among otaku has spread wide enough for it to have its own magazine, as well as being featured in the computer magazine, Windows 100%.
During the year of 2010 exclusive models were created and submitted to Windows 100% as a bonus for potential purchasers. It is rare that these models are given out to the community, as they come with strict rules in their Readme files to not distribute, edit or trade. At times a lower quality version is instead created as a beta for the community to download, but the rules for the model still apply.
The models supplied for the magazine are also within the copyright rules because they are bundled with it for free. Purchasers buy the magazine, not the models. Windows 100% models are not the only ones seen for sale, but are safe to buy because their distribution is secure.
Users should never publicly distribute Windows 100% models.
Nico Nico Douga MMD CupEdit
Another promotional event for MMD is the MMD cup. In this, MMD users compete to win first place with prizes often being exclusive models, often for use only for the winner. The event has become quite popular with users showing off their effect skills and ability to work with the software itself. The event sees a variety of different types of entries from dance videos to TV pose matching to general artistic events or comedy sketches. The event helps promote the software and the users entering.
Overseas Momi CupEdit
This took place early 2011 and was the first Western MMD cup to be held. The first place winner was Hoshigamiraiku’s “Abracadabra”.
- Lat式ミク is the first MMD model to be turned into a collectible figure.
- Lat式ミク is one of the most famous models that is not provided by the software itself. It has been used in many PVs and is regarded as one of the highest quality models for MMD, also having many variations on the model itself. Its most famous usage was when it served as the base in the Studio DEEN and GWave PV.
- ↑  MikuMikuBeat - MikuMiku Effect
- ↑  Youtube - PMX test
- ↑  Youtube - MMD Newcomer - Cat Planet Cat (warning, pulsing color may cause seizure)
- ↑  Amazon/jp - MikuMikuDance でPさんと呼ばれる本 [大型本]
- ↑  Amazon/jp - Windows 100% 2010年 03月号 [雑誌] [雑誌]