One of the fun aspects of collecting for MMD is browsing through BowlRoll. It has some of the most up-to-date downloads. This week I found an effect I had never heard of before. It is called the AsciiArt effect.
You can download the AsciiArt effect from GNX2’s BowlRoll account here: https://bowlroll.net/file/51804 at the time of this writing it doesn’t require a password.
For those of you who don’t know, ASCII is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. This was the standard form of character coding for many years. The most common form of ASCII art is the simple emoticon (In Japan they have some really elaborate ones called Kaomoji which means “face characters”). However, keyboard art has been around for a long time.
You load the AsciiArt effect just like you would most other effects. You would click on the Load button in the Accessory Manipulation Panel (AMP). Select the effect and that’s it. Unfortunately, there are no controls over the size or transparency of the effect in the Si or Tr fields of the AMP.
The AsciiArt effect takes advantage of using keyboard characters to create shape, shadow, and texture, on your video. It creates these forms by eliminating all the color from your model and any other accessories. So what you are left with is a diffused picture of black, white and grey.
When you first look at the AsciiArt effect in action it will puzzle you for a minute. Then you will start seeing all the text moving and creating this really cool picture. I have a feeling that most people will download this effect; play with it for a little bit; then forget all about it. Personally I am thinking about all The Matrix and The Ring scenes that can now be created.
In my opinion, this effect is best used with close up shots and medium shots. If a long distance shot is used then the effect can muddy all the motion data you have playing. It is similar to appreciating an impressionist painting. If you get too close, then all you see are the brush strokes. When you look at it from too far away then you lose visual context. If you are doing your own camera motion data (I trust that you are). Then you need to find that “Goldilocks spot” in your shots.
I have uploaded a short video highlighting this effect. It is at our YouTube Channel: http://youtu.be/IjsS0RWbHWM
Have fun with this.
Models: Default Animasa Miku and Rin
Effects: AsciiArt effect.
This all started yesterday when I wanted to throw a punch at someone! … and Kaito is always my favorite dude to smack around! … and so it was!
I started with Len. I spent quite a while working to get his starting-stance just right. I used myself as my pose model … jumping up to assume the pose and then sitting down to adjust the model. Once I had it, I copied the pose to Kaito … and had to make a few adjustments because Kaito is taller than Len.
Now I made my opening Camera moves. I wanted “ACTION” in my action video so I started-off with whirling the camera around my combatants. and then closing-in to show their trash-talking … and Kaito’s smart-mouth look. Then I backed-off the camera so we could see the fight!
I copied some lip-flapping motions from another of my animations and so had both models dishing dirt at each other in no time! That Kaito is such a smart-mouth … Len was just fuming!
All I knew when I started to create the animation was that I wanted to throw a punch. I kind of worked both ends against the middle as I made my motions … moving Kaito a bit … and moving Len a bit … until I decided it was time to throw the punch. I placed Kaito into the “Just got hit” pose and then placed Len’s fist against his face … then backed-up a little to create Len’s full animation up to that point … and then sent Kaito spinning … and then created Len’s follow-through and spinning-around motion … all while trying to keep track of the Leg IK bones for both models. There was kind of a pause in the animation before I could get Kaito to fall down … so I animated Len’s left hand to give Kaito a push … the final coup de grâce!
After it was mostly all together, I went back through the animation to adjust the speed of the action-motions using interpolation curves. The speed of Len’s arm uses that curve in the picture. It’s a bit excessive, really … the arm moves so quick you can hardly see it! … I also use it in Len’s triumphant arm gesture and in his left-leg-lift during that gesture … and I made a similar curve as Kaito accelerates to the floor! (Did you notice that I made Kaito bounce once? “:o)
I kept working on the camera position … gotta keep it moving in my action video … no boring long-shots! I was about three hours-in at this point. I adjusted the ground shadow color to a dark gray. I began to work on Len’s body-rotating motion and Kaito’s stance as he was about to fall down … and I wound-up totally messing-up my animation … body parts passing through other parts and those crazy feet not cooperating! … time to watch that bad “Thursday Night Football” game (Falcons creamed the Buccaneers, 56-zero when I turned it off … not even fun to watch.)
Today I spent another couple of hours fixing what I had messed-up yesterday … and I made the soundtrack. Read more
Creating an animation is difficult. Everyone knows that. The worst part is when you open up MMD… And you are greeted by that blank, empty screen. Yup, totally inspirational stuff right there!
Recently, I created an animation, and it was less than a minute long. It took me about 3 hours to make, with over 1000 frames. Where I got the inspiration? I was looking at some MMD videos on YouTube, and came across one where it was Black Rock Shooter vs Miku Hatsune. I thought that maybe I could create something like that, so I opened up MMD. That was the first time the blank screen didn’t put me down! I set to work.
To start with an animation, you need to think about what’s the objective/what is going to happen. I wanted a fight scene, so I loaded up my Miku Hatsune model and my Miku Zatsune model.
I used Miku Zatsune because she looks more like the evil/devilish type. Originally, I set the scene in a dark world with little background. But since my computer was too laggy (I blame Windows Vista) I had to stick with a white background. But that doesn’t mean you have to do the same! Hopefully your computer/laptop doesn’t ‘NOPE’ out of every situation!
I wanted it to look like Zatsune was ‘expecting’ Miku, in that ‘I was expecting your arrival’ kind of way. So I made her figure more relaxed and closed her eyes, to give her ‘the look’. In return, I made Miku look prepared and alert, using her facial expressions. It turned out quite well, in my opinion. Remember, the facial expressions can say a lot about what the person is feeling or what their next action is going to be. The same goes for the poses.
After Miku asked Zatsune why she was here, I zoomed in on her eyes to give a tension effect – to tell the watchers that something was going to happen. For Zatsune flying, I used her center bone to lift her into her air, making it look like she was floating. For her walking, I used my walking motion.
The fight scene was by far the hardest part – I had to try and give the right atmosphere, the right camera space and make it look like Hatsune could fight Zatsune off. It would have been a bit better if I had timed Hatsune’s movements a bit after Zatsune’s, but I left it.
Finally, I managed to finish the animation with Hatsune getting beaten down to the ground, and Zatsune looking down at her in triumph. In the fight scene Hatsune’s expression was scared, showing that she had the lower side in the battle. Zatsune still had the angry expression.
Throughout all of this, I still had one problem that I was unable to fix – Zatsune’s hair. The hair kept on getting in the way of the small fight scene, and I coudln’t do anything about it. It would have been nice if the hair had bones, but it didn’t so I had to make do.
And that’s it! Yes, I had some difficulties along the way, but in the end I managed to make a successful small MMD video. It turned out just how I wanted it to look like. It didn’t have the same feel as the other MMD video did, but it still had a good atmosphere.
So, what are you waiting for? Get creative!
Piapro is a Japanese site built for distributing or showing off artwork of vocaloids, whether it’s 3D or just a drawing. Many famous model makers upload their works to Piapro. Yet, the whole site is Japanese. Anyone who’s english will have a hard time finding out what everything means. So here’s a tutorial on how to sign up to piapro, how to upload to piapro, and how to understand the rules for everyone’s models!
First, let’s sign up here is the sign up page your going to see a lot of text, that is the user agreement. You can just scroll down and click the green button to continue. On the next page you will see a blank box and a small warning about gmail. In the blank box, type in your email, the warning about gmail is just saying the verification email might end up in your spam folder. After typing in your email, click the green button.
The next window will be telling you it’s sent you a verification email, you can close this tab. Just go to your email and click the link … it will continue the registration.
Your going to see a page that looks somewhat like this:
ご希望のピアプロID ＊: Type in what you want your username to be here
パスワード ＊: password goes here
パスワード確認 ＊: password conformation (type in your password again_
Twitter ID: (This is optional)
アイコン画像 ＊: This is asking about your avatar, you can upload a file of your own or use one they already have uploaded
The first one asks for your birth-year,
The second box asks for your birth-month
ニックネーム: Nickname, what someone calls you for short
プロフィール: Bio for your profile
あなたの創作分野 ＊: This is asking what your specialty is, select the one that says 3D
The next page is just asking for conformation, click the green button. The next page asks for your phone number for security purposes. It won’t properly accept foreign phone numbers. this can be skipped.
Now we’ve signed up to Piapro! Yay!
After signing up you should be able to click 作品一覧 and go to your uploads, you don’t have any yet. You’ll see a yellow bar Read more
fun things from Japan, often with fast shipping from their warehouse in San Diego!
Click an item to see more!
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