|Position Model Parts in PMDE
using a placeholder .x Model image
By LearnMMD's Silent Headset
"I am your loyal mannequin. I am the "dummy"
Learn to create a placeholder "dummy" of your model and how to use it to pre-position your add-on/replacement model parts in PMDE.
Sometimes, don’t you fellow MMDers have the urge to “create” your very own model, for your very own use, which reflects yourself more than the downloadable models out there. A model you can truly call your own, your very own Original Character (OC)
Unfortunately, making a model from scratch might be waaaayyyyy beyond our league. To be able to make models from the very scratch requires an extensive amount of study and resource.
So should we give up? NO! There’s no limit to creativity in MMD world, it doesn’t take a visual designer to create a video in MMD, nor to create a model to be used there. YOU CAN DO IT TOO!
Here’s where the trusty software PMD Editor comes in. Check the following articles about them
And many other articles regarding model editing on this site, just hit that search box and type any keywords that comes to mind!
So what about this article then? Well, I'll actually show you how to do simple model edit, adding and replacing parts to be exact. But not only that, I'll throw a bonus on a little trick on editing models. I call it "The Dummy".
Why Call It The Dummy?
…Actually I have no particular reason to call it the Dummy. It’s more because that’s the name of the .x files that I usually use. Anyway, let us just cut the how-to, okay? I'll tell you how to create a simple model edit, along with the dummy trick I've told you earlier.
Example: I want to make an Angelic Rin! Or so you said to yourself. And so you download the parts needed...
And then you put them together in the PMD editor...
That'll do! Looking good, no? You have just completed the Rin you dreamed of. Congrats! But when you loaded her to MMD
Or even worse...
Don’t scream! We could hear you all the way here! We’re here to help you with this exact problem!
So, what went wrong?
You know, there are many more parts on a model other than her skin and bone. What happened there, is because you accidentally messed up on some of her internal components. Either her bones, physics, joints, or even better, all three of them!
So let’s try to open Rin again in the editor, and click these buttons in your editor...
Whoa! She’s a mess! Her bones and physics are not where they’re supposed to be, Notice the ones for hair and wings are out of place, away from the actual wings or hair. And stacking hair on top of each other is just wrong to begin with.
Okay, so how do we fix her?
You know what? Fixing her is gonna take time. You have to drag those bones, joints, and physics one by one into the EXACT position where they’re supposed to be, without messing up the rest. It’s better if you just discard the model, making a new one would be easier.
WHAT?! What’s the point of this article then?!
Now, now…Calm down.. I’m gonna teach you how to avoid this kind of thing altogether.
For starters, you still have the unedited parts, right? If yes, Good! If you already deleted them out of rage, download them again! You must not get discouraged by a minor setback like this!
And now without further ado.. Let us start our lesson today on Editing Models and The Dummy, and save your dream of having your own Angelic Rin model!
Step#1: Make a dummy!
Open up the “base” model. A base model is the model that makes up most of your envisioned model, in this case, the base is Animasa’s Kagamine Rin act2.
Now click the buttons for the bones, physics, and joints selection. Use the picture below for reference
Now on your keyboard, hit Ctrl and A at the same time. Now you see that every single part of the model is selected. Now all you have to do is press the “Delete” button on the keyboard. Don’t be afraid! Give it a press!
Viola! Every single bone, every single joints, every single physics are now gone! Congrats! Rin is once again unusable!
Wait, wait! What’re you doing with that chair!? Don’t hit me!
This is exactly what we want to do! Now export the model as an accessory file, namely an .x file. Here’s the step-by-step on how to do that.
Now that’s the reason I call this the “dummy technique”. All your model making will revolve around this lovely little Rin mannequin.
Now whatever you do, do not, I repeat, DO NOT save the model! Or your original model will get overwritten and you will have to say goodbye to Rin for real! And you will also give yourself a legitimate reason to hit me with a chair like earlier! Just simply hit Ctrl+N to start a fresh session (PMD Editor will ask if you want to save, once again, DON’T!) And when it’s back to good ol’ white with grids again, load the “dummy” .x file
Step#2: Let’s start with her hair!
Actually, since we’ll be working with the hair first, you can skip loading the dummy file above. Load the base model instead. Now we're gonna try to do the model editing for real! Earlier I mention that stacking hairs won’t do. Therefore, the obvious first step would be…
First thing you want to do is to get rid of her hair material
And then, carefully delete the bones, physics, and joints that comes with the hair
Now that’s a bit visually displeasing, isn’t it? Don’t worry Rin! You’ll get a new set of hair soon!
Note that you might want to test the model first to see if you’ve done everything right. So save that model (I recommend saving it in a new folder, with a different name, so that the edited models do not get mixed up with the original. It’s a good thing to keep your MMD folders well organized )
And then load it on MMD
Miku is angry, yep
If there’s nothing wrong with it, (like your MMD crashed the moment you load the model), then you’ve done it right. You can even double-check it by loading a motion data and see how the model responds. If all is going normally, minus Rin’s obvious lack of hair, then you’re ready to give her a new hair!
Step#3 : The Dummy
So why do I actually made the dummy, you ask? Well, remember earlier when we see that her physics and bones are all over the place? Rin’s model and the new hair’s starting position are different. So you have to move the physics, bones, and, joints (from here on I’ll abbreviate it to PB&J, not peanut butter and jelly, okay?) along with the hair’s materials, to their exact position on Rin’s head. Well that’s simple enough right? Well, you see, it’s not really that simple.
Sure, you can use the material selection to only select the hair material and move it around, but the same cannot be said for the PB&J, you cannot select the ones for the hair only, you have to pick them up one by one, if you try to use Ctrl+A (select all) then all the PB&J will be selected, including the ones on the actual Rin, and therefore you can’t move them since It’ll also mess up Rin’s structural integrity! If you choose to move them one by one, even a slight deviation of a single joint could replicate the earlier disaster! And if you’re trying to pick them as a group while holding the Shift button, well, that’ll take forever!
That’s where the dummy comes in! Load the hair and then import the dummy .x file!
And now make sure that the Vertex, bones, physics, and joints selection button are clicked
Is this a miracle? No, it’s not. No more annoying unwanted physics! No more annoying unwanted bones! No more annoying unwanted Joints! You are now free to move the hair around without needing to pick up the components one by one!
Now are you satisfied with the position? If yes, then don’t save it just yet! Now that the dummy has served her purpose, now it’s time to set her free…
Are we back to square one? Of course not! Now the hair is EXACTLY where it’s supposed to be. Don’t believe me? Let’s test it out! Save the hair. Load the “hairless” base model, and then import the new hair model (Note: Do not import the base immediately to the freshly made hair, you must open the base first, THEN import the hair, it might result in fatal misalignment otherwise )
Save it, once again, it’s wise to save as a different filename, to make checkpoints in case you mess up something badly.
And now load her up!
Now isn't she jealous of your new hair, Rin?
Step#4: I did not forget the wings
By the way, you haven’t really deleted the dummy already, right? We still need her for the wings. Just replicate the steps in positioning the hair.
Step#5: Save the Model!
And….There you go!
Your very own “Custom Angelic Rin mark II”! Do enjoy using her in your pictures and videos!
Huh? Why are the wings white now? I just think white will fit her better, so I edited the color again...
Overall, the dummy technique should make things easier to add new parts to a model, since you can easily tell where it would be need to be placed, without worrying that you might have moved something you shouldn’t. Not only hairs, you can change skirts, add extra clothes and scarf, nearly everything with this little innocent mannequin making technique.
That’s it for my first article, hopefully that rather long “picture book like” tutorial can be useful for those who want to try out making their own models. There might even be a part 2 of this article, too. Once I’ve done with my heap of animation project queue.
Remember! In MMD, the sky is the limit, but do take some consideration. Don’t use illegal parts. Don’t abuse the models you made from other’s parts outside the original creator’s limitation. Don’t claim as your own parts if they are not. And most important of all, always leave a credit to their respective creators.
Keep The Faith!
See you again soon! Preferably without your flinging chairs at me! XD
-- Silent Headset, signing off!