The "behind the
scenes" of my newest video: Happy Birthday Miku!
15, 2015 by Silent
*Ahem…Do you guys still remember, a
(weeks?) ago, when we
celebrated Miku’s birthday?”… and Vocaloid and MMD fans from around the
globe were very enthusiastic about the event… that websites like
YouTube, NicoNicoDouga, and DeviantArt were literally overflowing with
everyone’s creativity, ranging from simple dance videos, to beautiful
pictures, or even highly complex dramas and many other fun things?
heat most certainly reaches us at LearnMMD.com’s editorial desks, too!
Some of the writers jumped into action and give it their all for this
annual event. And although we unfortunately had to cancel the idea of a
video compilation due to time constraints, it’s been a fun moment for
all of us these past few days!
And…yeah, I think I’m speaking,
in this article, on behalf of all the newcomers to our MMD world…
specifically those who have ZERO experience at anything related to
making an animation before, who are compelled to enter the world of
MikuMikuDance with nothing but sheer passion for Vocaloid or MMD
related stuff (… and an internet connection, of course); those who are
dazed by some of the “Great Videos” out there and having dreams that
someday, they, too, will be able to make a creation on the level of
“Pro”… but then, reality smacked them in the head! It turns out they
feel that making a decent video is too much for them.
Guess what? YOUR DREAM IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE!!
Not at all, my friend...
is a novice at first. The only thing that makes a difference is whether
you run away, or wade through the sea of challenge, slowly but surely
making yourself into a better MMDer.
sometimes laugh at my
own work from a year ago. Well, I’m not a pro right now, either, but
looking back at those early works, I can tell that I’m gradually
Rome wasn’t built in a day…
Temple however, does ;P
that’s enough pep-talk for now. What will we learn today?
first off, we’ll take a break from my usual model-making article
because I want to show you the “behind the scenes” of my most recent
video, which I made to commemorate Miku’s birthday. Second, I’ll throw
in some advice, here and there, on how to make your videos look more
Do acknowledge that I, myself, have never received any
sort of education regarding art or animation or film-making… so my
advice may not always be 100% spot-on, and therefore, I’m open to any
advice, myself. Leave a comment on my article on LearnMMD.com
if there’s something you have on
get it started!
the video I made for Miku’s Birthday…
with a nice little plot about
giving Miku a birthday present… in this case, a surprise concert
dedicated to her. It’s still nowhere near a pro’s production, but I’m
I can’t just leave them!
I’ll admit it, I’m a Touhou fan. What can I say ^^?
I’ll be putting Touhou characters into this video somehow”… that was my
thought as I started making this video. And all of a sudden, they’re
elements you like, and just put them there!
hobbyist animator has a lot more freedom than those who work for a
company. You’ll be able to put anything you like into your creation.
Just be yourself!
What? You’re afraid the mix won’t work well? Then it’s up to you to
make it work!
Vocaloid with Touhou stuff is not a new thing, but most of the time,
vocaloids are just used as voice actors. It’s pretty risky to put them
head-to-head in the same story. Why? The “impossibility factor.”
They’re from a different universe. It’s the same as mixing Gundam and
Power Rangers, or Popeye with One Piece!
A solid plot
is a good plot, so stick with it!
Don’t forget what
your video is supposed to be. If you started with making a “birthday
video”, but got too carried away during the animation-making process
and the video is starting to become a World War XVI’ish kind of video,
well… it usually doesn’t turn out well!
good state of health and mind!
No, really! Nothing will come out good when you’re angry or sad! Or if
you kept sneezing all the time!
for myself, I only do about 20 seconds-worth of animation, about 600
frames, per day. It’s slow, but I get tired easily (I have a weak body
like Patchy’s). But it’s better to go slow than to get sick or
stressed-out… because if you are doing something for the sake of
“having fun” but get stressed out in the process… well… That’s just
wrong, isn’t it?
positioning is vital!
Many other authors have already pointed this
out, but I’ll say it again
since it really changes everything!
thing you can do with the camera is called camera tricks, by
manipulating the camera you can do many neat things!
like the one spot where Chen is spinning as she flies, but actually,
the one that is spinning is the camera! And, I attached the skydome to
a dummy bone so I could drag it backwards, too. I also manipulated the
gravity setting into a “storm” (Speed 200, Y=0.1, Z=1). This creates
the illusion of moving forward, when in reality, Chen never moves an
inch… it’s the camera that’s moving.
plunges into the abyss? No problem!
Just turn off the
Physical Operation! That’ll net you some FPS (frames per second)…
reducing the “computer lag” as you try to play your animation... Just
make sure to turn them back on before you start recording! Also hit
that display checkbox to make your “heavier accessory” (or in most
cases, heavy effects like AutoLuminous or Diffusion) disappear! Turn
them on later when everything is ready to be recorded.
doesn’t work? Improvise!
Well, a lot of issues may arise when you’re using outdated hardware ^^
also having a lot of trouble when using certain effects, especially in
this instance: the “fireworks effect”. It just won’t show up! Now
that’s a problem! You can’t have a firework show without fireworks!
navigate through the
minefield, then just take a detour! If my VGA card won’t tolerate the
effect, then I’ll just use something I have that actually works!
this resulted in a hilarious twist for my story, in which Hiiro
suggested to replace the fireworks with….a barrage of anti-ship
that’s hardcore ^^
Another improvisation I made during this animation was regarding
Trackdancer’s Stage assembly.
it neat? Instead of showing everything as one complete set of stage, I
actually made the Kappas assemble it! (I did not edit the stage in
anyway, however! Respect the rules others put up for their creation!)
There’s also Rin’s magic glass tube, which serves as a dummy for the
And finally, we have Aya’s camera,
made it in PMXE, because I’m too lazy to actually find a camera
accessory and download it. This is a simple piece of accessory made
from a bunch of “primitives”
not? A lot of authors on LearnMMD already covered which video editing
software you should have. Good software will really give that
“professional” look to your video!
Too confusing you said? Well,
that might be the case. But you can use a bunch of “low-end software”
which may give less quality and “WOW” factor, but still be adequate
enough to get the job done... and of course, be less confusing to those
without prior experience.
I myself use Windows Movie Maker for
primary editing. It’s simple, free, and it gets most of the job done.
The effects I regularly use are transition and fade in/out. I also use
it to merge together those scattered video parts I mentioned earlier!
running Windows 8.0 (yeah, not going to upgrade it any
time soon) and one thing I noticed is that the Movie Maker always
crashes whenever I load an .avi file. And since I can’t figure out the
cause (and it seems that I’m not the only one with the crash issues!) I
tried to convert my .avi files into .mp4 and load them on Movie Maker,
it works fine!
for that converting purpose I used Freemake Video Converter. It can
convert the format of almost any video file into even more formats. I
also used the sister software, Freemake Audio Converter for converting
to .WAV. It does not give a wide range of editing tools like Audacity,
but at least it can process many files at once.
What else do we
have here….Ah yes, I used Aegisub to add subtitles. Apparently it also
can generate a nice “karaoke text” effect, but I don’t know how to do
it yet. I’m still quite satisfied by knowing how to change the
subtitles’ color, which is neat.
used Ms. Paint for simple picture edits because you don’t
actually need Photoshop or GIMP for simple tasks like combining
multiple transparent .png pictures or adding a bit of plain text.
a look at the picture here. Do you honestly think I loaded all those 33
models at once? Heck no, my laptop would explode! What I did was I made
multiple transparent pictures with 3-5 models and combined them all
together with Ms. Paint.
(other than OCs):
Reimu by Ki
Aya by Flick
Sanae by Sabakan
Youmu by Nya
Auditorium Stage by Reggie