LearnMMD.com's Step-by-Step MMD instructions! - MikuMikuDance
MikuMikuDance - FREE 3D Animation Software

Step-by-Step instructions for MikuMikuDance MMD

Download MMD MikuMikuDance

Page 1 covers some basic-basics... Download MMD, Download MikuMikudance and troubleshoot errors. MMD is a free download. Learn to run MikuMikuDance.
Page 2 covers Diamonds and loading a Stage and Accessories.
Page 3 introduces us to making saved Poses, making and using saved Motions, and downloading Motion files.
Page 4 looks at Saving your animation and making your video...
and then we back-up a little bit and get into Dummy Bones and Adjusting the parameters of the those .x Accessories.
Page 5 looks at Making an MMD model, Downloading models and Translating models...with the most brief intro to PMDE/PMXE
Page 6
we introduce you to MikuMikuEffects: MME and suggest a few effects you will want to have in your MME arsenal. AND... we will download, install and and light-up Trackdancer's LearnMMD Stage!
Page 7 takes a look at having multiple models on-stage using the same motion data by using Apply Center Position Bias and by using Mother bones.
Page 8
discusses "smooth motions"  and "interpolation curves" to control a motion's acceleration.

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _

"Let's learn how to do everything!"
... but first, let's start from the beginning...
Download MikuMikuDance!

MikuMikuDance is a FREE 3D Animation software
that allows you to create your own animations and videos! Download MMD from the LearnMMD.com Downloads Page.

You can create dramas or a comedy or an action scene... but MMD is most often used to make music videos.

Search YouTube for MMD
to see some of the literally MILLIONS of MMD videos posted online.

Here are just a few of my favorites:
Notice how different each one is from the others... With MMD, the avenues for creative expression are unlimited!
A wonderful old MMD animation. My brother said I'd hate to be the janitor in THAT school... with all of that blue hair needing to be swept up!
A fairly recent MMD video FULL of highspeed action and enthusiasm!
One of my own... just a short 15-second joke MMD animation video.
A solid MMD animation with total creativity and plenty of stages and MME effects!
Fabulous creativity and a dreamy execution make this an amazing MMD animation video.
This MMD animation video from 2011 shows the simple fun you can have with MikuMikuDance!
Beautiful smooth, realistic human motion and emotions in this MMD animation video by Mahlazer.

The basic MMD program creates sharp-looking animations and, as you will see when you get to Page 6 of these exercises, you can add special effects by downloading and running the MME, MikuMikuEffects, add-on. 

You will need a WINDOWS PC

MikuMikuDance only runs on a WINDOWS PC.
You need to have a strong graphics card (with at least a 1Gb cache) and a mouse.

You will need to download and install some other software... a couple of older C++ updates and a DirectX 9c runtime update... see the Chart:

For MMD to run on your computer,
you need to download and run the programs shown on this chart, be sure to get the appropriate versions for either MMD (regular 32-bit) or the 64-bit MMDx64.

MikuMikuDance requires that you install that older DirectX runtime for Directx9c that is listed, there. Your computer may say you already have a newer version.... but MMD needs the DLL files in this older version, so you must install this older version, too. This DirectX runtime is meant to be an add-on to your existing setup. It is from Microsoft, so it is safe to install this older version on your computer.

I recently (December 2018) got a new Windows 10 computer, 64-bit, and wrote all about my set-up and SUCCESS with MMDx64 on Windows 10.

Let's get started with MMD... Here we go!

Download the latest version of MikuMikuDance
from our Downloads Page.

Drag that zip folder you downloaded from your Downloads folder to your Desktop.

Double click on the folder and look for the EXTRACT or EXTRACT ALL Download MMD MikuMikuDance, extract the folder and see this new icon.button. Click that button and OK the defaults... and you should see your new MMD folder on your desktop.

MikuMikuDance does NOT install... MMD simply runs from inside its folder on your desktop. ... so... double-click on the MikuMikuDance.exe file to start MikuMikuDance!
Download the free MikuMikuDance program, do not install MMD, just run MikuMikuDance.exe from its folder
Did MMD start for you? ... Great!
No? .., see this Troubleshooting Article for details on how to get MMD to run on your system.
I recently (December 2018) got a new Windows 10 computer, 64-bit, and wrote all about my set-up and SUCCESS with MMDx64 on Windows 10.

... if you STILL have problems, send Reggie Dentmore an email... we are always happy to help!

Download the latest version of MMD MikuMikuDance!Step-by-step instructions to help you make an MMD Music Video! bo-beep-bo-beep!LearnMMD's Step-by-Step MMD instructions for MikuMikuDance!Learn to make your own motions in MMD!


The sample.pmm Sample Dance will show what MikuMikuDance MMD can do!
To see what MMD can do, go to the FILE tab and OPEN the sample.pmm file that is inside the USERFILE folder inside your new MMD folder...

Push PLAY in the lower right corner of your window... and enjoy the scene as Miku dances, the camera-view moves and the lights gyrate.

There are three "sample" dances included with MMD... sample.pmm, sample(AllStar).pmm and sample(camera_follow).pmm
Sample(AllStar) puts all of the basic models on-stage at the same moment... all with the same motions... you will need real computing power to move that many models at once and this dance may prove to be a real challenge for your computer!

The Sample Dance can teach us a lot about working with MMD.

Take a look at the MikuMikuDance GUI (the control panel)
CLICK to see the full-size image of the MMD control panel GUI.


Let's LOAD a model...

Models do not "Open" from the FILE menu... if you try it, you will get an error statement.

Models can only "LOAD" using the LOAD button in the MMP (the Model Manipulation Panel) there, in the lower left Brown area.

The default models are located inside the Model folder that's inside the UserFile folder.

I just about always choose one of the Miku models... pick one: your choice.
All of those blue elements are Miku's bones.
Clicking that SELECT button toggles your view of the model's bones. With the bones visible, you can move your cursor over and click on a bone to select it...
Clicking the "select" button toggles your view of the model's bones ON and OFF.
CLICK that Red Word on the Bone Chart to open the complete list of bones... and you can see exactly which bone you have selected.
Expanding the list of bones shows you which bone you have selected.

Now for the FUN part!
Use the XYZ rollers to move the bones! Hit REGISTER to save that position.Using the X-Y-Z rollers you can move the bone... go ahead... try it out. See how the bone has those AXIS LINES which help you to know which color of roller to use for each adjustment.
You can select bones by clicking on them in the Bone Chart or by using that SELECT button to make the bones visible. Have some fun twisting poor Miku to your heart's desire!
Bone Adjustment Modes...

See, down there in the lower right corner of the stage area, just above those Red/Green/Blue Rollers...
The Local Mode lets you move bones in relationship to the Model's point of view.CLICK that word to shift between Local, Global, and Accessory Modes.

... lets you adjust the bones based upon the Model's orientation... the model's point-of-view.
Global Model lets you adjut a bones position in relation to the Coordinate Grid...GLOBAL MODE
... lets you adjust bones in relationship with the coordinate grid, regardless of the model's rotation. As you move a bone, the little Red/Green/Blue axis lines will be squared-up with the floor grid.
Accessory Mode is for use with a .x Accessory that you have loaded.ACCESSORY MODE
... is for use with a .x Accessory that you have loaded.

When you load an accessory, click into this Accessory Mode and use the X-Y-Z rollers to position that accessory. Be sure to Register your new position, right there in the AMP (Accessory Manipulation Panel).
Change between Camera and Model Modes... and be sure to register your positions.


MMD starts in Frame Zero... see the Frame Counter at the top of the Frame Chart. If you move a bone and then move to a new Frame, that bone will snap-back to it's former position. You can use that feature as a way to UNDO a bone move... just advance to a new frame and your unsaved bone move will be undone. To save a bone's new position, you must click the REGISTER button in that blue Bone Manipulation Panel.
Now... when you move to a new frame, the bone will stay where you had placed it.

How do I make an arm move smoothly to a new position?

FRAMES & Frame Rate... The magic of MikuMikuDance is the program's ability to create a smooth motion in-between the bone positions you created.
The standard MMD setup uses a FRAME RATE of 30 frames per second or FPS... 30fps ...
You do not have to reposition bones in every frame of your animation.
You position bones in frame zero (and REGISTER each bone you have adjusted)... and then pick another frame... say 5-seconds away: Frame 150 (5x30=150)... and reposition the bones, again. ... Then, when you push PLAY, MMD creates a smooth motion for all of the in-between frames and you see a nice smooth 5-second movement.

Move the Entire Model using Center and IK Bones...

Key bones to use when you want to move your model away from center-stage: Center and the two Leg-IK bones
Key bones for positioning your model: Center, and the two leg-IK bones.

Hold down SHIFT and select those three bones all at once.

With Center and the two Leg-IK bones selected, you can move the model to a new location, even flip her over or fly her around... and she will move as a single piece.

Making MMD animatoins from scratch is all about the timing!Be sure to register every bone adjustment. ... pick frames far-enough away that your motions look realistic.

Here is a basic "Make your own motion" tutorial.

... and another one!

... and THIS ONE shows you how to make a little
"jump dance"
... stupid fun!
Use copy/paste to create repetitive motions! "Jumping Jacks" in MMD!

... and, as you learn a bit more, you can make her do "Jumping Jacks"

SEE THE CONTENTS PAGE for a list of all of our many "Beginners" articles and tutorials!

The Camera views...
As you work with MMD, you will want to be seeing your models from all angles... close-up and from a distance

At any time, you can right-click and drag on the stage area to change your view.
You can roll-the thumbwheel on your mouse to zoom-in and zoom-out.

You can also Click and drag using the Thumbwheel button to move the camera's position...It doesn't swing the view, it moves the actual camera, as if  sliding the camera's tripod around.

You can also click and drag on the Magnifying Glass to zoom-in and out... and drag on that green cross to move the camera.

... when you are in "Model Mode", these view changes are not saved... cannot be registered. ... But when you are in "Camera Mode", you can hit REGISTER in the blue Camera Manipulation area to save that latest camera view.
Change between Camera and Model Modes... and be sure to register your positions.

Camera "bones" work just like model bones... You can register a position in Frame Zero, then move out to Frame 82 and register another position... push PLAY and watch as the camera view smoothly shifts between the two registered positions.

This little animation has only four registered camera positions... Frames 0, 45, 60, 80... with frame 80 being the same position as in frame zero, so as to make a smooth repeating motion for the animated GIF.

NEXT: A discussion of Diamonds, Stages, Accessories and stage-props!

And then, later: You do not have to make all of your own motions from scratch...
You can DOWNLOAD Motion Files!
... but that will be on Page 3!

-- See "Start Here" Page 2

Step-by-Step instructions for MikuMikuDance
Visit LearnMMD.com for MikuMikudance MMD instructions and tutorials!