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Add Background Pictures and AVI’s to MikuMikudance MMD

How do you add background pictures and video files to MikuMikuDance? How do you addA Feature Article by contributor ARIZONA on LearnMMD.com background pictures to MikuMikuDance? How do you load video backgrounds in MMD Direct X9? Why do I get an error message whenever I load a background AVI in MMD?

How to add background pictures and AVI video backgrounds to MikuMikuDance

          One of the most under-utilized features of MikuMikuDance is adding background video and pictures to the animation (Although, I’m starting to see more movies featuring up loaders dancing alongside of a model). Imagine adding Miku or any other Vocaloid to your family or vacation pictures and videos. This is something a brand new MMDer can do almost immediately after getting MikuMikuDance!

Adding Background Pictures to MMD

BackgrounAdd background pictures and AVI through the Background Tab in MMD 7.39.d tab In MMD

MikuMikuDance will open just about any common image format except GIFs (If you try to load a GIF file, you’ll get a “cannot open BMP file” error message). First, select the picture you want to use. Copy/Paste it into your Background folder in MikuMikuDance. Go to your main menu. Click on the Background tab and select load background picture file and load your photo.

If you don’t like the orientation of your photo you will have to edit the size and otherwise manipulate the image. You can use Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, or Gimp. With enough trial and error, you’ll get it to exactly how you want your background photo situated.

Ms. Neru ... enjoying a moment with the Tower of Pisa! Add background pictures in MikuMikuDance Some advice you should first find out your screen size (it’s one of the choices under the view tab of your main menu) and use that as a starting point for your edits.  Background photos and videos are loaded dead center and MMD will not allow you to move them.

Loading AVI’s to your Background.

The steps for loading a background AVI (Audio Visual Interleave) are exactly the same as loading a background picture.  The only difference is you choose the load background AVI file. Please note, no footage will actually show, or play, until you load a model and motion data and click play. You will not hear any audio from your AVI footage either. Please also note that AVI 1 is the only video format that MMD will play in the background.

I’ll be the first to admit that this feature stumped me for the longest time. I kept getting a “Cannot open AVI” error message. This message tormented me until I downloaded and installed the Windows 7 Codec Pack from cnet.com and ffdshow from Sourceforge.net. The links for these two downloads are at the bottom of the article.Haku and the Fireworks! Add background pictures and video backgrounds for instant results in MMD I would also mention that you would choose the Codec Pack appropriate for your operating system.

Whenever you load a background picture or AVI, it will always stay in the background. No matter how you change the model view or manipulate the view angle it will be locked into the background. If your animation is longer than your background footage then it will just freeze on its last frame until MikuMikuDance finishes with the motion data.



Have fun with this.

Post Note:

You can use background video footage as a reference for your own animations. (See this article: https://learnmmd.com/http:/learnmmd.com/use-the-background-avi-to-make-realistic-animations-in-mmd-7-39/ ) You can also zoom in and out and reposition the background pictures by holding your keyboard’s control (ctrl) key and clicking on the zoom and position icons at the top right of the main display panel.

I found some great fractal footage at Nosro1’s YouTube account and thought it would make some great background footage. So I made a video for our YouTube Account.  Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/5NteV3ni2ZQ .

Here is the link to the original Fractal footage:


You should just check out the other uploads in that account. Beautiful stuff.



Models: Haku Yowane by Planty-P; MMD Default Akita Neru by Animasa.

Motion Data: Candy Candy by Yamilucy.

Leaning Tower of Pisa Image: http://www.travlang.com/blog/leaning-tower-of-pisa-a-matchless-piece-of-architecture/

Fireworks Footage from Butario’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QN-X7dgYP4



Visit the LearnMMD.com Homepage! Plenty of Mikumikudance instruction and info!


  1. Charlene Lo Charlene Lo
    May 1, 2017    

    I’ve downloaded and installed the two programs and in the folder there are a lot of dll files. I have to put some of them in the MikuMikuDance file folder right? But which ones?

    • May 1, 2017    

      How we’re supposed to know what to put where, if you’re not telling what you have? “Two programs with dll files” can be absolutely anything.

    • Reggie_Dentmore Reggie_Dentmore
      May 2, 2017    

      You are supposed to INSTALL that DirectX Runtime update, and when you do, all of those DLL’s are properly placed inside your Windows folder… YOU should not have to place them anywhere. If you are talking about MME 037, there are only three DLL’s… and those three get dropped into your main MMD folder.

  2. ArtyomR0Bot ArtyomR0Bot
    January 3, 2017    

    You can use video converter with GUI. Just be sure that video container (file format) is AVI, video format is H.264, and key interval = 1. Key interval must be 1 if you want accurate first frames and fast rewind to previous frame.

    My method:

    Install ffmpeg:
    1. Download ffmpeg from https://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/
    2. Extract files from archive somewhere
    3. Add path to folder with `ffmpeg.exe` to your PATH environment variable (if you want to enter short commands).

    How to use:
    1. Open folder with your video
    2. Type “cmd” into address bar and press Enter
    3. Type `ffmpeg -i “your_video.mp4” -c:v libx264 -x264-params keyint=1 -r 30 “bg.avi”` and press Enter

  3. Kaze Kaze
    November 29, 2016    

    anyone found a solution when the AVI video appears in black? i don’t really understood what can I do for resolve this problem…

    • November 29, 2016    

      Have you tried to recode it into type 1?

      • Kaze Kaze
        April 22, 2017    

        Thank you Killer Beer ! I’ve try another time with another system and it’s works !
        On my computer convert avi ??? to avi 1 doesn’t works… So I’ve try to convert an mp4 video to avi 1

  4. Anonymous ^-^ Anonymous ^-^
    October 4, 2016    

    Hello! This is a great tutorial, but I need help on one thing. Whenever I load an AVI file, it shows up as just a black background. I downloaded both of the softwares you recommended to help fix that problem, and tried using multiple conversion websites for the AVI file, just in case. What should I do? Thanks in advance!

    • October 4, 2016    

      There are “AVI type 1” and “type 2” formats. MMD takes only one of them (1, AFAIR). You can try Format Factory software to recode your file into the proper variety.

  5. Leeon Leeon
    September 30, 2016    

    When I load an AVI file i just get a black background

    • Leeon Leeon
      September 30, 2016    

      nvm fixed it

      • Reggie_Dentmore Reggie_Dentmore
        September 30, 2016    

        Leeon… you can’t get off THAT easy… What was the problem, how did you fix it. Your answer will help us to help other MMDers. What did you do?

  6. Jaytee Jaytee
    September 3, 2016    

    I want to do this but; I can’t find a codec pack for Windows 10! Do you have any suggestions on where I can find it?
    I really need help.

    • September 3, 2016    

      Codecs for earlier versions of Windows should work. The last time I posted links, LearnMMD decided I must be a spammer, so I can only recommend the following Google search terms:

      1) LearnMMD codec

      2) Download Lagarith Codec

      3) Download UT Video Codec Sweet

      I think that should get you on your feet, with a minimum of dead ends.

  7. Mandy Mandy
    June 27, 2016    

    HOW DO I GET AN AVI VIDEO FILE FROM YOUTUBE!!!!!!!!????????????????? SOMEONE PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS TELL MEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • June 28, 2016    

      1) Use Firefox or Chrome as a browser.
      2) Go to their respective addon store and search for “youtube download”.
      3) Install whatever you like.
      4) PROFIT!!!

  8. Baylor Baylor
    July 8, 2015    

    Will I get any virus from downloading those? I don’t want to go though all that and end up with a virus

    • Reggie_Dentmore Reggie_Dentmore
      July 8, 2015    

      Probably not… “:o). … have your antivirus software up to date… have your system backed-up regularly, just in case you DO “catch something”… and… you have to go with your gut feelings… if you “think not”, then don’t do it. For myself, I have never had a bad experience with a downloaded item. Maybe I have been lucky, but I have also been careful to “listen” to my gut. If I don’t feel right, I don’t push the button.

  9. Anonymous MMDer Anonymous MMDer
    January 17, 2014    

    I have a question, what exactly do codec packs do? Do they convert videos into AVI files or do they make the AVI compatible with software?

  10. Adele Adele
    December 14, 2013    

    Hi, I’m a latecomer to MMD. I have MMD 7.39, and when I upload my avi file, it opens as a black background. I’m running Windows 8 and I’ve downloaded the Windows 8 Codex files, and the installation seemed to come with ffdshow. I’m not completely sure about the ffdshow part, though. I’m using Prism to convert my files, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the output format right. Please help! Thanks in advance!

    • Reggie_Dentmore Reggie_Dentmore
      December 14, 2013    

      Thanks for your question … watch your email … answers will be headed there!

      — Reggie D

  11. Arizona Arizona
    August 26, 2013    

    Once you have downloaded and installed the codec pack and ffdshow; you really don’t have to mess with them again. Though, it’s always a good idea to check for updates every so often.

  12. Edgar Edgar
    August 24, 2013    

    Good night, im trying to use an avi video in mmd but it says: cannot load avi file. I downloaded the ffdshow and windows codecs but i dont know what to do with them. Help

  13. Arizona Arizona
    January 7, 2013    

    Thank you for your kind words! We’re glad to be of help.

  14. XT XT
    January 5, 2013    

    The “Loading AVI’s to your Background.” tip was very very useful.

    On my previous PC before format, I was able to play a certain AVI with MMD, after reformat I couldn’t.

    After following your instructions and recommendations to install Windows 7 Codec Pack and ffdshow, I am again able to play those AVI files in MMD, Saved me the trouble of having to find a good converter and re-converting all my previous files.

    Phew! Thanks a lot!

  15. September 19, 2012    

    Very nice tutorial. ^^ LOL she’s as tall as the leaning tower of Pisa.

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