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Camera Motion Instructions 1 – MMD Basics

How do I make camera motion data in MMD? How do you zoom in the camera in MMD? How do you use the camera in MikuMikuDance? How do I save my MMD camera data? What does the camera panel do in Miku Miku Dance?

Your Chance to Direct Without Going “Hollywood.”

MikuMikuDance has a very user friendly camera function. Whenever you watch MikuMikuDance videos on YouTube you’ll notice that the camera is dynamic. Anyone can download the same dance motion data and use it. However, if you want your animation to stand out, do your own camera motion data. The two panels you’ll work with are the Frame Manipulation Panel (FMP) and the Camera Panel (CP). If you have camera motion data and you want to load it then see my other article:

The Frame Manipulation Panel (Pictured here) is the work horse of MikuMikuDance. Everything that happens in MMD is referenced there by frame number. If you want to see a specific frame; you can just type in the frame number in the field (located top center), push Enter on your keyboard, and see that exact frame displayed on the main screen. You can also use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard to reach that point. An important point to remember is that one second of playback time is roughly equal to 30 frames in the FMP.

The Camera Panel is where you can adjust what the camera sees. This pops up when the Model Manipulation field reads camera/light/accessory. You can play with view angles and decide the camera angle in your animation (default is 45 degrees). This is where you register your camera motion data to the Frame Manipulation Panel. When you register your shot, it will be represented by a diamond in the camera line. If you want to erase a shot, click on the diamond and use the delete button listed toward the bottom of FMP.

Whenever you register your shot, make certain you are selecting the register button on the camera panel and NOT the light manipulation panel.  It is easy to confuse them. Check the FMP to confirm your selection.

How to Make a Zoom-in Shot in MikuMikuDance

  1. Load your favorite model and then make sure your model manipulation panel reads camera/light/accessory.
  2. Scroll back with your mouse’s scroll wheel as far as you like.
  3. Click the register button in the camera panel.
  4. Type in 30 in the FMP (or click on 30th frame).
  5. Scroll in and position the main screen so it just shows a close-up shot of your model’s face.
  6. Register the new shot in the camera panel.
  7. Press play.
  8. Congratulate yourself on your first 1st original camera motion data!

Using this new skill, you can practice Pan Shots (short for panorama). Pan shots are like zooms, only left and right or vice versa. You should also practice Aerial shots (also known as overhead shots or crane shots). Matrix-like Circular Shots are also within your grasp.

Cut shots, or just cuts, are abrupt changes in camera angle, scene, or subject.  Let’s start from scratch with a new model and new set up. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

How to Make a Cut Shot in MMD

  1. Pick a shot you like and register that in the camera panel.
  2. Type in 30 in the FMP (or click on 30th frame in the FMP).
  3. Register the same shot.
  4. Select the 31st frame.
  5. Move your shot to a different angle or subject (say a profile shot).
  6. Register this new angle in the CP.
  7. Type in 61 in the FMP (or click on 61th frame).
  8. Register this shot in the CP.
  9. Press Play.
  10.  Congratulate yourself again for your 2nd original camera data!

Now you can do close-ups or head shots, reaction shots, and POV shots (point of view).

Using your mouse is a quick and fast way to create camera motion data. It can look rather “choppy” though. In order to create the smoothest motion, move the camera with your XYZ rollers (located at the bottom right of the main screen). So, use one method for experimenting and the other for your final product.

Saving Your Original Camera Motion Data.

Experiment to your heart’s content and try out different frame values. If you want to save your newly created camera motion data, here’s how.

On your main menu select Frame then click select all camera frame.  Now go to File and choose save motion data. This opens up the Motion sub-folder window in your User File. Now create a new folder for your original camera motion data and save it there.

Have fun with this.


Post Note:

The default angle of MMD’s camera is 45 (In later versions, 30 is the default angle). You should also play around with this. The higher you set it will give you a fish-eye effect which could be used for showing speed. The lower settings will give your film a more professional “movie-like” feel to your work.


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