Easily Create a Walk-in-Place Motion in MMD
A reader and I were trading ideas today, and she said she saw a method for making a walk-in-place motion for MMD in a video on YouTube… and once you get the idea of it, the process is all too easy!
You open MMD… and load a model. You swing the camera’s view around so you are looking at him from the side. You create, in frame Zero, the pose with the character’s feet farthest-apart in their stride… let’s say left-foot forward and right foot back. You also move the center bone down a little since, with feet farthest apart, the model should not stand at full height. Move the arms so that the hand is forward on the side with the foot back… and the hand is back on the side where the foot is forward. Tilt the lower-body up a little on the side with the forward foot. Double check that the center bone is low enough to allow the feet to be flat on the floor… but not too low.
Let’s get ready to skate!
We will do one walk-cycle in 30-frames… so go out to frame 15 and make the opposite pose: Right foot forward, left foot back. Right arm back, left arm forward, tilt the lower-body up on the foot-forward side. Copy that Center bone from frame Zero and paste it here, in frame 15. Then go back to frame Zero and do a Vert-Select, copy, and paste it into Frame 30.
Go back to Frame 8 (about half-way through the stride motion) and raise the center bone until the feet are just touching the ground. COPY that diamond and paste it into frame 23 (middle of the next stride motion).
Now… Enter a length of animation (under the Play button) of 0 – 29 (since frame Zero is same as frame 30, no need to repeat frame 30) then click the REPEAT box by the Play button, and when you click PLAY, the character will be skating along! … all too easy!
The final “step”…
… is to go back in and raise the Leg IK bone of the foot that’s coming forward, rotate it so the toe is pointing down. Do this in the same frame where the Center bone is at its highest… frame 8 and 23 in this example.
… and then in Frames 14 and 29, use the Leg IK bone to roll the forward foot back just a little, bringing the toe up above level, so that it “slaps the floor” in frames 15 and 30.
And… There you have it!
This little demo took me longer to write about than it did to actually produce the walk!
Of course, you can continue to add enhancements to your walk… swinging the upper body, keeping the face pointing straight ahead… move the center back a bit and then bend the upper body forward to compensate… LOTS of room for creativity!
I would almost swear the floor is moving!
We have only done the first thirty frames. Once you have everything looking just the way you like it, you can make it into an actual long-distance walk-in-place motion for your animation, just use Range Select and select all frames from 0 thru 30 and COPY. … then go out to frame 30 and PASTE, making your animation now be 60-frames. Go out to frame 60 and PASTE, again… for a total of 90 frames… and so on. Attach some scenery to a Dummy Bone and slide the scenery past your walking figure… sweet!
But wait, there’s more!
Our Silent Headset points out that if your model has a mother-bone… (or if you can add a mother bone to the model), then, after creating the “walk in place” motion, simply move the mother bone forward at a sensible pace, register the position at the end of the animation, and then you’ll have the model “walking” across the stage.
Useful in case you have multiple models and can not simply “slide” the stage backward to create the illusion of moving forward :)
Have fun with MikuMikuDance!
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