Loading Background AVI Files into MMD (2021 Edition)

An article by our Featuerd Author: Kazumi. Click to see her other tutorials.How do I load background AVI files into MMD?  What does it mean when MMD cannot open background AVI file?  How can I make my background AVI files work in MMD?  Is it easy to load background AVI files into MMD?

When it comes to loading background AVI files, MMD is very particular!

After looking through different guides on loading background AVI files into MMD and constantly running into barriers of outdated or incomplete tutorials, or even tutorials that recommend software of questionable repute, I decided to see if I could find my answers on the Japanese side of the MMD community.  Lo and behold, I found exactly what I was looking for, finally solving my three(?) or so year struggle of figuring out how to load background AVI files into MMD!!  Before we get started, let me give credit where credit is due; this tutorial covers a method found in a blog post by Kourin over on NicoNico!  Kourin, thank you very much for this incredibly useful blog post!

Loading Background AVI Files into MMD…
… the 2021 Edition


Before we begin, you’ll want to make sure you’ve done the following:

Onto the tutorial!

First things first; now that you’ve got all your shiny new codecs and applications setup, it’s time to download the video you want to convert to a background AVI file for use in MMD!  (Or maybe you already have the video you want to convert to AVI and use, but for simplicity’s sake, this tutorial assumes you will need to download your video.)

Let’s say I want to motion trace the choreography from one of the PVs from Project Diva… to do that, I’ll need to run YouTube-dl.  But how do I run it?  When I click the EXE file, it doesn’t open!  Well, that’s because YouTube-dl is a command line application.  While there are GUI front-ends for it, I haven’t used any of them so I can’t verify how well they work.

What you’ll want to do is right-click the windows icon at the corner of the screen and select Windows Powershell, then you’ll want to change directory (cd) to the folder you want the file to save in; in my case I’ll be saving the video in the “videos” folder, but you can save it wherever you want.

So I would type the following:

cd videos

And then hit the “enter” key.

Now Windows Powershell has changed to the videos folder/directory.  Now that we’re in the right directory, we’ll want to drag YouTube-dl EXE into Windows Powershell so we can download that shiny new video we’ll convert to AVI later.

Your Powershell window should now look like this:

Windows PowerShell screen-shot...

Now that you’ve dragged in the YouTube-dl EXE, paste the video URL into Powershell and hit the “enter” key.  YouTube-DL will begin downloading your video. The format it downloads in shouldn’t matter, but if you run into issues later, you can try re-downloading it in a different format.  The YouTube-dl Github page gives a list of commands and, if I recall correctly, formats that a video can be downloaded in/converted to.

Converting the file

Alright.  Now that your video has finished downloading, make sure the file name only contains alphanumeric characters (e.g. a, b, c, d, e, f… 1, 2, 3, 4…); if it does: great!  If it doesn’t, rename it!

Once you’ve verified your video only contain alphanumeric characters, open up a new file explorer window (but make sure you leave open the folder you saved your video in) and navigate to where you unzipped Kourin’s movie to AVI folder.  Now drag your video onto the movie2avi.bat program.

It’ll pull up a terminal window with some Japanese asking if you want to resize the file.  I don’t know how to resize the file, so just type “n” and then press the “enter” key.  It will begin converting your file which may take a while (it only takes about a minute or two for me, but it may be dependent on your computer’s hardware).  Once it finishes converting, you’ll have two new files; (yourvideoname).avi and (yourvideoname).wav.

Moment of truth

Now it’s time to load up MMD and see if your new background AVI file works!  For simplicity’s sake, you can just drag the new AVI file and the wav into MMD as opposed to having to load them in through the menu.  If all goes well, your background AVI file will now be loaded into MMD!  Your background AVI file won’t play unless you playback your MMD, but that’s not really a problem at all.  You can scroll through the frames on MMD and click one to view that frame of your background AVI file–useful for if you want to motion trace!

If it doesn’t load, then it’s possible you may need to download and install the AVC(h264)/x264vfw codec.  You can do so here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/x264vfw/

Hopefully it will work for you then.  If not, try going through the whole tutorial again, step-by-step, or attempt to follow the guide in Kourin’s blog (in Japanese).

Other useful guides!

Now that you can load background AVI files, you probably want to start motion tracing, right?  Arizona and Zazi have both written some guides on this subject–I highly recommend you give them a look.

Well, that’s all from me.  This is Kazumi, signing off.  Until next time~!


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