What is an animation shortcut? How do I use pose files? What’s a .VPD file? Why would I want hand poses?
make a great Animation Shortcut!
When I first started working with MikuMIkuDance, it was a desire to create my own animations from scratch that energized me! I jumped right-in and found out how detailed and complicated the work would be.
I discovered that having a set of model poses available “on stand-by” would speed-up the process. I created a couple of poses … not for the whole model … but just for parts of the model … like “Left arm relaxed” … or righ-hand pistol-point … or left-hand relaxed-open.
I don’t know about you … but I bet you are the same as I am … When I start a new project, I want to get right into animating the scene … the actions and interactions of my characters; I don’t want to spend time on the little details .. I want to see my models in action … NOW! … so, having a few poses available lets me load my models, load a pose for each one … and start animating. Once I am well into the animation and my “creative fire” has died-down, a little, I can go back and move a few bones, here and there, to get away from the “saved” pose data that I had loaded.
Whole Body Poses are a good start…
I have only a few “whole body” poses saved. They are great as the “first thing you do” when you load a model. … Open Miku; load the “Livelier Pose” … just like that … to snap her out of that frozen “just loaded” stance. She instantly looks “composed”.
I have Stella the Alchemists “Standing 1 – Shoujo Walk” pose for a demure stance … my “Reggie’s Livelier Pose” fora good starting position … and my “Reggie’s Stand Dejected” pose for when I need someone looking a bit “down”.
Not “Whole Body” … but just as useful are my “Right Arm Relaxed” and “Left Arm Relaxed” poses which, by themselves, relieve your newly loaded model from her stiff position.
Slide one pose into another…
You can see, here, that almost instant animation is possible … This image is just two poses, 20 frames apart … with a bit of a pause … before returning to the original pose, again. If nothing else, it’s an easy way to show a friend how MikuMikuDance works … the way the program can create all of the in-between frames to make a smooth animation for you.
Hand Poses …
MMD Hands are complicated, all by themselves! Early-on I decided to create a set of hand poses that I could quickly install as I worked on my animations. They work really well!
As with any other “motion”, you have to think about the set-up you need before you can load a hand pose. If you are in frame 70 … and you have not adjusted a hand pose since frame Zero … and now you load a new hand pose … you will see that, when you push play, the hand will slowly roll from it’s old position in frame Zero until it finishes with the NEW pose in frame 70 … probably not what you wanted. So, be sure to copy the original hand pose from frame Zero and paste it in a few frames before you want to place the new pose. With that in mind, I like to start in frame Zero with one of my standard hand poses so that, at any time, I can make my model assume that original hand pose.
What’s a VPD file …
How do you Load a Pose?
MikuMikuDance comes with four poses inside the Pose folder, inside the UserFile folder. All four of them are hand poses … and note they all have the pose-file extension: .vpd … the “pose file” format.
To load a pose … be sure that the Model Manipulation Panel (MMP) shows that your model is selected … go to the FILE tab and Load Pose Data, and navigate to your saved pose file … and then REGISTER … easy as that!
You can also reverse that pose data…
When you click to REGISTER the new pose, the diamonds turn red … then you can click COPY to put those diamonds into memory and click PASTE and then REVERSE to make what was your Left-arm pose be applied to the Right arm.
Poses are a powerful animation shortcut tool…
Work with poses … you will soon identify your favorites … and enjoy making your own MMD animations!
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