MMD Hand Poses make Animation Easier

A Feature Article by Reggie Dentmore on LearnMMD.comWhat is an animation shortcut? How do I use pose files? What’s a .VPD file? Why would I want hand poses?


Hand Poses
make a great Animation Shortcut!

Load hands poses a few frames apart to get an animation like this one!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…

Visit our Downloads Page and download "Reggie's Little Pose Collection"

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”.

Download Reggie’s Little Pose Collection.

Not “Whole Body” … but just as useful are my “Right Arm Relaxed” and “Left Arm Relaxed” poses which, by themselves, This animation is just two full-body poses, twenty frames apart.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 have a lot of bones. Having saved hand poses make animation easy.

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!

See all the poses in Reggie Dentmore's "Hand Pose Collection" on

I put together all of the hand poses into a zip that you can download form the Downloads Page … and there’s a picture of all of the poses.

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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