MMD Rotating objects 360-degrees -Miku’s Guide to the Galaxy (Part One)

She's got the whole world in her hands... MMD Rotating objects 360-degrees

A feature article on LearnMMD by Trackdancer2015!It has recently come to our attention that people find that it is not easy to rotate objects 360-degrees in MMD, so this 2-part tutorial will show you how it is done.

Since we want to have a bit of fun too, we are going to show you how to spin a globe as well as an object that spins around a globe. The basic technique used is almost universal, so if you work through this tutorial as you read, you should be able to grasp the methods used to rotate anything in MMD successfully.

MMD Rotating objects 360-degrees…
Miku’s Guide to the Galaxy – Animating the Earth and the Moon (Part 1)


In this project we are going to spin a model of the Earth, and have the Moon spin around it. Now, this is not an exercise in astronomy so there will be some liberties taken.

But first off, we are going to need to get suitable models and we will be using resources from this package: MMD Planets


The models in the package are decent and can be used as issued; but for animation purposes they need a little bit of tweaking. So after you unpack the download, load up the Earth model in the PMX Editor. Specifically, we will be using PmxEditor vr.0254f English Version – v2.0. Very often, for animation work, it is much easier if the models are edited for easy operation before attempting to animate them in MMD.

Step 1: Upgrading the bone system

Load the Earth model into the PMXe and simply move the “center” bone to the center of the Earth model. By default this is on the ground at the origin point, but it will be a lot easier to use if it is moved. After the “center” bone is moved, use the Semi-standard bone plugin to add a mother bone to the model.

Move the bone to the center of the object to be rotated.

Move the center bone to the middle of the Earth model. This does not have to be accurate but make sure that “X” and “Z” axis values are equal to “0”


Add a Motherbone to the model. ... mother bone

Use the Semi-standard bone to add a “mother” bone to the model.

Create a new folder and save the modified version of the model here together with a copy of the texture map (earth2.jpg). Copy moon_tex.jpg into the same folder before going to the next step.

Step 2: Adding the Moon

Use the import function to add the Moon. Use the setting as shown in the image below. When it is added to our model, chances are that you won’t see it as it overlaps the Earth model. But there should be a new bone labeled “Moon”.

Toggle the Import Settings to use “Add”. The rest of the settings should be the defaults.

Use the material masking controls to hide the Earth model so that you can work on the Moon. Grab the Moon model and the “Moon” bone, shift them over to the side as shown and scale down the Moon model in the process.

Move and shrink the moon model to the left of the model. The moon bone should be at the center of the moon or close to it.

Next add a new bone (moon rotate) and use the settings below to set it up; it should be a little higher than the center bone for easier access:


Use the settings above to properly set up the moon bone.


The finished modified model should look like our model shown above.

Before moving to the next step, make sure that all the bones labeled correctly when displayed in MMD. With a simple model like this, you can simply type in the label on the “EN” side of the “Bone Name” field. You should have the following bone labels:

  • Mother (or Root) bone
  • Center
  • Moon
  • moon rotate

Absolutely DO NOT CHANGE the Japanese labels; especially for the mother and center bones. Doing so can cause MMD to crash when the model is loaded.

Step 3: Correcting the materials specifications

As issued, the material specifications are not optimal so go to the materials tab and use the settings below to correct the issue. While you are at it correct the labels otherwise you will have two materials labeled “Material1”.

Correct the material specifications so that the model won’t look so dull in MMD.

Step 4: Editing the Groups List

The Groups List is very important so this needs to be corrected. You will need to create a new group to hold the bones controlling the moon. The “Moon” bone is listed under the “Root” category, so remove it from there and move it into the “3:moon” category. The “moon rotate” bone is unlisted and will need to be manually added. The controls are relatively straight forward and you should be able to figure them out. If not, leave a note in the comments.

Use the field under the Display tab to make sure the Groups list displays properly in MMD.


After these simple edits your model should look like this and is ready to be animated in MMD.

Note that we have taken some liberties with the model as the Moon relative to the Earth is much larger than in real life; also the distance between them is drastically reduced. But for now, just save your model and we will show you how to do the animation in Part 2 of this two part series.

If you do not want the hassle of making the necessary editing described above, you can download the one made for this tutorial HERE.

CLICK to move-ahead into Part Two!


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