Old-Time VOCALOID MMD…
… a New TAKE and a Look Back!
Sony, SEGA and Yamaha worked together to develop their product called Vocaloid… a software that uses “voice-banks” allowing you to assemble spoken, “sung” songs from your PC keyboard. As part of that release, they created the “Vocaloid Promotion Video Project” featuring the free software download of a 3D Animation software: MikuMikuDance. The DirectX version of MikuMikuDance “in English”, MMD 7.39 was released in 2010. Before THAT, MikuMikuDance had been available in Japan since 2007… and an MMD Community developed in Japan that allowed MMD users to share notes, share models and motion files… all with the proper etiquette and social-structure the Japanese are known for. Today, that community structure is honored amongst MMD users as “KEEP THE FAITH-MMD“. All responsible MMDers subscribe to those manners and beliefs.
Back then, VOCALOID MUSIC was “the thing!”
The Vocaloid community was strong with many creators contributing to the growing collection of computer-generated songs. A free-download hobbyist’s knock-off of the Vocaloid software became available in 2008: UTAU … still followed by an enthusiastic crowd, that free software is available here at a page created by LearnMMD author NordGeit: LearnUTAU.no… and also available from UTAU.us… and other places as well. Our LearnMMD author, Mae Blythe runs UTAU Search and Rescue, a blog of fun facts and UTAU musings… a “must see” for UTAU enthusiasts!
Vocaloid / UTAU uses “soundbanks” of a singer’s voice… that soundbank breaks the singer’s spoken sounds into minute sample-bits that the UTAU user can reassemble into spoken, “sung” songs never heard before.
Back then, you would use the proper soundbank for your Vocaloid Model
Each Soundbank is associated with a specific Vocaloid/MMD Model… Miku, Luka, Rin and Len, SeeU, Gumi, and the rest of the Vocaloid models. … an article on some of the unknown Vocaloids…
In MY “Flash from the Past… Happy Synthesizer” video…
… I used the proper “voice” with the proper models… Miku and SeeU.
Back then, a stage was an all-important element…
… and maybe it is TODAY, as well… but I don’t use the old fairy-land, lolli-pop candy stages anymore, if I use any stage, at all! In MY video, there is no stage… not even a floor to stand upon.
Back then, MME effects were new and rarely used… in MY video, I TRIED to use them to excess!
I added Real Material Shader to both of my models and then did a subset-extract to add Real Figure Shader to the face and skin of each model. I added SSAO-Lite to get a depth of color, I added the KiraKira effect adjusted to be large and blowing-in from uncertain angles… I added TRUE CAMERA effect and attached it to a dummy-bone that I had floating invisibly between my two models so that the two models are always in focus while the backgroiund skydome and the KiraKira particles are always in soft focus. I added Difussion7 for soft edges everywhere. I added Discolight_v3 to have soft, constant color-changing light on my models. I also customized a skydome with a geometric set of lines and then attached that skydome to a Dummy-bone that I set to spinning in odd ways throughout the animation.
The Result? …
Not your MAMA’s vocaloid MMD video!
PLAY that video, up above…
See how it looks nothing like the ten-year old video that I learned from… Back in the day, the bright colors, the complicated stage, the simple presentation of the song… and a high “CUTE” element was important.
I still love the Cute part… but now I want to see some presenation skills beyond a fixed-camera watching Miku hop around. … and hop-around she DOES in this video for almost FOUR minutes! … So many of those older animations would drag-on for four minutes, or beyond!
In MY animation, I went ahead and let the thing run for the full length of time… as a viewer, you’ve seen it ALL after about 25- or 30-seconds. … but in THIS case, if you tune-out early, you’ll miss a glimpse of SeeU’s bright-colored “pantsu”!
Those older MMD animations did NOT look like THIS:
So… Take a Step Back… try some of the older Motions and Songs…
CREDITS and LINKS:
One of the LearnMMD authors, MMD-Nay-PMD operates a DeviantArt page featuring her MMD MOTION DATA INDEX with hundreds of motions… some with WAVs and some without. … If “without”, you can do what I did with this animation: I download the motion files from that DA page, opened the folder to see how old those motion files are, and then went on the hunt for a ten-year old MMD video of my song. From that video, I downloaded the audio as an MP3… and then went to the free Audacity audio editing software and did an EXPORT AS WAV… and so got my WAV for my animation.
The Miku I used in my animation is the standard Animasa Miku to which I have added a mother-bone. The SeeU model I found on Deviant Art… https://www.deviantart.com/mikaillalove/art/mmd-SeeU-Winter-SeeU-371801888
The skydome that I used is the “spacedome” supplied with the LearnMMD Stage by Trackdancer… which has only one texture image and so is easy to modify with whatever graphic you wish.
Have fun with MikuMikuDance!
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