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Making my new “Rin Needs a Hug” Zero-to-450 Challenge Video


A Feature Article by Reggie Dentmore on LearnMMD.com

After breakfast this morning I decided I wanted to give Rin a hug.

It’s one of the Zero-to-450.com Challenges offered on that site. The challenge is simple: Rin needs a hug… give Rin a hug. The idea is to create your own animation from scratch with a 15-second, 450-frame time limit.

My new “Rin Needs a Hug” Animation

The hug, itself…

My plan was to create a nice embrace that I would set-up in frame 320, or so… knowing I had a 450-frame limit… and then I searched Google for Animation Reference Hug Pose and found this image.start animating from frame zero so as to culminate in that nice hug. I spent, like, an HOUR setting-up that hug pose in frame zero. I started to form the hug based upon my mental image… and then I decided I should get an actual reference picture. I Googled animation reference hug pose and found that nice The Zero0-to-450 Challenge was: Give Rin a Hug. ... and here it is!reference image which I printed-out and kept desk-side as I worked.

The problem was complicated by the fact that those Animasa models do not have “human” proportions! For instance, take a look at that reference image… see how the lady’s right elbow extends well across the man’s rib-cage. Rin’s short little arms cannot DO that! So I had to strike a balance between that sketch and the reality of my MMD world.

Change of story-line…

Now that I had the pose, I was proud of it and wanted you to be able to see it from all sides. If I stuck to my original “getting into the hug” plot-line, there wouldn’t be time to show-off the pose… so I decided to start with the hug already under way in frame zero and run the camera in a full circle around the models.

Boring…I often use the Animasa neru when I need a good burn!

I didn’t want to bore you… not even for the 15-seconds of my animation, so I decided to add a little drama by having someone peeking into that private moment. Miku?… maybe… Neru? Oh yeah! That Animasa Neru model can really burn with anger!… perfect!

The stage…

I chose to have this “event” happen at school… the MMD inside of School stage has many opportunities for you as you make your Zero-to-450 challenge animations.I used the “MMD inside of School” from Harner Productions (ShikaneNara on Devialn Art). It’s a rather large complex with hallways and fully furnished classrooms. I attached it to a dummybone and slid the whole stage until the portion I wanted to use was at my stage-center.

I actually started the scene in a classroom but then decided to take it out into the hall.

Camera…

I always try to keep the camera moving in my animations… never let it sit still… and in THIS animation, that was no problem. I circled around my models and then raced-over to see Neru peeking around the corner… and then time was up!… 450 frames go by very quickly! I used an interpolation curve in every registered camera position; usually a simple S-curve, diamond to diamond… I experimented with several shapes.

Lighting and Effects…

Stage lighting was very important to this pose.

Careful light placement and the SSAO_Lite effect “made” this pose!

The position of the main lights was very important to the look of these models. I slid the sliders around until I could see nice shadows on the faces. I chose to add the SSAO-Lite effect to get a nice depth of color. I also used the Blackout effect to fade-in-from-black and a final fade-to black.

Music…

Creating my soundtrack was the final step. In my collection of WAV files I had the “Mars bringer of War” by Gustav Holst… the piece of music I used in an earlier “fight scene” video I had made… and I decided to use it for the final moments as we zero-in onto Neru’s angry face.

For the gentle opening-scene music, I Googled Folk Guitar WAV file and found a link to BenSound.com where I found a nice piece of royalty-free music.

I opened Audicity… and imported my old “Mars” WAV… I opened a new window and dropped my mP3 into it… Then I copy/pasted the resulting Audacity tracks into my “Mars” window. I did a little editing… audio fade-in/fade-outs… chopped it off at 16-seconds… and did an Export as a WAV file. Audacity makes it easy to do these things.

FOUR HOURS… !

Seems like these 15-second Zero-to-450 challenge animations always take me at least three or four hours! Crazy to think that for four hours effort, I get 15-seconds of video. But there is concept… and bending that concept into reality with your animation… and then fine-tuning the animation, the camera, the lighting… putting together the WAV file… getting everything”just right”… making a test Render to AVI in which you spot something requiring your attention… It just takes time. Luckily it is all fun to do… and I’ve got plenty of time.

Zero-to-450.com

The “Rin Needs a Hug” idea is only one of several “Challenges” offered to you at Zero-to-450.com, where the tagline is REALLY Learn MMD! The goal is to offer an MMDer ideas for animations from scratch; made easier by making them be only 15-seconds long. You will find that once you get started… those 450 frames go by very quickly!

Have fun with MikuMikuDance!


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