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What IS MMD?

MikuWalkRDoptiSmallWhat IS MikuMikuDance?

Where did it come from?
What is MMD? What do you DO with MikuMikuDance?

WELCOME to the world of Vocaloids and MikuMikuDance!

Let me say at the outset… I love MikuMikuDance… the design of it, the complicated frustration of it, the colors, the characters, and the total creativity it requires and inspires in its users. The MikuMikuDance (MMD) world is huge with literally millions of finished videos and pieces of art posted online across the globe… MMD Neru pounding away on LearnMMD's MMD Banjo_RD.x !and the Vocaloid products are represented in the videos as well as in toys and collectible figures… mouse pads, video games, mugs, key chains, cell phone fobs and fine art in all media. The huge burst of human creativity on a global scale centering around Miku and her compadres in just a few year’s time is astounding!

The first commercial Vocaloid product was released by Yamaha in 2003 and lola-boxwas considered as a “for commercial use” product. The scheme of Vocaloid is that it lets the user assemble a spoken voice (a singing voice, actually)  from a collection of voice samples… a “voicebank”. The manufacturer created the voicebank by painstakingly breaking the recorded voice of a particular singer into hundreds of sampled-segments representing every sound included in that voice. Then, through the Vocaloid interface, the user selects those bits and pieces and assembles them so as to composes new spoken recordings… new songs sung from his computer using the voice from the voicebank he selected. The earliest version of Yamaha’s Vocaloid featured only the lips of the speakers and two genders: Leon and Lola… soon after, Crypton Future Media designed a character, Meiko, as a graphic to go along with the product to give a “face” to the lips.

Here comes Miku!Original_Vocaloid2

In 2007, Crypton Future Media released Vocaloid 2 in Japan featuring their new character… a “vocal-android”… often regarded as the first “Vocaloid”: Hatsune Miku. Now we had a cute character and her particular voice! The product was a success and the world is still enjoying Miku and the other characters that have been developed for the Vocaloid system… each model with his or her own particular voice (voicebank).

Enter MikuMikuDance!

Also in 2007, the Vocaloid Promotion Video Project ModernMikuiconwas launched in Japan featuring the free 3D animation software developed by Yu Higuchi: MikuMikuDance. The Japanese enthusiasts latched onto the software and began creating animations, creating PMDE_Wieghted_Close_Mikumodels and stages… accessories and props of all kinds… an online culture developed which allowed free access to share the knowledge and the creative property of all of those MikuMikuDance artists.

The Japanese had a lock on MikuMikuDance. Though it was all freely available on the web, it was all in Japanese language… until the summer of 2010… when MMD 7.39 was released… in English! Suddenly the Western world had access to the software and all of the “goodies” available online.

MikuMikuDance EXPLODED onto the scene!

With the release of MMD 7.39, the “lid was off” and creative enthusiasts across the planet began to use the software. The animations appeal not only to Vocaloid users but animation and Japanese “anime”and “manga” enthusiasts as well. … Ever wanted to make your own cartoons?… Ever want to create Anime, yourself? Ever want to pose models to make scenes, pictures, and “fine art”? … Well… Now you can… MikuMikuDance… the free 3D animation software from the Vocaloid Promotion Video Project!

So… What IS MikuMikuDance?

MikuMikuDance is a free 3D animation software… but, more than that, MikuMikuDance (MMD) is a modern DirectX video game, WITHOUT the game!Miku winks... looks like someone is yanking on her tie!

MMD is a powerful game-system framework that awaits your creative genius to create your own 3D animations. When you download and open MMD, “the gates are open” and you can simply “get started”… and, using only the tools included in your download, you can create amazing animations and videos.

… but Wait… there’s more!

MikuMikuEffects (MME) adds a wonderful library of special effects to MikuMikuDance. MME is an opensource software that has been developed by MMD enthusiasts. Lily is showing us the MME Color Shift effect in MikuMikuDance MMD!As of this writing, MME v037 is the latest version. LearnMMD.com offers what we call MME in English” which includes all of the original files contained in the latest version of MME… PLUS English translations of the included documentation, and an instructive picture-image showing you how to install MME.

Installation of MME is easy. You do not really install MME, you simply drop the three DLL files included in your MME zip into the same folder where you keep your MikuMikuDance.exe file. SEE THE DOWNLOADS PAGE… for the latest version of MME in English. … and see the many articles on LearnMMD to learn all about many MME effects.


Visit the LearnMMD.com Homepage! Plenty of Mikumikudance instruction and info!


  1. September 28, 2016    


    I am new to animation software! the reason i am saying this is because i dont want to get ripped off again..

    For give me for i no not what i am doing! Sometimers

    Is it really free.

    I dont mind paying but i am a disabled american vet and dont have a lot of money and i hate getting ripped off. i am 64 yr old an dont have much time left.

    What i am wanting to do in business caricatures and business animation.

    will this work ?? if not can u recommend any software.

    I am in North Dakota USA

    I just want a program that i can do still and animated business caricatures

    if anyone else knows of a good program that can do what i stated above, please contact me.

    • September 28, 2016    

      Hi Gary,

      I’m not associated with MMD in any professional capacity– in fact, as far as I know, nobody is, because MMD is no longer in active development.

      But yes, MMD is 100% free. And yes, you could use it for business animation. Many of the resources that have already been created for it have restrictions on commercial use, so you may need to spend some time developing your skills with things like modelling and animation.

      As an alternative, you might consider Blender, which is also 100% free. (There are some commercial plug-ins, but they’re just add-ons, not necessary.) Blender or MMD could meet your stated needs equally. The difference is that MMD is easier to learn, but has some limitations that Blender doesn’t.

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your animation!

      • Brandon Brandon
        April 3, 2017    

        What programs does my computer need to e able to download mmd because my friend tried it before and it said it was missing things.

        • April 3, 2017    

          See the Troubleshooting page.

          • Carrace Carrace
            April 28, 2017    

            Limitations on MMD? I’ve never seen, I’ve seen fantastic animations, limitations? NO!

    • Reggie_Dentmore Reggie_Dentmore
      September 28, 2016    

      Hey, Gary… hello. … As Editor, I have removed your phone number from your comment. If readers wish to reach you, they can use your email. Best wishes and I wish you well as you learn these animation programs!
      — Reggie

    • Connor Connor
      January 13, 2017    

      Hey Gary,

      Just a suggestion, you should try looking into Source Film Maker (SFM). It is a free animation program that you can download off of Steam. It is primarily used for gaming content, but you can definitely use it for whatever you like, including business animation. Just thought I’d pitch in since you seem to be looking for a program for little to no cost.

      Best of luck to you, Gary!
      – Connor

  2. Shy Shy
    August 22, 2016    

    Is there a version for WIndows 10? I tired downloading it and it didn’t work.

  3. Thomas Wagner Thomas Wagner
    January 28, 2016    

    hi i have mac os no win, what can i do? to get a version in MAC OS

    • parkeerwacht parkeerwacht
      January 29, 2016    

      Sorry MMD doesn`t support OS X. There isn`t an OS X version either…

    • Aasha Malhotra Aasha Malhotra
      May 8, 2016    

      Yes there is! It’s MMDAI2! I am a Mac user too, I used to use MMDAI2 but I think the Windows version is better so, I use Crossover (a software used to run Windows software on Mac).

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