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What IS MMD?

Hatsune Miku is the featured model included with MikuMikuDance

Hatsune Miku is the featured model included with MikuMikuDance

What IS MikuMikuDance?

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

MikuMikuDance… MMD is a free 3D animation software created by Yu Higuchi that lets you create animations and videos. Search YouTube for MMD to see some of the literally MILLIONS of MMD videos posted online.

MikuMikuDance runs only on Windows computers. As of this note, 7/17/19, MMD version 9.31 and 9.31×64 are the latest versions of this DirectX “game”. You will need a PC with a mouse and a strong graphics card (at least 1Gb cache) to enjoy all of MMD’s features. Follow THIS LINK to see which OTHER softwares are required in order to run MMD.

MMD lets you create animations and output them to video for your upload to YouTube, and the like. Hatsune Miku is the star of the show… but fans have created THOUSANDS of models and made them available for free download. LearnMMD.com aims to be THE instructions for this software… no instructions are included in your download.

MMD is FREE… no charge!

The entire MMD “system” is no charge: FREE … there ARE a few modelers who charge for their privately created custom models, but when seen from a Global Scale, MMD costs nothing to use and enjoy.

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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. Mo Mo
    July 4, 2018    

    Hello! So when I open the file, extract it and click MikuMikuDance it says, “The application has failed to start due to its side-to-side configuration…” Well, I don’t know what that is. Help, please!!!

  2. fernanda fernanda
    June 5, 2018    

    Love mmd

  3. Moonwatcher46 Moonwatcher46
    May 31, 2018    

    Can you get MDD on a Apple IPad? And if so, how do you do so?

    • May 31, 2018    


    • CometClaws CometClaws
      January 27, 2019    

      you can not is only allowed on window computers sorry to tell you

  4. shnyia batiste shnyia batiste
    January 22, 2018    

    how do u download it on ur phone

  5. Kawaii Butters Kawaii Butters
    October 22, 2017    

    So, I don’t know how to use/open MMD. I have a lenovo (Windows 10) and everything is weird. Also, when I download a MMD model, how do I open it up in MMD itself? Please reply and get a internet cookie.

    Ty! ^v^

  6. Fuku Yu Fuku Yu
    May 18, 2017    

    >>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!

    On 14/03/08, within a month of the first release of MMD, an English version was released. Higuchi made it after seeing his MMD tutorial video translated to English and uploaded to YouTube by Cityedge.

    Ver 3 was being build from scratch and on 25/05/09 a full English mode with non-Jap OS compatibility was introduced in ver 4.03.

    MMD cup started adding English episode titles from the 3rd MMD cup which took place on Aug 2009
    Having English episode titles still continues to this day. Some of the themes are English words probably to make it easy for English only speakers to participate. And by the 4th MMD cup held on Feb 2010 there was a mostly English speaking MMD user getting an award for his entry work.

    MMD 7.39 was released on 26/05/11
    MMD 7.39×64 on 01/09/12

    My point was going to be, language and cultural barriers ain’t trivial things to overcome. But I am going to be blunt. Playing the outside shunning Japanese stereotype is cute and pathetically bigoted. How is it a “lock” when within 1 month they had an English version? I assume to you guys anything not written in perfect English is “all in Japanese” and not being able to find the function is having a “lock” on things. If this is the kind of attitude KTF preaches, I’m afraid I’m absolutely in agreement with fuwarimofumofu’s take.

    Reading trackdancer’s thoughts really highlights how miles ahead fuwarimofumofu’s take is when it comes to trying to understand the other side.
    Fuwarimofumofu is worried about being able to communicate clearly, fearing mistranslation and misinterpretation and the cost burden on English MMD users trying to keep their communities in order. Trackdancer, wants to make a superficial grand political and personally historical point by citing wikipedia. The former is about how to relate between communities, the latter is about how we should interpret them label them and judge them.

    Not sharing to non-Japanese speaking people i.e. non-Japanese is a valid and effective method to avoid unnecessary and time consuming conflict. Not speaking Japanese/non-Japanese indicates two things: you have no knowledge of Japanese language, and most likely you don’t have any clue about Japanese cultural customs. And those two don’t mix well with Japanese unable to communicate well in English. Because the Japanese sub-culture communities actually feel obligated to keeping order among their community and customs and it’s obvious from your KTF page, you’re not. The Japanese thinks it’s their responsibility to help you adopt and follow their sub culture’s customs, so if they feel they can’t help you do that because of a language barrier etc, it’s irresponsible and just a hassle for them to let you in their community in the first place.

    Moreover if you want to learn language and culture, then anime and manga ain’t how you do it. And your quasi-real internet community friend ain’t on the net to enjoy teaching you the ins and outs of the language, customs and culture regarding their sub-culture community if you’re unwilling to not only follow but help maintain that custom and culture.

    Finally, if you think Japanese modelers saying no to non-Japanese is racist, imagine how pathetically racist it is to attribute Higuchi Yu’s lack of English ability, spare time and design skills as an indication that the whole “Japanese” had a lock on MMD; an insignificant otaku toy that GMOD, SFM, or Blender can outperform any day. Not to mention the overflowing amount of hypocrisy about KTF.

    I ain’t supporting a racist of any persuasion either and the hypocrisy here is delicious.

    • May 18, 2017    

      I am sorry if the line that you quoted gave you a feeling of being accusatory or resentful towards Japanese MMD community. I assure you that it was not the intent. The fact that MMD was primarily developed as a Japanese only tool and had Japanese only supporters before spreading overseas is merely a historical data point, and stating it did not have any deeper meaning than that.

      It is true that understanding Japanese culture is difficult for a non-Japanese, and probably can not be ever achieved fully (mind you, the opposite is also true. Being able to speak English does not equal understanding Englishmen or Americans). Yet, it is better to enjoy a small part of what you can enjoy rather that refuse any efforts whatsoever on the grounds of not being able to perceive the whole thing. Even if for some of westerners, the anime and manga remain the top level of what they can and will want to reach.

      As for Japanese modelers wanting to keep some models to Japanese users only, my stance is this: if you want to keep something you created for a limited circle of people that you like – fine, you have the right to do so. If we’re unhappy about your decision, we have the right to voice our opinion either.

      Finally, I do not see the point of your offense about KTF. It is merely a declaration of a simple rule: one who uses resources, should respect their sources. If the problem is that you’re used to more sophisticated code of conduct in your own community, well, that’s not something that can be fixed. Yet, I fail to see anything “hypocritical” about it.

  7. 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

  8. Shy Shy
    August 22, 2016    

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

  9. 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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