Tucson coyote here,
In case no one noticed, it's a very important day for all of us programmer/choreographers/Model makers/ videographers. We all know who we are..
it was on this date, (February 24th , 2008) that a certain program arrived on the scene and it has in the last 13 years changed a lot of ways we look at the world of art/dance/Music in general.
That program is of course: Miku Miku Dance itself.
It's funny to note that between Version 1.0 and the current version (9.3.2), There's been a lot of changes and yet the program remains the same.
This one program, this one little bit of Free Software that is available to the public, has changed the way of how we look at things today, be it for good or bad..
And in the 13 years that this C++ Program has been out a lot of new things have been added and a few that still need to be added.. and I'll go over a few of them ...
shading and more realism (Ray-cast anyone?)
What make a 3D model look very realistic? Why Shading of course and in the last 3 or o years Ray cast has been the new idea for shading 3 D models and Miku Miku Dance has supported this and in a lot of videos it shoes.. it' a leap ahead of it's time.. You want a dance video convincing use Ray cast..
But before Ray cast, there were a tone of shades out there, including Adult shader, SSAO, Toon shader an a few others. But compared to toady's ray shader, the older shaders fall short and they really shouldn't be used unless you don't have a powerful computer.. Else now Ray cast shaders is the way to go.
MME Effects (Magic on a scale you've never seen!)
Miku Miku Effects who here hasn't used them in the past.. And even today they are still as important as Ray Cast. In fact it wasn't until about 2011 or so that Miku Miku Effects broke onto the scene and this set of effects take the models and the environment and turn it into something a bit more .. Magical. Want to hold a Heavy metal dance routine with fire and explosions? Well you can do that.. Want to have Miku "use a Kamehameha wve on Neru? You can do that too. In fact until MME came out.. all the models could do was in fact dance.. no splashy effects and no losing of clothes or Wardrbe malfunctions, and no black hands that crawl up the lega and tug the panties down.. that's the thing, in today's MME, you can do a lot more.. and by a lot more you can make clothes fall off with a few sliders..pretty neat eh?
Stages stages and More stages..
Now the real point is the background here and stages and backgrounds are the way to give you a mood. Want to be on a beach? Slip on a beach stage want to be in a "Gentleman's Club (Or Strip Club as we Americans call them), and you can do that too. In fact a lot of things can be done with a few clicks of a mouse.. add in the effects and the shaders and a scene can be quite convincing.
Motions, motions and more motions (and a few weaknesses) .
This program wouldn't be called "Miku Miku Dance with out Motions, and while Poses are good, Motions are better.. and for good reason.. Yo uwant to take a current popular song and put a dance to it, there's probably a data set out there you can use.. (and new one are being made every few days.. it depends on how long the programmer wants to put into the effort.. and believe me it's a lot of work (that's why I respect ome of the people who do the choreography it's not as easy as it looks..
Which brings up the only two weaknesses I see with the program currently.. Namely Video (Trace) motion creation and of course the original MMD program not being a dynamic as it's younger brother "Miku Miku Moving (MMM). Trace motion developers need to match up their model to a video and this is MMD's only short fall, they are still using Mpeg-1 format (Considering today's videos are using MP4, I don't see why the developer doesn't drop the old format and replace it with the newer one.. After all Miku Miku Moving uses MP4 and thus it's easier to create motions that way.. and yes while MMD uses a file formate .vmd) that is interchangable between the two. I can't see why we need MMM to do this.. MMD should have been able to do this all along..
And then there,s Motion Capture (Using some sort of device like Kinnect device in order for you to make your own motions by dancing.. the technology over the last 13 years has improved on Motion capture as well and I can't see why the developer sticks with Kinnect.. maybe because this was designed with Microsoft in mind? *Shrugs shoulders*
The Bottom line: Where it's been , and where it's going.
it's hard to believe that in the 13 years the program has been around the program has a lot of uses.. and the idea is a good one, sure there is room for improvement (and all it takes is in fact a bit of C++ Code reworks, but MMD still has a future ahead of it.. and all it would take is for the developer to make the source code open in order for real programers to make the changes to keep up wit the times. The PMX. Editors are the way of the future and I don't (or rather can't ) comprehend why we can't just directly import Blender models in some other format, but then without the .PMX or the older PMD formates MMD wouldn't be what it is today.. So what now?
Well for startes we need the developers of both MMD and MMM to look to the furutre and get away from the older formates.. MMM is doding this but it lacks the MME that the MMD Engine ha..
or maybe what we need to do is sit down and talk about this.. and figure out where to take MMD to the next level.. After all this is public domain Software and I know we got quite a few C++ Programmers who could make MMD better than it is now. But until people start to switch to the more modern ways of producing motion capture and tracing of dance motions, the more the MMD will remain the same.. So maybe it's time to go to version 10, and recreate the engine all over.. or just make the necessary changes needed in order to make the program work easier and better for the programmer or the choreographer..After all as once explained to me by a fellow Iwara memeber: Motion is nothing more than a series of poses put together in order to make an animation..(and he's right you know!)
Also what about Morphs? Sure ther eare tips that can make a model lose it's clothes but without some form of designing a character to do so, the results are limited.. (only when we can have full morphing capabilities will the Ecchi modelers chortle with Glee.. After all some of us like Ecchi no?
But what are you thoughts on this.. What areas of the MMD Engine could be improved on, what needs to be revamped or changed, or should we look to accepting a new standard? I mean it's only been 13 years since Version 1.0 came out, and I have a feeling that as long as there are models and motions and effects out there, the MMD craze will still last.. and even though we are in tough times with (The pandemic) and what not. MMD can be either enjoyable or frustating.. I know that I was frustrated in creting motions.. (Still am) but other ideas are a deligh..
But let's hear you thought on all of this.. oh and Happy Birthday MMD, you're a teenager now.. Time to grow up and become an adult..