Miku Miku Dance

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Miku Miku Dance

Postby DanYHKim » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:06 pm

I recently learned about an application of SketchUp that doesn't seem to have any discussion here. It's a long story, so bear with me. First, take a look at this video on YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb7TThIdPmU.

This is the output of a program called "Miku Miku Dance", which is a dance animation freeware from Japan. "Miku" refers to the Vocaloid singing character Hatsune Miku: a vocal data library created by Crypton Future Media for use with Yamaha's Vocaloid program. Miku's data can be sequenced to music, matching phonemes to the lyrics, to create the sound of a girl singing. The output can be so good that there are literally thousands of original musical compositions using her voice. In July of this year, she gave a 'live' concert in Los Angeles, by way of a rear-projection glass screen and live band. The performance created a holographic-like effect for the sold-out audience.

Fan videos were created with Miku's character image singing different songs, but the Miku Miku Dance (MMD) program let users animate a 3D model of Miku in time with the music. If the Vocaloid sequence file (.vsq) is input, her mouth can move in lipsync with the music as well.

So, the connection to SketchUp is this: The linked video features two characters singing and dancing. The background "stage" was imported from a SketchUp model that is in the 3D Warehouse. A MMD plug-in exists for importing .skp objects into MMD to be used with the character models, letting them dance within the environment of the imported performance stage.

MMD is enhanced by a number of plugins for this video, including Miku Miku Effects for special visual effects and camera control. The character models are fan-made, and animated using keyframe sequences.

The results can be stunning. A search for "MMD SketchUp" will yield a lot of examples. MMD uses the Bullet Physics Engine, which lets hair and clothing move realistically.

I think there should be more connection between the Vocaloid/MMD community and the SketchUp community. This is certainly fertile ground for creative work.


Re: Miku Miku Dance

Postby Mike Lucey » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:40 am

Thanks Dan,

That was interesting. I learned something new :thumb:

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Re: Mike on Miku Miku Dance

Postby DanYHKim » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:43 pm

Thanks for the reply. I am really hoping for some activity between SketchUp and Miku Dance, especially since I have heard that Miku Miku Dance is no longer being developed by its creator. I harbor a vain hope that Google might think of picking it up, kind of like it did for SketchUp. I remember when SketchUp was an amazing program that cost hundreds of dollars. I was amazed and excited when Google bought the license and made it free. Almost overnight, 3D modeling became accessible to everyone. Since then, SketchUp has become more versatile and powerful, not only because of improvements to the program, but because of the huge collection of free models in the 3D warehouse and the many amazing plugins.

Miku Miku Dance can generate some amazing animations with human-like characters who sing, dance and interact with third-party objects. The program itself is really small, and fairly easy to use. In some ways, it supplies a function that is not covered by SketchUp or Sketchyphysics: keyframe animation of human figures. It could use some work, but a search on YouTube will show how much has been done using this tool. Still, as my initial search of SketchUcation showed, it is not known outside the Vocaloid user community, even though it seems to be a perfect complement to SketchUp. I am hoping that, by starting a conversation on this forum, the potential of Miku Miku Dance might come to the attention of whomever at Google is responsible for acquiring software assets. Miku Miku Dance is already a major tool for creating original, beautiful and entertaining content on YouTube. Why not bring it into the fold as a direct asset?

If I may extend my pitch a bit more, there is a shareware (I think) program that works like Yamaha Vocaloid for creating voice libraries and sequencing vocal songs. It is also from Japan, and is called UTAU. It is reported to be a bit difficult to use, and could use some polish. If Google were to also adopt UTAU, it would have a complete set of applications for creating virtual music videos from start to finish.

I can dream . . .


Re: Miku Miku Dance

Postby ibr_remote » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:51 am

For MikuMiku and animation in Sketchup, please see what this user has done:

His blog is here, but it is in Japanese only:


Re: Miku Miku Dance

Postby pbacot » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:51 pm

Is this SketchUp use or abuse?

Just kidding.
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