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akukame Offline
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Default Making a simple PMD Model (for Mikumikudance) - 05-09-2009, 04:20 PM

I actually wrote this up as part of a bigger project. Which, probably won't be done for quite some time. So I'll just paste this here for now in case its of use to anyone. The goal is just to show the steps of making a PMD file, not actually modelling or anything like that. If you want to learn to do modelling, there are other places to learn. I plan to make it more readable and in website form at a later date.

The making of a PMD File:

In this tutorial I'm going to be using Lightwave3d, SkelegonEditor, AS PMD Helper, and PMDEditor.
SKelegon Editor -> http://www.dstorm.co.jp/products/plu...SkelegonEditor
AS PMD Helper -> http://www.neko.ne.jp/~asagi/P2P/Plugins/index.html
PMD Editor -> http://www9.atpages.jp/~mmdaccessory/uploader/index.php

Lightwave3d is a high end production software. And doesn't run cheap. You could use similar software such as Blender, which is free. For for the purpose of this, I'm going to use Lightwave since its whats I have experience in (Though said experience is very limitted).

Step 1 - Making a the first Chainlink in Lightwave:
I start with a little chain shape. This is actualy an EPS (encapsulated post script file) that I imported from Adobe Illustrator. You can import any EPS file saved in Illustrator 3 format into Lightwave. Or alternately you can just draw the shape yourself. I was planning on using this in a seperate project, and wanted kind of a fat chain link for this. But, you can use primitives or whatever you want for this.


If you notice, the ring is currently a flat plane. Heres the steps I went through to go from flat to link:

1 - Extude (shift+e) the outer polygon. It helps to press n, and open up the numeric view to give you more specific controls. I'm just going to extrude this 750mm.
2 - I moved(t) the polygon slightly out of the way so you can see it easier. Then extruded(shift+e) it 1m.
3 - With the entire inner polygons selected, Boolean Subtract (Construct -> SpBoolSub)
4 - Round out the edges by beleving them. Select one of the outer sides. Then bevel(b). Repeat on other side.
5 - I think traingulated it (This is required for the PMD file)


Viola, we have our first chainlink.

Step 2 - Adding Surfaces
Now, the first thing we need to do is add surfaces. This is going to be the colors and textures.

Select the area that this surface is going to be on. Then press q to add a new surface. Keep in mind that things look a bit lighter in MMD than they do in Lightwave. So you are going to need to edit these later. The only part you'll currently need to worry about is the name. I'm going to name this Surf_Chain. For the purpose of this I'm going to also add smoothing.

If you were going to cover this surface in an image. You would first need to add the image by pressing F6 to bring up the image editor. Then click load to add images to the object.

Press F5, it will bring up the the Surface Editor, we'll do most of the work here. You can change the color numbers directly or press the box to bring up the palette. If you were going to cover this area with an image, make the color white. Then, click the T to the side of color, and select one of the images in the Texture window.

In PMD Editor, you can also edit the surfaces once they're created.

Step 3 - Adding Weights
Lets start with a basic introduction to rigging. Rigging is the processes of adding bones and weights to a 3d model so you can adjust how it moves in an animation program. Bones are the individual locations where the model can move. Weights are the areas that are effected by each bone.

For example, if you were making an arm. You would likely want a bone going from the shoulder to the elbow. And another bone going from the elbow to the wrist. The first bone's weight is going to be just the upper arm and shoulder area, and the second bone's weight is going to be the lower arm.

Now, an IK chain is a set of connected bones that can be controlled together by moving only 1 point. A good example would be hair. For this project, the bones in this "chain" are going to be on an IK Chain.

Now, normally you would add weights after you add bones, but for this project, its easier for me to add weights first. Now when add weights, its usually best to have only what you are selecting visible. If the two objects are connected, then the weight may extend past the area you select a bit.

So lets go over some more basic commands.

Hide selected (-)
Hide all but selected (=)
Unhide everything (\)

If you notice, they're all conveniently near the backspace.

So, I'm going to select this entire chainlink. Center object on grid (F2). And clone(c) it . Now, I'm going to add a weight to this chainlink (Map -> Weight -> New Weight Map), called Chain01. Then I'm going to hide the currently selected chainlink, and repeat with the next chainlink. And I'm going to repeat till I have 16 chainlinks. I'm cloning before making the weight map so the map doesn't carry over to the new object.


Ok, here we have a chain. (The different colors represent the different weight maps) For a more complicated model you can also use the Airbrush tool to apply the weight maps. Airbrush would be the preferred way on a humanoid model.

Step 4 - Adding Skelegons
Next, we add the actual bones. Well, not exactly. In Lightwave, you make what are called Skelegons. If you were to move this into Lightwave Layout (the animation part of lightwave), then you would conver the skelegons to bones there. In this case, we are going to convert the skelegons to bones inside of PMD Editor. But for now you need a basic layout of bones.

Because this is a quick project and I planned ahead, I'm going to make one large skelegon to cover the entire chain, the split that into 2, then 4, then 8, then 16. But normally you would go point to point to put the skelegons where they need to be. Go to Setup -> Skelegons -> Create Skelegons, after creating each chain, press enter to finish, then start another chain. If you mess up on the chains, or need to add to a chain, you can select the skelegon tree, and drag and drop the skelegons around in there to change your chains.

As you go along, you will need to name the bones. This is very important so you will know what they are later. The easiest way to do this is to open the Skelegon tree, and double click on each one and name it.

Then open Skelegon Editor, and apply Weights to each bone.


Step 5 - Setting up your object file in the way AS PMD Helper likes
AS PMD Helper has a complicated way of setting up the file that allows you to edit every part of the PMD through Lightwave. But it is unnecessarily complicated and not intuitive. So I choose not to deal with it, but I need to explain it, so we can do enough to at least get it to PMD Editor where we can finish it off. Since PMD Editor is much more intuitively designed for that. So here's the requirements:

*** Remember not to leave your "empty" layers actually empty. So you can just add a vertex anywhere on it by pressing + and clicking somewhere
*** Naming layers can be done under View -> Layers -> Layer Settings

**Required**
Layer 1 Name/Description
The Name of this Layer is the name of your object

Layer 2 Model
Name this layer Model.
Only the Model is allowed on this layer. The easiest way to move the model to a layer is just to select it, cut it(ctrl+x), and paste it on the new layer(ctrl+v). And it has to be triangulated. If you didn't make your object triangulated, then you can select the entire object and press shift+T to triangulate it. Just make sure that this does not mess up anything on your object, so you may need to go in and make edits after doing this. This can very easily be done early on, before you do any surfaces or rigging.

Layer 3 Bones
Name this layer Bones.
Only the Skelegons are allowed on this layer.

Layer 4 Expressions / Morphs
This layer has to be named "--表情"

**Optional stuff**
Layer 4.x
Each layer after that is named after each morph. To create a morph, on the bottom right of the screen you will notice W, T, M, C, S. These are for viewing things. Select M for Morphs, and then select new in the menu to the right of it. "(base)" is the "normal" look. Each morph would be an expression. Then each expression has to start with the type. "1_" for Eye, "2_" for Mouth, etc. For example, you could have "1_Wink". But really, whatever you change on the morph is going to change when you move the slider.

Layer 5 and on
You can then name each section "--name", followed by the name of the bones to create the trees.

Step 6 Test Size
Now, I would save this as a Lightwave Object (LWO) and export it as a PMD. Open the PMD in MMD aswell as another model in MMD to see if the size is as you would like. Then go back into Lightwave, select everything and resize. Miku is about 20m tall as a reference point (If this was real life, she'd be bigger than the 50 foot woman).

Step 7 Complete Bone structure in PMD Editor
Open up the PMD in PMD Editor. Under the Bone (ボーン) tab, you may notice your bones are all unorganized. By selecting bones and pressing ctrl+up or ctrl+down you can move them up and down.

We'll start by organizing our bones however we like. Be sure to keep chains together.

Add a new bone (ctrl+p) and call it "Center". This doesn't necessarily need to be the center of your model, but we're going to use it as a base point. And place this at the top. Change the parent to "-1", and change the bone type to "1 (Rotatable and Movable).


Chains:
Each IK chain is going to need an IK Controller (2), IK Goal (6), and Hidden endpoint (7).

IK Chain - Each bone in the chain needs to have the parent set to the previous in the chain and the child set to the next in the chain. Except for the first, whos parent is the point the IK rotates around, and the final one, whos child is the IK Goal. IK Bone is the IK Control. Bone Type is 4 (IK Chain, Rotational only).

IK Goal - This is basically the end of your chain. Just go to the final point of the chain, and make the coordinates a little ways away in the same direction. Parent is the previous bone in the chain. Child is 0 (none). Bone Type is 6 (IK Goal). IK Bone is the IK Control.

IK Control - Bone Type 2, Parent is the point which this IK Chain rotates around, Child is your hidden endpoint. Coordinates are the same as the IK Goal.

Endpoint - Bone Type 7. Parent is the IK Control. Location is slightly away from the IK Control. Traditionally this is perpendicular to the direction of the IK Chain, but it really can be in any direction, it doesn't matter.


Then go to the IK Tab
Make a new IK (ctrl+a). Its IK is the IK Control. Its target is the IK Goal. The two values underneath that control how fast and in what way it bends. You might just need to play with these. Start with like... 10 and .05. Then your IK Chain bones (Bone Type 4 only) IN REVERSE ORDER.

Step 8 Create a Bone Tree
(The 2nd to last tab handles expressions. If you added Morphs, you will need to add them to the list here.)
Go to the final tab. Press ctrl+a to add a new list. If this is the first list you created, you will notice that the first list (index 0) should change from some random bone to "Center" because we made that center point earlier. This first new list we will call "IK". Add your IK Controls to this.

Then you can press ctrl+a to add any number of other other lists and put bones in there. You don't need to add IK Goals or hidden points. Really you can oder it however you like, just make sure everything other than IK Goals and hidden points are used. The IKs don't even need to be seperate. This is just how its organized in most PMD files.

And finally, a finished chain:


PMD Editor Windows:
Information Tab
Surfaces Tab
Bone Tab
IK Tab
List Tab

Last edited by akukame; 05-09-2009 at 04:24 PM.
   
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Tari Offline
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Default 05-09-2009, 04:26 PM

This is... impressive. xD

I haven't read through it very carefully, but it looks really useful. I wonder if I can apply it to other 3D modeling programs~. xD

<--knows next to nothing about 3D modeling


I have random copies of 3D modeling programs, courtesy of my school and my roommates (artists), but I've never used them. :P




Whee, our forums are gaining more tutorials and stuffs! 8D
   
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Default 05-09-2009, 04:37 PM

Ahhh~ This looks useful =O

But my computer doesn't like the PMD editor or Helper > 3> That and I've only ever had a bit of experience in Maya~ And I don't know how to rig something in Maya |D


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akukame Offline
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Default 05-09-2009, 05:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tari View Post
This is... impressive. xD

I haven't read through it very carefully, but it looks really useful. I wonder if I can apply it to other 3D modeling programs~. xD

<--knows next to nothing about 3D modeling
It can be applied to other 3D modeling programs. The real key is you have to eventually get to lightwave or blender because those are the two programs that people have made tools for converting to PMD. And doing the weight maps really has to be done in a seperate program.

The japanese wiki shows some of the most common ways people do it -> http://www6.atwiki.jp/vpvpwiki/pages/66.html
   
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Default 12-02-2009, 05:45 AM

Hello!

can you help me a little?

I use Metasequoia... I made a character in mqo (saved it x file) and want to open it with PMD editor, but the PMD editor does not open it... Few hours ago it worked but now doesnt...

http://lionenya.deviantart.com/art/P...file-145412453

Thx a lot!

Lione
   
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Default 12-22-2009, 04:51 AM

Urgh, I hate how the 3D stuff works...I only have Autodesk Inventor, and I have headaches once I tried 3D Max... Polygons don't work well in my head...

But this is a good tutorial. Shouldn't this be stickied for future generations? (My Opinion)
   
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Krystal Offline
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Default 12-22-2009, 06:38 AM

Added 'Guide' prefix and stickied =w=;

...

Okay so if I say I never did this before because I was trying to spite Kesa, is that bad? (I'm kidding btw...)


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Default 12-28-2009, 03:22 AM

I donīt want to spam, but thereīs one video I made:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4LTtx6RJcI

I donīt know why there are some border problems on some imported / custom models, you can see what I say on some certain points (0:10 per example). Some clues about this?.

And, how I make the bones if I donīt use Lightwave?
   
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Drayo Offline
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Default 12-28-2009, 05:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KawaiFS630 View Post
I donīt want to spam, but thereīs one video I made:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4LTtx6RJcI

I donīt know why there are some border problems on some imported / custom models, you can see what I say on some certain points (0:10 per example). Some clues about this?.

And, how I make the bones if I donīt use Lightwave?
Well an other method is to make them inside the PMDEditor, dunno about an other. see the Bone Edit guide.
   
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Default 12-28-2009, 05:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drayo View Post
Well an other method is to make them inside the PMDEditor, dunno about an other. see the Bone Edit guide.
Thanks,I'll look it.
   
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