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Make your own Accessories




Introduction

This tutorial will be dedicated to making your own accessories for MikuMiku Dance. I'll add bits to it as I think of them, but mostly everything is here.

To start, I'll let you know the basics. In MMD, you can load and use either Vocaloid Accessory Files (.vac) or DirectX Files (.x) in MikuMiku Dance. DirectX files are the more popular solution because most 3D software has the ability to export to it by default, sometimes with an added script.

If you find an accessory either gives you an error pop-up, and the file doesn't show up, there's a problem with it. If it does show up but doesn't have textures, it can be one of two things. The textures are in the wrong folder, or your computer doesn't support the newest version of MMD. If you're running XP or later, this shouldn't be an issue.

Software

Learning to model is easy, it's getting the hang of using the tools that can be tricky. Each program is different somehow, but they all have core features that remain the same. Even if it's labeled differently in the menu. For example, 'Push' in Metasequoia, is the equivalent to 'Extrude Edges' in Blender. For a more complete list of available software, see this page.

Don't worry about your level of skill right now. With time, patience, and most importantly commitment, you'll steadily learn and grow as a modeler. Try looking at demos and process work. Looking at meshes can allow you to discover how others make things fit together, and ultimately give you tips and tricks to try yourself. This will help you develop your own style.

Plugins

Depending on the Software you choose, you may have access to a variety of different Plugins, Scripts or Add-Ons. Sometimes you can get away with using these for free, but some software requires you to pay for the full-version to use these added capabilities. Sometimes you can get away with using scripts, like with Sketchup, but there's only so much they can do. Even though scripts can be pretty powerful!

Installation varies, but your program will usually have a 'plugins' or 'scripts' folder somewhere in it's respective folder (sometimes they're hidden, or you can try creating your own). Scripts just get dumped inside there and load the next time the program launches. Add-Ons or Plugins sometimes need to be installed separately, but they'll typically unload in the same directory as your program.

Getting Down to Business

When you've picked out your software, you need to consider how you model with it. When you're used to modeling super-detailed things, you may want to rethink it for this purpose. MMD supposedly has a Maximum number of vertices it can take. Also, more detailed models can make the software run slowly, as with Kio's model conversions. Unless your processor/graphics card can handle it.

Generally, you might see anywhere from 1000-7000 vertices. You shouldn't have anything crazy like 'millions'. It doesn't even have to be high poly to look high poly in your 3D program. MMD Will automatically smooth out all of the surfaces so you really don't need to do much besides model, color, and texture it. Try to avoid adding fancy effects if you're exporting as a .X file because this could cause problems in PMD or in MMD.



For information about modeling, please see the 'Generic 3D Modeling' tutorial.


Choose what you want to MakeDepending on the complexity of your project, you may want to plan it out beforehand or use some kind of a reference. If you're more comfortable with your skills, have a good idea of what the object looks like (if you draw well, you should have an advantage), or only intend to make a simple object, you could get away with winging it.

Reference or No Reference?

Many 3D modelers like to work from a reference, this can be a photo, a drawing, screenshot, magazine scan or any form of visual media. The choice is up to you, though it can be helpful if you're trying to replicate something that already exists, as opposed to something you made up. You'll find it eliminates the hassle of trying to remember specific details about that object, especially when you haven't got it handy to look at.

You could go without a reference, as long as you have a clear mental picture of what you want to do. However, being able to use this method is a skill that takes practice, and above all patience.