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Changelog
12/29/12 - Published
09/19/13 - Updated video links
08/05/14 - Added PacP's video translated by ryukendo123

Please note that this tutorial is made by audiencefromspace as of 12/29/12 specifically designed for the 3D animation program MikuMikuDance and not any other animation programs. MikuMikuMoving has similarities with MMD but due to some changes with that it would be better to assume that this won't work with it. I made this with very limited knowledge I accumulated from my experience and other tutorials as well as NO PROPER SCHOOLING (Yes you can do it without going to any animation schools). I tested these theories myself over and over to ensure credibility. This will also assume that you at least know the basic functions of MMD, otherwise go watch the video in VPVP site again.

Terminologies marked with ASTERISKS are terms I just made-up to make them easy to remember
ex. Normal curve**

Also PacP made interpolation tutorials already a long time ago and it was not translated before. Now thanks to ryukendo123 it is now translated. This tutorial was made before the translation so there are bound to be differences.
[Video 1 link]
[Video 1 translated]

[Video 2 link]


The tutorial contains three parts and must be read in order for better understanding
  1. Part 1 - Interpolation Curve Tutorial [Current Journal]
  2. Part 2 - Random Information
  3. Part 3 - Motion Tracing




TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PART 1


=======================================================
INTRODUCTION

Interpolation curve is one of the most forgotten yet useful feature in MMD. Its main function is to correct the transitions between keyframes. The "smoothness" on the flow of the movements is only an effect of proper usage of this feature. If you tried animating in flash before, you will be at least familiar with the ease-in-out and "tweens" concepts as this will be very similar to that.


First take a look at the following motion data

   


On the left is a motion data with edited interpolation graph
On the right is the one with constant (default or without) interpolation. Notice that she stutters a bit and the one on the left is nicer to look at isn't it?
Both of these motion data are exactly the same and the only differences are their interpolation curves
Back to TOC




=======================================================
BASIC USAGE

Q: Where is the graph located at?

A: It is found in the lower left of MMD's GUI shown in this picture below



Q: What are the X and Y in the graph for?

A: The Y axis represents the frame that will be shown. The X axis represents the time it will take to reach that frame.


Now let's take a look at the graph below. The blue box represents the horizontal line which is interpreted as slow movement. The red box means that on that point, it will take LESS TIME to reach a certain FRAME.



There's really no need to measure it, just remember that the more vertical the line is, the faster the movement will be. Imagine a roller coaster going slow on flat areas and fast on steep areas.

Q: How to use it?
A: First click on a keyframe. The keyframe will then become red as shown in the picture and then drag the red crosses on the curve to change it. If there's no keyframe for that timeline, register that particular bone first to create a keyframe.

 

Note: The affected keyframes are ALL frames before it until it reaches the previous keyframe which is the yellow un-highlighted dot on the timeline. It's possible to edit multiple keyframes' interpolation curves at the same time by highlighting them all before moving the red crosses.
Back to TOC




=======================================================
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CURVES


Constant Curve** - Like the name implies, the time and frame are directly proportional to each other. This is the default interpolation and the one we must not see in our motion data. Of course it's possible to use it on certain occasions


Launch Curve** - This is a slow-to-fast interpolation and used mostly by IK bones. A connector curve.


End Curve** - A fast-to-slow interpolation and used to designate last movement. Usually connected with launch curve. Mostly used by IK bones.


Normal Curve** - A slow-fast-slow interpolation and the one that MUST be always used. Normal bones always use this curve.


Middle Curve** - A fast-slow-fast and most of the time connected between launch and end curves. This is the rarest of them and the hardest to use.
Back to TOC




=======================================================
OTHER FUNCTIONS



Copy – Copies the curve on the selected keyframe. It is not possible to copy different curves at the same time
Paste – Pastes the curve on the selected keyframes
Liner – Resets the curve into a constant curve
Auto Adjust – When checked, the program automatically creates interpolation for distances (X,Y,Z positions) for IK bones but automatically resets rotations. It's better to uncheck this if not in use or editing the curves



The drop down tells what specifically the curve is for
X, Y, Z axis move – These are the interpolation curve for the IK bones' movement in the 3D space.
Rotation – For rotations and the only one that affects normal bones.
Distance – Same for X, Y, Z axis move but this instead affects all of the three at the same time.
View angle – This is unique as it is for camera only. Despite the name, this is actually for Zoom and View angle perspective.
Back to TOC




=======================================================
LAST REMINDERS





What we really are doing by editing the interpolation is adding imaginary physics to our models. Think of them as having a certain weight



Also there's no need to make the curve as exactly the ones previously shown. Make different combinations and see which one works best on the situation.

And lastly Keyframes are absolute positions which means that no matter how you edit the interpolation curve, it will not exceed that point

Connecting interpolation curves with Launch, End and Middle curves will be discussed on Part 3
Back to TOC



I will post a changelog if there's any major changes in here. If there's any grammatical errors, difficult to understand or whatever just point them and I'll see what I can do. Also if you got any questions, I'll answer them as best as I can. Can be on note, comment or pm me on Youtube whichever works for you! (Don't email me)

Quick Links
Add a Comment:
 
:iconrinyukaita:
RinYukaita Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015
how did you animate very good?.. can you upload more video how you make the realistic motions?..
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
I can't do any video tutorials due to lack of time but I wrote how I animate before tao63.deviantart.com/journal/T…

Although the way I animate right now is a bit different than how I animate on that post, the basic idea is the same. The human body doesn't move at the same time and trying to change the key frames at different times you can get better results
Reply
:iconrinyukaita:
RinYukaita Featured By Owner Edited Jun 1, 2015
~Edit~
Nevermind XD
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
I apologize to those who asked questions a long time ago. I was away when they were asked and I'm not sure if they still need to be answered
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Edited Aug 4, 2014
Wow thanks for this!

I'll add this later when I've got the time. Editing the journal seems to mess up the html tags
Reply
:iconryukendo123:
ryukendo123 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
hehehe no problem and also i will translate the 2nd video ^w^ 
Reply
:iconxxsoulsealerxx:
xxSoulsealerxx Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
Aye, thanks for the translation. 

This will surely help out a lot of people. =D
Reply
:iconmother-noroi:
mother-noroi Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i've been dying for a good curve tutorial :iconfinallyplz: THANK YOU
Reply
:iconalittlebitofawkward:
ALittleBitOfAwkward Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014
How do you go back to edit camera angles? Like, I've practically finished something I've been working on, but now that I watch it a couple of the camera angles seem awkward and off a little bit. Is there a way to go back and fix a specific point?
Reply
:iconpokemonrulespikaa:
PokemonRulesPikaa Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

H-hi.

Umm, I was making a motion and the curve disappeared, what happened, and how do I get it back? ^^

Reply
:iconjulietuchiha1165:
julietUchiha1165 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
All you have to do it if you already copied the curve, register the bones in the motion, and then click on the "all" part of the interpolation section and click paste~ ^^
Reply
:iconpokemonrulespikaa:
PokemonRulesPikaa Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks~
Reply
:iconbluebudgie123:
BlueBudgie123 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I always wondered what the keyframe thing was for xD
Reply
:iconfatwave:
faTWave Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013
So basically, for every movement and per se keyframes, their interpolation must be set to which you'll find it pleasing to have a good effect; to edit every major or perhaps every bone interpolation for maximum detail?
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013
That's usually the case for MMD, but you can just use MMM's auto interpolation plugin
Reply
:iconfatwave:
faTWave Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013
Ahh, okay. Salamat :iconmikula-plz:
Reply
:iconfluttershy386:
Fluttershy386 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013
Is there a way to select only the bones you moves? It's annoying to have the click all the bones then register ;w;
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Yes. If you move a bone, it becomes green right? Simply click the "unregisted" button on the bone manipulation tab and you will automatically select all those moved bones
Reply
:iconfluttershy386:
Fluttershy386 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
Thank you :D Btw can you connect to pmd's together Sorry for asking so many question
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
I'm not familiar with pmd editors sorry
Reply
:iconmmdfakewings18:
MMDFakewings18 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love you. :iconmanlytearsplz:
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
Haha XD Thanks
Reply
:iconriniscute:
RinIsCute Featured By Owner May 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
??????????????????????????????????

I'm connfused...
looks cool though.
I'm not quite ready for this though in terms of advanced mmd.
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner May 26, 2013
Well you can try what I did, by playing around mmd you'll eventually learn things even without reading the tutorial I made
Reply
:iconmaniacmmd:
MaNiAcMMd Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks^^
Reply
:icontuongstg:
tuongstg Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
thanks for very useful tutorial, tao63!
Reply
:iconsyazwan133:
Syazwan133 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
PacP advertised your tutorial! [link]
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
That's awesome! How did he knew about this!?
Reply
:iconaherpdep:
Aherpdep Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
Well , at first . I told him that I know his work through your tutorial so I posted your tutorial to him
Reply
:iconmadnimrod:
MadNimrod Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013
Will study more later.
Reply
:iconthegasmaster4381:
TheGasMaster4381 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
This should be a vry useful tutorial, Thank your for posting! :D
Reply
:icontwinkletwinklenova11:
TwinkleTwinkleNova11 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
I was wondering what that curve was for. Thanks for clearing things up. You are very good at explaining. Oh yeah, Fav'd.
Reply
:icontubers:
tubers Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
WOW! Definitely favorite-d
Reply
:iconjyoniki:
Jyoniki Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for the useful information.
Reply
:iconthe-horrible-mu:
The-Horrible-Mu Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fav'd. Thank you.
Reply
:icondinosbacsi:
DinosBacsi Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
This is helpful. Thanks : D
Reply
:iconkas97:
Kas97 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG thank you! This extremely helpful!
Would you mind if I post links to all parts of this tutorial on Tumblr so people can get to know about it?
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Of course that would be great! I want to spread this as much as possible!
Reply
:iconkas97:
Kas97 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! Your tutorial is now featured on MMD-Tips@Tumblr. I can gladly say that many people saw it, congratulation (◠‿◠✿)!
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
That's awesome! Yay :D
Reply
:iconterutanbox:
Terutanbox Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks !
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
No problem!
Reply
:iconoceanr1:
OceanR1 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
thanks for the tutorials
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
You're welcome :D
Reply
:iconsyazwan133:
Syazwan133 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Thanks for the tutorial!
Reply
:iconavalia-kasa:
Avalia-Kasa Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for all the tutorials! Though I'm already a bit familiar with the tool, this is a helpful reference. I always forget to think of movements as interpolations layered on each other. I hope more people take a look at this and stop making really choppy movements in MMD because I'm getting tired of it w
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Well some people think that it's hard (when actually it's really simple) so they never really try to use it. I'm glad that there are actually people who are willing to learn about it!
Reply
:iconavalia-kasa:
Avalia-Kasa Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I never thought it was hard. I was just like "What does this do" when I first noticed it and then I messed with it and I was like "WHY DIDN'T I USE THIS BEFORE???"
Reply
:icontao63:
tao63 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Haha I know right? XD
Reply
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