Edit Note (Jan 29th 2018); Given the, uh, "backlash" from some extremely very vocal members of the MMD community who really, really do not like when you badmouth their software I'm unlikely to release these in any heavy capacity. On that note I have to say I find it extremely ironic that for a modelling-group composed almost entirely of people who haphazardly assemble and release 10+ different characters usually without the part-authors permissions or credits, they sure take model distribution guidelines super-seriously. 🙄 If or when I complete this we'll see what happens. For now, it's limbo.
After 4 years in the professional industry I've gotten so spoiled by rigs that just work when you want them to, and few things are as frustrating as just wanting to get your creativeness on in your spare time only to find every rig that should enable you to do so is half-assed, or for some reason limited to MMD.
Now I'm of the opinion that MMD is hot garbage (There's some good stuff in there too, I very fondly remember Bad Apple), and I wouldn't personally touch it with a ten-foot pole - but I get why people might like it.
So when I stumble onto something I want to work with I just have to bite the bullet and port them to Maya and clean up the resulting UTTER MESS that is double-skeletons, broken skinning, overlapping geometry, duplicate materials, awful rigging. Most of this is probably the plugins faults during import, but the fact that a lot of these .PMX's are frankensteined from 10 different characters probably doesn't help!
I guess to clarify - I'm mostly being villainous towards MMD as a software. I also really, really hate Blender.
The models are generally fine - but flawed. And I wanna fix that and make something that is a little bit more flexible, and more generally software-friendly.
So, uh, here's my WIP attempt at un-uglying an MMD model after it's been imported to Maya, and cleaning it up so the rest of us can use it. Here's some stuff it does so far:
- Original rig utterly destroyed, replaced with a Mixamo basic rig (rigs do not need to be this complicated, MMD).
- HumanIK control rig (Because why fix what isn't broken?).
- Geometry fixed to more closely resemble the character.
- Toon-shaders for Maya Software/Hardware/Mental Ray rendering. (For PBR-based rendering (ie Redshift) the materials have ambience to work better with lights).
- Improved eye-texture
Among the stuff I plan to fix is a better neck-tie-bow-thing, higher resolution vest-thingymajig, reintroducing joints for skirt & hair (maybe dynamicJoints???) and just overall QOL improvements that should make using these models a little less of a pain.
I also might maybe make a facial rig to utilize all the blendshapes. There's a LOT of them though, so I'll try to figure it out. No promises.
Things I won't do tho: Fix every broken and unwelded vertex. There's just too goddamn many of them.
No, I will not make this model available for MMD. It'll be as .MB-files for Maya-nerds, and an FBX for anyone else.
Can't guarantee shaders will work completely in anything else though. I don't even want to imagine what Source would do to this thing.
Original models released by and I guess all these people:
By the time I'm done with this thing it'll be likely beyond recognition from the originals anyway, but hey.
The idea is to make models better, easier to use and make them actually visually appealing to the eye, the witch hunts by the japanese community and so on is overkill haha.
I'll spare you an entire rant because what I want to say has apparently already been said. Also, I know you don't care. In the end, we can both agree to disagree. To me, this seems like a rant over the MMD Community, which is fine. Stuff like that happens all the time. However, disrespecting someone's work for an MMD model in such a manner to the public really is ignorant.
Now, I will say this: if you really looked, you'd find some amazing works used in MMD. But, I'm sure you've got WAY more important things to do, like trash-talking someone's model for a program you clearly find distasteful. But, I digress. You have your opinions, and I along with other MMD'RS have our own. I'm not trying to parade around with a picket sign of protest it anything, just stating my opinion the same way you're basically doing.
Just be careful when testing the waters, for they might be very tepid, and we all know how nasty the internet can be. Basically, what I'm saying at the end here is to keep your nose clean and try not to stir up any trouble the world clearly doesn't need.
Y'know, you say you've read my comments and what I wrote in the description, but I don't think you really did.
I would suggest adding shading to the white shirt's texture so it can blend better with the outer wear and her hair. It currently appears too white in comparison to her surrounding mesh and even to the original shirt's coloring.
What are your qualms with Blender? I was introduced to 3D modeling and animating through a course using Maya (ver. 2012) but was out of luck once my student free licensing ran out and had to hesitantly move to Blender's awkward ways. While I can't remember Maya too well I do recall there being tools and methods I loved that blender has yet to implement or doesn't do as cleanly. However, after my time learning and utilizing Blender I'd consider it a decent software to use. The zero cost bundled with it's community and tools it offers makes it a reasonable software as a hobbyist.
I had avoided MMD for a while because a part of the fun (for me) was learning & creating models of my own. However, last year I converted MMD models over to Blender to learn from and have fun with. Then sadly the TDA rules and messiness of the models had me move back to creating my own instead without publishing my playful attempts. It was useful to handle "professionally" made models, learn about key shapes and topology but my conscious wasn't able to overlook the rules. I believe the original intent for MMD and TDA models were for them to depict the specific character models they made and in the style they made them in. With custom clothing or minor edits at times which still represented the same character. Sadly foreign places started ripping pieces apart to create new models and formed an "everyone else does it" mentality that fed into most new comers viewing MMD as a 3D dress up "game"/"creation" tool. Personally didn't feel comfortable going with the flow but people who can overlook the wrongness are likely not going to be pursuit legally. As long as you don't monetize your use of the model nor use it in mature media the worst it'll do may be fuel the current misconception.
I'm not a professional in media but would suggest looking up and ensuring the use of MMD items won't be frowned upon in the industry, even if you only intent to use it for a hobby project. MMD can hold negative connotations or aspects due to it's foreign (non-japanese) community's disobedience which may be best not to be tied towards when working in the field.
I think you pretty much answered your own question as to what my qualms are with Blender. It's just an awkward software. There's a lot of conventions it breaks that you see on most other industry-standard software in terms of UI, control schemes, overall function, rendering capability, inter-software compatibilities. Blender is a bit of a "walled garden", in my experience. It's very nice for the user who HAS to use it, but you're very limited in what you can do, and the ways you do it are usually unnecessarily convoluted in a way something like Maya just does with a breeze.
I can agree with most of what you're saying on MMD itself, I very briefly considered getting into it when I was just starting out in 3D, way before I had ambitions to get into it professionally, but I wanted something with a bit more juice to it. I never really thought much about what the restrictions were with MMD models because I never fully got into it, and now I'm VERY glad I didn't, because some of these restrictions are a bit ridiculous (in my opinion). I get being protective of ones work, but TDA takes it to a level I haven't seen before and it kind of rubs me the wrong way. I'm of the belief that if you are willing to release something into the wild, like a 3D model, for people to use as an asset in their own creations then putting arbitrary limitations that prohibit people from realising a models full potential just feels... wrong. Why shouldn't it be ported to Maya for use in something a bit stronger than MMD? The net gain is just positive, at least from my experience.
Either way, I was definitely not planning to monetise this. At most it would be a .zip file I put up here whenever it's done, but the pushback I've gotten from the MMD community has made me reconsider pretty drastically. I've never seen anything quite like it.
As for what is/isn't frowned upon in the industry, while MMD is hardly something you would put on your CV in the first place, if it did come up for some reason it's pretty much just a matter of explaining what it is - experimentation. If anything that's encouraged in a creative field. As long as I don't exercise said experimentation in a professional setting, it won't matter. It's what you do professionally and put in your portfolio.
I could understand disliking Blender for it's unconventional UI but felt it lacked as a reason for triple hating it. Every software requires getting used to when starting. Hating it to avoid learning and to stay in comfort felt empty, as there are various other software mixed into the pipeline of animating that require getting familiar with their own UI types. Drawing/texturing, video editing softwares and so on. Though I can consider it's complexity and lack of fluency between processional programs as a reason to heavily dislike it. I didn't advance into Maya's full potential nor do I have experience with other Autodesk/professional software to compare and know of Blender's limits but do recall two. There was a free external Addon that worked wonderfully for UV mapping on Maya. I also loved how easy it was to connect values on to different objects/properties so that one bone/rig-curve could control various others through sliders or input boxes. The process creates what are called "Drivers" in Blender but working with them compared to Maya's has been less straightforward.
I can partially understand not wanting people to rip apart or drastically change the original style of their models but I do agree that limiting the use to only MMD strikes me as odd. I assume the rule's purpose was to stop people from using it in games (like Steam allows) or as a game asset for developers. Sadly 3D softwares fell under the loose phrasing of the rule. For better or worse the MMD community has a side attempting to lower damage caused by the community as a whole by informing others to ask for permission and credit the original creators. The problem being the rules aren't clear, can conflict each other and some of these individuals may not be aware of how to express the information in a neutral non-confrontational manner.
Sounds like a reasonable explanation. The questionable community and messy models aside, looking through MMD assets can be fun for getting ideas or basic understanding on several aspects. I used to be intimidated by key-shapes and avoided learning about them until I realized their usefulness while playing around with the facial expressions of a model. There is always something to learn or creativity to find in all places.
mmd is born to be a program for fun, it's not something even near professional. I've tryed to use Cinema4D, Maya or ZBrush but since I have a laptop and not enough money to buy a real computer with a decent graphic card, MMD it's the only way that i have for experiment with 3D without getting my pc slow and unusable.
Most of the people that use MMD are kids and more than half of them aren't interested in a future as modeller/animator/whatever is related to 3D so don't be so bothered if MMD isn't a good software. It isn't meant to be.
I'll fly over the definitions you have given to the model because it should be clear to you that this isn't the civilized way of behaving but "after 4 years in the professional industry", as you said, why you should still bother for the MMD community?
In my opinion, if the mmd problems are so big for you, made some tutorials to help us to understand how to rig properly or how to fix models. Certainly what you did doesn't help anyone
- My note of time in the industry is to strengthen the point that I've been spoiled by good rigs. It's a negative statement on myself and how comfortable I've gotten.
- I don't bother with the MMD community. The only reason I'm approaching these models is because they're the ones closest to the result I'm looking for.
- There's thousands upon thousands of tutorials on rigging that can explain the work better than I ever could. I am not your tutor.
The program is bad for you? No one is asking you to use it. Also, it's just easy to learn and I personally think it's a good way to approach 3D.
Obviously the models has errors when you put them in other programs! They're made to avoid the problems of MMD and, again, they aren't made from professionists.
It's not a serious software, it's born just to promote the VOCALOID Project, what are you even expecting
- These types of models are the only ones out there that serve the purpose I'm aiming for. I've told you this twice now. If I had other options, I would use those instead.
- The software, and the way interacts with other software, is not exempt from criticism.
- Again, just because the software "wasn't made for professionals" doesn't make it less of a shitty software. It is still a shitty software. MS Paint is also not for professionals, but it's still a good software. GIMP is not for professionals, but it's still a good software. MMD is not for professionals, but it is not a good software. Stop putting it on some kind of holy pedestal. If you can't handle someone saying that the software you use is terrible, then maybe you should leave.
-if these types of models are the only ones out there good for what you are doing have the decency, and i'm saying it for the second time, to not insults other works. A constructive criticism is appreciated from everyone but what have you done is just mean. And childish. You're using a model that you haven't made because, for what i've read, you don't know how to make one from scratch. So have some respect, that's all i'm saying;
-never said that mmd is a good program.
- The insinuation you're making is that MMD, just because it isn't professional, is exempt from criticism. This is a terrible attitude to hold.
Having 4 years of professional industry in your background could open you to some of compassion towards others that could just be starting, my dude - some of them are literal children. Stop shitting over someone's else work, because I'm sure this user spent time and effort onto making this model edit.
Yes, it's TDA. I trash TDA edits most of the time to be honest. But I have the decency not to do it publicly, unless it is racist or hurting someone.
Rules stated by TDA are admittedly not followed by most users, but he does not allow his data to be used in any other program except MMD or with an authorization by TDA himself.
Please, don't fuel the fire; his works have suffered enough.
And even if you transform and edit every part beyond recognition, the original mesh is still not yours sadly. Being a editor myself, I do that on every single of my models, and I still have to credit every single original mesh creator.
Please, don't trash someone's motivation to continue and improve (sometimes ending up modeling their own works) just because you have talent and experience. Again, some of them are children.
Not everyone is motivated by hatred and harsh critique in order to be a better people - and I'm sure this is not through those techniques that you got where you are.
So why do this to other users? Why not show some kindness??
If you have that much talent, shouldn't you be able to model your own models from scratch? Aren't you the one calling edits hot garbage?
Go on my man, do it, work on it, become a "better version of yourself."
You did mention that people could improve if you talk shit about their stuff.
Harsh criticism sounds nice when directed towards others. But when it's directed to ourselves, it sounds childish, pissy. Rarely anything good comes out of it.
I just think it is really rude. When you're 22 and think you have the right to talk to a 11/13 year-old on the account that you're some kind of amazing artist or some shit.
This isn't being good or an example, this is being cocky.
People have feelings - and yes, pure flatter does not help improvement. But pure insults and acting like a savior for "improving a model" will not help either.
I acknowledge that this is not the original description, but it still sounds so harsh and rude. Why would you do that to someone who did not ask for it ?
Most of my criticism lies in MMD's nature, not so much on the person who assembled the model I'm editing. But truth is most of the publicly available MMD-models are frankensteined from 10+ different assets and that's going to be messy. The people who make them know this. The people who use them know this. This isn't some hush-hush secret that needs to be kept quiet. Things break when you work them like this.
Honestly the TDA parts are the best ones, if anything. I'm going to be able to replace pretty much most of this model, but the face is really necessary. As for that, I don't think porting his assets to a different software is making the work "suffer". If anything it should enhance it, since it'll be put into something more modern. I've seen the guy experiment with Unreal on Twitter, so it's not something he's unfamiliar with anyway.
I'm a cinematic generalist specialized in character animation. My modelling skills outside of props & environments is limited to cleaning up rigs & geometry. Making a full character from scratch just isn't my forté. However, cleaning up an existing model is something I know and do all the time anyway. And again, I think you're mixing my wording up. The edits aren't necessarily "hot garbage". "MMD" the software is. I've seen some really good shorts & models through that engine. But overall, the software is terrible.
And yes, I am cocky. 🤷 The world is shit, and I'm a bitter addition to it. That's pretty much that.
Please, stop the mansplaining, and try to listen, even just for a bit. Please.
This program is rarely used for professional use, or high quality renders, it's mostly for people who want to have some fun. Yes we agree, there is a minority of said works, but most of them are children for whom MMD is the first steps into 3D.
About those Frankesteined edits. It is more complicated than a simple "taboo everyone knows" thing. Many of these users are, once again, beginners at 3D - they don't know about the term, or how 3D works, and just try to make something work. With time some improve, evolve and sometimes go to other programs. Others just keep this as a "from time to time hobby" and don't bother. Yes some of those edits break, because, once again, they're amateurs discovering how all of this work.
Kudos to you for knowing this. But insulting them serves no purpose. Absolutely none.
It is my only opinion, but it gives me an image of a professional that is everything but what I would like to become in any future.
lmao, dismissing genuine critique & me signaling my ---opinion--- on a piece of software as oppression, away went whatever credibility you thought you had - bye!
- Model data can be used only by the MikuMikuDance software"
Aka that means you can't import into other programs to use/render there.
Not to mention if you haven't contacted everyone's whose parts have been used to ask if it's okay to import into other programs.
- I've emailed TDA directly to see what he has to say. That said these model guidelines were written in 2013 so little under 5 years ago soon. I'm pretty sure the guy has more important things to worry about than some schmuck on the internet porting his by-now outdated models to a more liberating software.
- This isn't the first time someone has ported MMD models to a different software than MMD, or even WITHIN MMD. The internet is literally riddled with these mishmash edits. You think the OP who assembled the model I'm fixing up got permission from all 18 of the people in his credit-list to share and distribute the models?
- This isn't being ported to VR Chat. I wouldn't be wasting my time if that was the sole purpose. It's being ported to Arnold / Redshift 3D for use with animation in a render engine that isn't garbage for the purpose of video production in a professional-grade software suite.
- The "VR Chat friendly models" you've seen are literally the ones from the OP I'm editing anyway, lmao.