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vasilnatalie's avatar

Download OrbitCam for MMD


This is a dummy bone setup to orbit a target in a elliptical (elliptical-ish) shape at a variable velocity, and to do so smoothly.  While it is quite complicated, I have provided very specific setup instructions, and I think you'll find that it's much easier to set one of these up than to set up smooth camera swoops by hand.  That picture above shows the dots described by the orbit-- as they're farther apart, the camera is moving more quickly.  (Actually I just drew a few of those in by hand.  But three-fourths of them are from taking screenshots and plotting.)  Everything moves smoothly off of initial, frame 0 setup and the registration of a single rotation bone that multiplies your input: if you register 90 degrees at frame 1600, you get an orbit every 3-ish seconds.

For an example in action, check out the gifs at… (ugly pic, but all-ages) or at… (prettier pic, but sexual themes).  You should be able to create more varied forms of orbits by further manipulation; as an example, I think a death spiral is perfectly doable.

There are features I could add, but this structure is very, very touchy, and I would like to add these modularly, via additional files that can affect functions via OP registration.  I am uploading as much for myself as for you-- I want an archive including a functioning version of OrbitCam, and I want detailed readme instructions for the next time I come back from a year-long hiatus and can't figure out any of my own stuff.  (Who am I kidding, nobody but me is ever going to use this.)
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allow me to dl it. thanks
vasilnatalie's avatar
I don't understand.  Is the link working for you?
Yes. It's working normally
vasilnatalie's avatar
Of course!  Let me know if you need some help understanding it.
ToadieOdie's avatar
Out of curiosity, can this be used for something other than the camera? Like making one model orbit around another?
vasilnatalie's avatar
Yes, absolutely.  In one stream of the video I made recently, the floor orbited while the camera and projector remained stationary.  Camera is just a suggestion.  OP anything you want to the satellite bone.  Note that it will maintain orientation toward the center of the orbit (depending on how you use the Focus bone), like being tide-locked.  Which may not be what you want.

However, if you don't need a complicated orbit, what I'd recommend is making your own dummy bone, because it can be a lot simpler than this crazy structure.  You can make a two-bone dummy bone, one bone rotating around another, and then OP whatever to the second bone.  If you want a multiplier, it's not super hard.  Look for append bones in MMD.  You just use a really high ratio to reduce the number of registrations you'll need.
ToadieOdie's avatar
I was just curious. It got me thinking about possible ways to play with it is all. :D
SPIRITRAY76's avatar
Can't wait to test it out.
vasilnatalie's avatar
Cool, let me know what you think!

Edit: or if you have any questions, I know the whole structure is a little crazy.
SPIRITRAY76's avatar
Yeah this model you made is incomplete.
vasilnatalie's avatar
I'm sorry, how?  Is it not working after following the instructions?
SPIRITRAY76's avatar
Yeah i followed the instructions and there was no success. But at least you did something but i got a freecamera effect and the dummy bone in my flashdrives
vasilnatalie's avatar
Don't know what to tell you.  I just downloaded a fresh copy and followed the instructions and am now orbiting my model.

I do tell you what to expect to see at various points in the instructions.  If you can tell me where you stopped seeing what the instructions said to expect, I might be able to help you solve any problems.  The instructions aren't simple, I know, and it's entirely possible that I didn't phrase something as well as I could have.
SPIRITRAY76's avatar
I could but olny at gmail.
vasilnatalie's avatar
Not giving you my email address, sorry.
LGMODS's avatar
Thank you for sharing, I was really interested in this one.
What I like with you is that you always make something different and dig a lot in them Thumbs Up 
vasilnatalie's avatar
Huh, that's good to know.  Wasn't expecting any interest.  It's good for me to mess about with a lot of different things.  It helps when I'm getting burned out on a subject.  And of course, all of this stuff interacts, and understanding how to do one thing gives me insight on how to do things in a different field.  Like, making models with an understanding of the way the renderer works, gained from messing with effects.

I hope the camera is not too much trouble to set up.  I created detailed instructions, but language might be a problem-- there are several steps, and if you don't read the readme, it's hard to get anywhere.

BTW, it wasn't a heart-shaped orbit after all, it's just that I was creating too sharp of a speed change in order to demo the effect.  However, I still would like to create a way to modulate the acceleration.

Just finished my dummy bone to eliminate rotation from an OP.  Can be handy in conjunction with this, so that you can OP the center of the orbit to a model's center and not have to worry about the model rotating.  It's at… .  No readme, but there are only two visible bones, Input and Output.  OP Input to another model.  OP a third model's bones to Output.  As an example, OP Input to a model's center, then OP OrbitCam's AdjustCenter to Output, and you should get an orbit that follows the model without being affected by the model's rotation (within reasonable ranges of model motion from the origin; don't go attaching it to spaceships with realistic velocities).  Haven't done in-depth testing yet though.
LGMODS's avatar
Thank you for all the explanations.
Obviously reading the ReadMe is a necessary step, people know what they download so if they are expecting a magic work well.. They are wrong.
Not everything work instantanly when it's loaded, it's another point where it make some effects more unique in my opinion.

As you said, camera is one of the most tricky thing to adjust correctly.
Interpolation aren't making the job everytime and this kind of orbit effect is clearly very tricky to do with a simple camera frames in a short duration and being smooth.
I remember when you was making some test in past by attaching camera to eyes bones. You always have some great idea even if it can look basic at first you dig in them and make something better than the first idea.

I will let you know if I have some trouble when I will test this orbit camera, I wish I could had it before for some of my motions but it's never too late :)
vasilnatalie's avatar
That reminds me of something that I've been thinking about.  Which is that part of getting to be better at this stuff is getting better at separating out parts.  Of analyzing animations, models, images, whatever, to pick out the good parts so that you can use them and ignore the bad parts so you don't.

Here's an example.  On Iwara, somebody asked about how to render an image.  I looked at it, I saw either a normal map or a specular mask, that's it.  I told him it was very easy.  He sent me a message with a link to a video and asked how to render that.  I looked at it and in thirty seconds saw all of these features-- diffuse glossy reflections, some kind of dynamic environment mapping, etc.  I said that would be very hard.  But to the guy asking, he couldn't really see all of those particular things.  He could only see the entire picture, not the parts that it was made out of.  It's like what he knew was, "This picture is pretty.  This other picture is pretty.  This third picture isn't pretty."  But what's important, if you want to learn how to make good pictures, is to identify exactly *why* those pictures are pretty, and why the other picture isn't pretty.  That doesn't come easy.

So a lot of the times, I think I make demos to show what something can do, not to make a really beautiful picture.  Part of that is because I'm not really good at making beautiful pictures, and the reason I make tools and release them is because I want other people to make beautiful pictures for me :)  Another part is that making things look good is *hard*, it takes a lot of time, and in the midst of something, I'd rather devote my time to the next project rather than a sexy demo.

But in MMD, a huge number of people don't really know how to analyze pictures like that.  They can't see the components yet, they can only see the whole thing.  So they say, "How do you make that?"  And somebody tells them Raycast, and they think Raycast is a magic make-pretty button.  Just for example.  Raycast can make some amazing visual effects.  But it's not going to make an ugly video or model look good.

So most of the people that look at that first orbitcam demo, or at this pic, are just going to see an ugly picture.  Because they don't know enough yet to be able to separate out camera angles from everything else.  To be able to separate those out, to get an idea of how you can integrate ideas from multiple places and create your own vision, that requires a lot more experience.  That kind of integration and personal vision is what I really want to see from MMD animators.  Because the world is full of Source Filmmaker videos that all look "good", game-ripped models with all the rendering bells and whistles, but all of those videos look exactly the same as each other.

BTW, don't you ever sleep?
LGMODS's avatar
I got what you mean.
Sadly there are a big part of truth here.
Most of people will see this Orbit Camera as an ugly picture without even reading the description to know how it should function.
In others words, the effect of first impression.

It's similar to when you have to choose of a miniature for your video, at first you can think "oh it's just a miniature, it's not important, people who will get curious will click anyway." but no.
Sadly this miniature will have a big impact on people who will get attracted or not in it.
This is jointing the first impression, also people who will judge only on what they see first as you described perfectly with this Iwara example.

Trying to look behind is what I like, I learned a lot of thing in MMD only by "reverse engineering" stuff.
When something got my attention and I didn't know how to make it I was trying everything to reproduce it myself, or even better, enhance it.
Ofc, tutorial make thing easier but I like to learn by myself too, discovering thing by my own and more.

A simple example, I noticed a lot of people who try to make their models breathing are using torso bones.
Advanced users will use torso, groove, neck and head with interpolation.
But I never saw anyone making a morph on the torso to make it bumping as a real breath. Why?
It was the first thing I got in mind when I wanted to make a breath effect and I still can't understand why people was so focused on bones than creating a morph to bump the torso.
If you look yourself you can clearly see this way is realistic. But you can also combine bone and morph ofc it's a great combination.

But I don't blame people, we all think different and even me I can miss something very easy because I always think in the hardest way first.

Another reason why I like to animate in MMD than SFM, sadly a lot of people think SFM is the best software to make animation and renders.
It have its own advantage but MMD too and people see MMD as a simple dance software for Miku model.
I don't like this vision and that's why I trust in MMD potential, using it for another purpose than simply making Miku dancing.
It's not because a software is supposed be less better than another it mean it's shitty.
It only depend of the person who is using it and how he use it.

And yes I sleep, time to time :D
I'm a machine, I can't stay without doing nothing, it's more strong than me.
Even when I finish something who took me weeks to complete I want to start another big thing immediatly after.
My mind need to stay busy everytime it's like I'm not authorizing any rest.
(And I can say hello to multiple headache because of that).
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