MikuMikuDance (commonly abbreviated to MMD) is a popular freeware 3D animation engine created for the production of videos featuring VOCALOID mascots. It is a part of the VOCALOID Promotion Video Project (VPVP), and can be downloaded in both English and Japanese . The application itself was programmed by Yu Higuchi (HiguchiM) and has experienced many significant upgrades since the initial release. Originally, the program featured only Hatsune Miku, but has since been upgraded to support any 3D models using the .PMD or .PMX format.
Main article: MikuMIkuDance Wiki


Key PeopleEdit

Yu Higuchi
HISTORY: On October 2007, shortly after Hatsune Miku was introduced, some 3D animators began to post 3D Promotional Videos of Miku on Nico Nico Douga. However, because each creator had their own different 3D programs which were difficult to utilize, fans with little or no knowledge of 3D animation skills had little opportunities to make similar videos of their own unless they invested a lot of time just learning the basics of each software.

Fortunately, on the 24th of February 2008, Yu Higuchi released MikuMikuDance (MMD) as a free software. This program simplified many aspects of 3D animation creation and its user friendliness, ease and simplicity attracted many creators. Soon, it became a worthy alternative to other existing 3D programs and fans can now publish 3D videos of vocaloids on video-streaming websites such as Nico Nico Douga and Youtube. The default Miku model was created by Animasa, and now MEIKO, KAITO, Kagamine Rin, Kagamine Len, Akita Neru, and Yowane Haku are available. Default Sakine Meiko by Kio and Neru Akita by M2 is also distributed. Furthermore many other model creators are distributing their own models for the use on MMD.

  • Alias: HiguchiM (樋口M /ヒグチエム)
  • He is was one of the leading 3D program developers of Vocaloid characters on Nico Nico Douga and is most well known as the creator of MikuMikuDance. On May 26, 2011 he announced he would retire from developing the program any further. However, in June 2013 he appeared to come out of retirement and updated the program to it's version 8 release in July.
TRIVIA: *Yu Higuchi does not guarantee the proper work of fanmade models on MMD platform.


Animasa (あにまさ)
HISTORY: The software comes with a number of models by Animasa. Originally, only a Miku model was supplied. Later, new models have been added, including models of popular Vocaloid fanmades. These models are released for editing and general use for the MMD software and often serve as the base model for other models produced by users.

They are relatively low quality overall in comparison to the models often produced by independent model makers, but as they come with the software, they naturally may be updated as the software updates occur, to demonstrate the improvements implemented into the MMD software. Miku's model, for instance, was originally quite plain and simple. Users unsure of the restrictions of MMD models are advised to stick with the Animasa models, they are the safest models to work with. Use of these models is well documented and comply with the first 2 of the 4 basic MMD outlines , although fanmades made from these models no longer fall under the first two outlines and instead fall under the 3rd outlines.

PROFILE: He is the MMD "default" model creator for MikuMikuDance. He posted his first 3D Miku movie on November 30, 2007 and this event led to the development of MMD by HiguchiM.

Vocaloid "Stock" Models

==Model policy==
  • Further information being gathered, however...
  • Redistribution and editing is freely allowed.
  • Models are not to be for commercial use.
    • Despite this, the models have been featured on the first MMD Magazine.
TRIVIA: *Animasa models continue to be one of the most edited bases in the MMD community, in particular the Miku who's base has spawned a number of variants, fanmades and original characters. Haku coming in second for having womanly body and Len for young male characters.



  • Animating various 3D models and accessories
  • Interpolation/Curves
  • IK Bone animation
  • Import background animations
  • Import/Export Motion Data
  • Import WAV sound files to play along with your movie
  • Adjust camera position and properties
  • Adjust light source and properties
  • "Bullet Physics Engine" and the ability to adjust the "physics" of models and gravity
  • Adjust resolution
  • Render AVI file of movie at desired frame rate and compression technique
  • Render screenshots in various formats
  • Shadow Mapping
  • Track bone movement while in Camera Mode. Also a camera button on the view section.
  • Volume setting
  • Camera button on the view section

Extra NotesEdit

  • An English tutorial for Versions 2 and 3 was released on September 25, 2008 by Mikudan and it is recommended reading for those wishing to use MikuMikuDance and its later versions.
  • For more models, accessories, backgrounds, stages and other addons, it is recommended to visit VPVP Wiki (Japanese Language)
VPVP MikuMikuDance Tutorial 1/2
HiguchiM (creator); cityedge (translator)
Category MMD Tutorial
VPVP MikuMikuDance Tutorial 2/2
HiguchiM (creator); cityedge (translator)
Category MMD Tutorial


As well as the software itself MMD users have occasionally made addition plugins that will work with the software such as MikuMiku Effect.[1]

Experimental FeaturesEdit

  • Motion capture using Xbox360 Kinect interface.
  • Miku Miku Effect, this feature gives the user the ability to create interactive special effects that can happen on or around the model and within the MMD environment.
  • PMX format, this format gives the user the ability to take advantage of slider options by using expressions to change colors, edit uv mapping, and make objects invisible to visible without manually shrinking or removing them.[2][3]

History of changes to MMDEdit

  • MMD model Kagamine Rin was introduced on May 3, 2008.
  • Version 3 (Multi-model edition) allowed multiple models to be on the same stage, background animations, and introduced models Kagamine LenAkita Neru and Kaito
  • Version 4 provided an English user interface and an upgraded version of Miku's MMD model
  • Version 5 implemented the "Bullet Physics Engine", "shiny textures" and sphere mapping
  • Version 6 implemented "Anti-Aliasing", "Shadow Mapping", "Ability to render screenshots in various formats" and users are now able to click and drag MMD-related files onto a MMD interface to automatically load them.
  • Version 7 provided the "Separate Window" option for a bigger screen on a separate window. A "register all facial frames" option is also added.
  • On May 26, 2011 HiguchiM announced he would retire from developing MMD.
  • On June 3, 2013 HiguchiM appeared to come out of retirement to update the MikuMikuDance software and release version 7.39m. This was to combat the illegitimate version that had been spreading around during 2012.
  • Shortly after the relase of version 7.39m, HiguchiM continued releasing multiple updates throughout the month of June into the beginning of July 2013:
    • June 7 - MikuMikuDance 7.41
    • June 8 - MikuMikuDance 7.42
    • June 11 - MikuMikuDance 7.94
    • June 24 - MikuMikuDance 7.96
    • June 28 - MikuMikuDance 7.97
    • June 30 - MikuMikuDance 7.98
    • July 1 - MikuMikuDance 7.99
    • July 5 - MikuMikuDance 8.01
    • July 8 - MikuMikuDance 8.03
  • MikuMikuDance is currently at Version 8.10, released on February 8 of 2014. The main change for this version is the addition of the Megurine Luka starter model by Animasa.

Model distributions and concernsEdit

The editing and distribution of models has been the most controversial when it comes to MikuMikuDance. Though the software is freeware, MMD models are not allowed to be freely distributed without permission of their owners, who impose some restrictions on the use and release of their models outside of their control. Some model producers only release via a "invitation-only" communities where access is restricted. Others are not part of a community but allow download from a blog or account, but will pull any model when users do not abide on the restrictions.

Basic MMD outlineEdit

All MMD users follow some basic guidelines;

  1. HiguchiM, the MMD platform author, does not own any MMD models.
  2. The default models except for Meiko Sakine were created by Animasa and the default Sakine model was created by Kio. Both creators permit the edit and redistribution explicitly.
  3. HiguchiM does not give guarantee to the the use of fanmade models. Only the default ones are guaranteed.
  4. The tacit rule among MMD creators is this: If a model author announces that he/she approves editing and redistribution, you can do those things; if he/she does not announce it, you may not. In other words, if a author says nothing about the secondary processing, it means NO. You can do only what a creator explicitly says yes to.

Notice: If you do not understand the Japanese usage rule or readme, you should refrain from redistributing or processing the model. Please remember, too, that automated translators are not fully trustworthy especially when translating languages from totally different families such as Japanese and English.

Common producer outlinesEdit

The following are common outlines used by producers, although not all producers use the same outline;

  1. Do not redistribute the model or the links to the models download
  2. Do not directly link to the model download
  3. Do not edit without permission
  4. Do not hand out passwords related to models if the producer has password protected the model
  5. Do not use the model in a way that goes against the Basic MMD outlines
  6. Please give credit to the one who made the model
  7. The sale of models is forbidden without the producer's consent

Please also understand that a Japanese model producer may not be proficient in their English language skills, however a Japanese version will also be present on the page.

Copyright IssuesEdit

While the four basic MMD outlines are the guidelines of which all MMD works are produced by, overseas MMD users have trouble understanding the 4th issue as it is not recorded in the MMD software documentations, the first 3 of which are present in the MMD software outlines. In many cases, the 4th outline is subject to the terms and conditions of the MMD model producer's will.

Still this outline is confirmed by the US Copyright Office.

Question: When is my work protected?
Answer: Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
Question: Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
Answer: No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created.
Question: Is my copyright good in other countries?
Answer: The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other's citizens' copyrights.

While a model may be dressed up to resemble Gumi, which the model producer has no copyright over, the structure of the model used is very much under the ownership of the producer. Models dressed up to resemble characters fall under the classification of fanart and are therefore subject to the rules and regulations of fanart material. Models are handed out on the basis of the model being a 3D structure resembling or based on the character, they do not pass them around as the character itself or claim copyright over the characters image. They can legally seek out the studio and acquired special permission to produce a model in the image of the studios mascot character. The producers must be able to quote the agreement they have with the studio upon distribution, acknowledge the studio's legal tender and then may release the model as per the legal documentation agreed upon. Only under these circumstances do they hold a license agreement, this model is regarded then as a model produced under the license of the studio.

While it is true the mascot may fall under copyright, the actual model itself, the structure, belongs to the producer who made it under the Berne Convention. The structure is often fitted for the producer's needs and tweak for each new model, or a new structure is created fresh for each model (sometimes the structure is also also called a "doll" or "doll base"). This base is the body of the model and is dressed up with features added on top of it to resemble characters. It is usually a universal model of a particular standard size that the producer finds most useful to work from. The same structure may end up being modified for use for hundreds of models produced by the same user, although the user may create a one off doll for use with certain models.

Not only do these conditions protect the model producers work, by using the model under these conditions, users prevent themselves from accidentally using the model in a way that goes against the legal terms of the MMD software or the copyright held by the studio.

Producers own the mascot copyright of any character they invent, which is not held under copyright by another.

This terms of use also applies to other 3D modeling software outside of MMD, such as Daz|Studio.

Common concernsEdit

Despite most models complying with copyright laws, there have been clashes between different opinions of legal and moral ethics within the MMD community. In most cases, the model producers conditions are reasonable and not too demanding, it may have taken hours of hard labor to get the model to a standard that was good enough for distribution in the first place so it acknowledges the amount of work that may have gone into that model. It is this particular aspect of a model that is often hard for users to understand.Many believe that a free distributed model is also free to further edit and redistribute and may not understand where the copyright of a model lies. It is not in the mascot it resembles, but in the body of the model.

In Japan, the majority of MMD users comply with the 4th rule, breakage of these terms are almost unheard of and a vast number of the MMD users overseas also comply with this as well. However, there have been some issues caused by a handful of overseas MMD users who have not complied with the rules. In many cases, this has upset the Japanese MMD model producers and conflict has occurred between the will of the creator and the MMD user going against their rules for the model.

MMD owners in overseas fandoms freely commit "model trades" to acquire rare and sought after models trading one model for another, however, in the process they often trade away models which are forbidden to be passed around without the owners consent. These models include paid for models like Nekomura Iroha's Windows 100% model and is regarded as the most disrespectful act in the MMD Japanese fandom. Users are also not allowed to edit these models and redistribute these models as their own work, or not as the original owners work.

Breaking the terms of useEdit

MMDmodel SF-A2miki Kio

In one of the more famous cases, Kio's SF-A2 miki model was ceased to be distributed thanks to violation of the models rules by users

Breaking the MMD models rules and regulations is a serious act of mistrust and this is becoming a common response:


NO further MMD model distributions MAY available.

Some users disobey the MMD model regulations and re-distributed the models against the original authors' requests. The original authors are the owner of copyright(s), however, the violator did not accept ANY request asking him/her to respect the regulations. Many MMD modelers ware greatly distressed to see the violence, and they are considering terminate further distribution.

In fact, the sufferer declared that she would NEVER distribute her models in public again.


Read and follow the regulations, please. We know we're good enough to do so :) "

--A warning from the MMD website "Witch☆craft", regarding a violation of terms of their models and the cease and decease of the distribution of their models

In some cases when an overseas MMD user breaks the guidelines of the MMD model producer, it is a result of the cultural divide or language barrier and they may not always understand what they are doing wrong or why. In most cases, however, it is becoming clear that general ignorance and failure to understand, or complete lack of consideration for the model copyright or the producer's ownership, that is fast becoming a problem. On top of this, a general lack of education and common misconceptions of ownage amongst rules breakers are increasing both as these cases arise and as more individuals use the software, particularly on the spread of the incorrect information on who owns the copyright of any model. Those who break the rules and do not abide by the owners request to cease and decease may cause the owner to stop handing out their models freely. This has already occurred in several instances. Continued distribution of the model after the creator has pulled the model only further angers the model makers.

"Starter" ModelsEdit

The software comes with a number of models by Animasa. Originally, only a Miku model was supplied. Later, new models have been added, including models of popular Vocaloid fanmades. These models are released for editing and general use for the MMD software and often serve as the base model for other models produced by users.

They are relatively low quality overall in comparison to the models often produced by independent model makers, but as they come with the software, they naturally may be updated as the software updates occur, to demonstrate the improvements implemented into the MMD software. Miku's model, for instance, was originally quite plain and simple. Users unsure of the restrictions of MMD models are advised to stick with the Animasa models, they are the safest models to work with. Use of these models is well documented and comply with the first 2 of the 4 basic MMD outlines , although fanmades made from these models no longer fall under the first two outlines and instead fall under the 3rd outlines.


  • You are held responsible for your own actions and use of the MMD.
  • Do respect the model makers rules and regulations, many models come with a readme.txt. If you are intending to use a model for any purpose other than producing videos, do get proper permission of use from the original owners of said model(s).
  • If you have violated any rules, it would be appreciative of you take down your videos and remove any links of illegal/unappreciative activity. Attempt to start clean by apologizing and also try to create original works. Seek advice if necessary and implement remedial actions.
  • If you do not know, are unsure of or do not understand any of the rules surrounding a model then by all means do not use it. Ask for explanation if applicable.
  • When it comes to model distributions and concerns, take the time to look up what models can be edited as well as distributed. Helpful lists are provided by fellow MMD users.
  • When trading models, check that all models involved are "safe" for trade and do not trade if they are not.
  • Simply following the set of rules by an artist(s) will be enough to continue an open and respectable relationship within the vocaloid community.
  • Do not be ashamed nor be afraid to ask if in doubt.

Windows 100% magazineEdit

MMD's popularity among otaku has spread wide enough for it to have its own magazine,[4] as well as being featured in the computer magazine, Windows 100%.

During the year of 2010 exclusive models were created and submitted to Windows 100% as a bonus for potential purchasers.[5] It is rare that these models are given out to the community, as they come with strict rules in their Readme files to not distribute, edit or trade. At times a lower quality version is instead created as a beta for the community to download, but the rules for the model still apply.

The models supplied for the magazine are also within the copyright rules because they are bundled with it for free. Purchasers buy the magazine, not the models. Windows 100% models are not the only ones seen for sale, but are safe to buy because their distribution is secure.

Users should never publicly distribute Windows 100% models

Nico Nico Douga MMD CupEdit

Another promotional event for MMD is the MMD cup. In this, MMD users compete to win first place with prizes often being exclusive models, often for use only for the winner. The event has become quite popular with users showing off their effect skills and ability to work with the software itself. The event sees a variety of different types of entries from dance videos to TV pose matching to general artistic events or comedy sketches. The event helps promote the software and the users entering.

Overseas Momi CupEdit

This took place early 2011 and was the first Western MMD cup to be held. The first place winner was Hoshigamiraiku’s “Abracadabra”.


  • Lat式ミク is the first MMD model to be turned into a collectible figure.
  • Lat式ミク is one of the most famous models that is not provided by the software itself. It has been used in many PVs and is regarded as one of the highest quality models for MMD, also having many variations on the model itself. Its most famous usage was when it served as the base in the Studio DEEN and GWave PV

External linksEdit


  1. [1] MikuMikuBeat - MikuMiku Effect
  2. [2] Youtube - PMX test
  3. [3] Youtube - MMD Newcomer - Cat Planet Cat (warning, pulsing color may cause seizure)
  4. [4] Amazon/jp - MikuMikuDance でPさんと呼ばれる本 [大型本]
  5. [5] Amazon/jp - Windows 100% 2010年 03月号 [雑誌] [雑誌]