Hatsune Miku (Final)

Well, I managed to finish things up sooner than I thought. I was able to take final photographs in the studio and they are now posted. Here are some of the last work-in-progress photos I took on my workbench.

Here is a little Photoshopping that I did. Isn’t it funny how words like Photoshop make it into our vocabulary now?

And this is the classic final picture, identical to the reference photo.

Hatsune Miku (Assembly)

Miku is just about finished! I adjusted her eyes a little to make the pupils larger. I also faded her eyebrows slightly to make them less prominent. Eyes are always tough to get right. They often take a bit of fiddling. There is also a picture of the arm assembly, with decal.

What follows now are various test assemblies. Nothing is glued yet other than the legs.

Here is a photo with the pigtails attached.

And here is another shot. There is still some more finishing work to do. There is final gluing and assembly, a little pinning for removable parts, and slight touch-ups. I’ll post final pictures in a week.

Hatsune Miku (Beginning)

Almost 6 weeks ago I started a 1/6 scale model of Miku, the Vocaloid virtual diva. This figure was made by Volks a few years ago, I believe. I have really been remiss in not posting this work and for that I apologize.

Hatsune Miku is the computer Vocaloid character that was the first character used for the Miku-Muku Dance software developed in Japan. Miku became very popular as a computer generated singer who could dance.

The first step starts with the parts. We need to wash, prep, and figure out how this kit will go together.

The big pigtails on Miku are actually hollow. This is good, because if they were solid resin they would be far too heavy for the model. My plan is to paint these with a Dailer Rowny pearlescent ink paint. Their standard ‘Waterfall Green’ color is exactly the shade that I am looking for. Their ink paints cover well, although two coats are almost always required.

The photos below show where I am starting to shade the skin tones. The darker color underneath will show when I overspray with a normal lighter color flesh tone. This gives some shading and highlights.

Here is a picture of Miku’s face that is mostly finished. I have placed a slight pearlescent sheen on the skin tones by overspraying with a light coat of a Folk Art white metallic pearl. You can see that this gives a bit of a sparkly texture that I think is appropriate for this model.

Here is Miku’s body. This is supposed to be a metallic color, but the photo shipped with the model kit doesn’t really show this. You need to do some research to validate this. I used a dull aluminum Alcald II paint for this, which I then slightly oversprayed with Alclad chrome to brighten it up.

Miku’s clothing for her arms and legs is gloss black. She is machine generated and we can get away with this type of texture, considering that she is not intended to be completely real. What follows is a pre-assembly shot of her legs (and panties), and another shot of her more modestly dressed.

Here is a final picture of how Miku is progressing. Nothing is glued yet and this is just a preview of how the work is progressing. My next post in a week or so will show the final result.

Miku Miku Dance Software

This is a placeholder for a posting on MMD – Miku Miku Dance – the software used to make the Vocaloid animations. I will expand on this as I gain more understanding.

If you want to know who Hatsune Miku is and what Miku Miku Dance software and Vocaloid software is all about, watch this video.

Much of the information related to the Miku Miku Dance tool can be found on the VPVP Wiki. The untranslated original site is here.

The Miku Miku Dance software can be downloaded from the Vocaloid Promotion Video Project.

I have posted the YouTube tutorial video links here for convienience.

This is a video of the 3D rendering of Miku from Tripshots. What is interesting is that he has released a 3D Studio download of his model.

Animation Vocaloids

VOCALOID is a singing synthesizer application developed by the Yamaha Corporation. Song writers can generate authentic-sounding singing on their PCs by simply typing in the lyrics and music notes of their compositions. The software synthesizes the sound from “vocal libraries” of recordings of actual singers, retaining the vocal qualities of the original singing voices to reproduce real-sounding vocals. VOCALOID software is bundled with VOCALOID libraries from soundware companies under licence from Yamaha. Currently, VOCALOID can generate singing in Japanese and English.

According to Yamaha, VOCALOID itself consists of a score editor, which does the scale, song-word, and expression processing; the Vocal Sound Generator, the engine that synthesizes the vocals; and libraries (each comprised of a pronunciation database and a timbre database) for each vocal. New vocal libraries can be created by recording real voices pronouncing basic vocabulary and reproducing variation effects (such as vibrato) according to templates.

To synthesize vocal parts, the system retrieves data consisting of voice snippets, applies pitch conversion, and splices and shapes them to form the words of a song as input by the user. As this processing is done at the frequency-domain level, pitch can be easily changed according to the specified melody, and the voice snippets can be spliced in a way that reproduces smooth-flowing words.