Ever wanted to see virtual idol Hatsune Miku sing the iconic, Academy Award-winning song from Frozen?
Two years back, I tried out the song editor in Project Diva Extend for the PSP by making a custom level with Hatsune Miku singing “Call Me Maybe.” But while Miku in my video did sing and dance, its background was nothing compared to the background videos in the game itself. So, with the release of Project Diva F 2nd on the Vita in Japan, I set out to do what I hadn't done last time: make a dynamic background video.
My song of choice this time around was the ever-popular “Let it Go” from Disney's Frozen. So after looking through YouTube for the best version of the song as sung by Hatsune Miku that I could find (that would be the one by user MJQ0690), I set about making the video.
To start with, I looked through the hundreds of possible Project Diva F 2nd backgrounds to find one with mountains and snow (sadly it wasn't at night) and then put Miku in the most similar outfit she has to that of pre-transformation Elsa. With the easy stuff out of the way, I went through and did the best I could to match the camera angles and walking/dance animations from the film.
However, even with the hundreds of possible pre-programmed animations—and the ability to adjust their speed—I still found myself somewhat limited by the selection and could not recreate the scene as closely as I had hoped.
With the basic bones done, I then went through and added camera movement to all the shots (you set the camera start point and end point and the computer does the rest). From there I moved on to the most-time consuming aspect of the whole video: lip syncing. Without being able to see the waveform, it is very difficult to figure out where a sound starts and where it ends. You just have to play it by ear and hope for the best.
All in all this video took me, someone who has never done anything like this before, about five hours to complete. There are some rough points—i.e., how she jumps from one animation to the next with no transition or how she runs/walks in place but never goes forward—and there is more I could have done in the editor—like adding eye movement. But I am satisfied with how this came out given the time I put into it. The editor is pretty user-friendly and I can see some great-looking videos coming out of this from people who master it.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd was released in Japan on March 27, 2014, for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. It’s scheduled for a Western release this fall.
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