View Full Version : walk cycles, on spot or moving?

04 April 2006, 02:35 AM
hey all
im about to animate some walk cycles for my reel

was wondering which technique would be more appropriate, either the walk on the spot or actually moving?

if you've all seen leo3d's walk cycle animations, that is a pretty neat effect and was possibly aiming towards this. Im not sure but are those animations on the spot and then animating the camera on a semi path?

any help woul dbe very much appreciated.

04 April 2006, 05:48 AM
Usually, walkcycles that stays in one spot are used in games. For film animation, you would want to actually move the character and plant his feet down for each step.

I am not completely sure but I think the video is a walk cycle in one spot.

04 April 2006, 08:04 AM
Yeah, if it's for films just do it going through the shot. In fact you probably don't even want to make it a cycle if it's for film, just do an animation the length of your shot as you'll be able to add in alot more little details.

If it's for games, have the whole character parented to a root object at the center of the scene, animate the character on the spot, then move the root object through the scene at the speed you want the character to go, then readjust the feet so they plant correctly.

04 April 2006, 01:20 PM
I've found it beneficial to animate a walk cycle on the spot just to get the timing down, and then refer to the cycle's timing when I'm animating the shots I need. I recently finished a 2D project where this really helped me keep things looking consistent shot to shot.

After all, it's hard to figure out a slow walk or fast step for your shot if you don't know how many frames the walk is to begin with.

If it's for your reel, I guess doing the on the spot cycle would help you make sure you get one done, then you can use that timing as reference for your shots if you have them laid out. Of course, if you have no Background in mind on the spot tends to work well, IMO.

04 April 2006, 11:33 PM
I've made a walk cycle on the spot, because i didnt know how to make one moving forward lol. Any tips, or a general push in the right direction? Using bones not Biped btw, 3ds max 7 cheers!

04 April 2006, 01:34 AM
When you animate a moving walk, make sure that you have some kind of IK on your leg. That way the feet stays planted.

Well a moving walk is basically like a spot walk except that you plant one foot, move the hips and move the other leg for every cycle and repeat. I don't know what else to say. You just got to try it.

04 April 2006, 12:50 PM
I really like leo3d's way of showing his walk cycles. I definitely agree that his cycles are done in-place, with the camera animated.

After making a walk cycle, the way I always displace it is to change the out-of-range types for the feet and pelvis to "Relative Repeat" and the rest of the body parts to "Loop".

04 April 2006, 02:46 PM
Another thought... this thread's really gotten my head going...

Doing walk cycles on the spot is probably best if you're beginning as well. The problems and hiccups in your animation are more apparent if you can watch them in one position. Have the camera spin once for every several walk cycles so that you can really see problems. Also, a still cycle is easier to follow in your orthographic views.

It'll also help out with your rig and skinning. You'll see problems in the deforming if you can keep the view in one place than you would if it was moving.

And gdimmrt is absolutely right... just like life you put one foot in front of the other and then follow with the hips. This really applies if you've got some acting to do, or if you're walking your character across bumpy or uneven terrain. If it's flat you can always use the out of range loop style like skybosky is suggesting, or parent the feet and hips to another helper/control object that you move across the scene. Coming from 2D this way makes sense to me...

Good luck, and post some of where you're at! :)

04 April 2006, 06:54 PM
I've often contstrained my side viewport camera to a translating character which gives the illusion of walking in place. Just make sure you only constrain it in Z otherwise it will bounce up and down ..etc... :) ... this assumes of course that your character is translating in Z.


04 April 2006, 08:12 PM
Moving walkcycles are good for when you have actions leading to and from the walk ie walk->trip, or jump-in->run. It's really tough to do that with a stationary cycle because the stride decreases as the character slows down and all the reaction the body undergoes preparing to stop so it's really confusing.

Chris Bacon
04 April 2006, 06:47 PM
My advice, get hold of as many rigs as you can..I recomend Lowman, make him Fat Thin ect and just spend a cupple of weeks animating as many walks as you can, REALY get the principls nailed down, after that do some walks where the character is acting as well....get hold of some sound clips from films/tv ect.....bast way to learn with animation is to get hands on...

05 May 2006, 04:36 AM
thanks for everyones advice. ive been watching over this thread and all your inputs in regard to it.
i completed a simple on the spot last night, its not looped properly and the hands are done using ik which im guessing was a mistake, as you can tell by all the flipping etc of the hands. do you think it would be advised to go through and animate hands with fk?

anyway point out anything & everything thats wrong or looks wrong, very much appreciated.

still figuring out how to animate the camera like leo does, any tips?
(not sure if this update should be posted here or wip-animation) let me know and im more than happy to change it.

cheers everybody.

05 May 2006, 02:05 PM
I would always animate a walk moving, even if I was going to make it on the spot afterwards. Constraining the camera to the character works well. Walking by itself is a forththrusting motion, therefore animating it on the spot will miss out on some stuff that can really help sell it (push offs, lingering feet on the up, slow in/outs in rise and fall, overlapping motion on the rotation in different axes on the hips, etc.)

A walk is the epithamy of pose-to-pose animation. It will be a lot easier to do if you first create the different keyposes (I use four: the extreme, the down, the breakdown and the up) and then put them after eachother sequentially in 3D space to get the spacing down. Then inbetween them and break up the overlapping pieces.
On a walk always animate the arms using FK and work from the torso out. Us the principles of succesive breaking of joints and break the joints if your rig allows it to get even more flexibility.

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