View Full Version : Run Cycle WIP

06 June 2006, 06:10 AM
in school for 3d animation, (about 6 months from graduation) and am working on a run cycle for my graduation demo reel and could use some crits on it.

unfortunatly for some reason when i compile the iffs into a quicktime it decides to include the last frame twice, so it doesn't appear to repeat as well as it actually does

animated in maya, model and rig from (

could use some crits on improving it

updated render

06 June 2006, 12:21 AM
it looks really good. the only thing i'd suggest is to straighten the arms at the breakdown position to give a little drag to the forearm. also i'd put a little more up and down movement on the body. other than that, i'd say this is almost ready for your reel. good work!

06 June 2006, 01:38 AM
thx for the crit man

06 June 2006, 07:44 AM
Looks pretty nice. Great model. I would agree that the arms are a bit stiff. Maybe they could cross over in front of the body a little even. Also a nit-picky thing, I know, but the arms passing through the shoulder-guard piece.

More up and down movement is definitely a good suggestion.

Maybe you could raise the legs up even higher? Arc the back more? Some slight movement in the wrists/hands could give it another level of reality too.

Great work!

06 June 2006, 04:42 PM
thx for the crits man, ya that shoulder piece was bothering me too, but i need to modify the rig for that, as its not rigged for the shoulderpad to be flexible. and i'm trying to focus mainly on the motions of the run cycle, and havn't bothered characterizing it or anything like that at this point.

thx for the pointers

06 June 2006, 06:51 PM
thx or the crits guys, updated the animation using some of your pointers, i experimented with the back straiter up and more arched, but it seemed to take away from the animation in this case

heres the new version

crits and comments welcome

06 June 2006, 12:36 AM
One small thing. :)

Often runners are taught to bend their hand/wrist back, as if when the left or right arm goes back, they have a hammer in their hand, and the hammer hits a "wall" that is right behind them. It helps a little bit to conserve energy and increases sprint speed. Not necessary, but would polish the animation a lil'. :D

06 June 2006, 06:56 AM
Looking good...I would just reiterate that about adding more movement to the hands....

Looks great!

06 June 2006, 07:25 PM
i actually did add a bit of movement in the wrist/hand area, altho it is hard to tell at the speed the arm is moving, and i'm hesitant to add more, as my expierience from being a soccer player, i don't have my hands moving all that much when jogging, also when experimenting it seemed that when i added enough to make it noticable in the render it would look akward.

as i said, i did actually add some, and it did help the animation, and ading more of a wrist rotation in that direction seemed to take away from it. however you may be implying different motions that i assume, so maybe if you could be more specific on the hand motion, i can look into that area some more

i see all crits as valuable so i'm not ignoring it

06 June 2006, 09:43 PM
Hey prob if you donīt want to add more wrist movement. What you added was just so subtle I didnīt notice it.

Looks good! Congrats

06 June 2006, 09:47 PM
was that the type of wrist motion you were suggesting? cause i'm actually gonna modify it a bit more, as the wrist is too locked at the breakdown position, with the arm at the side, and i want it to follow the arm a bit more, and a little more apparent settle in of the hand before the arm begins moving back forward.

06 June 2006, 09:58 PM
Sorry, not used to my Wacom yet, but wasn't aware of a picture already on the 'net that would illustrate this. I'm sure there are other schools of thought, but this is how many train "professional" sprinters. Also, the hands overall are loose, but not dangling. (not saying they are in your animation, just a side note)

06 June 2006, 10:05 PM
well, I was basically looking at the position of the wrists at the 2 extremes, in the front at back. When in the front (it would be easier to give frame numbers if you add them), the wrist points down. Everyone runs differently, obviously, but when I run, my hands are more loose... and when arriving to the front of my body before going back, then actually move slightly up, towards my face (and yes, I just tested it right now to make sure :)).

Then when his hand goes back, after reaching the extreme, when it begins to move forward again, maybe you could make the wrist turn slightly under (top of hand towards the ground). Just slightly..just so that the top of the hand isnīt always facing the camera so rigidly.

Realistic animation is tough, but I think sometimes you have to stretch reality just a little bit to make an animation seem more natural and less rigid.

Good luck!

06 June 2006, 10:11 PM
cool was kinda along the lines of what i thought, i'm gonna tool around with it a bit more, and see how it looks.

thx for the crits pollo and sky, i'll tweak it a bit and put an update up tonight

and ya, frames are 0-20, 0 and 20 being identical, and only rendering 0-19 for the looping, breakdown, obviously is at frame 10, and i have some offseted motions for the arms and legs to settle in, accelerate, all that stuff to capture the motion a bit better, if you really want one i could give you a keyframe breakdown


06 June 2006, 08:49 AM
Nice. The change in the hands is very subtle, but just what it needed I think. Before you could see that the hands were very rigid. Now you just don't notice them at all... :) Looks more natural.

06 June 2006, 09:39 PM
Very good :)

06 June 2006, 10:41 PM
looks very good 2 me.Nice model design aswell . If it were me i would add some facial expression. She looks really relaxed, like she could run forever.

06 June 2006, 04:18 PM
I would suggest loosening up the upper body and the head a little bit. The head would move up and down so slightly no matter how hard you are trying to concentrate on running forward and right now its just stiff forward. I also think you should stretch the legs out a little more they are to bent when the character's legs are strecthed out before impact back with the ground. Her left leg also locks out when she is running. I have a question about the feet, when you walk our run you push off from the ball of your foot so your foot is bent with the heel off the ground and I am not seeing that in this character. I had noticed she was wearing some platform shoes or something and didn't know if this is why she wasn't bending her foot.

I hope that helps.

06 June 2006, 09:13 PM
thx for the crits and comments guys,

idigm, thx for pointing out the locked leg, i never noticed that, with the steps coming down at the front, since its more of a slow paced run/jog i opted not to get the leg perfectly straitened out when the foot makes contact with the ground, as when i was acting out, etc, i wouldn't lock out my knee fully in the kind of run i'm animating, i know alot of people run differently, but i decided to go with what i have the best reference of in this case, i will take a loot at that aspect and fool around with a straiter leg when it comes down.

and also, there are rig issues with the feet and torso that i eventually will have to go in and edit the rig to more suit my animating style, mainly the footroll, stuff, wich i already modified heavily, as the group nodes connected to the foot roll were parented to the world, the COG controller, has some automated stuff where if rotated it effects the back joints, wich i don't like and will modify, and there is only 1 standalone back controller, and prefer 3 for better control of the back movement. also the head rotations are based on a translating controller, wich i'll prob change aswell, and will add some better head movement.

unfortunatly i'm bogged down with classes etc, and thats alot of work disecting the rig and modifying it to what i'm most comfortable working with, at wich point i can make alot of those very subtle changes, maybe adding some finger motion, modifying it from a fist to a loser hand that is more relaxed when you run in that motion, adding some toe movement, head movement, more to the back, etc.

however since this is technically the first run cycle i've created in maya, my main focus was mostly in the arm/leg motion, the overall COG translations, weight shifting, settle ins etc.

hopefully i can sit down and make the rig changes without effecting the skin weights and add alot more of the detailed stuff that you guys are pointing out, wich have been a great help so far btw

i'll try and make some changes within the week and post an updated render

once again, thx a ton for the crits

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