View Full Version : Help with animation/graphs

06 June 2007, 10:08 AM

I hope this makes some kinda sense.

If i am animating a staright forward walk ( which i'm doing in maya ) should there be any

curves on the characters X-axis in the graph editor. X-axis being his center of gravity.

should it be just a diagonal line? As the curves appear on the x-axis when i have to pull him

back and forth to fit him into the postion of the walk cycle when doing pose to pose.

Any ideas would be grand!!!


06 June 2007, 12:57 PM
not exactly sure what you mean, but for a normal/vanila walk cycle, the character only moves up and down and side to side, never back and forth.

06 June 2007, 02:24 PM
Sorry, I made a school boy error.

I was meant to say the Z-axis not the X-axis

X-axis control the side to side movements and the Z-axis control where the character is

positioned. So on a walk ( maybe also on a run) should the Z-axis on the characters center of

gravity/control just have two key frames?? Which would be the first and last frame??

Which in the graph editor would be displayed as a diagonal line? If this is right, then i can adjust the feet etc around the problems i'm having with the body over taking the legs etc..

thanks for your help!

06 June 2007, 02:29 PM
it's been a while since i did a vanilla walk, but as GoldenCamel said, the hips shouldn't move back and forth. so, yea, i think the z-translate would be a straight, diagonal line with just a start and end key. just like the ztrans on a bouncing ball.

this is assuming you are actually translating the rig across space, not just walking in place.

06 June 2007, 03:06 PM
Ahh brill,

I have been animating him in the past on the spot. But now i'm doing a combination

of him walking across space, and on the spot.

I animated the characters global control ( Which is just a nurbs circle underneth

the character) Making sure the global control z-axis is the exact opposite to the

characters center of gravity control Z-axis.


center of gravity z-axis 0 to 90

golbal control z-axis 0 to -90

Then i have the charcter back to walking on the spot!

The global control kinda acts like a tredmill for the character to walk on!

Which seems to work quite well. Now i just have to mess around with the graphs of the feet

etc. Hope to get that all sorted!

Thanks again!

06 June 2007, 07:36 PM
the first time i was assigned a vanilla walk, i tried doing it place, within the master control, and then translating the master control to have the whole thing move across the screen, as you describe. it worked fine for blocking, but as soon as i got in to spline, the feet slid around like crazy. technically, i'm sure that could have been adjusted for, but i just re did it moving the feet and hips and everything individually, leaving the master control alone. when i was done, i have the character on one side of the screen and the master 'hoop' is still over in the spot i left it. that seems to be the best way i have found do to it. i just use the master to orient the character, and that's it.

i guess if you were animating for a video game or something it would be better to have the walk contained in one spot and then translate the whole thing around, but for my purposes doing it the other way seems to work best. in the end, i'm sure it is just what ever works best for you. that's what makes this stuff so fun!

good luck!

06 June 2007, 08:29 PM
heY, Thanks for another reply!

yeah, guess its just horses for courses really. Which ever way you find it best and what your

aiming to do. Like you said, the way how i'm doing it is a method they use in video games.

which is the area i'm aiming for.

Just couple more questions.

What rig are you using to animate with, and if its free, where could i get my hands on it? lol

Also, have you ever had problems with a characters knees jerking while in a walk?

I can't seem to figure out whats causing it. Any ideas would be cool!

thanks again!

06 June 2007, 09:59 PM
right now i am using stewie from animation mentor. sorry, can't give it out or they would kick my butt to the curb :)

before AM, i played with lowman. you should be able to google lowman maya and find him. it was cool because there was a shelf for him, with lots of cool buttons to help you work. and, you can customize the look of him (make him fat, short, whatever) pretty eaisly

there are others out there, but that's the one i used the most.

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06 June 2007, 09:59 PM
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