View Full Version : Hellfire Spider Walk Cycle Animation

10 October 2007, 07:13 AM
This is a scratch manual FK walk cycle animation I did as a test project during the modo beta. It was created entirely inside modo 301 from a model I created in 203. The render time per frame was 85 seconds at 1280x720.

The link to the animation is on the luxology forum because they are generously providing the bandwidth to host the movie.

Thank you for looking. Any comment or crit is welcome.


PS: I am looking for hard-surface freelance modeling work -

10 October 2007, 07:29 AM
Hey Rob,

So glad you are still working with this, that animation was amazing. I can never get enough of that spiderMachine, and I can't wait to see it with the body back on (if you plan to), all I can say is: Great Job. Haven't been playing with MODO as much as I should be, but this inspired me to open it up again, maybe I can get my BlackWidow walking.

Would love to see it crawling up your building.



10 October 2007, 07:39 AM
Thanks so much Diabolos! I posted some new stills as well in my gallery and in the 3D stills section that show it with the body on. I am rendering a sequence with the body on tonight and will post it tomorrow.

Thanks again and good to see you D!

10 October 2007, 07:45 AM
From the camera setting and the spider movement, I have a feeling of the spider is moving "backward"....

And for the first two pairs of the legs, count from the toe, the 1st and 2nd joints should be bend more forward.

10 October 2007, 07:59 AM
I posted some new stills as well in my gallery

I checked those out, I REALLY like the new paint job, but then again, I just like black - excellent renders btw - now my curiosity is fully peaked. (maybe play with a touch of red somewhere on the chassis - I like it the way you have it, but just had a quick brainstorm)


10 October 2007, 08:02 AM
From the camera setting and the spider movement, I have a feeling of the spider is moving "backward"....

And for the first two pairs of the legs, count from the toe, the 1st and 2nd joints should be bend more forward.

LOL I agree with your crit dickma. It helps a great deal to have the ground surface actually move or to have objects moving by. As it is it appears in this sequence it is almost as if he is loosing traction and sliding down hill. I will work on that. When he is under load on the primary legs (front and back extremes) he pulls forward. On the secondary he moves back to a neutral position. It may be the relative speed of that motion - quick forward and slow back that is contributing to that. I honestly hadn't noticed that, so I greatly appreciate your crit. Any advice on how to sort it out would be a big help. Is slow going without IK to tweak the motion ;) I will see how the next sequence looks as it is more from the front.


10 October 2007, 08:19 AM
OK, I am not an expert on animation, even my animation is under a heave critique :-P

First of all, I think if you are presenting a walk to us, for the camera, the angle should be from top to the ground, starring to the spider in front-side view and the camera should be static because if your camera moves with the spider, you are compensating the motion.

And for the first two pairs of the legs, although it is a mechanism spider, I think it should be act like "explorating" "searching" something. Now your legs are shaped in concave. For the moving forward feeling, your first two pairs of the legs should be bend more extreme, in convex form (may be, because I don't have the model and examine what is it look like if do so) Spider head should have some movement related to the first two pairs of the leg's motion.

Anyway, get an animation package that enable IK...because that is hard if you just do that with FK.

10 October 2007, 08:37 AM
get an animation package that enable IK...because that is hard if you just do that with FK.

:D That is the ultimate plan. After all this is just a test in the beta to play and see if it could be done. Everyone told me I was nuts. I just thought I would learn a great deal by doing one manually as I had never tried it. I have used real biped rigs with IK/FK and there is absolutely no comparison. Manual FK is tedious and painful just to plant the toe and make it track, but it was fun to try and I learned a great deal through the process.

Thanks dickma

10 October 2007, 08:41 AM
We all do Crazy things.

I forgot to say, make people feel that the legs Pull the body, Do you know what I mean, body motion should not be constant in speed for slow walking.

10 October 2007, 06:46 PM
Well, all I`ll say is that its one heck of an impressive model. I mean, man it just looks awesome. The animation lacks a bit in the area of the 12 principles. However the presentation doesn`t bother me at all.

Really nice job designing and building that character. Nice job on the animation. I think you should seriously consider to have the body move forward at a more constant pace. thats what stands out most, it makes for a very robotic motion (in a bad way)

anyway, 5 stars for coming up with such an impressive character

10 October 2007, 07:06 PM
Thank you Banshax. This is my first ever walk cycle and I am not going to even pretend to be an animator ;) I have a ton to learn and this should really be posted in a WIP forum.

Animation really intrigues me as an extension of my modeling so every crit is greatly appreciated and meaningful. I will pursue it more as I add tools to do it the right way. I am hoping to add XSI soon and am dying to get started.

Thank you so much for the comments on the model as well. Really glad you like it - it was so much fun to dream up and create.

10 October 2007, 07:29 AM
The model looks great! I like the detail. But there are some animation-things that caught my eye.
The leg-timing is ok. As dickma said, the front legs could go more in the front.
But you definetly need to work on the movement of the huge body-part! (i like the pipes on the side)
If this is an slowmotion, I suppose the a bit corner-like movement of the huge body, will look much more odd in real time. That is because you move it a bit to much for a spider. I mean, it's hard to know, how a spider of that size would move, since most of us haven't seen such in a while. Usually the body doesn't move that much I think, because of the weight of a spider. It's more a gliding over the floor with 6 to 8 legs.
But the swinging of the body should first be more constant, especially in the second half of the walk (there are one or two keys disturbing... or is it an interpolation?). Check that.
Doing it all in FK IS crazy and it's nice that you tried that out... but not very practical if you want to make changes later on. You've tasted bitter, now taste a sweet IK for the walk. :)
If the spider is really supposed to be as huge as it feels now, you have to find a way to add more weight to it. But I think you can mainly show that through the legs, because the body is constantly on four of them. BUT during those two cycles that are in there, you have the chance for a slight (really a slight) up and down movement. Try that out, and if it looks odd... kick it again. It's just a thought.
The third leg on it's right side (counted from front) is not moving very nice, because there is a blip in its motion, when it is rising up again, and it stops a little when it's going down.
The stop wouldn't be that worse, if it would happen on all legs... then it becomes something like a style. But since it is the only one, it's less work to change that.


10 October 2007, 05:57 AM
Thank you Sebastian for all of the comments and insight. Greatly appreciate you taking the time.

I realize in nature the rear body for a spider remains almost neutral due to it's mass - and in this case that mass would be significant. It felt very boring as I looked at videos of spiders and I felt some degree of disappointment with their movement as all of it was concentrated in the forebody and was almost an excited bouncing. In some of the larger spiders it looks as though their rear body just drags the ground gliding on a bristle of hair. Most spiders do hold their forelegs up in an almost exploratory or defense/attack posture when running which I would also like to try. When trying to come up with a slow lumbering sumo like walk it seemed more appropriate to have some sway. Not an excuse though - just a first attempt.

The puzzle to me is how to express that mass in a way that also gives a sense of immense scale and sumo intimidation :) Mechanical real word versions of spiders (and there are a surprising number of attempts) all seem to just pound away and shake with most of the energy for propulsion lost to the complexity of the mechanics and the eccentric isolation of too many weighty parts with all those extremities in counter motion. Most of them sit and gyrate more than they move. I hope at some point in the future to achieve some earth shaking mix of grace and sheer scale in a believable way.

It is almost impossible as FK with the motion defined by the root which in this case was the joint between the front and rear body to even predict the end result. Or as you pointed out far too tedious to tweak over and over ;) I cannot wait to get to play with an IK rig on the spider, but I have a long way to go and so much to learn serious rigging and moreover motion in general. I finally feel fairly competent at modeling and can sort my way through most puzzles and get the result I am after. I love the process of learning and have always been interested to seriously study animation. I played a bunch in AnimationMaster years ago but that is my only experience with rigging and animation so I have a ton to learn.

I am glad you liked the pipes they were one of my favorite parts to model. A great exercise to sort out that maze and find a visually pleasing fluid path to route them.

Thanks again for the advice and encouragement and for the generous comments on the model - greatly appreciated!


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