View Full Version : Basic Walk Cycle

01 January 2008, 04:08 PM
Hey guys,

This is just a basic walk cycle. I want to get inot animation acting complete with dialog and so on but want to start with some fundamentals. I tried to make it a little exaggerated and "cartoony" Using the infamous Hogan rig.

I'd appreciate comments on how it looks/how it can be improved?

Thanks in advance-

01 January 2008, 04:20 PM
I know how simple walk can be difficult to achive...

The character is walking in a too caricatural - female way. It's too slow also, you could try too speed up walking (2x) and to see how it will look that way.

Good test... keep it up.

01 January 2008, 04:58 PM
Like d4rk3lf said, if feels very stiff right now and theres no weight to the character at all.. I'd recommend picking up Richard William's Animators Survival Kit, theres tons of animation info in there.

01 January 2008, 05:01 PM
Tnanks for the review Boban. I've made some edits. I decreased the amount of hip rotaion going on - perhaps that's what is giving you the impression of the walk being feminine. To add additional masculinity to the walk I increased the amount each leg steps away from center and I've also retimed to make it a little quicker.

It's rendering now so I am going to go hit the pool to do some laps and I need to get some groceries :) Then I'll repost.

Thanks again.

01 January 2008, 05:07 PM
KyleG -

Thanks for your comments, we must have posted at the same time :) I have the Animators Survival Kit (a fantastic book).

How would you suggest adding the feeling of "weight"? I know it might be hard to describe but should he be sinking down more at the point of contact and rising more during the "passing" phase?

Thanks again for your help. I really want to get a solid cycle going here.

01 January 2008, 08:08 PM
From what I see, you have him basically going back and forth between poses with equal timing. There's no easing, tweaking of tangents, or offsetting of keys to make things look like they have weight. You have the poses set, but the next step is to make the upper body rotate later than the hips, and arms later than the shoulders, and elbows later.. etc etc.. I think it would help if you made the walk faster. Think of the hips/waist like a pendulum doing back and forth. Make arcs! Look at other walkcycles frame by frame to see what people are doing differently than you. Good luck!

01 January 2008, 10:04 PM
mistasam02 - Thanks for your helpful suggestions. I'm trying to study from a couple of books and looking for as many references as I can. I went to your site and checked out your reel. Very impressive....something to aspire to.

I made some edits and here is the playbast. (

01 January 2008, 10:29 PM
Well, aside from your timing being off still, I'd say bend the elbows forward (it looks like they're actually breaking backwards)..

Make the feet smoother in their arc forward.

Animate the hips moving.

I can't tell from this view, but move the waist more side to side.

Keep the head somewhat looking forward.

Twist the chest side to side.

Animate the hands/fingers.

This is a start, then you'll get into more interesting characteristics like moving the feet out or in before he steps.. more hip movement, offsetting the whole body for a certain look, etc etc. Keep at it!

Oh and thanks for the compliments :D

01 January 2008, 01:58 AM
Hey Vidar3d, good job at sticking with the basics dude! You're making a smart decision sticking with cycles before you try and move into acting bits. As far as your cycle goes, it is coming along! I agree with the other comments about needing a bit more weight, but I would also like to add my two cents!

First of all, his feet are not fully planting when making contact with the ground for the first time. So, when his leg straightens and his heel touches the ground, about two frames after his whole foot should hit. This will help with your weight issue a bit since his feet will be fully planted! - If you don't understand what I mean...get up and do it yourself! Get up out of your chair, and take a step! What does it do? Do it over and over again until you figure out the pattern! Another thing you can do is simply observe other people, it's the best reference you can find and it is all OVER the place! Go to a mall, to a football game (or some sporting event), and stare at everyone's feet! Stare at their whole body for that matter. They may think you are a bit crazy but that's the risk we animators just have to take!

Another thing you can do is rotate the shoulders. The shoulders will usually oppose the hips and will help the character feel a lot less stiff.

Anyhow, start with that, then post again! Don't worry about posting renders, as it's completely pointless..just post playblasts....It's all about the animation dude!

Keep up the good work fella! :applause:

01 January 2008, 09:46 AM
Hey, Rett..
nice try on the walk cycle.. but still many things to be done here.
first, try to make 12frame each step, or 8frame to make it feel more cartoony.
animate his hips first.. then his torso, leg, arms, head, hand and finggers and toe.. try to animate from inside to outside, from hips to finggers.
make his head to turn slightly not too much, try to bend his arm and make some ovelaping action, pay attention to his arc movement.

I'm not consider myself as an animator yet, still need to learn a lot!! thats what can I tell you so far based on my limited experiece :D..
I recomend you to get the Animation Survival Kit, Illusion of Life, and Timing for Animation.. thats are the great book to learn animation from.

Good luck, Rett!! keep animating..

01 January 2008, 06:12 PM
First I just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone who has offered critiques. I am stunned by the amount of advice and constructive information you all have provided.

kalfred02 - yeah I'm only doing playblasts for now on. I mistakenly thought that my first attempt at a cycle was so kick-ass awesome that I would go ahead and render it out. LOL! Live and learn I guess :)

lime324 - that's an interesting idea, to animate from the inside out. I might have to give that a try down the road - thanks for the suggestion.

So here is my next update (taking into account all of your suggestions as well as tips from The Animator's Survival Kit). I feel this is looking better, especially as far a sense of weight is concerned but then I've been working on it for two days now so my eyes are starting to cross :)

Is THIS ( an improvement? Do you feel a sense of weight?

01 January 2008, 05:29 AM
Wow! I know you can do it! Good work man! :thumbsup:
this one is a lot more better! but, still don't have some ovelaping at his arms. I like his walking style though, nice. It's better if you can put frame number in your playblast, so we can give you suggestions based on frame by frame.

Keep digging from the book and also from the net, keep animating!

Good luck pal! :applause:

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