View Full Version : April: Animation Mini Challenge

04 April 2009, 12:26 AM
April Animation Challenge

It is April 1st and time to start a whole new challenge. Last edit I promise :D. Hopefully I am not messing with anyone right now.

Non-Audio: "Walk Cycle" with attitude. (Happy, Angry, Sad... your choice.)

I put in a link to for anyone who wants to do an audio for this month.

Click HERE ( for the audio clip if you dare.

For anyone who doesn’t know of a site to host there WIPS I suggestion trying VIMEO ( or YOUTUBE (

Good luck to all, and I hope to see some great work!!!

04 April 2009, 04:37 PM
Here is my first block of an Angry Walk Cycle.

Blocking (

I think since it looks like it is going so quickly I might try to juice it up a little and add some side characters and or props.

Or just try another walk cycle.

Of course I still have to finish polishing this one before I move on to any of that extra stuff. So I hope I could get some critiques on my animation soon.

04 April 2009, 05:52 PM
hey splinter,

good start! maybe have his feet come down with more force, something close to stomping, but not as severe as a child's tantrum. Does that make sense? I haven't used the Moom rig yet, does it allow you to move the shoulders up and down? if so, try and bunch the shoulders up a little as if he's holding some tension there, it'll add some nuance.

Cheers, and keep up the good work!

04 April 2009, 06:14 PM
whats up splint, I agree with ear about the feet get a little more rumble in the walk since he's mad haha. I actually need to do that too, so do you tweak the translate y curves to go down sharply before contact?

have you figured out how to render the 3 view animation yet? I think we should learn that for this walk cycle so we can get the front side and perspective. looks good so far dude. I am on the arms right now for mine. show you later tonight after work probably.

04 April 2009, 08:50 PM
earchild: There is a field for "Front and Back" and "Up and Down" movement in the shoulder's channel box once you click on it. And your right I think it would make his anger have a little more intensity if I bring his shoulders up. I will have to try that once I get a chance.

Micah-H: I think that if I put more wait on that leg when he makes contact it will create stomping feeling. I am not sure but I think that if I bend the knee a little more it will create that stomping look. I guess I will have to try it out once I get a chance to get back to my work station. One last thing I agree with the three view composition you were talking about but I don't know how to do that either. I guess it is time to do some research. I hope it doesn't lead me down the path of a robust editing program. I only have combustion and I haven't even tested it out yet.

I can't wait to see what you guys have in the works.

04 April 2009, 01:59 PM
So I lifted the shoulders and pulled them back and tried to make it look like he is stomping his feet when he walks. Tell me what you think.

Walk Cycle (

04 April 2009, 04:34 PM
I like the shoulders a lot. The feet are a bit off, though, the ease out from the back position is a little too long. Maybe instead of speeding up the forward momentum, go back to your original timing for the feet moving forward in space, but alter the height of the foot before it smacks down, making it a little higher than you had it before, so the speed up of movement is on the downward motion of the foot. Overall, though, the attitude is coming through more clearly, so kudos!

04 April 2009, 05:20 PM
earchild: It couldn't hurt I will try it and see what I have got from there. I will try to post the update in a few hours.

04 April 2009, 05:29 PM
whats up guys,

looking good splinter, I like the changes you made. I think the feet are close but I agree with ear child something is off. They do need to be a little high before the come down for the contact. I was told to act it out... it helps

my videos will be done uplading in 160 minutes :banghead: haha im going to go eat ill upload later

04 April 2009, 08:30 PM
It's coming along, Splinter.

I would suggest bring the foot up higher in the air before it comes slamming down. As of now it has a sort of "shuffle" feel to it. Also, a little up and down hip motion (like a see-saw motion) could help it a bit. And this is more of a preference thing, but I'd like to see his head angled down more and him looking out of the top of his eyes (I don't know if my description makes sense). It would just add a little pointed direction to his walk.

I like the forceful pace of the walk a lot though. Good work!

04 April 2009, 10:51 PM
hey everyone, here is my first pass at a dynamic walk.

front view (

side view (

perspective view (


04 April 2009, 02:55 AM
Micah-H: Nice work Micah there is something about the attitude in this one that is just hilarious. I am far from a seasoned animator so I don't have any critiques. Maybe I could study it a little longer and see if anything stands out, but for right now good work!

Freebirth: Thanks for checking out my walk cycle and I agree and with you about bringing down the angle of his head. That was my original intention, but for some reason during the process and just didn't come across like it should have. Thank you for bringing it up though now I could put it in hopefully it will look better.

I will try to make a few more adjustment tonight.

VIMEO is getting to be a little frustrating I uploaded an update today at lunch and it still has me waiting :argh: so I will try to wait it out and then post it here later. It might be pointless because I might have another one in an hour or two. So which ever comes first will be the one I show. I think I might switch from vimeo to youtube.

04 April 2009, 03:40 AM
yo splint thanks man, I experienced the vimeo problem too, thats why I just put it on youtube, o well.


04 April 2009, 03:59 AM
Hey Micah-H,

nice attitude going on there! two things really stuck out to me, the first being that the ankles/feet have an odd jitter to them right before they lift off the ground form the back position. I can't really isolate what it is on youTube (sorry!). The other thing is the speed at which the elbows drop, try delaying it by about two frames, right now they kind of pop down, so I think if you move the key for the down position of the elbows by two frames or so, it won't pop and will arc more naturally. relatively easy things to fix.

04 April 2009, 04:46 AM
thanks earchild. I will send the file for quicktime tomorrow if maybe you would want to check the feet out. I will figure out how to delay the elbows I know what you mean, and upload that soon.


04 April 2009, 04:55 AM
Youtube uploaded with out any delay.

Here ( is my update.

04 April 2009, 04:58 AM
Ok... Maybe 2 seconds is a little short sorry about that.

04 April 2009, 06:31 PM
quicktime (

04 April 2009, 01:41 AM
Micah-H: - Like I said before I don't see a lot wrong with your animation. The only thing that I can say is there is some thing in the feet that I feel shouldn't be there. When one foot is planted it twists just before it comes up and sends up a really small flag, but I could be wrong. Try taking out just that particular twist and let me know what you think. In all reality it might look better with it the way it is.

04 April 2009, 02:16 AM
thanks man I don't know how to tweak the curves for the arms just yet, but yea I like the feet, I agree with ya. as for yours my eye is not trained enough yet. To me it looks good I see angry, but some people more experienced might say otherwise.

04 April 2009, 02:34 AM
Since we have probably polished, and critiqued the walk cycles already posted as much as we can. I think that we should try and do the same for 3 more. Practice makes perfect and we still have a full month ahead of us. Three more, or four total will be the goal for this month.

Can I get anyone to second the motion. :deal:

04 April 2009, 02:55 AM
ya I agree, I wish more people would participate though cause I might be your only vote. o well I'm going to start brainstorming right now.

04 April 2009, 03:32 AM
Yeah, I would like for others to join as-well. Right now I am kind of relying on the "If you build it they will come" motto. Plus, I have no idea how I would go about advertising these challenges.

Anyway I have a few ideas brewing. I drew up a couple sketches for some key poses. I want to try a few more and then and narrow it down to three. A few years back I did a concept sketch of a caveman and even plotted his walk cycle but never really seen it in action. I think that might be one of the routes I take this month.

04 April 2009, 11:30 PM
I'd like to get in on a challenge at some point. But right now, it'd be fighting with school work and the current piece I'm working on.

04 April 2009, 12:33 PM
Heres an idea ive been working on

a walk cycle with a zombie attitude

Brains? (

can anyone suggest anything for that hip pop that seems to be happening?

04 April 2009, 04:57 PM
MAV4d, that hip pop almost looks like a deformation issue? Is there an extra key in there somewhere? Maybe do a screen grab of the graph editor centered on the hip joint (or it's controller) so we can see what is going on.

04 April 2009, 05:08 PM
haha thats nice man, I like it. I dont know though wether to laugh or be utterly frightened!

04 April 2009, 11:02 PM
Happy Easter Everyone!

I have been a little side tracked lately but now that the Easter festivities will be over I will post my blocking pass for my new walk cycle soon.

MAV4d: Your zombie walk cycle was awesome I really dig the style. You really took the moom characters controls to town with that one! :thumbsup: Keep up the good work.

04 April 2009, 11:11 PM
MAV4d: Sorry, as for the hip pop I would agree with ilmostrog I have had a similar problem that was cured when I noticed that there was an extra key in the graph editor. The keys might have been scaled and one or a couple of the keys could have been placed into fractions of a frame as well (like frame 34.384765 for example). Keep us updated on what you find out I would like to hear how you solve the problem.

04 April 2009, 05:33 AM
Silly little walk cycle I did on 2's, no arms.

04 April 2009, 07:17 AM
hey stuartb that is nice silly walk

04 April 2009, 02:31 AM
stuartb: I really like your walk cycle. It looks like an evil sneak. I think that if you place the back leg of the stride more on the toes instead of planting it that would emphasis the creeping feeling a lot more.

Really Cool

White Rabbit
04 April 2009, 10:12 AM
Hey guys,

Splinter, I think your walk cycle would benefit from paying some more attention to the overlap on the head. The head should lag behind a bit as he comes down, then when he starts moving up again rotate down at the same speed the body was moving down. Is this at all clear? Hard to explain :)

I can't see the animations posted on youtube unfortunately, the site is blocked at work.

For the zombie cycle, I'd say the limp foot is good, but the other foot should move much quicker. As in a rrrrrrrrr-stomp, rrrrrrrrrr-stomp. He loses all weight when his "good" foot is moving forward, because there is no way his other foot, being in that position and obviously limp, culd support his weight, yet he stays standing. So he should, I think, kind of push himself upwards with his good foot and quickly move it forward before he falls down again. See what I mean?

Anyways, I'd never noticed this section on cgtalk before, I'll try coming in and saying hi a lil' more often, and if I get the time try and join in at some point.

04 April 2009, 12:49 AM
Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my posts this month. A whole lot of things have happened in my personal life that have caught me by surprise. I have some free time today to try and work on a whole new walk cycle. Hopefully I could post a WIP tonight.

White Rabbit - Thanks for the advice. I really like the idea, when I get a chance to go back to that particular cycle I will try to implement the head motion. Thank you!

See you guys soon!

04 April 2009, 02:36 AM
Here goes. This is the start of my next walk cycle. I wanted it to be a dumb character so I call it the "Duh... walk cycle."

Youtube (

Vimeo (

04 April 2009, 05:18 AM
Here goes. This is the start of my next walk cycle. I wanted it to be a dumb character so I call it the "Duh... walk cycle."

Youtube (

Vimeo (

Hey there Splinter, nice start ya got here. Here's what I have for ya:

These frame#'s are an estimate since you don't have a counter. Put one in for the next version, it will help with feedback!

Frames1-20: This applies to the second step as well, but it doesn't feel like the hips are shifting to keep the upper body balanced over the fulcrum. With a walk this slow, it's even more important for the hips to shift to the side, put enough weight on the support leg to then raise the opposite foot off the ground.

Remember that a walk is a controlled fall. If there is too much upper body mass over the lifted leg, the poor guy will fall over on his side before his slowly moving foot will save him.

Frames24-28: It looks like the shoulders here are randomly getting distorted. I haven't used this rig before, but it seems out of place.

Frame29: The front leg here pops into a straight. Smooth this out by correcting the hyper-extension in the leg.

Frames29-32: Notice how the front foot is not planted all the way before the back foot starts lifting off the ground. The weight simply hasn't transferred yet. Make sure that front foot is firm then proceed with the next step.

Typically during the foots lift off, the toes remain planted while the heel leaves the ground. A good rule of thumb is to keep the toes on the ground as long as you can without hyper-extending the leg.

I would also like to see the arms loosen up a little bit as well. You may not have had time to work on them yet, but make sure, even if it's subtle, that there is some slight overlap on the forearms and hands. When the upper arm starts swinging back, the forearm should bend slightly before following along.

Finally, my last bit of advice would be to try and break the timing of the animation up a bit. Since the walk is quite slow, it makes the cycle even more apparent. Perhaps make one stride take 2-3 frames longer, or add some counter motion in the torso.

Hopefully some of this helped :] Goodluck with your second pass!

04 April 2009, 10:00 PM
Here's another walk Cycle I just completed.

04 April 2009, 03:52 AM
This month is almost coming to a close. So I think that we should try to vote on next month topics. That way everyone can join in on the discussion. So if anyone has any good ideas that you would like to try out, go over to the "Voting Thread ("

Nice work on your latest walk cycle. That's a pretty cool rig.
I hope I could complete my latest pretty soon. I want to use the advise that you gave me as much as possible.

04 April 2009, 03:56 AM
Oh... by the way I've heard of a plug-in/mel-script for a frame counter but I don't know where to get one, or is there an easier way for me to implement a one. :curious:

04 April 2009, 06:51 PM
Hey guys I found a "frame counting" script at Highend3D. It works really well.

Check it out HERE (

04 April 2009, 11:42 PM
I think I just made it for the April Mini Challenge!

Here's a Sad/Moping Walk Cycle I did. I recently purchased Jason Ryan's walk tutorial and his rig and have really enjoyed both. I was able to take away some things that I learned and applied them to this walk.

Vimeo (

05 May 2009, 02:01 PM
Mystical13 - I like your walk cycle. There is good overlap motion in the arm swing, and the head shows some good rotations. Great work. I hope to see you around next month.

I didn't see many "topic suggestions" so Stunnerprince gets his idea for the month of May.

I will post the new thread later on today.

I hope to see you all in the next round.

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