View Full Version : Cheetah runcycle

05 May 2010, 08:36 PM

i'm focsuing more and more on character animation.

here is a run cycle of a cheetah

(model and rig by kiel figgins,

my questions are:

- how can i make him faster? the run cycle is 24 frames long and i think scaling the keys down to make it for example 15 frames long is not the professional way, is it?

- what is the best way to import this animation to a new scene so that i just have to translate in Z to make him move in space? i also want make changes on the run then and make him move to the left and right...

05 May 2010, 11:13 PM
Hey Alpert, nice start for a run. For all intensive purposes, I'd look into getting a better rig. Theres several out there now that are far more stable then the one I made years ago. I dont have a link handy, but browse over at

Next up, to make him run faster. Typically I key every frame on a run, since there are only 15 or so frames, each need to be extremely explicit and read well, so i remove the the computer from interplating at all.

For a run, run left, and run right. Check out ... Animation Section > First thumbnail on the cartoony section. He animated a panther thats pretty sweet.

To get your run cycle on a motion math, you should be able to move / constrain the top group node.

Hope those help, good luck!

05 May 2010, 08:51 AM
hi kiel,

nice to get a reply from you. that are really good animations on thank's for showing.

i have some questions:

- is a walkcycle always 15 frames?
- is it a common rule to first make walk-/run cycles for a character and then put him on a motion path? i imagine this scene:

guy running, chased by a big monster. guys running in front towards the camera, monster is in background, coming from left into the picture, it has too much speed so it crashes into a wall. it stands up after it crashed, shakes it head and then starts again running after the man.

(i hope you can imagine my scene, its not easy for me to discribe in english)

what would be the general workflow of such scene?

05 May 2010, 04:51 PM

A run/walk cycle isnt always 15 or 30 frames, it varies. You'll need to do your own trial and error to find out what feels right for your particular character.

As for your scene approach, this is how I would start:
-Previs your scene, with cubes floating in space to get your times, distance and camera framing.
-Create a run cycle for each character (guy and beast) based off the distance the characters are traveling in the previs
-Copy/paste those run cycle keys X times to get the required time you need them to be on screen running
-modify the individual cycles by hand to prevent too much repetition. Head tilts, mouth openings, shoulder rolls, ect.
-Crashing into a wall and that whole sequence would be done as if its a single action, so approach that like any other animation.

So for this i typically wouldnt use a motion path, esp if the camera angle is forgiving enough.

Though i've used motion paths in productions for this sort of action (people/animales running around on frame), they've typically been background characters. Since having them on a path, means the feet will rotationally slide when the curve is bent.

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05 May 2010, 04:51 PM
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