Doubts about character animation

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  12 December 2012
Doubts about character animation

Software: 3dsMax 2011

I have several questions about character animation.
1 - There are hundreds of tutorials walk-cycles (cycles of walking), but always pose the character is thinking straight. But how would your character to walk in a curved path?. I've been researching and testing, but all I get is that the character follow a curved path but feet tend to go straight, rotating on its axis, giving the effect of ice rink.

2 - Following the walk-cycle. As you say the word it is a cycle. That is, once we have made ​​our basic sequence, it is repeated. To do this in 3dsmax, the tool OUT-RANGE CURVE, in Track View, activate the option Cycle. But, how it makes, in order that our character, say the case has to stop to say hello and then continue walking, resetting the cycle?. The doubt comes because you can not modify a Cycle at a specific point and then continue. If you make a change affects everyone cycles. Or so I think.

3 - I don't know how to structure an animation. That is, we have a character who makes various movements (eg. running, stopped, greet, walk and jump). We would use the same model for all the animation?, or each part corresponds to a model (original copy). I'm not saying you have to be. Pose options, but it can be anything other than what I say and be done in a completely different way.

In order. If anyone has the patience and knowledge to answer my questions I'd appreciate it.
  12 December 2012
Hi Arch979!
The easiest answer to your first 2 questions would be to not use cycles and to actually key frame the whole sequence. If you already have a cycle that you like and insist on using you could try and paste the cycle in the amount of times you want, then keyframe the stop and say hi part and then keep pasting the cycle in till he walks off stage.
  12 December 2012
OK. But that's how it really is usually done in professional animation?. So I conclude that, in relation to the 3rd question was how to structure an animation, could we do with a single model?, This is the right way?
  12 December 2012
Sometimes it's more trouble than help to use cycles.
Normally when you animate, you add in the "keys" first.
Those are the most important poses. Usually in a physical shot, like a character running towards a edge and jumps, the keys are the extreme poses of the movements.
So for instance, you'd start by adding all the contact poses of the run, then the lowest pose before the jump (the anticipation/squash) and then a good, stretched pose for the jump.

Once you have those and you are happy with the timing and all, you can go in and add further poses (breakdowns) to define arcs, overlap and so on. In a run you have a couple of poses you HAVE to have there (generally) for it to feel right. A contact, a down and an up (both feet in air). So you plug those in between all the contacts you have.

So slowly you build your shot up like that, and eventually it moves pretty smoothly and convincingly
Steam Punk Challenge
  01 January 2013
Hello Arch979, After reading your post I think you might benefit from this tutorial by animator Keith Osbourne, he covers this very topic!

I know you are using max, but you can apply this same style of thinking in any software. Basically if a character is walking around a corner, or in an S curve or whatever, you can't use a standard walk cycle, you will have to tailor it for that specific shot. the walk cycle is just a jumping off point. Anyway, I hope this helps!
  01 January 2013
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