Critique my first WALK CYCLE

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  12 December 2004
Critique my first WALK CYCLE

Hey everyone, I finished my first walk cycle last night. It took me about 12 hours to complete with smoke breaks... my teacher says that's really slow but that I should get faster as I do more. Anyway, I would appreciate some critiques on it. I know of some areas that need more work but I'll let ya'll decide. I should have two more done by Saturday.
(760 KB - Sorenson 3)
let me know if that link doesn't work and I'll try something else.

  12 December 2004
looks really good for a first cycle mate, i'm still quite new to animation too (2nd yr. of uni degree), but things i'd say are-

maybe the arms (especially) and legs could be arced better (quicker through the motion, with more pause at either extreme)

and some secondary motion on the head for (more) vertical bounce, the swaying to the sides looks great, but unless he's really effeminate i think there would be a lot more bounce.

the hip and shoulder motions look good to me tho.

hope this helps, i'm sure there'll be some better crit soon!

(hope you can crit my thread i posted a few hours ago, im desperate to make it better, but need some constructive crit!)
--Spiderman Animation WIP--
  12 December 2004
Well you are off to a great start. The first thing I noticed was that there is no motion in the wrists. Put some overlap motion in them and then a little in the fingers and it will add a lot to the fluid motion overall. Give the elbows some bend in them too. Then you may want to give the wrist the overlap a frame after the elbow is bent to the extreme. The right foot seems to be lifting a little early - like the arch needs tweaked and it looks like it may have a jitter. You may need to smooth out some curves in the graph editor. Nice job.
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  12 December 2004
Well Wilson pretty much sum it all up. I agree that the wrist and fingers need to be animated. They look a bit stiff, but if you relax the hands (curl the fingers a bit more) you could get away not animating the fingers. I'm not sure how the rig works for this character, but if it's IK then you best be careful not to pull the controllers too far otherwise you'll get that little knee pop. Also try to add a tiny bit more swing to the shoulders and the hips moving a bit forward too instead of just side to side motion.

This walkcycle is looking great. Just like Mungo J, I'm new to the animation world as well (workin for my master's degree), and I hope that helps.
"Oh COME ON! Give me a break!"
  12 December 2004
I think that you have quite an excellent start here. I just have one tiny little nuance and piece of advice for you. ... The hips are a little too jerky. I think that if you tweak your curves (assuming that you are using Maya) and make the extremes FLAT Tangents, then you'll have better results. Someone once told me "[in animation] There's a difference between what its "supposed" to look like, and what it "should" look like. Animate to what it should look like" ... All you components are there, it's just a matter of tweaking it up to make it believable and natural. You have a nice flow going, it's not spastic. I really like what you've got there. Couple other suggestions... Toe flop is really cool. It really sells the foot movement. As in, drop the toe about 2-3 frames after the foot plant. Another thing that you could add would be a SLIGHT forward movement in the root joint. You've got a good "body-bob" thing goin', and adding that will give more a sense of motion, rather than walking in place. Lastly, look at the feet. Animating to the "should", they shouldnt go from the back position directly to the forward position... Believe it or not, feet slightly swing outward from the body. It's ever so slight, but again, it's really going to sell this animation. If you have questions, let me know.

  12 December 2004
thanks for the critiques thus far.
These are some things that I hadn't noticed beforehand.
It is really crazy how polished that you have to make it before it starts to snap into believability and has a real personality.
  12 December 2004
Heh, you wouldnt believe...
In fact, actually, a good "average" (using the term loosely), it takes about 1 hour to perfect 1 seconds worth of animation. Of course, that's completely dependent on the motion. But yeah, there's a lot to look for, but if you know more about what you doing, then you can spot it faster. What you had, in most cases, is perfectly fine. But if you want it to be better than "Jim Animator", then you just check out some secondary motion thats going to make yours look better than everyone elses. There are plenty of great books out there that can fill ya in, but if I were to recommend one over alot of others, you should check out The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams... It's like $25 or so on Amazon. Here's a good link:

This one's really nice because it tells you WHY you're doing certain things, breaking it all down about weight and whatever. If you want some more info, let me know. Good Luck and again, nice work
  12 December 2004
thanks for the info on that book, I'll definitely look into it.
also, what do you think is one of the hardest motions to animate is?
Not, that I think I could actually pull it off any time soon but it would be cool to know.
Right now I am thinking.. hmm.. maybe trying to achive the most emotion out of the least amount of movement?
  12 December 2004
Honestly, in my experience, nothing's horribly difficult. It just takes loads of time to get it to look right. So in essence, lots of things could be difficult. But the thing I hate animating is no movement at all... Because you still want it to look like it's at rest, without making it seem like you wanted it at rest. Alot of times the motion ends up looking robotic. In which case, there's a TON of tweaking to be done there. I dont know, I s'pose I just ran around in cirlces with that one. You just have to keep pluggin' away at it. That's about it. That book I mentioned really helps out. I've practically lived by that one. It's got some nice stuff. Well, that's about it for me. Hope I didnt spin ya too much.
  12 December 2004
Mike is right on that one, that book is awesome. An animators need you could say. I would think the hardest part for animating also is keeping your character resting, but still alive. But anyways:

Keith here has some good tips for animating. From snappy cartoony movements to animation curves. Good luck on that. And don't despair if you don't get it at first.
"Oh COME ON! Give me a break!"
  01 January 2006
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