I dont know how I can make this walk cycle less 'clicky'

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  05 May 2009
I dont know how I can make this walk cycle less 'clicky'

I've been trying for hours. The deal is to try to show that this guy thinks he's too cool or something. I think I have the hands right and the body poses and key's right, but it still feel's kinda 'clicky' like I just set the keys to linear and did not touch them much.

I also feel the hands and arm motion are a bit of a problem area.

Think you guys can suggest something ?


Last edited by xedus : 05 May 2009 at 09:27 PM.
  05 May 2009
Eyo Xedus,

Did a frame by frame of your walk cycle from the side and I think I figured out the problems you're having. First things first, your key poses on the time-line are off. I'll use the figure below as a reference.

- You have the EXTREME-DOWN keypose on frame 7, it should be frame 6.
- Your second CONTACT key-pose at the end of the first step is also on frame 18, it should be frame 17. Cleaning up the erratic timing will go a long way to helping improve the overall flow of the walk.

Another issue you need to correct are the key-poses themselves. If it's a "cool-guy" he probably has his chest up and out, with his back leaned back slightly. Compare my quick sketches to the current key-poses you have right now. Notice how I try to "PUSH" the pose further and more extreme. Remember that animation is about exaggerating reality not mimicking it. In fact, if you copied reality exactly you would end up with very floaty action. It's why most frame-by-frame Motion Capture does not look right without tweaking.

Other things that will help the overall feel of the walk:

- Lets see some straights! In each contact pose get a straight in there on the front leg, on the EXTREME-UP pose lets see a straight on the back leg as it pushes the mass of the body up and off the ground.
- Overlap the hands a bit more and drag the the toes slightly while passing.
- Keep that back foot planted for as long as possible. The tendency is to keep the back toes on the ground right up until the last second.

Finally, consider your overall timing. In exaggerated walks, we tend to favor the contact poses. This means we quickly play the extremes and passing key-poses and ease into and out of the contact key-poses. Notice the time-line I roughed out; see how I'm not putting the EXTREME's right in the middle, but instead they are offset three full frames closer to the passing position. You could go even further with this and reduce it to 2 frames, putting the down on frame 7 and the up on frame 11.

What this ultimately does is "Hold" your exaggerated cool guy Contact Key-Poses longer and gives you more time to overlap the hands and what not.

In any case, hopefully this was helpful. There's a lot more to walks including arcs, spacing, squash'n'stretch etc. But I think making the changes I pointed out will go a long way to start.


Last edited by stuartb : 05 May 2009 at 02:42 AM.
  05 May 2009

First of all, thanks a lot for replying. A lot of the points are gonna be real helpful.

I did want to point this out though ->

Thats after selecting all the controls for the rig. You can see from the pic that actually my keyframe's are on 1,5,9,13,17 and then a repeat (Using Animators surivival kit as ref'n). Contacts on 1 and 17, breakdown on 9 and then low and high on 5 and 13 respectively. I'm sure the video quality doesnt show that accurately though.

I actually havent gone into anything deeper than 2's on this 16 frame walk. all the tweaking to get it to 'smoothen' up was done with a bit of curves, but not too much there too.

I'll do the exaggeration of the chest. I'm still looking for a way to reduce the 'snap' of the arms though. It's not as visible on the side as much as it is when you see the character from the front.

Once again thanks. I'm gonna keep up on this.

P.S. : I actually re-read your post and you REALLY have put up some good advice. I'm starting to get what you mean by putting the extreme's closer to the breakdown. I was thinking of the animation in my head and I could actually imagine the guy holding out longer on the extreme, looking like proud and bashful. It's kinda funny but I could actually imagine him whistling confidently . But yeah, I get what you are saying. I'm modying it right now to see what i can get.

Last edited by xedus : 05 May 2009 at 06:04 AM.
  05 May 2009
I'm glad my rambling made a bit of sense . Regarding the snapping hands in the front(persp) viewport, the problem is occurring due to the spacing of the hands. I'll use the image below as reference. (by the way, adding a frame counter to your scene would help a lot for crits/comments) I wouldn't have to export a frame-by-frame with quicktime to get a rough estimate fo the timing)

A. - Quick movement over 5 frames. (larger spacing)
B. - Barely any movement over 5 frames. (smaller spacing)
C. - Quick movement over 5 frames. (larger spacing)

The first issue is that there isn't a cushion for the spacing of the movement occuring here. It's quick/slow/quick. I would check your graph editor for this one and try and smooth out the curve here. You should also push the poses a bit further so you have more spacing to work with in general, overlapping the hands etc.

The second thing I noticed is that on frame 15 the knee pops. Take a closer look at the spacing here. Play the frames back and forth and you'll see that it doesn't cushion in, but rather pops in and out erraticly. Again, checking the curves of the foot/waist should alleviate this problem.

Finally, look at D. The distance/spacing over 3 frames actually looks further than the past 5 frames. Things appear a to be moving a lot faster when spaced further apart over a shorter period of time. With the hand, this is magnified due to the contrast of the previous, shorter spacing over a longer period of time. Hopefully, that made sense, but it really all goes back to the principles found in the bouncing ball. To correct this, I would cushion in to D. over more frames, 3 is just too fast and creates that jagged look.

In any case, hopefully that helped a bit. Look forward to your next pass

Ps. For future animation I would highly recommend using a better rig as well. The one you're currently using is a bit awkward. Check out www.highend3d.com or www.11secondclub.com for some better ones.

Last edited by stuartb : 05 May 2009 at 09:35 PM.
  05 May 2009
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