Spidey Run/Jog cycle WIP


hey, started animating with my new model, based on the marvel mangaverse spiderman comic books, wip

i’ve started off with a run cycle (he’s also going to have a sprint, this isn’t top speed), but i’m going to do many anims with this guy, cycles as if for a 3rd person action game, and larger animations as if for cutscenes. hopefully good enough to be part of a reel,

i’m re-doing the arms with FK tomorrow, used IK on this version (not ideal for this cycle) so please disregard these, i’m mainly worried about overall timing, does it look fast/slow enough for a sustainable run? and should there be more/less height? and float at the top of the bounce? also the shoulders? are they going right?

any crit/comment/thoughts greatly appreciated.

(btw i suck at rigging, so i know about all the awful deformation!)

Run Front
Run Side
Run Perspective


I think the arms looks a little bit too stiff/straight or how I should say it. In the left view, it looks like his left elbow twitches when it reaches the back.

Anyway, good animation so far. :slight_smile:


i’m re-doing the arms with FK tomorrow, used IK on this version (not ideal for this cycle) so please disregard these,

gonna get onto them after work today.

cheers anyway.

any thoughts anyone?


Done the arms (one anyway,) properly now, what do you think?

i still have to pose the fingers, but is the movement right? and have i overdone the sway of the hands? any crit gratefully received,

UPDATE (421kb)


Hmm, the swaying… I can’t say, it might be a little bit more than necessary, but I don’t think it’s wrong to exaggerate.
The rest of the motion looks right and I’m looking forward for the next update. :slight_smile:


Hi there! I like what you got so far. Looks pretty good. I would check some of those curves. It looks like some of the interpolation is not smooth. Check the graph editor for curves that abruptly change directions. You want a nice, clean curve between keys.

What I usually do when starting a run cycle(or walk) is set all the keys to “linear”. Highlight the controllers, open up the graph, select everything, and set curves to linear. The reason why is that with “spline” tangents, it’s hard to look at the timing. Adjust the curves after you’ve got the poses and timing right, it’s gonna make your life a lot easier imo. :slight_smile:

As far as the rigging, check out Alias’ “bonus tools”. They’ve got some nice IK/FK arm auto setups along with legs and back that make rigging a snap.

I give you Kudos for animating your model! The Modeing WIP threads have 25,000+ posts while the animation threads are a virtual ghost town with 1000+ posts only. Not many ppl on the cgtalk community like to brave the waters of animation. lol :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

My Knight Model/Rigg/Animation


Latest Animation Update (127kb Intel Indeo Video 4.4 - loopable front and side views)

-hip movement
-head swing
-elbow and knee pops

there’s a flick of his hand in the transition between last and first frame which i am trying to sort… overall i’m fairly happy with it now, (low standards?!?) apart from the legs, but would love any more help on improving it,

cheers for the reply podman, i’ve enjoyed your work in here,

you give me kudos for animating the character, but i was chuffed that i modelled a character i’m animating!

erm, all my curves are pretty smooth, i normally make all my keys in the graph editor (after sorting main poses timing, which is always good to do linear, as you say) and adjust their curvature while i make them, i find it easier to keep track of them all this way,

if it’s concerning the legs, my problem is the confliction of the curves, the translation and rotation of the feet (as i’m using ik they are affecting each other - if that makes any sense!) is making it really hard for me to do a smooth animation,

with the last movie file it was playing a bit jerky on my machine, i think due to it’s resolution and compression, but i thought it was just me, maybe this contributed to the sketchiness? does this new file still look as bad?

i like posting quicktimes so people can go through frame by frame (left and right arrow if anyone didn’t know) so if you can tell me any specific dodgy bits that’d be great, i know the legs aren’t currently working too well,

with the rigging issue i misled you a bit, it’s not the rigging i have troubles with, but binding the mesh to the skeleton. can’t seem to get either weight painting (i can’t deal with maya’s weight painting system, specially after using xsi’s which is lovely compared) or making flexors particularly well, i hope just a lot of practice will sort this out,

as for bonustools, i installed it a while ago, and really loved it, until i found finalrig, which is still a little buggy maybe but i find much nicer (once you get used to it’s quirks…). for me neither quite stand up to the native xsi tools for rigging and animating, but i only have the free mod tool version which doesn’t render out…

thanks a lot for your reply,


Hi! Thanks! :slight_smile: I love seeing game models up and moving so of course I give you props!

Final Rigg is pretty cool but the last version I tried(not sure which it was) didn’t support “scaling” of the entire rigg for some reason. So, if you placed your model in a scene and needed to scale it, you couldn’t.

Check out Anthony Ward’s CREATURE TOOLS. Lots of people using that one(especially gaming riggs). I’ve emailed the author a few times and he’s very friendly with answering questions.

I still prefer custom riggs, you can add more functionality out of them, but of course, it takes more time. I’m using a lot of kick-ass plugins from Mr. David Keagan right now(www.keegan3d.com). His “C3” plugin is simple but really cool. It creates a motionbuilder-like quick select .bmp icon for easy controller manipulation and has saved me countless hours hunting down controllers(especially Pole Vectors). Also helps prevent you from “breaking” your rigg(you can “hide” both the skeleton and controllers and just use the ICON for selecting controllers). I’ve broken several of mine and lost lots of animation stored in Trax.

As far the animation revision. Looking better and better. I would bring in those feet closer together, though. Also, the whole leg is turning inward because the heel is not strait(drifting out). From the front view, on the last 2 frames notice his Right foot(our left) turning inward? I think it should be turning the other direction. When the foot “lands”, for the time that it is on the ground, I think it should be strait though.

Do you have pole vector controllers for the knee?
IK for runs can be a real pain because you are creating rotates using a balance of translates in X,Y,Z. I try to work with it(doing a run right now that’s driving me nuts), but hopefully, Maya will mimic some of motionbuilders control rigg setups someday in which you can actually switch seemlessly between IK and FK legs in the middle of a cycle or even IK/FK blend.

For the arms, I’d go with IK, it’ll make the swinging motions easier. Plus the follow through animations will be easier to offset. IK arms are good for lifting and pushing motions, but almost everything else, I think IK is better.

Hope I’ve not said too much. Keep up the progress :slight_smile:

-pod:) :slight_smile:



thanks a lot for all of this, i’ve had bits of crit before, but all this practical information is really useful,

i’m juggling all the curves for the pole vector of the knee, and the translation and rotation of the foot ik handle, and it gets to your head a bit…

i’m gonna crack the feet/leg stuff before i go to bed tho, cos i’m kinda annoyed with myself as i slept through a life-drawing workshop in town today which i found out about and promised i would start this week, and haven’t done any tablet sketching today.

cheers also for the links, i had already downloaded C3 from david keegan, but haven’t tried it out yet, and i had been to antony ward’s site, but it looks so crazy in firefox, i hadn’t actually found the scripts!

final rig 1.2 scales now, but still has many oddities, i had to change my model to fit the way it lets you auto-create the rig, it enforces the T-shape pose, which seems very odd, and the bones it created for fingers managed to skew themselves from my guide, but i kept re-doing it till it was acceptable (they didn’t answer the feedback system on their website…), i’ll definitely check out these alternatives for my next batch of anims with this guy tho, and it’s a good excuse to re-bind him…


I’ve uploaded “Creature Tools” to my personal webspace if you want to download it. It’s here.

I’ll have to check out Final Rigg again. Many people swear by it that it’s one of the best. Haven’t had too much luck with the proceedural autoriggs, though. That’s why I like the bonus tools from alias. It’s not a whole rigg, just bits and peices of scripts that make things easier. I use “skeleton works” a lot to create the initial joints, then tweak em. Reason why is that the joints already have correct orientation so they’ll export to game engines ok. All my anims are going into UnrealEd so I have to watch out for this.

Oh yeah, I hear ya on Maya’s skinning btw! It’s a bitch and a half. Max and XSI have better tools for this. I can’t for the life of me figure out why skinning is such a pain in Maya. That process alone can take me weeks. There’s this plugin, not sure where to get it, I’ll have to dig up mine and upload it to you, called “AS_Skinny” which is pretty good for streamlining the skinning process in Maya. There are also some “envelope” type plugins too but I could never get any of those to work.

One tip with skinning is to stick to only about 3 or 4 actual values per vertex. For example, 1, 0, .5, and maybe .3 or .2 in some cases. Once you start “painting” in additive values, you’re skinning gets messy cause you end up with verts that have odd numbers like 1.234553 and so forth. I usually paint everything roughly with value 1 and 0 first, then create selection sets for “inbetween” verts and select those and flood them with the .5 or .3 values.

Good luck :slight_smile:


Latest Animation Update (198 kb - front, side + 3/4, loopable)

hopefully sorted the legs, anyone spot anything i could improve?

looking at it agian, the legs have a bit of a jerk on landing, i’ll get onto it…

cheers for more useful info podman!
(and creature tools)


I like it, good job :thumbsup:

A couple of points though. To me the head movement looks a little forced, I’d either adjust the timing and/or tone it down a bit. Also there’s a funny movement between the 2nd and 3rd frames with the left hand that stands out, maybe try making sure the hand is moving in a nice arc.

keep it up!



I don’t know about the hands. For me, it looks weird to see someone run with his/her hands wide open. :shrug:


Update (189 kb)

just a few tiny things, sorted hands, played a little with the hands and feet, and changed head action, better or worse? what does anybody think?

inaction: whoops, forgot i’d still left the hands, cheers for pointing it out,

stu_vaz: i did kinda like the head action before, but i’ve changed it in this version, what do you think?


It looks better overall. But, something still bothers me with those hands. :shrug:

I’ll be back to see the finished version March 13th. :thumbsup: (No internet)


You know what I think it is with the run? It’s the hands/wrists. I think the wrists/hands should be “locked” and not rotate at all(or barely). Since the run is a “pumping” motion, their wouldn’t be any follow through rotation in the elbow or wrist. The whole arm should almost look as if you posed an action figure and just rotated the shoulders forward and back. I think it’s a thing with too much secondary motion. Well, that’s my take anyhow. My girfriend took a look at my run and pointed this out and I simply went in and either deleted keys or keyed it to be “stiffer” and it fixed almost everything.



cheers podman, i’ll give it try tommorow, gonna go to sleep now, as i want to be awake while shops are open tomorrow, late shift work blows…


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