Hey NetMapel, your cycle is looking great so far! It’s looking very good for it to be one of your first animations.
By the way, you don’t have to be a genius in modelling and rigging to be an animator You actually don’t need to know those things to animate so don’t worry about it.
Here is a link from The 11 Second Club that has free models rigged for you to download and animate! You have models for several programs:
I don’t know which swoftware you are uisng but if you are using 3Ds Max I can give you a link to dowload a family rig that is really good. If you use Maya you can look up in Google for the Moom model which is great.
Anyways, lets talk about your walk cycle. First of all, I see you have changed that movement in the hips that the animation student told you about, he is correct, and probably that would look good on another model, but you don’t always have to copy the ways humans walk on characters. You have to play a little bit with it, change it, make it look good. In this case, I would change that and move the hips as they were before. Maybe that hip movement is correct, but does it look good?
Sometimes you have to cheat to make it look good, because what might look good in humans, might not work for every model.
Another thing I see is that there is too much going on on the ball, I don’t know how to call it the hips, the head, whatever it is. I would make it rotate less. Also, check the arc of the hips. It’s not looking very good, you can improve it and make it look a lot more fluid.
Finally, as regards the positions, they are fine. There is no formula for doing a walk cycle. You said you bought some books about animation on Amazon; if you bought The Animator’s Survival Kit, you will see that there are like 80 pages that talk about walk cycles, and lots of ways of doing walk cycles. But, as regards the one you are using now that Neon talked about, I would do what he says, that will improve your walk cycle a lot.
I hope this helped you. You don’t have to do everything I said, maybe you think I’m wrong in some points, but pick what you think it’s right from it
Good luck and I look forward to see the final walk!