Art: first animation-walk cycle
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    first animation-walk cycle

    Hey i'm ally and like many here, I want to be an animator.
    First post for my first animation walk cycle which is part of my short film i made for an art course.
    Comments and critiques welcome (especially with the skirt/clothing).
    Name:  walk-cycle.gif
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Size:  447.5 KB

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    1. what Kind of art course? what kind of school?

    2. how was this done? paper and pencil? digital? other?

    3. how long have you been animating?

    I can't be too specific as I don't know what you used to make this or what the specifications were, but, I would say some of the first mistakes that come to mind, are the lack of the dip and rise, no body rotation, legs movements, and lack of detail in the clothes.

    What I mean when I say:

    Dip and rise: when people walk they go up and down. the head should follow this pattern and if you were to draw a continuous line from the peak of a head through all of the frames of a character's walk, you should have a series of sideways S's or waves. In other words as one walks their head goes up and down, a peak when one leg is on the ground and a dip when both legs are on the ground at the same time.

    Body rotation: When one walks they rotate in the hips. as one leg goes forward the hips rotate rather than one leg going forward and the other back. Basically, you are actually falling and catching yourself when you walk. What you have is closer to a march cycle. back to rotation- As the hips move the chest and upper body act as a counter balance, and rotate the opposite way as the hips. as this is happening the head is actually rotating the same way as the hips, opposite the upper body. so as the foreground leg comes forward (that appears to be the left leg) the hips should rotate slightly forward away from the viewer, so that the foot just barely leaves the ground yet still moves forward. the chest and arms should rotate the opposite way (if its the foreground leg coming forward the chest should rotate towards the viewer) and the head should rotate away from the viewer (same as the hips).
    rule of thumb, most motion begins in the hips.

    leg motions: As I stated earlier this looks ,ore like a march than a walk. that's because your legs are going up so exaggerated. I'm not sure about you, but when I walk, or any of my friends walk, very rarely do we lift our legs that high. It looks a bit as though your character is trudging through mud or snow. this may be because of too few frames, but in either case, having only the legs moving, isn't an effective look for a walk.

    details in clothes: You asked for specific critique here, so I'll give it. There isn't very much to go on is there? Honestly what little motion you do have seems to be too much. bear in mind the anchor points of a material. on this character that would be her shoulders and the belt around her waist. the areas where the materials touch her body and or drape. from this idea, understand, that without an effect on the clothes it would just lay as it is. any wrinkles would come from where it makes contact, or where it is bound, and little else. with this in mind, the two main effectors on the drapery, would be your character's motions, and wind. as your character moves, the skirt would follow her legs. nothing fancy; when her leg comes forwards, when the leg touches the dress it would bring that draping forward. as her body twists, the clothes should bunch where it gets caught and is pulled. look at reference material to see how clothing is effected by different motions. if you are keeping it simplistic, you should still review the way the bottom of her skirt is billowing. right now it appears to be twirling, and is she's walking that effect could only be created by strange wind patters.

    in closing, one of the hardest things to get mastery over is the walking cycle, and it's often one of the most fun to tackle. Don't be afraid to act out how you want your characte to move, and if you have a web cam record your self doing it. there is nothing wrong with reference. another fun thing to use when having trouble with the basic walk is just your pointer and middle finger. make them walk across your desk and study what they do.
    I hope I helped; though there is a ton of information that I just don't have the time to give if you are really trying to master the walking cycle. Google search some tutorials, and you are bound to find a whole lot of good stuff out there.

    a walk = falling on one foot, catching with the other, lift and fall again. remember there is always one foot on the ground at all times.
    a jump = antiq, squat, squash, stretch, air, fall, land, recover
    a run = a jump cycle in a direction.

    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

    My SKETCHBOOK: please critique! i can take it!

    To limit one's maximum knowledge is to maximize one's limits.

    Sanity is wasted on the boring.
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    Thanks for the information, it is really helpful. this project for for an art unit in highschool; this was my first time ever animating. the drawings were done in pencil the photoshopped onto the background. I found hard to get that wave without messing up the figure. thanks for the bit about leg motion, she sort of is walking through snow but I'll try to improve on moving more than the legs and adjusting the clothing.
    Thanks again!

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    If I could show you my first animation, you'd most likely die of laughter. not because it's funny, but because of how bad it is. If you can get your hands on it flash (pro 8 or all the way to it's newest generation cs6) is a great program for animation.
    For being your first animation, This isn't too bad.
    what you might want to try to do is draw lightly what you want to do. make a lightly drawn "first pass" that just gets the motion down with a stick figure like character or a simple dummy kind of build. then draw on top of those pre-drawn first pass images, and build out the details. Another way to go would be to draw the first pass, and then use tracing paper or a light box to draw the detailed character on another sheet of paper.
    The dipping and hard to do, but you should be able to do it. establish a ground, or the area of contact- where the character's feet will land on the ground, and as long as your character's proportions remain constant they should dip naturally. Right now it appears your characters legs "grow" slightly in order to meet the ground, giving a squash and stretch appearance in the legs, but it seems sort of unnatural.
    Also try and set the animation to play at 24 fps, and create your frames on 2s. that would be every other frame. this is the speed most 2-d animators work (since about the 70s I believe). you could set it to 12 fps, and draw on every frame, but then you wouldn't have the space to create antiqs (anticipation frames) nor rapid squash and stretch. these things may be too advanced for you now, but you should try and get into good habits which in this case would be 24fps animated on twos. this will make your animation seem less jittery/ laggy, and you will notice it seems much more life like. you are missing a lot of what are called "in-betweens" or the frames between keyframes (main motion poses).

    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

    My SKETCHBOOK: please critique! i can take it!

    To limit one's maximum knowledge is to maximize one's limits.

    Sanity is wasted on the boring.
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  7. #5
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    In case you've never heard of it, you really should pick up Richard William's book.



    EDIT: Just make sure you don't treat it as gospel.

    Last edited by Psychotime; November 26th, 2012 at 12:55 AM.
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  8. #6
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    Saw the book at my library, didn't find it useful but i will take a second look.

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    What is the concept of the film you are making or which course this is the big question to ask! Though the vision of your work says that you are a great talent!
    I wish best for your work!

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  10. #8
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    My manifesto for my grade 12 visual arts is stories. So the goal was to depict a story through animation. its about a girl who loses her cat in the woods. I think i'll post my movie soon(it's done).

    edit: here my film!



    Last edited by ally-g; December 11th, 2012 at 04:38 PM.
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