Walk Cycle Demo
Nov. 2010

For this demo I decided to use the cycle I created in the Leg Cycle demo from the past class.

It turned out looking like an ostrich walk (according to one of the students). So in this class I decided to go with it.

Here's the design I came up with.

I started the animation with the body action and then added on the legs. It took me two hours to complete in class.

Here's the initial pencil test.

In the pencil test, it appears to have one drawing that sticks, #15. If you single frame through it, it's all on twos, so I'm not sure why that's happening. Anyway, I thought about what I told the class about this assignment - that I wanted them to have fun with it and be bold in the action that they choose. After watching the pencil test, I'm happy with the action on the legs but the body is too subdued. I gave it a bit more thought and I think if I were to add a double bounce to the body, it would make it far more interesting.

So I went back and re did the body and legs. Here's the second pencil test.

Next, I'll go in and add in the head action. I don't want it to be too much so I'll keep it fairly steady with a small figure 8 path of action.

I'll be absolutely honest here. I did cheat the animation of the head.

Here's the pencil test with the head.

Let me explain how I did this. Here's the actual first pencil test of the head.

What I did was animate just the head on separate paper at a much larger size and with very little side to side movement as seen here. I then used Photoshop to make a separate layer and delete all the area around the head. I imported the drawings into Premier and shifted them to the positions that I wanted in order to get the amount of side-to-side that looked best as well as adding in a bit more head tilt to drag the tip of the beak. I also delayed the head extremes by three drawings to get more overlapping action. Later, after I do the same thing for the arms and tail I will export the individual images out as a single layer then print them on paper and use these to do the final clean-up drawings.

Next I animated the neck. Took me three tries to get it.

This first one had a stiff neck on the way back.


I tried to add in more drag and overlap but put in too much on the one side. I was forgetting that the neck stretches out on both sides, not just the one.


So I added the stretch when the head moves to the left as well and now it's balanced better.


Next I went in and drew on the arms with overlapping action two drawings after the key.


Finally, I added in the tail with a swishing action to match to the way the body was swaying as well as the double bounce snap up and down. I only put in a one drawing delay on this action as it happens so quickly.

Here's the first test showing just the spine.


Here's the second test with the action modified.


And here's the final with some volume.


And now, here's everything put together with some adjustments to the volumes.


Next came the clean up. here it is all on twos.


Then I decided to inbetween the whole thing and shoot it on ones (a la Richard Williams) One of my students asked if you could shoot a walk cycle in a combination of ones and twos. I said "No" because shooting stuff on ones tends to make it look slightly faster than if it's shot on twos and in a cycle it will make the action appear to speed up and slow down. To illustrate this, here is the cycle - the first half is on ones and the second half is on twos. It makes the character look like they are limping.

However, if you do part on ones and part on twos evenly throughout the cycle it can work as in this example.


Here it is on ones.


Then I colored the character in Photoshop. This is on ones.


Here it is in a combination of ones and twos. I prefer this timing of the walk opposed to the 16 drawing cycle. By shooting on twos and ones it turns it into a 24 drawing cycle - one step every 1/2 a second.


And here it is with a rough layout pan background



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