Home Animation Tutorials Walking dead: Create walking cycles

Walking dead: Create walking cycles


Walking dead: Create walking cycles

How to move characters so that they appear to be walking:

Move the character in an up and down motion in it’s own symbol (make sure it loops well).
Add more movements in the arms, head, face, hair etc to make the character come to life.
Move the BG (background) to match the characters movement ( ie. up, down, smaller- to move away, or larger to come closer.)
Move the character on the timeline to fit the action in the scene.

To follow the step-by-step, go to: http://animationstation.com/walk-cycle-scene/

Creating a walk cycle

Walk cycles can be broken up into 4 frames key, namely Forward Contact Point, Passing Pose1, Back Contact Point and Passing Pose 2. Frames that are drawn between these key poses (traditionally known as in-betweens/Inbetweening) are either hand-drawn or using computer software to interpolate them.

Breakdown of Walk Cycle

Besides the apparent movement of the legs, many more details are necessary for a convincing walk cycle, like animation timing, movement of the arms, head and torsion of the whole body.

There exist many techniques to create walk cycles. Traditionally walk-cycles are hand drawn but over time with the introduction of new technologies for new mediums, walk cycles can be made in pixel art, 2d computer graphics, 3D computer graphics, stop motion method, cut-out animation or using techniques like rotoscoping.

A word about … Content and Style

It all boils down to this: What Do You Want To Do?

Is your project going to be more like Disney’s Pinocchio … or South Park? The content dictates the style. Remember … it’s just you in a room. A project that will take 200 man hours to produce will take 200 people one hour to create. Or it will take you 25 working days. When you bite off more than you can chew inevitably this leads to the project failing. This results in unhappy clients. Be realistic. Know your limitations. It’s not your talent that’s limiting you… it’s your time.


To view more videos by EmilyCartoons, go to: http://animationstation.com/channel/emilycartoons/

EmCartoons Owner and Founder of Animation Station. Animation Station is a website that showcases Artists Artwork from around the world. Each artist has a background ranging in animation, live action, traditional, graphic design, audio, and any form of art connected to animation/digital media.


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