When I started this channel….I just had in mind to create a couple of video tutorials, just for fun and test myself in something new..trying to explain my animation method to others through quick and simple videos demonstrations. I wasn’t sure to be able to do that and I was ready to “delate” the first video uploaded if I would have received a flood of insults 😅But…this didn’t happen and a lot of aspirants animators just founded my videos easy to understand and a font of inspiration, so ..I want to say thanks to all this people that supported this project and when I read my Blog listed in article like “10 Awesome Animation Blogs for your Inspiration”….I just feel happy😁Thanks Florian and Introbrand.com for the mention!!!😊
I want to thank two awesome artists: Filippo Foglietti for the 2D concept and Sofia Gariazzo for the 3D model (https://www.artstation.com/sofiagariazzo)! It was a pleasure to work with you and I hope we will create other stuff together! 😃NOW It’s time to give her a NAME!!! I need help and fantasy FROM ANYONE 😛❗️Just one directive: must starts with the letter “D”! I add a progression collection of pics from concept to 3D model to inspire you! 😊Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
#animation #beananimator #name #suggestions #character #concept #model
As some of you already know… I’m still finishing my relocation! That’s why I’m not posting new videos, BUT…. I’ll come back soon (I promise :P), my next video is in wip!
In the meantime…I’m seeing this my “old” gif shared on Facebook so… I just re-share it with you! 🙂
-How to Refine a Shot –
PART1: Before start to show my workflow to Refine a Shot I need to do a quick explanation of the main tools of the Graph Editor (for Beginners), here the main topic:
– Introduction to the Graph Editor
– Main Useful Tools
– Create a Cycle Animation
– How to Bake an Animation
– Quick fix gimbal Lock and Flipping with Euler Filter
In the Tutorial I used the “Alya’s Rig” https://www.facebook.com/AlyaRig/
PART2: I will use an animation I made a while ago to show you my workflow when I have to refine a shot! 😉 ANIMATION SHOT
In the Tutorial I used the “Eleven Rig” http://elevenrig.blogspot.it/
“Refine a Shot – Graph Editor” – RECAP (BEGINNERS)
First of all, it’s not something you have to be scared of!
I know exactly how you feel when you open it for the first time, ’cause when I started this job, I tried to avoid it as mush as possible, I found it too
…. “technical”, I had the feeling to lose part of my instinct and I always preferred to work directly in the viewport, like “I don’t care how my curves look like! The animation works so ….it doesn’t matter!” but…in hindsight, now that I’m used to work with it and I know how useful and important is to make beautiful animation, I would like to show you and explain the Graph Editor in the easiest way, so that you can focus on the important aspects and you don’t be too much intimidated by it!
When you have your keys on the timeline, open the Graph Editor
Window –> Animation Editors –> Graph Editor
(I’M USING MAYA 2015, so … if you have other versions you may find it a bit visually different!)
Like any other panel you can click in the button right angle to scale it and adjust it as you want
Or, you can change the layout of you view scene by choosing the Persp/Graph option and you will have the view scene splitted in 2 windows: with your camera in the upper part (in this case you have the persp but you can change it with the camera you prefer) and the Graph Editor below. By clicking in the middle you can change the size of the windows
Select all the controls of your character and … as you can see your animation is visualized in the Graph Editor as CURVES
Each curve is the rapresentation of the motion of the different axis, that you can see on the left
You can select each axis one by one, or select multiple axis by keeping press shift!
To Move in the Graph Editor, just do as with the viewport navigation:
- Pan: press Alt or Option and middle-drag
- Zoom: press Alt or Option and right-drag
To Fit the entire curve in the window: point on the graph editor and press A
If you want to zoom on a part of the curves: select the keys and press F
I’m going to show you the tools you’ll use most of the time from this menu:
When you have an animation and you want to create a cycle (a walk cycle or anything else you need to loop) the first thing to do is to open the Graph Editor and switch on the Infinity to visualize the cycle from VIEW –> INFINITY
then… select the curves and from the menu Curves turn on the cycle on both Pre Infinity and Post Infinity. In this way you will cycle before and after your first and last keys
an other type of cycle you can use is the CYCLE with OFFSET, in this case when you have the first and last keys values different (for example like in a walk cycle forward, or in a cycle in place when you move forward the main control with the first and last keys with different values) the cycle starts from the values of the last and the first keys (in a progressive way)
If you want to take off the cycle: just select Curves –> Pre and Post Infinity –> Constant
in some cases you will need to bake your animation: this means that the software will convert each frame in keyframe (this is useful in case you need to convert in keyframe a cycle or to keyframe a constraint, or to export your animation for a game engine and other cases)
to bake the keys, go on CURVES –> BAKE CHANNEL and open the options:
here you can choose which part of the animation you want to bake: you can decide to bake a range of frames based on your current time slider or to chose a range typing the start and the end.
And the interval between the keys: you decide if have a keys any 1/2/3 or more frames
this is not the only way to fix a Gimbal Lock or a Flipping rotation issues, and it doesn’t work always, but it works in many cases! 😉
so, if you have this type of issues you can try to use the EULER FILTER: you can see in the graph editor the curve with the issue (should be pretty visible :P)
select the keys and go to CURVES –> EULER FILTER!
This is my personal workflow when I go to refine an animation.
I’ll use this animation I made a while ago, this is the final version
For a matter of time I’ll show just a little part of the animation and this is the blocking I started from
If I’m sure that the blocking works well, that everything is readable, that I have the right timing, appealing poses (nice and readable) that perfectly fit’s the character mood …..so… when the biggest part is done, what we are going to see in the shot is already there, I just need to refine the animation: make everything fluid, polish the curves, adjust the spacing, offset some parts and add some details!
I set in spline (or auto tangent) all the keys and…let’s see how it looks like
if you have done good blocking (adding the right keys in the right position, with a good timing) when you’ll convert your tangents in spline, the result should be something enough clear and polished! 😉
BUT … if you just started to animate recently…you may have something more chaotic the first times!
Some animator tends to add too much key poses during the blocking, two many acting choices or too much breakdowns and in-betweens, and when they convert in spline … the graph editor is a bit confusing! Sometimes they have to delate most of the blocking and re-do the work, so here some tips for your blocking:
so don’t be angry if the first times you will have something more confusing, you’ll get used to it with the experience! 😉
My version already works but the movements are a bit robotic the character needs life and a bit of love ! (Don’t care about the lip-sync ’cause I just added some poses in the BLK and I’ll try do do an entire lesson just for the lip-sync ’cause it would take too much time)
the first thing I’ll go to adjust is the:
for example: the first movement is too slow, everything starts to move too soon so I want to keep the first pose for more frame. But I don’t want to freeze it, I just go to slow it down!
In the timeline I quickly add keys and move them back or forth to edit the spacing! This will make the process faster, ’cause after that… I’ll go to clean them in the graph editor but I already have the right spacing to work with and is also faster ’cause in this way I can move all the controls at the same time and not one by one
after I worked on the timeline, I go to clean and adjust the curves in the graph editor, trying to smooth the motion.
Now I will adjust the Moving Holds at the end of a movement, slowing down the spacing in the final part! To do that I add an in-between before the last key pose, with a value really close to the final one, so the animation stops more softly.
If you reach the final position too fast and then you don’t keep a bit of motion (a great motion and suddenly a flat curve with no motion at all) the resault will be an abrupt stop and very mechanic motion.
If the stop is too slow (so if we have too much motion at the end) the result is not realistic anyway and would result too floaty
Now I go to add Follow-through and Overlap offsetting same parts, example:
- offset the upper torso from the middle torso, the neck from the torso, the head from the neck
- the same for the arm, I need to offset the forearm, from the arm, the wrist from the forearm, and the fingers from the wrist
- same for the leg, shin offsetted compare to leg, foot offsetted from the shin, and toes from the foot
after the blocking I have all the keys on the same frames, so each part of the body reacts, starts to move and ends the motion at the same time, on the same frame with exactly the same timing! We need to add variation, ’cause each part would react in a different way and time!
To offset the keys I just select all of them (a controller at the time) and I drag them forward in the graph editor or directly in the timeline as much frames as I need, then I adjust the curves in the graph editor and I add some in-betweens when necessary (adjusting shapes, arcs etc)
Then I add more Breakdowns: I add the blinks where needed or I simply adjust them, I animate the squash for the head and I check my arcs!
I want to be sure that each movement follows a nice path: the arm, the head, the chest…you can use motion trail to visualize the paths of your movements and adjust them to create smooth and nice arcs!
To use the motion trail you have to select the control of the parts of the body you want to check, and in the Animation Tab, go on Animate —> Create Editable Motion Trails and then turn on the visibility from Show —> Motion Trails
the software will displays a red line that is your path of action. Anytime we move the control (so we change the position), the trail changes. You can also turn on the handles to adjust the arc. In this example you can also see a motion trail displaying a figure 8 path, that is very used in animation, for example for the swing of the arms during a walk.
Why arcs are so important? Most of the movement should create an arc in their path of action, this makes the animation more fluid and more realistic!
BUT There some particular cases where straight paths are necessary so … always keep in mind the type of animation you are doing and make your decision based on that.
In the in-betweens and breakdowns you can use deformers to adjust the shapes to better follow the arc.
before the arms stops I added this little settle back and forth ‘cause the gesture is pretty fast and strong, so adding a simple slowing down at the end would take off a bit of power from the gesture, resulting too soft! I already have a smooth and slow movement before, when she moves the pencil while she thinks and stalling before make the question, so… it’s more interesting to break this rhythm adding a faster and stronger movement when she finish the question, also the contrast with the soft bended arm before and this straight rigid line at the end helps to emphasize the acting!
What is a settle at the end of a motion? Some type of movements need to settle after the stop! A sort of soft or strong rebound back and forth
An object reaches a forward position, then goes back and forth 1 or more times!
If the object (or the character) is composed by different parts, they will stop at different time and different way to settle!
Now I add a bit of movement to each part of the body, this because we should always move the entire body!
A human body is composed by parts connected to each other and each part has an influence on the closest one!
So even if with very subtle movements, in most of the cases we should consider that when we animate a part this should affect an other one.
In my blocking I didn’t add any movement to the right arm, it’s totally freezed in position and also there’s no movement to the lower part of the body, the hip, ’cause this parts actually don’t do nothing, but they need to react anyway! Something soft, but enough to make it part of a body in motion, and not a separate object and also to add vitality to the entire animation!
I look throw each poses to be sure that are nice and readable, I use deformers if necessary to adjust arm and legs shapes
I check if there’s some compenetrations with props and environments or with the body itself!
I check the eyes, the more important part to make a character alive, eyes are so important, the look have to be focused on something (unless the character is thinking to something, or…other particular cases where the eyes just stares off) I check the pupils position, when a look is on a side, keep attention to don’t put the pupil too inward, it’s unnatural, and we lose the characters life! So keep at least half of the pupils visible!
I go to add all the little details at the end, like the offset of the prop, the pencil, that must has a bit of delay compared to the hand movement. I add the hair animation and….that’s it!
I hope this video helps a bit to show you how useful the graph editor can be, and how to approach refine to make your animation looks better! 🙂
11 Second Club – February Competition
I had some free time last month so I attended for the first time the 11 Second Club Competition 🙂
Time of work: 3 days
Rig: Eleven RIg http://elevenrig.blogspot.de/
Audio from the movie “Ghostbusters” 2016
Quick Introduction to the “Principles of Animation”
In the next lessons I’ll explain each principles in more detail with tutorials and exercises! 😉
Lesson #3 –Became an Animator RECAP
This is the most common question I receive so I decide to make this very fast introduction to the Animation World and guide a bit those who want to work as 3D animator:
Be a Character Animator…is GREAT! I love this job and I wouldn’t change it even if sometimes it makes you angry or frustrating, but all the emotions that this job can give you (whether good or bad) …worth it! 😉
But, any other job, it have his Positive and Negative aspects, so…let’s make a list!
————-Are you still motivated and convinced to go ahead? COOL! Let’s see what’s the first steps to do…
- Download a TRIAL version of a 3D software: you can choose between different softwares available, Maya and 3D Max (both by Softimage) are the most common.
I always suggest Maya! It’s probably the best if you want to do animation and is very used in production companies. (3D MAX maybe is more suited if you want to specialize in Modeling IMO)
- Watch some tutorials for the software interface! This programs are pretty complex so at the beginning, just focus on the interface for Animation———————————————————————-
- Study the PRINCIPLES OF ANIMATION
TIMING / STAGING / ANTICIPATION / FOLLOW THROUGH / ARCS / EXAGGERATION and so on…
- Start to do some simple and basic animation exercise on Maya.
Don’t use any complex character. You just need a sphere…
…let it BOUNCE….and bounce………and bounce again…
- Chose a simple character and start to create some poses! Standing. Pushing. Runnning. etcetera… Study the rules for posing a character:
Lines of actions / Silhouette / Appeal——————————————————————–
- Now you can try with facial expression! Use some references to create some of the more common expressions: HAPPY / ANGRY / SAD / DISAPPOINTED / SCARED——————————————————————–
- ASK for feedbacks! Be sure that your are doing right…
DON’T start to do too complex animations before you learned and well understood this principles!——————————————————————–
- Chose a nice rig on the web and create your first ACTING SHOT!
Take a short audio track from a movie and… animate!——————————————————————–
- Create your ANIMATION REEL! Where to mix together the best exercises ands animations you created and …look for a company that needs animators! 😉——————————————————————–
Short guide for those who want to became 3D Character Animator!
Lesson #1 – Animation Techniques RECAP
Quick introduction to the animation world! I will quickly explain what’s the role of an animator and the different animation techniques!
What does a Character Animator do?
Be a Character Animator means…BRING TO LIFE a fictional characterI always says that…as animators we moves and lets speak these characters, in practice, we control their movements like “actors” and… in this way we create the…an example of an Animation (on the left) and a totally Mechanic/Lifeless one (on the right). Can you see the difference? If you do, you are on the good way… 😉
let’s see the main differences:
create asymmetric expression to give more appeal!
and don’t forget to smooth any movement with soft lines!
I drew a lot but, I can’t say that I’m a good drawer…
So, we must dispel this fake myth.
No, you don’t need to be a good drawer…to became a good 3D animator!!!
Main Animation Techniques
Is composed by sequences of hand drawings created on a series of pages . All the drawings are made on an Animation Desk or Light Table!
A light table has a translucent surface illuminated from behind with a light collocated into the table, on this surface you put the sequence of papers: when you draw the animations, thanks to the light inside the desk, you can see in transparence the drawings on the previous and following pages.
An animation is composed by a sequence of frames, each frame is represented by a drawing.
The Frame rate, the number of frames per second can change depending on the type of project (THIS APPLIES TO ANY TECHNIQUE)
Is the animation of objects created in a three-dimensional space.
Using a 3D Software like Maya or 3D Max, we animate a 3D object.
We start with a mesh, “the Model” that is created by the “Modeler”, on this mesh the “Rigger” will create the skeleton, “the Rig”, the series of bones, joints and the selectable controls that the Animator will use to move the character!
Selecting and moving the controls, we create the motion! 🙂
With this technique we physically move a real objects, a puppet!
Frame by frame we pose the character and we take pictures of it.
The puppet usually has a structure inside, like an iron skeleton, that allow to easily pose him.
Run Cycle Tutorial recap and TIPS! 😉
Before start…take your time to plan the Run and chose the style.
- Which type of run do you want to create?
- Where’s he/she going?
Follow the design of the character: this can guide you to make your run more appealing and interesting! Be creative!!! 🙂
Decide the Speed of your run, make some test during the blocking to find the best speed!
When you calculate the length of the shot consider that you have to sum the tow step, plus one frame at the end that is just a duplicate of the first one, so:
1 step frames + Second step frames + 1 frame
Start the Blocking with the main poses:
1- Straight Leg (sx foot)
12- Straight Leg (dx foot)
1- Straight Leg (sx foot) the leading leg is straight forward but doesn’t touch the ground yet. The right leg is behind in the air.
3- Down translate down the COG, the left leg is flat on the ground and starts to slide backward. The right leg start to pass forward.
5- Push Translate Up the body, the left leg is behind, bend the foot that is close to leave the ground. The right leg is almost in front.
8- Up Push a bit more Up the body. The left leg is behind in the air and the right leg is pretty high in the air, bended, in front of the character.
Speed UP the Spacing between the Straight Leg pose and the Down pose, then Slow Down between the Push and the following Straight Leg pose, the result will be a sort of “pause” in the air, and the run will result more snappy and cartoon.
Refine the animation
- Feet Refine: in the Graph Editor adjust the curves and switch in Linear the part where the feet touch the ground and in Spline when they are in the air.
Bend the feet and the Toes
Keep attention to the arcs of the feet (use motion trail if necessary)!!!
Here’s the final Curves of the foot on Z:
Here’s the final Curves of the UP and Down of the COG and the Chest Refine:
- Arms Refine: offset the key of the forearm and the wrist of 2 frames. And…add a variation between the two arms! 😉
– Run Cycle – Tutorial –
Let’s see how to create a run cycle! 😉
Video tutorial created with the Rig: Steel by Long Winter Members Long Winter Member
here other animations I made with this Rig:
Run Cycle Tutorial
I’m working on this new tutorial based on this RUN CYCLE made with: Steel Rig
Female Walk CURVES & Graph Editor
Here’s the main Curves for Feet / COG / Hip / Chest, showed in the Graph Editor,
based on the “Walk Cycle” I posted in the previous Tutorial ( Walk Cycle Tutorial)
- Leg / Foot CURVES
- COG CURVES
- Hip CURVES
- Chest CURVES
– Female Walk Cycle – Workflow Tutorial –
In this Tutorial I show my personal workflow to create this Female Walk Cycle (in place)
Rig: The Eleven Rig http://elevenrig.blogspot.de/
“Female Walk Cycle” – RECAP (INTERMEDIATE)
In general, before you start your cycle, you need to decide what type of walk you want to create, the style, the timing, the mood of the characters etc…
Make a research, shoot yourself, watch other walks, make some test. There’re infinite ways to walk and it’s important to chose the right one for your character!
In this tutorial I show you a very fluid and sinuous walk (I made this choice ’cause I wanted play with overlap) 😉
This are the KEY poses for this walk, focusing just on the HIP and LEGS (and below the hip positions in the in-betweens)
You can see the 2 CONTACT POSE with opposite foot leading (the foot forward), the DOWN position with the extreme DOWN pose of the hip, the PASSING and the UP with the extreme UP hip position.
Before start to pose the character, I usually hide the parts of the body I don’t want to see for the moment, I will start posing the legs and the hip, so I temporarily hide all the other faces
To do that, just create a new material (a lambert) and make it transparent, then select the mesh and the faces you want to hide and assign them this transparent material
After that, I also assign 2 different colors to legs and arms to better visualize left and right
We start from the CONTACT POSE. Use a SIDE VIEW and move a bit downward the body, then select the leading foot (in this case is the right one) and move it forward (the leg is straight, not bended) and rotate the foot upward so that just the heel touches the ground.
Move back the left foot and with the foot rool pose it so that the heel starts to leave the ground
In the FRONT VIEW move on X the feet so that they are almost aligned in the center of the body, one in front of the other
Then we copy the same pose at the end of our cycle (frame 31) and in the middle (frame 16) we add an other key, but this time we mirror the pose of the feet (now the left foot is the leading one)
To mirror the pose: go on frame 1, select the right foot ctrl and right-click on the timeline and select COPY, then select the left foot ctrl and move on frame 16 and right-click…PASTE. Then go in the channel box and change the + with the – (or viceversa) for the axis that are opposite for the other foot (translation X, rotation y and Z)
Again, go on frame 1, select the left foot ctrl, COPY, select the right foot ctrl and go on frame 16, PASTE, and mirror values. Do the same for the knee ctrl!
Now select all the ctrls and in the graph editor be sure to have the tangents in SPLINE (or Auto), then select just the feet ctrls and switch to LINEAR the part where the feet slide on the ground
At frame 3 set at 0 all the rotations of the right foot (now it touches completely the ground), move downward the body (here it reaches his lowest position)
On the left foot increase the values of the foot rool so that now it’s alsmost detached from the ground, it touches it just with the toes
Both the legs now are bended!
At frame 8 we create the passing pose, the moment when both the legs are aligned in the middle of the center of gravity, the left foot is moving forward and the right foot…backward
The body started to go UP again, the right foot is still complately flattened on the ground and the left foot is in the air (rotated downward and translated and rotated a bit externally)
Keep attention to balance the body in this pose. The right foot must be perfectly on the center of gravity (’cause all the weigth is on this foot now)
On frame 12, move the body upward (this will be his highest position), the left foot is almost forward, pointing upward and the leg is a bit bended
The right foot is flattened on the ground but the heel started to detach from the ground a bit
Let’s copy and mirror the DOWN (frame 3), PASSING (frame 8) and UP (frame 12) poses on the other half of the cycle: mirrored DOWN (frame 18), mirrored PASSING (frame 23), mirrored UP (frame 27)
Switch ALL the curves in STEPPED and make a playblast!
Now we can add the HIP movement! Funny part 😉
In the contact pose (frame 1), the weight of the character is on both the feet, but we translate a bit the hip on the left, and rotate it towards the left foot on Y and a bit on the left on Z so that we will have a big change of rotation of the hip between down and passing pose!
Then we skip for a moment the down pose, and we move directly on frame 8 (passing pose) and here we have a completed change of the weight on the righ foot, so we translate the hip on the right and we rotate it on Y and Z towards the right foot (this is the extreme hip pose on the right side)
Now add a key on the down pose where you just have to slow down the spacing between contact and down, so rotate the hip a bit on the left so that is more similar to the position at frame 1! In this way we have a slow spacing between contact and down, and a speed spacing between down and passing!
Do the same for the other stride. Move on frame 23 and create the extreme hip pose on the left side (copy the pose of frame 1 and increase the translation on the left and both the rotation of Y and Z)
Now you have an interpolation between frame 8 and frame 23 where the hip moves from right to left, add a key on frame 12 and move it to frame 16 (in order to slow down the spacing between the passing and the contact position and speed it up between contact and passing of the following step – between frame 16 and 23)
Now add a key again on frame 12 (just keep the interpolation)
On frame 31 just copy the pose of frame 1 and then add a key on frame 27
That’s it! So…the big change of position for the hip happens very fast (3 frames) between the contact – passing pose (this makes a more “sashay” effect)
When you are happy with the result…go forward with the REFINE! 😉
For this walk I just animate in Blocking the legs , the body and the hip, ’cause are the more complicated parts in a walk, and I will animate chest, head and arms directly in spline!
Switch the curves in STEPPED and create a playblast! 😉
Start refining what you animated so far, legs and body. In the graph editor switch again all the tangents in SPLINE (or AUTO) except for the translation Z of the feet in the part where they slide on the ground, that must be LINEAR
After that, cycle ALL the CURVES (pre and post infinity) and adjust the transition at the start and the end, using flat tangents (when you have just two extremes keys) or using the handles. REMEMBER to adjust the tangents of the first and last keys together at the same time (they must be the same)
-BODY (COG) REFINE-
Select the body (COG) ctrl
and add a small movement left and right: on frame 1 move it a bit on the right (copy the same value on frame 31) and on frame 16 move it a bit on the left. In the graph editor select the X axis and make the first and last keys FLAT
Then, keep open the graph editor and select the traslation Y and polish the curves
The result should be like this:
At this point I just animate 1 leg and then I copy/past the animation on the other one (but if you prefer you can animate both the legs separately to have less symmetry in the walk). During the blocking is important to have both the legs animated to check timing and poses but now…you can hide one leg and animate just the other one! 😉
On frame 2 adjust the right foot and make it flat (set at 0 all the rotations) and animate the toes cntrl that must point upward (it doesn’t touch the ground yet)Now animate the TOES (offsetted from the foot movement) for the entire range of animation (ex. when the foot moves upward the toes point downward and viceversa)
If you have it, use DEFORMERS ctrls to adjust arcs and legs shapes! They will help to smooth your animation 😉
Now clean the path of your foot movement (you can see my tutorial on “How to REFINE a shot” minute 5.40 where I also explain the use of motion trails to adjust the arc!)
You have to create a nice, rounded and smooth arc for your feet! 😉
Also, you can use the knee deformer to avoid POP result during contact and down pose!
The KNEE should have a smoothed movement just like the feet but sometimes you could have a bad effects due to the movement of foot and body, in this case a knee deformer can helps you (animate it frame by frame during the contact and down positions)
Now you can polish the curves of the foot:
When you are happy with the result, copy/paste the animation on the other foot!
Remember to past the animation of ALL the controls you used for the first foot (foot, toes, knee, deformers etc…)
To copy the animation: select one control at the time, example: select right foot ctrl, in the timeline select the entire range of animation, right-click COPY –> select the same ctrl on the left foot, point on frame 1 and right-click PASTE
Do the same for ALL the controls and after that you should have the feet with the same animation at the same time (they should move together)
Select ALL the controls used for the left leg and, in the Graph editor, select all the curves and drag them forward in the timeline (the first keys should be at frame 16, exactly in the middle of the cycle)
Check you animation, does it works? Ok, now go back in the graph editor, with the same ctrls selected of the left foot, and add a key at frame 31, select all the keys after this one (31 included) and drag them backword up to frame 1, now copy the keys at frame 1 to frame 31! That’s it!
You can watch my tutorial “Run Cycle” minute 10.56 where I show how to copy/paste animation from a foot to an other! 😉
Now polish the curves of the HIP ctrl and… you should have something like this 😉
Chest controls (in my case I have 3 ctrls)
I use the upper ctrl to add a squash and stretch (I can use the other 2 just for rotation)
Use the rotation Y to add a visible Up and Down, the chest should squash with a bit of delay from the Up and Down of the body: with the Low extreme position between the Down Pose and the Passing Pose (around frame 5 or 6) and the Highest extreme position between the Up pose and the Contact pose (around frame 14/15)
To do that: add a key at frame 1/16/31, then on frame 8 translate a bit downward the chest, and on frame 14 a bit upward. Then copy the pose at frame 8 on frame 23, and copy the pose of frame 14 on frame 29. Now select the handles of the first and last key and smooth the transition
Now we add a bit of Rotation on Y
select all the 3 chest ctrls together and on frame 1 (with the right leg leading) rotate the chest on the left (copy this pose on frame 31), on frame 16 (with the left leg leading) rotate the chest on the right
Offset 2 of this controls, select the one in the middle, select all the keys and move them forwards in the timeline by 8 frames (so now the first keys is on frame 8), then add a key on frame 31, copy this key on frame 1 and delate the key on frame 38. Now select the handles of the first and last keys to smooth the transition
Then select the upper control and move all the keys forwards (so that the first keys is on frame 16) then copy the key on frame 31 and paste it on frame 1 and delate the keys on frame 46!
So now the upper part of the chest is rotated opposite to the leading leg!
Now use the same process to rotate the chest on X, a small rotation back and forth. You can use just the upper ctrl of the chest: add a key on the rot X on frame 1/16/31, then on frame 8 rotate a bit the upper chest forwards, and on frame 14 a bit backwards, then copy the keys on frame 8 and past it on the other stride (frame 23) and the copy/paste the key of frame 14 on the frame 29. In the graph editor select the handles of the first and last keys and adjust them to smooth the curve, the adjust also the handle of the frame 16
Just as for the legs, you can animate one arm and then copy/past and mirror the animation on tje other one (or, especially for the arms, you can animate both of them separately, I always suggest to add a bit of variations in the arms movement! 😉
The arm are in FK, and you have 3 controls: arm, forearm, wrist + the shoulder ctrl
Before animate the arm, pose the fingers in a natural and relaxed pose (avoid rigid pose, ore fingers too separated between each other, or “paddle hand” effect)
First of all we set the 2 main key poses in the contact pose (frame 1/16/31).
The arms always move in the opposite direction of the foot on the same side
On frame 1 we have the right foot forward, so we move back the arm (the 3 controls) and also the shoulder (for the shoulder you can also use a bit of translation back and forth)
Choose a natural and armonic pose of the arm, use deformers to adjust it or make it a bit more rounded and “soft”
When you have done with the first pose, copy all the 3 ctrls + the shoulder (and the deformers if you used them) on frame 31
On frame 16 create the opposite pose, with the arm rotated forward (and the shoulder also translated a bit forward)
Now create the passing pose (around frame 8) and, it depends on the pose you choosed for you arm, in my case I keep the arm straight during the passing pose and I break the joint a bit (rotating the forearm and the wrist backward and using the deformers)
Now select the forearm and offsett it by 1/2 frames from the arm
Then polish the curve in the graph editor and do what you have done for the chest to keep the animation in the range of 31 frames
Select the wrist and now offset it by 1/2 frames from the forearm this time (add some in-betweens to overlap)
Then polish the curve in the graph editor and again, keep the animation in the range of 31 frames
When you have done, copy/paste mirror on the other arm or, as I said before, animate it separately!
Let’s move to the head! First of all, add a nice and relaxed expression to the character, keep attention to the eyes look direction, we need the feeling that the character is looking at something to keep it alive
For the head we just go to add a small X rotation back and forth, following the back and forth movement of the chest: frame 5/6 extreme forward rotation, frame 13/14 extreme backward rotation
I also add a bit of animation to the hair, this rig doesn’t has hair ctrls, so I directly animated the mesh so…is something you can do just for your animation test but NOT IN PRODUCTION 😀
In this particular animation (due to the character design) is interesting to add a nice and exaggerated animation of the brest (just to have more overlap!)
We can translate and rotate them in order to create a circular movement + an Up and Down (use motion trail if needed) and animated them offsetted by 1/2 frames! 😉
THA’S IT! 🙂
So, don’t be shy and send me your walk cycle adding a link to your video in the page “YOUR ANIMATIONS” to receive my feedback! 😉
Animation test with Eleven Rig
A quick animation test I made using Eleven Rig elevenrig.blogspot.com/
Time of work: 4 / 5 hours
Action, Run and Walk Cycle
having fun testing Steel (one of the rig from the Cash Pack) by Long Winter Studio longwintermembers.com/
Animation Test “Pole Dance”
This time I wanted to try something different 🙂 not easy but really funny to do!
Time of work: 3 days
Rig: Mery project meryproject.com
Animation Test “Let it go” music from Frozen
For my first approach with this great rig “Mery” I chose the song “Let it go” from Frozen movie. Thanks for watching!
Work Time: 4 days
Original Song: “Let it go” written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and performed by Idina Menzel
Rig: Mery from meryproject.com
Dog Run Cycle
Rig: Dog Rig by Ram Krish creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/character-rigs/c/dog
Chiara Porri – Character Animator / Work Time: 1 days