View Full Version : TeeJays Animation Journey - Walk Cycles
03-14-2012, 02:12 PM
I know there's not a whole lot of Animators here on PC but I know there are a few great ones so I'm posting here for a bit of crit on my various exercises.
I've spent the last little while studying walks and got comfortable with putting one together. The playblasts illustrate where I'm at right now and I would love some critique on them. I'm gonna attempt some different styles with the same rig later on but even at this stage I'd be keen to hear what can be improved.
I know it's not the most exciting thing in the world but I wanna get these basics down.
All mov's so you can scrub.
Here's a zip with all angles: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/33057988/Animations/YoungMaleWalkCycleAngles.zip
Hey there, no reason not to start getting crits this early on!
You know, I know there's a bigger focus on modeling, but more and more it seems animators are making apperances here. Let's try to keep this trend going!
The walk cycle looks like a good start! My biggest issues right now are with the torso, hips, and arms.
-The torso and hips just do not have enough movement to them. It makes the animation overall seem very stiff. The hips should be following a circular rotiation. It looks like it might be in there a bit, but try exaggerating it much more. For the torso, have the lower half following the hip movement, and the upper half opposing it. Also, there should be some up and down in it as he takes weight and then goes into a hangtime.
-The arms are okay, but they look like they move too much, especially since the rest of the body is doing such a calm walk. If it was a more energetic walk, bigger arm movements would make more sense. Also, more bend in the elbow and drag in the hand would improve it too.
-One other thing I noticed is there's a spot in the foot where it pops, just as it's about to rise off the ground. The feet must keep following an arc. Right now, as it lifts, it looks like it breaks out of it and moves forward too sharply.
Hope that was helpful. Keep going with it!
03-14-2012, 02:36 PM
Thanks Mezz, much appreciated!
Yeah I love looking at all the art, but I'm not into making it. I absolutely adore animating though, something about seeing stuff come to life is what makes it special to me. Also memories of Amiga Paint (yeah I'm that old) and the associated discovery that I could make my pictures move blew my mind.
Anyway, thanks for the crits, I'll get on working them out.
I think I was apprehensive about the hips and you're right, there's not enough love there. I was so focused on 'gotta make this masculine, be careful with the hips' and they just came out looking a little bland.
Good call on the pop too, I'd missed that.
Thanks again, Mezz!
03-17-2012, 08:36 AM
Ok refined it, and changed it a fair bit. I think there was too much swinging going on in the first one.
One problem I'm having is striking a good balance between reality and stylisation. I wanted to go for a kind of happy go lucky teenage kid just walking along, but I feel there's too much head nodding and upper body movement. In reality, from looking at some ref it seems we don't really move our upper bodys or head all that much but when I tried to apply that, it looked so stiff and lifeless.
Second major problem is that it looks awful in motion. I'm kinda happy with where it's at on the stationary cycle, but in motion something looks really broken. I'm thinking it's right at the contact position, as he pushes off, he seems to move too much.
Anyway, crits and comments much appreciated. Thanks!
Hey again, glad to see you updating!
I think your problem with getting him to look more upbeat without overdoing it is how you're applying the movement you want. If you want the upper body and head to appear to move more, the movement needs to flow up from his waist and follow the curve.
So things specifically that I notice:
-The toes slap down way too harshly.
-The hip movement is still not noticeable. Don't worry about making it too 'feminine'. It's not about the amount of movement so much as the type. Go all-out with the hips and see how it looks. Do it even if you don't like it, just to practice seeing the full rotation more easily.
-Same advice goes for the torso. Go way too far and then you can scale it back, but while it's so subtle, it's hard to identify why it's so stiff. Your hips through torso all need to flow, and it's hard to make sure you have this flow while keeping the movement very minimal.
-The spacing is also completely even. If you want it to appear more life-like, you'll have to learn to switch that up. The legs will likely have more spacing at either end and hurry through the passing movement. Or opposite. Or a variation. Just try someting different and see what happens. Same goes for the rest overall, but I'd say the easiest example to see of this is in the legs and arms. (If you're not clear on what I mean by this and 'spacing', I can elaborate)
-Also, the reason I think you don't like the look of the froward motion is that it's way too fast for this walk. I'd say halve the distance he travels in that time and see if you're liking it any better.
Hope that's all making sense! If you don't feel like doing so many changes on this guy, don't hesitate to start up a new walk! You'll be doing plenty over time, so what's one more now?
04-25-2012, 09:39 AM
Right, AM is coming up in less than 2 months... beyond excited but I've decided to go back to some bouncing balls in preparation.
I know it's not exciting, but I really wanna nail this feeling of weight and life on these.
Here's a lively single bounce, and then two simple bounces. Crits from you animators please!
Afraid I don't have a lot of time now for a long response, so allow me to hit on the main point of each ball bounce that stands out at me:
First mov -- Too much hang time. It looks kinda sticky at the top of the arc.
Second mov -- Feels like too much squash each time it hits the ground after the the initial smack.
Third mov -- It feels like it juts forward somewhere around the hang time, as if its picked up extra force to go forward more. --Watching it more closely, I wonder if it's more a matter of how long the hangtime stretches that makes it appear this way. So for all three, try to quicken up the hangtime just a bit.
Hope this was helpful, and GL with the AM course once it starts!
04-25-2012, 10:50 PM
In addition to the overlong hang time, I would suggest giving a little more time to the bounces themselves. Right now it looks like the squash and stretch of the impact gets maybe 1 frame. I mean, if you're going to squash and stretch the ball that much, then give yourself enough frames to show the bounce.
04-26-2012, 09:23 AM
Updates after crits and a heavier ball drop too.
Bounce to Settle-
Bounce to Settle with Horizontal-
Heavy Ball Bounce-
04-26-2012, 10:29 AM
These ball bounces look great! the horizontal one seems like it has wind pushing against it though. It feels like it should travel right more. Its ok to make it go to the end of the screen, and even bounce off a wall or something
04-30-2012, 09:51 AM
Made a few changes as per your suggestions.
04-30-2012, 10:40 AM
Good! Great job following critiques!
Next up, use this (http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/character-rigs/c/simple-bot-rig-for-maya) rig and just do a standing jump. straight up and down, with anticipation / follow through and settle. It's a an exercise that is close to the bouncing ball. then you can do things like weight shifts, spins, jumps across gaps. That sort of thing. But use that rig for a bit. It takes away the complexity of too many controllers at the start, and lets you really focus on animation.
04-30-2012, 11:17 AM
That's some great progress, keep it up!
Nice crits Stefan.
04-30-2012, 01:08 PM
Ah, great Slipsius, thanks for the suggestions, I was wondering what would be a good exercise to attempt next!
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