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Maquisard 04-17-2005 12:58 PM

Experimental walk cycle animation
Hi. I was kind of bored yesterday, and decided to test myself at making a walk-cycle animation. I made a very simplistic pixelly-looking guy, reminiscent of older games. I didn't do any preliminary sketches, so his walk looks a bit weird, and out of sync. Took me about an hour and a half to make the 8 images that make up his walk cycle. I've used 6 of them.

That's him, and this is the test of his gait against a quickly drawn background.

What do you guys think?

guybrush_guy 04-17-2005 05:11 PM

i think it looks really good, great work!

and his walk doesn't look bad it just looks like he's limping...

if you do decide to make a game around this character you should name him gimppy...

Jazhara7 04-18-2005 08:50 AM

It looks very good, except for a significant detail: He moves his rigth arm together with his right leg, and his left arm together with his left leg.

However, most mammals (including humans) move their right arm together with their left leg, and their left arm together with their left leg. It is automatic - you move like that without being aware of it most of the time. That's why it is easy to spot when somebody tries to maintain the rythm of their movements willingly. They often end up moving like this little guy.

- :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Maquisard 04-18-2005 05:47 PM

Wow, you've got a very good eye! Now I get what's wrong with him! Thanks. :P Maybe this can be fixed without too much work...

BTW, here are the 2 pics I haven't used. First, the guy in his standing position. I tried to give him some character, but his "flighty" walk cycle is completely contrary to it.

This weird second picture is transitional between the standing and walking positions. Turned out I couldn't use it.

Maquisard 04-23-2005 01:26 PM

I finally got around to taking Jazy's advice. Here is the new, fixed walk cycle, with the old one for comparison.

This new one (top) looks way more natural, & better, if I do say so myself. :P

I'd like to hear some comments & advice from "published" or experienced underground developers? :) I.E. How many pics do you make per walk cycle, how many different walk cycles do you make (I'm guessing 3--face, back and side, which can be rotated?) What's your process, etc.

BTW, Gimppy (thanks Gah Gah :shifty: ) is not a character I would build a game around. Just look at the way he's dressed! :P If I do decide to make a game, I'll ask Trepsie for fashion advice on what my character should wear. ;) "Queer Eye for the Straight game guy" kinda thing. :D

Maquisard 04-25-2005 10:35 AM

Since this thread is turning out to be largely a monologue, :shifty: I'll just keep posting my various tests...and stuff. Make it a developer's diary. For my eyes only! :P

Here's another comparison. The top image is the newer walk cycle against the background, with the older one on the bottom. I've used the evenly spaced fence-posts in the background for animations' pacing, but their speeds may differ a bit, I dunno why...:crazy: The new one still looks very amateurish, but I think it shows a marked improvement. Thanks Jazy! ;)

edit: the bottom one is faster 'cause it has a frame less. I'll try and fix it...

:9 <--Marko hard at work.

edit2: voila! :D ...I think. :shifty:

Ninja Dodo 04-25-2005 11:59 AM

I think there should be up and down motion in his whole body when he walks and I think he's maybe leaning backwards a bit much.

Jezze 04-25-2005 12:46 PM

I think it looks very unnatural... slow the animation down a bit and try to think about each what the character does each frame....

but first read this article:

Stinger 04-25-2005 04:30 PM

Well, it's way better than anything I could ever do, so I say well done so far. :)

My main suggestion is his left foot, it seems to kick up a little too high and he almost appears to slightly jump each time his left foot comes all the way forward.

And by the way, I appreciate you posting this--this is exactly the sort of thing this forum could be and should be used for.

Maquisard 04-25-2005 05:18 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. :)


Originally Posted by Ninja Dodo
I think there should be up and down motion in his whole body when he walks and I think he's maybe leaning backwards a bit much.

The reason it didn't take much time at all to make this is because his waist is a straight line, and his torso a block that doesn't move. :P All I did to animate him was to flail his head, arms and legs around. Sometimes I didn't even draw new positions for those, but would just rotate the body segments...This lazy-ass approach would've been even easier if I wasn't doing it in paint!

But anyway, as I said, I didn't do any sketches. I'm sure I can do better. Thanks for all the suggestions. :D


Originally Posted by Stinger
And by the way, I appreciate you posting this--this is exactly the sort of thing this forum could be and should be used for.

No problem. ;)

Trumgottist 04-26-2005 01:34 PM

He looks as if he's walking backwards. I've been trying to figue out why, but I'm not a skilled animator myself either (yet :) ), but I have a guess: I think it's beacuse the leg is moving slower when moving forward than when moving back. His left leg in particular. (And looking back at this thread, I see that Stinger already commented on that foot.)

One thought I read in an animation tutorial that I've found to be helpful is to "think of the walk as a controlled falling". Think about that one for a while, and it'll make sense. (It was either in that one linked to by Jezze, which is a very good one, or in a book on animation.) It'll still be hard to get the walk right, though.

Fixing the camel-walk helped, btw. (Camels are AFAIK the only animals that walk like that. I know a word for it in Swedish, but not in English.) It looks better now.


doing it in paint!
Aaargh! (Sorry, but it's not exactly the best tool for the job.)

Maquisard 04-26-2005 04:01 PM


Originally Posted by Trumgottist
Aaargh! (Sorry, but it's not exactly the best tool for the job.)

I know. :P Paintshop is actually my favorite tool for drawing, but I don't have it installed right now. Soon though, I'm gonna to set up my own "studio" in my room, with a scanner and drawing pad that I own (my brother's generous birthday gifts ;) ), and I'll be able to get a bit more serious about this hobby. :D

BTW, will you show us some of the stuff you've done?

Maquisard 04-26-2005 05:57 PM

Well, I gotta say, that tutorial has really helped me to understand the principles of walking. Thanks, Jezze :P.

I've made a quick test animation (took me about half an hour) consisting of 8 frames (like in the tutorial). It's just a simple stickman, over whom I might draw a real character. By making stickmen, I imagine I'll be able to experiment with different "attitudes", genders, etc. I really only drew 4 of those frames, and then switched the shading on the arms and legs. ;) But here it is. I think it looks better than the other guy, even at this stage of development. :D

Trumgottist 04-27-2005 12:04 AM


Originally Posted by Mares
I think it looks better than the other guy, even at this stage of development. :D

Looking good! (And he has attitude.)

Trumgottist 04-27-2005 01:44 AM


Originally Posted by Mares
BTW, will you show us some of the stuff you've done?

Here's my avatar walking:

Maquisard 04-27-2005 04:09 PM

Nice! Quite detailed, with, it seems like, many images going into the animation. Can we know more about the game this guy will be starring in? :P

Trumgottist 04-27-2005 08:56 PM

It's a game currently put on hold, beacuse it's a collaboration and the writer got lack of time. I'm instead working on a game on my own now while I'm hoping that we'll be able to get back to this one later.

Maquisard 04-28-2005 10:43 AM

I think I've figured something out. The advantage of having the character slide across the animation opposite of the way he walks towards (as if he was on a running machine, trying to keep up with it) is that, once you make him move across a background, his foot will stay firmly planted in one spot, until he lifts it. This is what I was aiming for when I made the animation I already showed you, and the new one underneath it.


Originally Posted by Trumgottist
Looking good! (And he has attitude.)

Thanks! :) I'd say badass is the attitude. :P

Jake 04-28-2005 11:12 AM

That's looking nice.

Maquisard 04-28-2005 04:44 PM


Originally Posted by Trumgottist

I hope you don't mind, I opened your animation with my gif making program, to observe your methods. :P

12 pictures going into this is quite an impressive number, especially at this resolution. ;) A lot of time must've gone into this. Care to share? :D

Btw, I think some kind of up and down hair motion, due to the high-point/low-point nature of the walk, would do wonders to liven his face up. :)

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