Animating the moves

Well iam a beginner … and have made a human like model so far… have also animated it with a walkcycle… here is the link
Yout tube--


but i want to know how can you make the normal walks i mean like they have in movies… how can you have that control??? is is possible to changes the paths that we parent to our character… or some other ways to control overall better??? i wana make a simple animation clip… how can i get this control like that in movies… the character moves jus so easily… and the speed is controlled too…and is jus not bound to single path… ur help will grately hellp thanks!!!

My suggestion, and its not the easiest, but if you want to get it as good as they have it in your average Pixar or Dreamworks film, then learn about walk cycles from animation books. Theres a good one called ‘Advanced Animation’ by Preston Blair and another by Richard Williams called the ‘Animators Toolkit’. Both explain walkcycles to death. These are an excellent foundation bcuz you can always look back on them if you get stuck. Its all practice, don’t rush it.

It’s a good idea to have a full length mirror on hand and walk infront of it, watch each part of your body as you look at your walk. Your hips, your legs, your shoulders, your arms, your feet, your toes, your chest. Does it move up and down, does it twist, does it roll. Take note of everypart & everything they do in terms of movement!

Next you may want to check your rig. Is it a basic rig or does it allow for complex movement. Make sure your rig is fully functional, but don’t overdo it. It can get too complex if your not careful.

After all that and you’ve got the walk right, if you want to advance your animating skills take up acting classes, I’m serious about that. All animators at both production companies I mentioned at the start are skilled actors. No good if they can only draw real well, they just wont employ them otherwise.

Good Luck Don007!

Thnx so much Pheonix… i do have the Animators Toolkit but never looked at it… now i will thnx!!! and abt making a short clip how do they like make the characters move here and there and jump here and there and pick up and item withjout disceting through it>???
i mean do they uise more then one path to change course??? and if they do to change between two path if parented to one already???

PS:- My Rig is almost like the one which BoSD introduction to character anim,ation has!!!.. i am not that good with rigs yet but iam learning… iam a beginner right now… hardly a month!!!

Good onya, its the best book out there on the subject. Learning a walk cycle is the foundation of all your animating, if you can do that right, then the rest will follow. Be sure to read as many tutorials on animation, especially from Keith Lango and Victor Navone. They’re the guys to look to about it all. Especially about pop-thrus, secondary motion, moving holds, weight transfer, etc. Watch the animations from, they’re great to see about walk cycles.

If your serious about it using Blender then grab a copy of ‘Introducing Character Animation with Blender’, it will tell you all that you need to know about the interface and animating in Blender. God I sound like a salesman. LOL But it covers everything, its very detailed! The rig they do is like Ludwig’s, which is a pretty good rig for beginners

Pretty much most of that animation in feature films is keyframed, they use few paths in some scenes and programs scripts for Boolean Operations in others (for interaction with objects and particles between two or more meshes, etc) Mind you the software they use isn’t Blender at all. And don’t be fooled into thinking they have to figure out every little action in a scene, animators cheat like hell. If a character was walking behind a wall on a street and you could see his face but his legs were obscured, you can be sure the animators wont animate his legs whilst you can’t see them. Animators eliminate any and all redundancies from a scene they do. As long as it look right and the characters actions are truthful.

The paths they map out are only used for that shot, animators are given 1 shot to work on at a time until they finish it and 99% usually require only 1 path (if the scene requires it) for a walk cycle or whatever. But like I said most of it is keyframed. That’s why it takes 4-5 years to make an animated film. Its not an easy job, take your time with it.

As for picking up and moving objects, Blender simplifies this by using a copy location constraint on a small bone placed above the palm of the hand for the picking up and manipulating objects action, but like I said the book will show you how to do it all. It’s very thorough.

You should also have a play around with the Ludwig animation and try to get a good walk cycle from it, its the bare minimum required for rigging, the BSOD rig is more for learning about the rigging process rather than being a functional rig for film quality animation. Mancandy rig is more sophisticated and about as close as your going to get to a feature film rig but the choices to move body parts are wider than Ludwig and it has been developed and refined for years.

Put it this way, for a normal keyframed pose to pose animation on a solid rig, you’d have to translate and rotate about 20-30 bones per pose, on average (that’s when not fully relying on IK to do half the work for you). For 1 second of a walk cycle at 24fps that’s 90-145 bone translations and rotations. For the 7 seconds of your animation, that 630-995 bone translations and rotations. Which is two weeks of solid work. Professional animators get 5 seconds of animation per week on average. Most of this time is spent polishing moves and test rendering.

Thank you so much… you are such great help… wel i did get taht book… animation with blender one… and i have almost all video tuts and all… i keep going thru as much as possible… and have learnt much … its like hardly a month i have been doing blender… and now i have started to enjoy it… !!!

Well you said Pretty much most of that animation in feature films is keyframed, they use few paths in some scenes and programs scripts for Boolean Operations in others (for interaction with objects and particles between two or more meshes, etc) Mind you the software they use isn’t Blender at all.… so which software do they use… i mean is it like belnder isnt sufficient??? iam trying to make a short clip right now to test my knwlowdge… will post that soon and you tell me how i shud improve myself… and also iam trying to learn rigging … i will do that soon with better and better options and functionality. Hey isnt working with the NLA better than keyframing… i mean i find it better and easy… well tell me how can i like control the speed of everything… i mean the walking … and then stoping and doin some other action … all shuid be in different speed… how do i achieve that?? i mean iam not abt to complelty understand the IPO editor… though i know it but still cant use it properly… any good stuf on that??? well hope to hear from you soon… your such nice person… thanks again… cheers !!!

Good, read it read it read it!

Most use Maya. Others use Lightwave or 3Ds MAX. XSI has the best animation system to use but is expensive, but Maya is the all rounder. Pixar uses Marionette, a custom built modeller and animation system for their films. It’s inhouse only though and can’t be bought off the shelf.

Blender is just a baby to the others in comparison. Most production studios don’t use it because of the lack of customer and software support it has that Maya and the others do have.

See, open source is a bit like acquiring goods from a bazaar, theres an element of not exactly getting what your after in the software. Blender has real good support for it, but when a production company is being paid millions (literally) to produce an animated feature, you’re gonna want to make sure the software you use is watertight incase it fucks up. Simple.

BUUUT, in saying all that, Blender will become a pretty impressive and strong piece of software in a few years time and it will have most of the features the other software has like it does now, wait and see

NLA and keyframing both have strengths and weakness over the other, never hold one in favour for the other. Use both. NLA is good and can speed things up a bit, but a strong reliance on NLA can make you become a lazy animator. Keyframing IS slow but you have better control over the results. NLA is dependant on the initial keyframing of actions, if your walk is slow, your NLA will be slow, and vice versa. You can switch between walking, running and other actions however during an NLA but you can’t increase the keyed in pace of a walk action to a fast walk, you get me, the animating in Blender book will show you all of it.

This’ about all I can tell you, the rest is up to you Don007. But I will give you feedback for the animation. But I think you’ll probably be able to see what needs doing to it to polish it up as you go along. Its an instinct. I’d also email the other guys who worked on Elephants dream and a few of the other animators floating around the forums about it and get their opinion too, noone knows the software better than they do.

Wow man your Awesome … thanks so much for such great help and advice, i will surely keep in otuch here… and hey you know siince iam a beginner iam not taht good… so i posted some things i made till now on you tube and got response like “your stupid dont animate and all” … but its like i don give up so easily… so will keep trying… thanks again for all ur help… THANKS YOU ROCKKKK!! Cheeers mate!!!

This may be exactly what you’re after, just apply a walk to it instead of the run. The principles are the same. The best artists don’t give up, no matter what.