Animation too "robotic" - Any fix for this?

I’m trying to animate living things, and I suck at it.
I can’t get them to move in a realistic way, and I’ve played around with F-curves and the like.

I recently learned how to make a Walk Cycle move forward without feet sliding (using empties as guides for moving the root), but it can only be applied to forward movement, not a curved walk (ie. turn 30 degrees to the left/right won’t work).

I also always end up with a lot of keyframes getting messy causing jittered animations.

Do you have any tips/ideas on how to make a 3D animation realistic and also how to walk a long a curved path without feet sliding? Which (free) courses would you recommend (on youtube)? It needs not be Blender-specific, if the methods from ie. Maya or other similar software can easily be applied in Blender.

Maybe - show us the animation…?

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Sorry - read that through properly …

I normally swear by a book called the Animators Survival Kit…

Getting natural movements is not an easy thing to do - there are a lot of tricks that you learn as you go along. Also - there are many styles of animation. There are definitely tutorials on building a walkcycle in Blender - and creating a walkcycle is a good animation learning exercise, as it includes ALL the principles of animation, and you’ll know straight away if anything’s wrong.

There’s an addon called walker that I found useful:
Doesn’t seem to be updated for Blender 2.8 yet.

That’s the problem. Its not updated for 2.8, and I need to render in Eevee.
Also, another catch is that I like to keep everything as “simple” as possible, meaning if I’m going to move my objects, I either move in object mode or move the root bone.

That’s why I’m interested in tricks of how to animate a walk cycle moving in circles without feed sliding.

I know the Animators Survival Kit (DVD). I’ve watched some of them, but not all of them… maybe I should watch all of them.

also check out preston blairs cartoon animation book… getting smooth walk cycles etcetra is about understanding and then executing the principles of animation timing follow through wave movement weight balance get them locked down and your animation will improve, i would also suggest using a program called akeytsu in conjunction with blender link below

In my experience the best fix for feet sliding is IK rigging for the feet and legs. Google Blender IK or Inverse Kinematics.

One simple tip: when animating a movement of a human body, or part of a human body, after you have defined the start and end keyframes, go to the middle of the movement and add another keyframe representing the mid position. Now move this mid-position keyframe forward in time, closer to the end of the movement. The effect is that the movement goes quickly to that midpoint, then goes slower from the midpoint to the end. This will look more like how real people move.

One thing I’ve discovered is that you need a “bouncing ball effect” for all organic animations.

Whatever goes up must also come down. And whatever comes down must also go up.
What I mean by that is if you have a ball bouncing off the ground, it doesn’t stop when hitting the ground. It bounces off, a tiny bit up, then comes down again, then up again and down again.

When you animate like this, you get a more living animation. Watch this video by Alan Becker, it’s very useful for creating better looking animation.