[rookie] brave character animation test

Seeing the fabulous SubZero character animation from LohnC, I got tempted to investigate how character animation works. A lot of folks posted their reference armature setups, thank you so much (also in the thread). Most of them were way out of my league and I thought I need something more simple. The XSI-like one looked interesting though. I have to try it too.

[ Walk’n’Jump short (1.6MB) ] [ Walk’n’Jump 2 short ]

I really liked a setup from a demo .blend file released with 2.28c for being simple enough I wasn’t scared just by looking at it. Also my aging pIII/800 isn’t handling complex armatures well. To be honest, it cannot smoothly handle the simple armature I’ve used in the jump action either. That’s probably another reason to use IK just for the legs. ALso the model was simple enough for the purpose. I kinda made it a little more simple and screwed up on that.

The test proofed that there many things I need to take care of next time.

  • Not enough detail on the feet - quite a useless toe bone
  • Better vertex groups - this will need a lot of practice. Gotta investigate weight paint mode
  • Use rotation constraints for the knees on IKed legs. It really tends to jump off when you leats expect it

This was my first experience with character animation and I’m totally loving it. I need to get back to materials now and actually buy some books about animation, but for a taste it was great. I’m so looking forward to this. I really enjoy just making poses. I don’t think I’ll be animating linearly, I’ll go pose to pose for sure.

I’m eager to hear tips on what to be aware of and tips an all that you guys rock at in this fabulous forum. Blend on!

Good first try! One thing you should try is not setting all of your keys for the different bones on the same frame. For example, in a walk cycle, on the down the foot hits the ground and the pelvis continues down for a few more frames. Also moving limbs , such as the arms, in cyclic motions tend to follow figure eight path.


yeah, there’s a lot to be polished about that walkcycle, Torq :wink: I’m sort of trying to key only the bones that move, but I end up forgetting to key it at the right spot and off it goes interpolating from the stoneage key.

I guess I just key them all and then slide the appropriate keys to gain that fluid organic shift. Do you guys use the autokey or key manually?

here’s a little update with a small cmaera shake to emphasise the dude’s heavy:

[ 700kB DivX avi ]

If you set too many keys on the same frames, you can always reposition them manually.
<edit> another thing that helps me is setting the first and last keys at the start, and working toward the center.

Final render of the new sequence. Now I really need to get back to grokking materials.

[ Divx Clip ]

Very wide. Should his feet not be closer together when he is walking?