run cycle (looks funny, need help)

I can’t seem to get my run cycle to look okay. I’ve posted a video of it here:

Also, here’s an a panel of all the keyframes lined up in a row:

This is first time I’ve attempted a run cycle. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


well if it is your first run cycle - I’ve seen worse… like mine. ^^

Back to your animation.

  1. Try turning the hips. They are just moving up and down. Very static.
  2. When your legs are at - see and 2nd image from left your foot is changing its direction much to abruptly. Normally it’d move further back while it’s leaving the floor.
    Keep in mind that your character is running. He’s fast. There are some serious physics going on when our muscles work and movement ease in and out. They are not linear like from a robot.
  3. Watch some run cycle on vimeo and youtube and compare. You know a good animation when you see it, because your mind reacts if anything is off.

Mmm. I am no animation expert myself, but thats what came into my mind.

What rig are you using. Good animation needs a good rigged character. There are many complete free rigs. Try some like ManCandy or Flick the pirate girl.


Don’t know if this will help, but here’s a run cycle I did recently… Maybe you can use it as a reference?

Thanks for all the advice. I’ll see if I can’t fix the hips like you suggested.

I’m not sure if I fully understand your second point. Are you talking about the 10th frame where the left leg is fully extended and touching down? Is the transition from the 9th to 10th frame too drastic or 10th to 11th or both of them?

I used the rigify plugin to generate the rig.

I have watched a lot of run cycles on youtube and vimeo. Unfortunately, most of them are of cartoonish characters, which have exaggerated motions.

+1 to what everyone has said so far, I think your biggest problem is that he is not leaning forward, if you look at that link that gnomestudios put up or any other run cycles you will see that people lean forward when they run so they dont fall backwards. Your guy looks like he is about to fall backwards.
Hope it helps

np :slight_smile:

Jep. Left leg. Movement to drastic. You got it.
Sorry. Hard to explain.
Look here. Marked the frame.
Hope thats better. ^^

Mmm. Thats good for the beginning. My advice still is - just try a “really” full rigged character. Then you’ll perhaps have to learn the controls but most time they are the same anyway. And this way you can concentrate on the animation itself.

Yeh, I noticed. Thats because its’s really hard to animate an - well - totally realistic character. Even so they show the concept how a run cycle should look IMO.

Anyway. Last advice. Don’t get upset if you don’t get it right the first time. Learning by doing.

Have fun.

Greets from Germany

My take is your runner’s leading foot is too far in front of the body. If the leading foot is way out in front of the body what tends to happens is the legs act as brakes - slowing down the body. This only tends to happen when running down a very steep hill. Normally a runner’s leading foot will land directly underneath the center of gravity or just slightly behind it. The faster a person runs the more that person leans forward, but even joggers lean forward a bit. The leans serves as a way to subconsciously make the runner move his foot fast enough. If he doens’t, he’ll fall down - (The subconscious mind trys to keep that from happening. )

In your run cycle, the leg does this unnaturaly kick up before setting the lead foot down.

The arms are linked to the opposite leg as you did. Generally there isn’t much movement from the elbow on down except when sprinting. If you want to model somebody sprinting google a 100 meter runner like Carl Lewis. If you want to model somebody running a longer distance, then bend the arms at the elbow, but make most the movement from the shoulder -only small movements from the elbow on downward. Marathoners still move their arms but only slightly. In all cases - the movement also includes the shoulders which should swing directly opposed the the hips.

I hope that helps.

I agree with SoggyCornflake. The biggest issue right now is that your contact pose has the foot way in front of the body. Looking at your key frames, frame 5 should simply not be a contact pose (where the foot hits the ground), only frame 6 should. (And the foot is also on the ground on frame 7.) Frame 5 could also have the trailing leg further back. Right now, when viewed in isolation, it looks a bit like a guy dancing backwards.

Another thing I wish to point out is the up-down movement of the center of gravity (as marked by the height of the hips). When you run, each step is really a small jump, so after he has taken of, the hip should travel upwards for a bit (say frames 7, 8 and 9) and then come down in a soft arch (well, vertically, since we view it in place, but it would be a parabola if you saw him running by). Right now, the hip starts descending as soon as the trailing foot gets off the ground, signifying that there is no power in his step at all…

Good luck, its a good start, and the key frame breakdown is really useful for crits :slight_smile:

In addition to the above, It looks as though you’re getting a duplicate frame where the cycle repeats.

eg. frame 1 leg up, f5 down, f10 up, repeat… means that frame 1 and 10 are the same causing a pause.

Although that maybe just the way the vid is playing on my pc