Walk Cycle Advise

Hello all,

I’ve been working with blender for well over a year now and have soaked up a lot of information in that time. As far as animating goes, I have done everything physics-wise in Blender, such as particles, fluids, softbodies, and cloth. I have also modeled some different characters and so I have a bit of experience with rigging and using IK chains as well so I could easily pose my characters in still images. But when I recently decided to actually begin working with some REAL animating in Blender, issues popped up right away. I did a lot of research as well as reading tutorials, but some of my questions are still unanswered:mad:.

I have a fully and well-rigged robot model (I made it before Transformers 2 just to let you know) that I want to incorporate into real video footage… which means I need to have it decently animated. I know how to use IPOs, the action editor, and also NLA strips, so that’s not the issue:no:.

Currently, I am working on a walk cycle, but I have the whole “Slippery Feet” problem. I have the legs/feet go through the 4 main walk cycle poses and it looks just fine, but when I figure out the stride distance and animate it along a path, the feet move all over the place(a bit of an exaggeration:D). I’ve gone through the IPOs and inserted key frames to try and keep the toes/feet from moving, but I can’t get rid of all the motion!:frowning:

Basically, I’m wondering:

  1. Is it a common problem for walk cycles to not work with several keyframes?

  2. If so, is adding a bunch of other keyframes in between the best way to fix it?

  3. What other(if any) methods do animators use to fix this problem?

  4. Are there any walking tuts that go into more depth with this sort of thing?

Thank you for hearing me out and any help would be greatly appreciated! As you can see, I understand the technical side using Blender, but as far as becoming good at creating lively-looking animations I’m sort of stuck… ANY information would be most useful right now! Thanks once again in advance!:eyebrowlift:

Hi Renderer10,
You should never have to set a key to make something stay still. If you find yourself doing this, the problem is with your rig.
The whole floating feet problem is dealt with by having IK targets for the feet that aren’t linked to the pelvis or root bone, so that when you move the body the feet stay put. These targets should also have floor constraints that point to your ground plane, so that they never go below ground.
A really good biped example is cessen’s (Nathan V from BBB and project Durian) “simple biped rig” in these forums. Mancandy is, of course, also a very good reference.
However, to really get a handle on doing it yourself, check out the BSOD Introduction to Character Animation.
Good luck!

Thanks a lot freen, I’ve checked out Mancandy before, but I looked at it again, and my rig is very similar to the BSOD Introduction to Character Animation. However, In that BSOD file, the walkcycle is animated while the character is in place and the feet are just positioned in the proper poses… I didn’t see anything regarding using IK targets to allow the body to be moved while the feet stay in place… maybe I missed something. Still, the method used there is the same method I used and when I actually animated my character along a path at the proper stride speed, its feet slipped. Is is better to create a walkcycle while the character to is moving so things can be lined up correctly?

I think there are a few free videos online here.

Hey I am new as well to the animation game and so far what I have figured out is practise practise practise. here are my first couple of animations, I have learned something on each one of them…

Thanks for those, I’ll be plenty more research and practicing I’m sure, but I still don’t understand how to create walk cycles and have the feet not slip without modifying a moving character, which is hard. All the tuts I’ve found work at moving the feet, but freen was talking about using the IK constraints so that the feet stay in place… I’m a little confused! Any help?

BTW, sorry for posting in the Artwork section… I could have sworn this was Support…

The Animator’s Survival Kit is invaluable. Buy it ASAP. The book will suffice, I’m sure the DVD set is amazing. I have the book and have learned ALOT, along with what I already knew. As far as animating goes, try to focus more on animation and not on the software. The software is the tool, the animation is created by us. So knowing a lot of tricks with the software won’t necessarily mean that you can animate well. As far as I know, Nathan Vegdahl (rigger and animator for BBB) doesn’t use the NLA much, if not at all.

As far as learning the software and some animation principles, I suggest William Reynish’s Learning Character Animation with Blender. It’s a good way to get some momentum going. From there study animation using Richard Williams’ book. William Reynish’s DVD was a jumpstart, and now I am doing OK, but getting better.

That’s some good advice, especially about the R Williams book.

Hey everyone, thanks a lot for those resources, they contain just the kind of information I need to soak up. I’ve finally gotten my walk cycle the way I want it while just containing the main poses:D! Thanks once again for the help!

Renderer, would you mind posting your work in a separate thread, if you haven’t already? Critiques on your work will help you a lot. (Trust me :P)

Thanks N00bhaxor, I just did;). I guess others tend to find your mistakes easier…