Monday 27 June 2011


Time goes very quickly.  I find that animating takes a lot of time and it needs concentrating on all in one go.  Perhaps this is because I have very little experience.  I have done most of the arm and stationary motions and I am now on to the legs.

I have done all this once before for my place holder character that I have been using for the last two years.  I had to refresh my memory about which frames are needed for walk and run. 

There are plently of good animation tutorials on the Internet and I have been re-reading these.  Most are about how to animate 2D cartoon drawings however the basics are the same for 3D models.

I have copied the concepts shown in the tutorials and come up with my own story boards showing the key poses.

A lot of the animation is done by the animation programme.  The important bit is getting the key frames right.  In the case of walking, shown above, it only needs 8 poses and all the moves between those can be calculated by the computer.

It is important that those frames have the character in the highest, lowest and furthest extended positions.  The computer takes the shortest path between two positions.  If you need a leg to raise to prevent the foot going underground then one of your frames must have that raised knee.  Unless you are using a specialist animation application the computer is unlikely to make the adjustment for you.

Although I could find run and walk cycles on the Internet none of them were quite right for my needs.

The above run cycle has a reduced stride length.  Still a run because both feet are off the ground but only just.  More appropriate for someone carrying a heavy load.

I also needed specialist positions.  Shuffling forwards while crouched.
I knelt on the floor in several positions until I had what I thought was the most realistic.  My knees hurt by the end!

Surprisingly I think it will only need 4 key poses for this animation.

Now I need to go away and put these in to practice with my current character.