Friday, January 21, 2011

Week 2: Animation Cycles a-plenty!

Creating animation that cycles -- ie, returns to its first frame -- requires a lot of patience.

This term we'll be exploring a ton of cycles you might find in any standard video game.  We're starting with a walk -- maybe the most challenging of all cycles.  There are so many kinds of walks depending on the type of character, his/her mood, the story point, the style of the game....

Big, serious character walks require a huge emphasis on weight
Tom Saville's Halo Reach Showreel

Look a little beyond all the stabbing.. you'll see some interesting walks including a complex sidestepping motion and a lot of poses that travel back to their starting pose. Watch the transitions and study the efforts to keep the characters looking heavy.

We'll be studying more game cycle examples. Feel free to suggest any you come across.

Here are some game walk cycles I did -- they have an odd 3/4 top-down view and had to work in N,S,E, & W views. Some views work better than others, as you can see! :o)

Click here to download Dark Grounds Walk Cycles

Here's an amazing resource for traditional animation walks:  
Walk Cycle Depot


  • Finish at least one full walk cycle that works as well as possible from all angles. Put as much polish into it as you can. It's only one second long, right? Moo-ha-ha-ha.... (cruel laugh..)..
  • Suggested tutorial: Introduction to Maya Animation: Walk Cycle on Digital Tutors
NEXT WEEK -- we're doing some video recording in the studio -- Dress for action :o)
Meet at the class and we'll walk over.

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