Walking Animation

Walking Animation for Fresher: Fundamental Steps to Animate a Walk Cycle

Table of Contents

Four basic steps can help you get a flawless walking animation cycle. Forward contact point, followed by first passing pose, back contact point, and in the last second passing pose. Placing the right foot on the ground at the right time and tackling the body weight appropriately is the key point.

Then comes in between walking animation frames that help to make your walking cycle look interesting and smooth. The more effortless the movement looks the more eye-catching the walking cycle becomes.

Explaining walk cycle animation.

The walk cycle is an animatronics performance utilizing demonstrated framework mended together to create a sense of walking animation. The proper sequence of this walking animation frame then creates a drawing of a walking character. Joining all the drawings together and repeating them over and over again develops a scene showing a proper walking figure.

Animation walk cycles are a basic part for animators to master as it leads to character animation later. Lack of learning of these basic animations walk cycles will not let animators grasp further concepts. Talking about 2D short films, wide-ranging video game storylines, or cinematic films, walk cycles are the foundation to move ahead in animation. Character animation can be difficult to learn in motion design because it needs a united method grounded on introductory aids.

The number of frames needed in a walk cycle?

A long time ago, an animation walk cycle was comprised of 8 frames. With time the number of frames got changed according to the requirement of the style of animation and the necessity of the project.

Sometimes, the animation walk cycles have been formed with fewer frames, or other times more frames are needed. Let’s say, a particular game or video might need 10 frames to get an even movement on the other hand some other game or video might need 16 frames. Eventually, the number of frames in an animation cycle will be decided by the animator or the team responsible for its creation. If you look at the average, a normal walk cycle animation takes two steps in a second which makes approximately 24 walk cycle animation frames.

Major steps of the Walk Cycle

The animation walk cycle can be categorized into four fundamental steps.

1. Forward contact point.

Here you don’t use frames in quarantine. Sometimes frames are drawn in between the basic walking animation frames. They are named In-Between, which could be hand drawn or included by computer software. The in-between animation walk cycle is comparatively simple and enjoyable.

To make the first step, the forward contact, more effective, you have to be careful about the following criteria.

  • The feet should be as apart as possible, or to their extreme situation in the animation walk cycle. Due to this the Forward contact point is the most crucial post in the complete walking animation procedure.
  • As the forward contact point is the first step, it is the foundation of the animation walking cycle. You would not get the effective walking cycle if you are not clear at this point.

2. First passing pose.

  • At the first passing pose the character bodily touch the ground. It should give a real impact to get a good result at the end of the walking animation cycle.
  • You don’t get much of the walking at this point.
  • The arm of the character is moved away from the body because of the effort the character is making to walk.
  • The front foot is touching the floor while the back foot is raised to move ahead.
  • The back foot is underneath the character’s structure, to carry the body weight evenly.
  • At this point, animators tend to make a blunder where they create the recoil pose and the back foot is in front of the body instead of staying behind it. This mistake should be avoided to create a realistic walking animation cycle.

3. Back contact point.

The back contact point is approximately the same as an In-between, which we have already discussed above.

4. Second passing pose.

The second passing pose is the last and final segment of this whole arrangement. It is also called the High Point.

  • As mentioned in the name the high point, is when the character’s foot is at the peak in the walking animation cycle.
  • In this walking animation frame, the body of the character is completely stretched because it is about to touch the ground from his front foot.
  • The back foot is now starting to lift from the floor.

This way you get your four basic poses of the animation walking cycle. To get the best animation cycle, you should master all these frames. So, the key components of an effective walk cycle are the contact points of both the feet with the ground and coordination with each other. Weight transfer should be tackled efficiently, which should show the continuity of the steps taken and the movement of the body.

The proper consistency should be shown while taking steps and for that in-between frames work competently within the four fundamental steps.

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Adam is a copywriter and content specialist with years of experience in the digital industry. She has a knack for blending creativity with strategic insight that leads different businesses, particularly animation and tech, to success. Her persuasive and impactful content not just inform.