Simple Bot walk cycle using reference footage

This is the production and final animation for last weeks task was to create a walk cycle using the simple bot rig and our own reference video filmed by me. Anyway I have made a walk cycle in a previous post using the Norman rig, but this time I need to focus more on the hip and leg movement to get a better understanding of the leg part of a walk cycle than doing all of it at once. So essentially this is the first part to learning how to animate a human walk cycle.  Below are all the play-blasts I have created whilst in production of the animation showing the stages of how I got to the final animation.

This is the first play-blast where I have a really basic blocking animation of the key frames for the animation as I went through the reference footage in quicktime player counting through the frames. So this is really the three main keyframes looped in slightly different ways.

This next video is the next play-blast where I have added the break frames to the animation making the legs drag across the floor whilst going to the next key pose, so I have made the inbetween (middle frame) between each key pose.

This video is the first play-blast for the remade animation, as due to some unknown reason the file kept crashing. Plus the walk cycle keyframes were too tricky to fix and make more natural for a walk, so I thought it would be best to remake it and I have a skating like walk at this stage.

This Play-blast has developed parts to the animation as I have made the legs and feet lift and drop to show that more natural walk that was in my reference footage. I basically just went to a particular frame by counting and made the pose that my feet made and added it to this animation.

Here I have added some hip movement to help the legs bend naturally as you come to the break frames where legs overlap, crossing across to the next key pose. This has made the animation look more appealing because it has that natural bounce movement that we make when we walk.

This video has some addition features to the animation with some more leg movement and refined hip movement to make the animation flow. I have also added some feet adjustments as the feet are not perfectly straight when we walk so I used the channel box to edit the feet to have a twist make them appear more natural/ similar to my reference footage.

This video has all of the additional features like eyes, eyebrows, mouth, turn, blinking, etc. Now at this stage I just need to add the graph editor adaptations. I used the control menu for this rig which can be found in panels> perspective>FACE CAM, which has all the controls needed. Then I just selected Panels>tear off which made the minimised version of the control menu that I can have open whilst animating.

Here is the final play-blast with all the controls/ movements edited using the graph editor to make all the timelines on the graph have some arcs, to make them look more natural. But I made sure that the top of the graph has arcs and the lower parts a diagonal straight lines to have a faster increase than a gradual one.

This is the final animation which has been adjusted and polished using the graph editor, making sure all of the arcs are smooth and represent a natural looking movement, this is the perspective view of the animation, helping to show the audience the expression of the character as he turns looking around whilst walking.

This is the side view of the animation where I can show the movement of the legs and feet, helping to show my detail within the legs and helping me to see any issues with the actual walk animation. Which my peers could review to help me see any unusual features or unappealing parts to the walk.

Finally this is the front view of the animation where I can show the walk and the expression of the character. I made this three perspectives to help show all parts of the animation, as one view sometimes restricts what the viewer can see making it harder as well to notice what is wrong with the animation.

Overall I think this animation has come out quite nicely, as the legs seem to be moving at a consent pace and looks similar to my reference footage which was the main goal. However looking through perhaps a bit more polishing could be made on the legs as the drag during the walk seems a little jumpy/ glitched unless that is me, but I think if I get some feedback I can touch up on any improvements that may be needed. But using the reference footage I have realised it is better to animate with reference as looking back at my previous walk cycles from college they seem to be a little robotic compared to this one. Therefore I will continue to use reference footage for animating in the future as it has helped me a lot to get the natural movements that would be difficult to make without reference.


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