Remaking the Stylised walk cycle

Gaining feedback and using my own opinion of the previous version of this file, I decided to remake this animation from scratch. Although I already had the animation finished, I watched the final render to see that the stylised walk did not really have a stylised theme to it. Looking at the animation I could see that the walk did not really look like the reference footage, as it seemed to look like a normal walk cycle with the hips crouched rather than standing. Therefore having the feedback and my own opinions of why I should change it, I have decided to remake the animation using the reference footage. Below is the first playblast for the remake of the stylised walk, as you can see I have started blocking out the key poses for the simple bot.

Using the simple key poses above I added in some inbetween frames to make the blocking look more natural. Plus having these inbetween frames has allowed me to develop the timing of the steps in the walk to help make the stylised walk cycle.

After blocking out the main key poses for the animation I used the graph editor to start splining the hips and legs to help make those natural curves for the walk cycle. Because this is a stylised walk cycle I have managed to get the almost sneaking like movement which is in the reference footage. But the main focus here was to get the legs and feet moving in a natural way avoiding the feet moving backwards or sliding on the floor.

Below is a side view playblast with the reference footage in the image plane in the background. But the playblast below shows the development of the animation where I have splined the legs, feet and hips to match a similar action to the reference footage. But I had some trouble like before, as the simple bot only had one control for the hips to make the curve in the back as you crouch, so it was quite difficult to recreate that look in the animation. But using the translate Y axis and rotate X axis I was able to create a simple bend which makes the character have that crouched look. The idea was to create a sort of sneaking walk cycle to try out something different.

So the crouched animation looks better than it did before as the walk cycle has a stylised theme to it. Furthermore as seen in the playblast below the legs actually move in a way which create a limping action which makes a more stylised effect to the animation. By using the graph editor I was able to refine this action so that it matches the movement of the hips as they bounce naturally when the character steps. But as you can see I have refined the movement in the camera as well as the character, as having the character follow the character helps to show the walk of the character, without having to zoom out and missing some of the key elements of the walk.

After having all the animation refined/ polished with simple eye movement and blinking I was able to render the animation. By using mental ray I was able to add the sun and sky lighting system which makes the animation much neater and more appealing to watch. Plus I have the natural lighting of the sun with shadows on the floor.

Looking at this animation I can see the movement is a looking a lot more stylised than the previous file. However I do think that the animation will need some feedback as I still feel like the animation is in need of a more stylised look to it. Looking at the animation I can see the movement of the walk is there and the timing looks natural for a walk. But as I mentioned get some feedback will help me to see what others think and improve from there. Therefore the next step will be to refine/ improve the walk cycle using simple bot as I had feedback from that which suggested I should improve on some elements of the walk cycle.


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