Improving the Walk cycle animation

The main reason for improving this animation was to develop the movement of the toes as the character walks along. As Sophie pointed out in her feedback the characters feet seemed to roll upwards to much to the point where it looked unnatural. Therefore taking on board this feedback I decided to go back and improve on this point. Below is the first playblast for the improvements on the animation. So by using the toe roll control I went through each of the poses in the graph editor and lowered the toes to have a more natural looking step.

Furthermore I have improved the hip movement, as before there was not really a natural bounce like before so I used the graph editor to go through and improve the quality of that natural bounce when the character walks.

I have also refined the movement of the eyes and mouth to make a natural looking character. By using my research from previous posts for the timing of a blink, I made the character have a regular blink motion which gives the animation that realistic sense. Looking at the animation I can see it looks much better than before as the toes do not flick up like before and the steps look more natural than they did before.

However the issue I think I should address and perhaps go back and improve again is that the walk cycle has some points in certain frames which look unnatural as the legs stretch outwards in a straight motion, so perhaps I need to go back and remake the animation. I was thinking that if I have time I should actually import reference footage into the stage to help make the poses and timing look more natural than this version. But I did have a lot of issues with the simple bot when posing.  As when posing the characters legs and hips for the walk, some of the legs would go of the ground which looks like he is floating. Although that is not in the animation now it seems like some of the animation needs some more refinement.

This animation was rendered using mental ray to help make a clear view of the actions and have a clean visual image of the character in the scene. However next I need to get some feedback from Luke on how to improve on the animation, as then I can get some help on improving the walk so that the legs move naturally without the issues I had beforehand during the production. Next I need to start developing the 3 character performance animation with my group (Hannah and Jack) so that I can combine the other shots with mine before the deadline.

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