Walk Cycle and Body Mechanic- Pose to Pose/ Straight Ahead

When creating both the animation I found this video really helpful in describing how to create the final outcome. It broke the steps down, giving a better idea of what I needed to complete the movement.

  1. Video reference– recording yourself doing the action really helps in understanding how the body reacts to certain motions. In my case, I used a video reference online but also enacted the  movements myself, to get a better feel for what I had to do.
  2. Key Poses- these are the main poses involved in each of the action, in the walk cycle there are 5 and in the jump there are 6. These give an idea of the overall movement and need to be correct before moving on
  3. Breakdowns– once the key poses are met, we add in what are known as in-betweens or breakdown poses. This is done until the action looks as good as possible in stepped mode (no computer interpolation)
  4. Splining– this is were the keys are converted from stepped to spline. The computer is not very good at interoperating this- therefore the better the blocking, the better the splining is.
  5. Smoothing and Offset– this is when the animation is polished. Overlapping actions are created by moving keys ahead a few frames, for e.g.. the arm movements in the walk cycle, the hand keyframes are going to be a few frames ahead of the rest of the body.
  6. Adding life– this is used to include finishing imperfections in the character, to give a bit more of a realistic feel. It could be things like lip puckering or even an eye twitch.

A useful guide to creating the animation- I found this especially useful for the jump action. (YouTube,2016).

The process above is basically describing Pose to Pose animation. This describes the process of creating the key poses and then adding the breakdowns. Another way to animate is through Straight Ahead, starting from the first frame and creating the following poses until the animation is in completion. When doing the walk cycle I initially tried the pose to pose method, finding it hard, and when using Digital Tutors, I realised that Straight Ahead was the better method.

This video gave a bit more an understanding to the vocabulary involved in pose to pose. (Youtube,2016).


YouTube. (2016). The 6 Steps of Animation. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CZdTdMmp2w [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

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