Creating Personality in a Walk Cycle

Walk cycles from person to person, depending on a variety of things, including weight, gender, age and fitness/health. For example, I myself walk with a slight limp to a dodgy knee injury.

I remembered Mike showing us Ryan Larkin’s video on walk cycles, showing all the different types and changes.

Ryan Larkin’s walk cycle. (YouTube, 2016)


Look at the tread of the following walk cycles. The top has a normal tread. The feet feel list on the ground. Compared to the bottom (I know its over exaggerated) cycle. There is more of a bounce to the steps, the rotation of the hips and the hip’s y values are more obvious. Giving the idea the weight really swings the body. The overall effect gives it more of a cartoonish bumbling man. The arm movements also add to this effect, swinging outwards from the body, as if they can’t be placed flat to the torso.

Walk cycles (average) (YouTube,2016).

Fat Walk Cycle (YouTube, 2016).

I also looked into the pages in Richard William’s book. He discussed having the body shape stretch on the up pose and squashing on the down pose.



Pages from Richard Williams books. (Williams, 2001).


Men are mainly larger than women. Their walks serve the purpose of utilitarian purposes, moving from place to place, therefore are more linear and straight. Women tend to move with more graceful movements, swinging their hips and taking shorter steps.

The movements of the body are subtle, but are distinguishable in men and women. Men take larger strides and walk with legs further apart. This makes them more prone to moving their shoulders and arms while they walk. Women, however, take shorter strides and their legs are closer together. This results in a less side to side movement and a more up and down bobbing.

Also, lets not forget the boobs movements.

Walks of women. (Vimeo, 2016).

Richard Williams did the video below, showing the difference in men vs women walk cycles. He mentions the importance of the passing position- women crossing legs over, whereas men are more wide spread.

Men vs Women. (YouTube, 2016).

A Limp

Walking with a limp will definitely impair the cycle itself. The body will lean away from the injured leg to reduce the weight on it. Also, the leg itself will either slide to compensate for the pain or will be leaned on less.

The limp of a child with Chromosome 6q deletion. (YouTube, 2016).

I thought this was a nice example of a limping walk cycle. (YouTube, 2016).

Thomas was kind (and weird) enough to sit out front Castlecourt and record some of the people walking by him. It was a nice learning exercise, noticing all the differences in peoples strides.


YouTube. (2016). Ryan Larkin Walking 1968 wmv. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2016].

Williams, R. (2001). The animator’s survival kit. London: Faber.

Vimeo. (2016). Animated walks and runs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2016].



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