Tag Archive: Walk cycle


A slight change of plan…

So it would appear a pair of 3rd year VFX students had their own project idea that involved compositing creature animation into live footage. They actually were aiming for a bit of a “His Dark Materials/Golden Compass” type theme but this still fits well with my original plan to try and composite some of my animation into the streets of Cardiff. However it appears they don’t have quite the numbers of animators/artists (so far at least) required to hit the scale of film they had been planning – which is a shame because it would have been awesome if this had turned out to be the big project of the year. Ho hum. Anyway, it looks like it may just be one 2nd year artists and myself doing the CG side of the work which rather limits the number of creatures they can have. In fact, Paul and I have agreed that we can only manage two creatures. While Paul handles the modelling and texturing, I will be rigging/skinning both models and then creating a walk and run cycle for both as well as a single non-cyclic animation (ie standing up from sitting or something similar). So, that covers 6 of my 12 weeks on the major project.

For the other 6 weeks I will be working alongside Elaine and a few others to help produce a short animation we have currently nicknamed “Project: Dragon”. It involves a rather silly chase between a hapless knight and an overly playful dragon. I’ve set myself the rather terrifying project of both modelling and rigging the dragon (eeep!). However, we have an artist who loves to draw who will be doing all the horrible design work of the characters. As such, he will hand me completed turn arounds so I dont have to do any of that nasty stuff involving pencil and paper. Or at least… not in designing the look of the dragon. I still need to work out the rig structure. The modelling of the dragon (and first attempt at rigging) will actually occur during our final advanced tech project. Three weeks to model, texture and rig (a week for each). I will then probably pass the model to Ruth who may tidy up any poor edge loops to aid with skinning the final rig. Jess will also completely re-do my textures. Once that is all complete, I will build a completely new rig, get the model all neatly skinned and set to work creating clever controllers so our animators can have a great (and easy) time of animating him. So that takes up another 3 weeks of major project time. The final 3 weeks will be devoted to doing some animation with the knight in the project – a run cycle, possibly a walk or jog and then some sort of non-cyclic animation.

Scarily, we are almost three weeks through our pre-production, and currently I feel as though all I really have is research. Will have to slave away at it all after Christmas.

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4 Legged Walk Cycle

This project moved on nicely from the human walk cycle. We had six weeks in total to create both a four legged walkcycle (start -> walk -> stop) and then a flight cycle (take off -> flight -> landing). It was an intense project but extremely satisfying. I was much happier with the result of my four legged than with my flight cycle.

This was the first project in which we paired up with the artists (modellers) on our course. The animators created rigs and animated them while the artists created models that would be moved by the animated rigs so that the final result was a realistic CG creature walking and flying. This was in fact the first year that Glamorgan allowed first years to be artists instead of animators and it meant they had shuffled up the course slightly. This was the first time they had tried pairing us up and all of us hit various snags on the way. One of the biggest problems was combining our work at the end of the six weeks. Many of us just couldn’t get the animations loaded up on to the models. Thankfully myself and my partner (Fen) were more successful than most although we did still hit a few problems. One of the most noticeable is the strange “click” of joints the lion developed when we put it all together.

None the less this was a great project and we were both extremely pleased with the results.