Walking and Skipping

Over Easter break and last week I have been working on character animations in Maya. We were given the task by Matt to do a walk cycle and a more difficult choice of our own, so I began by making Moom do his Moom walk.

It was difficult to get the hang of, but I started by placing the feet in the right positions- starting and ending the cycle in the same position. I then switched them over for the other foot mid timeline, and then did the in-between movements. I used pose-to-pose animation for the legs and arms so I could go between the main key-frames and add realistic transitions, such as the ankles rotating before the foot lifts off, and the knees bending and arms swinging at the right times.

The animation does loop, and each leg and arm has the exact same movement as I copied down the transitions from one to the next.

For my second animation I did a skipping cycle. I figured a skip was hopping on one leg whilst stepping the other, then switching legs. Again, this animation loops and I did it pose-to-pose.

I enjoyed making this because of the fun movement and a rig which suited the lively skip. Ellie rig was fun to use but took me a while to get used to. I have found this a challenge but I am happy with the outcome. Ellie’s arms don’t swing, but lift as she jumps. I experimented with making the hips move and the head bob.

The last step with this rig was to make the ponytails bounce and I think it made the jump more realistic. I was really proud of how this turned out.

Both animations were difficult because walk cycles are new to me but setting it out by using the first frame twice (once at the end) and doing it by the numbers to make it smooth and repeatable. I also did both animations walking on the spot, so that if they were used in game they wouldn’t just walk forward and glitch back when it loops, they’d walk only where you move them.

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