Walk Cycles

I had practised some walk cycles previously because they scared me a little but I’ve got the hang of them and they’re quite fun when you get to incorporate personality into them!

This is an earlier attempt with a rigged character from Pluralsight:

It’s very stiff and I couldn’t get the knees to stop popping (the hips were too high).

Here are my notes from the tutorials I’ve watched: walk-cycle-notes

So there’s four key poses to a basic walk cycle; the contact, down, passing and up position. These are repeated but reversed on the other foot.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 13.56.55.png
Animator’s Survival Kit

Sneaky Walk

Start with the four main poses then adjust the timing of the poses to convey a certain personality and then put in the details and tidy it up.


I tried a sneaky walk cycle with the Jill rig first. I used these videos as reference:

My sneaky walk cycle (first draft):

The head annoys me, I don’t think I should keep her eye-line level and I also need to slow down when she steps forward as well as leaning her back a bit because she’s too far forward.

This is my second attempt. I’ve adjusted the speed however her right leg now seems to pop:

Fixed the pop! Adjusted the arms to have more follow through as well – happy now!

Normal Walk


Screen Shot 2016-10-10 at 17.51.38.png

I found this very useful when getting my key poses out: walk cycle rotoscoping.

First Draft:

The arms are too stiff and I’m not sure the head is correct.

Final version:

I can’t seem to fix the hands and get them the way I want them so I’m going to keep trying with different walks.

Alec’s Feedback

Gimbal Locking for FK arms-  maya doesn’t know which rotation order to use, so euler filter it. Curves > euler filter/ zyx rotation order

Ik is used to keep hands stationary on something – use it for landing on ground.

Ok so I had one last go at the arms fixing the rotation order. I also looked at The Animators Survival Kit for tips on the arms:

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 14.14.48.png


Much better:

I’m really happy with how it turned out but I’m even happier about the time slider not being crazy messy!




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