Added by on 2013-01-26

Creating a walking animation is a foundation exercise, but it is also one of the most difficult to master as a beginning animator. Learn how to understand the body’s movements while walking with helpful information from a writer, director and animator.

In animation, a walk cycle is a series of frames or illustrations drawn in sequence that loop to create an animation of a walking character. The walk cycle is looped over and over, thus having to avoid animating each step again.

Creating a walk cycle
Walk cycles can be broken up into 4 key frame, namely Forward Contact Point, Passing Pose1, Back Contact Point and Passing Pose 2. Frames that are drawn between these key poses (traditionally known as in-betweens/Inbetweening) are either hand-drawn or using computer software to interpolate them.

Breakdown of Walk Cycle
Besides the apparent move of the legs, many more details are necessary for a convincing walk cycle, like animation timing, movement of the arms, head and torsion of the whole body.

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  • Claudia

    Jason, i need that to learn how to cycle walk. what program do you use?

    • cgmeetup

      2d Software – Toon Boom Studio or Digicel Flipbook
      3d Software – Autodesk Maya or Blender