Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Female Walk Cycle + References

I have been working on the walk cycle part of shot 8, but while I was animating the walk cycle, using the methodology that I adapted in the first year (two central points, keyframes, breakdown, inbetweens, etc.), I did find that the walk cycle had a huge amount of gravity; particularly for a teenage girl who was just supposed to be strolling.

This makes Alex look as though she is almost trying to force herself through the atmosphere of the scene; it also makes the character seem more manly.

In order to create a younger, more serene and ultimately more feminine character, I started to look for references that would help me in creating a convincing walk cycle.

Synaesthesia director, Val gave this link which features a woman walking.  Her walk here is very elegant, and furthermore, I notice that one of her arms sways considerably more than the other; the other arm is even completely still at times.  Her hip movement is also very prominent in this walk.

In addition to this, it is apparent that females tend not to lift their legs from the ground as far as males and that the movement between each foot is far more slight.  This is a theory that is demonstrated very vividly and humoursly by good old Richard Williams in this video below.

This video also has a good example of a female walk cycle being animated in the newly released Maya 2013.

In all honesty, it has been a little while since I animated a pure walk cycle so I have decided that there is no shame in once and a while, reading over various manuals and notes that I have acquired over the past 3 years just so I can brush up on what I already know.

For extra reference in producing a walk cycle I have used this image on the break down of a single walk to create the poses for my own walk.  This is taken from the blog of James Dunford, which was sent to me by Valentino.

I have also been reading this tutorial that I downloaded from Erik Westund's site just to make sure I have not left anything out.

Here is a video of the walk cycle that I animated and smoothened in the graph editor.  She has a very slight walk to establish her femininity and youth and also that she is strolling at a very leisurely pace.

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