Friday, February 8, 2008

the agony of a walk cycle

Busy class last night..
Sorry I wasn't able to get to the walk cycle lecture, but take a look at the notes and shoot some questions my way as they come up.

These cycles are tricky...Andrew asked a great question after class last night, which is, in an fk spine setup, how do you manage all of these rotations together and not get the dread wobble effect.

Unfortunately, I don't have a super simple answer for you, but I'll try to boil down the science of it this week.

For starters, grab the graphFilter.mel - it's great for isolating individual rotations.

Ultimately with these cycles, it comes down to complex dynamics and rhythms happening at the same time, or around each other.

In setting the first pass up, what I generally suggest is to focus on the following:

  • do your main poses and breakdowns
  • make sure the relationship of the pelvis to the feet is pretty solid - no major pops or anything and the plants feel fairly accurate and the up down, side to side works ok, the forward back of the z curves feel fluid.
  • from this, the spine is next. I like to keep the arm poses in at least their basic poses for the main keys and breakdowns, but i generally think of them as being temporary, as it's pretty easy to rekey the arms, and you can dramatically alter the character of your cycle.
  • after the spine is pretty solid, i make sure the neck/head relationship is working
This is a rudimentary checklist at best...the class notes are far more detailed. There's no 'wrong' way to animate. I generally have a different working methodology for cycles than i do for action or performance related pieces and i'll get into the pros and cons later on.

Let me know if I've been clear enough in my notes/class crits or if there's areas you'd like me to focus on.

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