Author Topic: Struggling with walkcycles (and animations) - any tips?  (Read 707 times)  Share 

I believe I'm not the first one to have issues with animating walking cycles, so I thought I might ask for some advice!
I have a working set of walking animations for my main character and I'd describe them as... acceptable. Allow me to demonstrate:

I am aware of some mistakes, like the head and torso not moving at all. Or the arms being all over the place.
When first making these sprites, I didn't aim for perfectionism, I just wanted something to work with. Still, it took me nearly an entire day to animate all four walkcycles. Now I want to remake them, make them more dynamic and add a few things.
Can anyone share any tips on how to make a good looking walkcycle (with as little effort as possible, because I like to be lazy efficient)? Maybe recommend a good program? I used Paint Tool Sai, which isn't really made for animating. I'm also struggling with having thin, clean lines, but I'm afraid that's more of a skill problem.

Cassiebsg

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Re: Struggling with walkcycles (and animations) - any tips?
« Reply #1 on: 10 Mar 2017, 19:08 »
Looks just great!
Just add the bounce and it'll probably look just fine. (nod)
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Re: Struggling with walkcycles (and animations) - any tips?
« Reply #2 on: 10 Mar 2017, 21:30 »
I'm no animation expert but I agree with Cassie, looks pretty good as it is.  I would suggest adding slight hair movement along with the bounce.
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Re: Struggling with walkcycles (and animations) - any tips?
« Reply #3 on: 11 Mar 2017, 02:02 »
The arm movement is a little "jumpy" When it goes back it's not very smooth but that's just a minor thing. Otherwise I think it looks really good! :)
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Re: Struggling with walkcycles (and animations) - any tips?
« Reply #4 on: 11 Mar 2017, 10:06 »
You made a pretty good walk cycle and you did it in one day. I think you've already reached peak efficiency. The only way to speed it up and/or make it look better is through practice.

The only thing I could recommend for the truly lazy. Is to perfect this animation using the suggestions others have made and your own judgement. And then use it as a base for all of your future side walking animations.

As for what program you should use. For animating pixel art I hear GraphicsGale is good, as well as Aseprite. But for the type of art you're doing... I don't know. Blondbraid has a similar type of artstyle, so he probably knows a good program.

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Re: Struggling with walkcycles (and animations) - any tips?
« Reply #5 on: 12 Mar 2017, 06:19 »
Looks fine to me.

If you want to try out how changing different parts in an animation will work, a program like Spriter could be useful.     https://brashmonkey.com

Open Toonz is a program for animation, but can also be used to make sprites. It has a quit useful plastic tool.

Re: Struggling with walkcycles (and animations) - any tips?
« Reply #6 on: 15 Mar 2017, 08:45 »
The animation is a very good base to work on. You got the basics down pat, now all you need is to implement some small improvements to make it really shine.

The head: it should bob up and down slightly, but never turn left or right. Yours doesn't turn, but it doesn't bob either. When feet are at the widest, the head should be at the lowest position, and at it's highest when the character has his full weight on only one leg.

Torso: It should lean forward when a character is walking, compared to when a character is standing still. Walking is in essence, a controlled fall. So the body falls forward by leaning forward, and the legs keep getting in the way of it falling, and this is how walking is achieved. The faster the character walks the more forward the torso should lean. The torso turns slightly left and right, and this follows the movement of the arms. So when an arm is in a forward position, the torso should turn to follow the arm.

Arms: This is where most of your suckyness comes in the animation, the arms change length each frame. You should make them consistent in length. Hands should follow the arm movement but lag slightly back due to inertia. So if a arm is moving forward, the hand should slightly hang in the opposite direction. Imagine the arm as a pendulum and the hand as a piece of ribbon tied to it at the bottom part. After you fix this, you should actually delay your arm movement by 1 frame. This is a common mistake everybody makes. The overall position is okay, but arms should be at the widest one frame after the legs are at the widest. Currently, your arms are in sync with the legs and should lag one frame behind.

Legs: Everything okay here.

Keep at it!
« Last Edit: 15 Mar 2017, 08:57 by Jim Reed »