Author Topic: Improving the walkcycle  (Read 1726 times)

Creamy

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Improving the walkcycle
« on: 30 Oct 2017, 20:42 »
Hello fine AGS artists, I'd like to pick your brain about this animation.

What could be improved or doesn't look right?

I've used Spriter and the warp brush of my drawing software. Would you consider a different method?

« Last Edit: 30 Oct 2017, 20:45 by Creamy »
 

Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #1 on: 30 Oct 2017, 20:51 »
First things that come to my mind:

- Her arms look very stiff and coul bend a little. Maybe they move a bit too much altogether.
- Her left knee moves a bit too much, or too suddenly. I'm not sure, but it looks unnatural. It may be a little too low too.

Cl...

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #2 on: 30 Oct 2017, 20:59 »
Left knee indeed looks less like walking and more like hitting someone in the groin intentionally. (laugh)
I second the arms thing. Looks too "military".

Snarky

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #3 on: 30 Oct 2017, 21:45 »
The warping seems to work pretty well for you. You're getting very smooth movement with a fair amount of detail.

Personally I think the head bob looks a bit weird (even if they move their neck back and forth, people generally keep their head level while walking, right?), in particular because the eyes don't keep a steady gaze but just bob along with the head. I also think the up-down movement of the torso should be smoother and perhaps a little deeper.

Other than that, given the smoothness of the bits you're distorting, the flatness of the "paper doll" parts stands out more. Arms, torso, head, hair. The hair should bob, the bust should turn along with the shoulders, the arms and hands should bend (and turn a bit in perspective), and so on. Also second/third the other comments.

Looks good, though!

Creamy

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #4 on: 30 Oct 2017, 23:23 »
Thanks for the feedback. I figured it needed work but I didn't know where to start.

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Her arms look very stiff and coul bend a little.
Right, I've gotten a little lazy and it shows. I'll fix that.

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- Her left knee moves a bit too much, or too suddenly. I'm not sure, but it looks unnatural. It may be a little too low too.
OK. I'll move her left knee up and add a transitional frame when it moves forward.

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Left knee indeed looks less like walking and more like hitting someone in the groin intentionally. (laugh)
A new set of possibilities opens up (laugh)

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the eyes don't keep a steady gaze but just bob along with the head.
That's true. I'll remove the rotation then.

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given the smoothness of the bits you're distorting, the flatness of the "paper doll" parts stands out more. Arms, torso, head, hair.
I noticed it too. Seems hard to avoid but I'll see what I can do to mitigate it.

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I also think the up-down movement of the torso should be smoother and perhaps a little deeper.
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The hair should bob, the bust should turn along with the shoulders
Looks complicated but I'll give it a try.
« Last Edit: 30 Oct 2017, 23:36 by Creamy »
 

Creamy

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #5 on: 01 Nov 2017, 19:38 »
Spent plenty of time on that lady today :

« Last Edit: 01 Nov 2017, 20:52 by Creamy »
 

Cassiebsg

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #6 on: 01 Nov 2017, 23:05 »
But what a huge improvement! (nod)
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

Cl...

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #7 on: 01 Nov 2017, 23:11 »
Is the red stripe on the face supposed to be the shadow of the hair, or scar tissue? If it's the former it should move like the hair does. If not, no idea.

Snarky

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #8 on: 02 Nov 2017, 08:12 »
Yeah, it's a big improvement!

A few points I think could still be tweaked...

1. I always think of this diagram when I look at walkcycles, because I think it demonstrates a number of important points:



-There is fairly substantial up-down movement of the head (though it's a bit exaggerated in this diagram and can vary depending on the walk)
-The up-down movement is quite smooth: it's not something that happens just in a single frame, but throughout the walkcycle
-The up-down movement affects not just the head, but the whole torso from the hips up (including shoulders and arms, of course), since it's due to the leg bending.

Your cycle is pretty good on most of these points, but I still think the movement is a bit small, a bit "jerky", and that there's a slight "bobblehead" sense of the head moving separately from the torso and neck.

2. I think the hair flip is on the wrong timing. Remember that the hair is attached from the roots, and movement is transmitted from roots to tip, not the other way around. So the tips shouldn't go forward as the head moves forward; they should lag behind, and only when the forward head movement stops and the head starts to move back should the tips then flip forward. Also, the lag should be greater the longer the lock of hair is: the bangs should move before the mass of hair on the sides and back of the head. I think adjusting this second point would make it look less like a loose wig only hanging off a single point of her head.

3. The arm movement is pretty extreme, no? If she's meant to be in a rush it's fine, otherwise I'd tone it down a little.

4. When she moves her right arm (the far one) forward, it looks like it's flipping away, out from her body. Usually the arm movement is angled in, sort of rotating around the body, and that's how her left arm seems to move. (Actually, I think it's because the angle of both arm movements is a bit more sideways than the angle of the rest of her body, but it looks correct for the closer left arm and wrong for the right arm.)

Creamy

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #9 on: 02 Nov 2017, 21:12 »
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But what a huge improvement! (nod)
Yes, the first one looks so bad now (laugh)

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Is the red stripe on the face supposed to be the shadow of the hair, or scar tissue? If it's the former it should move like the hair does. If not, no idea.
It's supposed to be a headbang but it doesn't make a lot of sense because it's under her hair. I'll remove it.

Thanks for the detailed advice Snarky. I take a break from this animation for now but I'll keep that in mind.
 

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #10 on: 15 Nov 2017, 20:09 »
Very nice animation in many ways!
Personally I think perhaps the proportions of the head in whole is a bit off? I think the hair looks nice and in proportion with the rest of the body. but I feel like the eyes should be moved up on the face. Also I would move down the head lower on the neck. Something with the combination face/hair makes it look a little bit like she's wearing a wig.
But like the others said, very nice improvement from the first animation!

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #11 on: 18 Nov 2017, 22:13 »
First of all, the animation is quite decent, and it's not a bad 'general' walk-cycle. It is, however, not very feminine or lady-like.

Snarky quoted a diagram from Richard William's The Animator's Survival Kit. And he makes quite a point about up-and-down movement. Unfortunately he is incorrect. Snarky, not Williams. A few pages before the quoted diagram Williams has the following equation:
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women often take short steps in a straight line - legs close together = little up and down on the body
And he goes on to say: "Women mostly walk with their legs close together, protecting the crotch, resulting in not much up and down action on the head and body. Skirts also restrict their movement."

Just take a look at how women walk and you will see that it's entirely different from men. A lot of up-and-down movement is intercepted by her hips. In addition, a lot of arm movement is also more subdued when comparing it to men. That is not to say that there is no up-and-down movement. But especially when a lady strides - and from her clothing I may assume that she learned how to stride - the goal is to be majestic and solemn, even when moving quite fast, and her teachers would have taught her to have limited movement in her upper-body.

So I would go almost the exact opposite route from Snarky's advice (actually I agree with points 2-4). Of course you have to make sure that her upper body doesn't become rigid or stiff...so you need to have some movement in there, but it should be a bit more subdued and elegant. Maybe have her hands folded in front of her. Something like that. William's initial example is very generic and he continues to point out that a walk should represent someone's character (and emotion). Currently I see a functional walk-cycle, but not one that tells me anything about the girl.

Anyway, just my two cents.

Creamy

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #12 on: 19 Nov 2017, 23:27 »


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Personally I think perhaps the proportions of the head in whole is a bit off? I think the hair looks nice and in proportion with the rest of the body. but I feel like the eyes should be moved up on the face. Also I would move down the head lower on the neck.

I didn't realize that her forhead was huge before you mentioned it (laugh). I lowered her head too.

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Something with the combination face/hair makes it look a little bit like she's wearing a wig.
I've shaded her hair to try to adress it.

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The arm movement is pretty extreme, no? If she's meant to be in a rush it's fine, otherwise I'd tone it down a little.
Done. Yes, it's supposed to be a brisk walk.

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It is, however, not very feminine or lady-like.
Currently I see a functional walk-cycle, but not one that tells me anything about the girl.
Right. I'll try to make the next animations more expressive.

« Last Edit: 20 Nov 2017, 21:42 by Creamy »
 

selmiak

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #13 on: 20 Nov 2017, 22:17 »
great improvements from the first post creamy, this is very fluid now.
some more critiques:
* the skirt. it looks like it is glued to her legs and made from rubber not cloth. when she moves her leg forewards the cloth will stay in the back and slowly fall down until her leg hits it again.
* she has no feet or shoes. I see this makes animating her a lot easier, but your went all that way, add at least some bumps in the skirt where her feet would be.
* the body moves nice with torsion and the hair is also nicely animated but her head would also turn a bit like the body. The face looks good already but a bit stiff, as she always faces the same direction. maybe one more frame to the left and to the right but that would be very subtle but probably a huge difference.
* if you are feeling fancy add some ribbon to her clothes and animate this too. this is tricky but when done right adds a lot.

Creamy

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #14 on: 24 Nov 2017, 14:17 »
Thanks Selmiak. I'll see what I can do this week-end ;)
 

Creamy

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Re: Improving the walkcycle
« Reply #15 on: 27 Nov 2017, 23:57 »
Last version:


All the advice was incredibly useful, thanks everyone. Time to move on I think.
« Last Edit: 23 Mar 2018, 18:34 by Creamy »