Saturday, December 16, 2006

Walk test

Here's a walk test for the main character (right click+save as). The first link is a panning camera render, the second is a fixed camera.

Once again, it's not 100% polished - there's a lot of fiddling around to be made, especially around the arms. I tried to suggest an innocent and somewhat anxious personality. Oh, and the thing in his hand is a lunch box. :)

This walk was surprisingly difficult for me to animate. I made four or five really bad attempts before this one, two of which were in 2D. I knew exactly what I was going for, but every time I tried, I ended up with a boring, stiff, strange walk.

The first positive step was realizing that all my failed tests look more or less the same. It meant I was stuck in a pattern that lead me to the same dead-end again and again. The task was therefore to break that pattern; and the way to do that is always to think and to research.

First, I discovered that I was thinking in the classic "four keys" formula (contact, squash, passing position, stretch), whereas this fast walk feels more like a "two keys" kind of thing (up-down up-down, one-two one-two).

Research was a bit tricky, because no real kid walks on six (frames per step). However, I realized that my inspiration for the timing came from thinking of him as an anxious small animal of some sort; so, oddly enough, I chose to use the hind legs of a trotting fox. The research gave me my second hint: the contact position was also the high point of the fox's pelvis, and the passing position was the low point. This was an option I didn't think about, because in a usual human walk the pelvis hits its up/down extremes in other positions.

These two clues were really all that was needed for me to break the pattern and start going in a new and better direction. I hope you like the result.

As always, constructive comments are more than welcome.


hili said...

i like way you break down the process with its difficulties, and put it down in words so clearly - its really intresting to read.

Doron Meir said...

Thank Hili, I do my best :) I find that putting it into words like that help me understand it better myself.

Anonymous said...

absolutely great stuff, very inspiring! I like to read ur thought process too..makes me realise Im not alone!