Category Archives: Task 07

Task 7a: Bird Flying

Through this task I learnt about the basics of creating looping action animations. Also, it taught me how to demonstrate action, weight and personality through limited graphics. This skills will be very important in creating animation for video games – something I definitely want to do.

To start with, I watched some references videos and sketched some quick thumbnails.


These thumbnails were very sketching and didn’t provide another detail, especially on the wings x-axis position. So I quickly drew a second set showing both the front and side positions for each key:


I began with by keying out the thumbnails. However, no matter how much I tweaked the timing and curves it still looked wrong. Then I realized that I had included no follow through with the wings. The tips did not drag when the bird flapped them down – they stayed in the same crooked position as when the bird was pulling its wings up.


This was throwing off my entire animation. It was so dumb of me to have not seen that! Anyway, I fixed this and continued. After finalizing the animation, I finished the scene with a sky-dome, camera and sky light. I used the following image to texture my sky-dome.


Click for source. There are lots of high-resolution sphere maps on that site that might be handy for later projects!

Below is my final animation:

I am fairly happy with this, although I still feel that it is a bit slow. However, I should have taken the time and created a second bird and / or a penguin.

Task 7c: Run Cycle

As with the walk cycle, this task involved talking the ‘handwalker’ model and animating it in a looping run cycle. As a reference I used the running cycle of an emu. My thumbnails are below:

RUN_CYCLE_THUMBNAILS The main difference being that both feet leave the ground, movement is more exaggerated and contact is limited. As with the walk cycle, I animated both legs at once so that they would be completely even (see below).

run Once I was happy with the movement, I simply moved the frames of the second leg and made sure that all the out of range curves were looping. After I had fixed things up a bit I completed the scene with a camera, plane, sky-dome and skylight.

In all honesty the movements could have been more exaggerated and, once again, it does not really look like the reference material…

EDIT: The toes on one foot were completely out of sync. I had not put a frame at the end of the cycle so when they looped they gradually got out of time. Then, I had trouble using Set Keys to add the extra key. It wouldn’t work until I had gone into the curve editor and changed the out of range types back to constant. Have now fixed this, re-rendered and uploaded again. 

Task 7b: Walk Cycle

Through this task we were asked to animate a looping walk cycle for a bipedal character. Because of its leg structure I decided to use the walk cycle of a chicken as a basic reference. From that, I drew the following thumbnails.


I started by animating both legs at once. In retrospect this was a bad way to do things. The animation looked choppy and I could not get the second leg to look right: the knee kept snapping and it made the entire walk look wrong.


We each got feedback from the class and mine was that the legs were still janky (see above) and that I could exaggerate the overlapping movements more. Kylie really helped me with the toes. While I had started to add some overlapping action she showed me that I could really exaggerate the movement.


I decided to scrap the second leg entirely and work on perfecting the first. Once it looked okay and I had got more feedback from others I started on the second leg. Following Kylie’s suggestion, I moved the second leg to match the first and then adjusted the timing until it looked complete. After adding a ground, skydome and camera I rendered and finished the video:

I don’t think it looks like a chicken anymore but I am still happy with the result.