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Advice on rigging a character to walk FORWARD?

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Hannah Claire
Advice on rigging a character to walk FORWARD?
on Jul 12, 2017 at 8:44:54 am

I wonder if anyone has any advice for me. I’m a beginner and self-teaching After Effects with the ultimate end goal of making a short 2D animation using characters.

So far I’ve done a bit of work with DUIK and experimented with lots of different rigging techniques and feel relatively comfortable with this process now.

What I’m now trying to master is animating realistic character movements using the rigged characters. As walk cycles seem a pretty good place to start, that’s where I’m starting- and I’ve found some great tutorials on walking left to right/right to left and I’m really happy with the results.

What I’m struggling to find anything detailed enough on is walking forward.

As you can see by my first attempt here (please try not to laugh!!)

I’m really struggling to produce something realistic, so my question is what is it I need to work on to produce a nice walking forward animation? These are the things I’m guessing but would love some advice-

1. Should I be using the same rig for this as walking from left-right? (Is a 2 layer IK system with puppet tools and DUIK too ‘extreme’ for this, where the legs don’t need to bend as much as this?)

2. Should I be looking at redesigning elements of the character, to show for example the foot bending up and the underside of the foot?

3. Is it the perspective of the legs? Do I need to incorporate some sort of scaling functionality to shrink the leg that is at the back and then scale it up as it’s brought forward?

4. Is it the all over walk cycle that just needs work, so the swinging of the body, arms, offsetting the movements, more anticipation in the movements etc

5. Is it the forward movement? At the moment I’ve just scaled her up as she moves toward the screen- should I be moving her less and animating the background itself for a more realistic feel?

Any advice would be very much appreciated. To set the context, I eventually want this to be a scene where she jumps into shot then runs toward the screen (but trying to walk before I can run here…) and two other characters join her on either side and do the same. The rigs work really well for most other movements (I don’t want an overly complex set of movements for the rest of the animation) and this is a one off/opening scene so I’m happy to spend more time working on this specifically, rather than develop a rig that has to do this often, if that makes sense.

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Jack Hextall
Re: Advice on rigging a character to walk FORWARD?
on Apr 30, 2018 at 11:20:32 pm

Old thread, but really interested to see if anyone had any advice on this. Thanks!

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Steve Bentley
Re: Advice on rigging a character to walk FORWARD?
on May 2, 2018 at 9:15:32 pm

Yas this is a tough one (gone are the days of hand animating the aspect of limbs I guess).
The puppet tool has an overlap tool that you can assign certain parts to overlap others. So the area below the knees would fall "behind" any area above the knees. You can also use two puppet pins at the feet to "pinch" them into perspective to add some foreshortening.

Personally, I've fallen in love with the DUIK script (free!) It allows you to add in aspect changes to your art that are automatically triggered by the angle of the joint bend. So you could have 3 or 4 different leg shapes that would be automatically be slotted in as you animate the legs.

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