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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Walks and runs!

   
Author Topic: Walks and runs!
tstevens
IE # 234
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O.K.

Recently, everytime that I sit down to animate a walk or a run , I always seem to start with the squash! However.......Seems like most guys in general like to start with the Stride. But when I first started animating I had this animator (A.B.) tell me that any animator who knows what he is doing will always start with the squash no matter what because it is the only drawing with foot contact on the toes and also because it is a low point on the body.

Hmmmmm.....Good point!

However........

Most people generally like to start with the stride becuase it seems like it is the most obvious! But when you think about it the stride generally doesn't make contact on both feet ( unless the guy is really heavy) and as far as the body goes it is more of a breakdown position: not the peak or the low point. The squash however sets you up for the weight and feel of the character and because it is a low point it is a key for the body and legs! Also if you contact the foot on the stride (atleast in my experience) it tends to kill the squash!

So personally I tend to like animating the squash then keying the hands separately and working from there. The squash also feels like the best drawing to start with in a run as well: "I like it!"

Does any of this make any sense?

The reason why I bring this up is because I thought I had read that R. Williams says in his lectures to always go with the stride!

Not sure if I missinterpreted that or not!

It was just one of those things kind of makes me wonder. Always interesting to see how others do it though.

Hmmmmmm...... Maybe I'm just getting sick of hearing about politics and terrorists!

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http://www.foogersnarts.blogspot.com


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Barks at Burglars
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I usually start with the stride position, but not as a rule. One of the benefits of this approach is that you can work your way into the squash a little, making it a more powerful drawing perhaps. But I don't think it matters too much, the less rules the better I say.
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jenner
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my current position doesn't require me to do many walk cycles. ...


but I always start with a stride


maybe I don't know what I'm doing.


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ARROW
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I usually start with a stride as well because typically when one cuts to a character, or stages a character entering the shot they are in mid-stride- unless the character is stationary, then there'd be a antic and the step-off.

Usually the starting point is just that-a beginning. The first drawing can get changed and enhanced just like any others once the animator finds the proper amount of squash he wants in the scene.

--Ken


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Twedzel
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I just wanted to chime in for the different opinion, an alternate view. I use a different style than pose to pose, but building up layers of animation. This is a widely used practice in Cg animation (I've tried to implement pose to pose but have personally found it a bit unweildly, but just saw a reel from someone who did use it and the animation kicked ass... So I'll probably give it anouther go sometime. I First I make the COG (center of gravity) ussually hips (however it been a long time since I've been able to animate just a Biped). Once the hips have descent movement and timing you work out ward to the spine, and also do rudimentary leg placement. Then more work in the COG to give weight to the strides and tweek and tweek and tweek.
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Steve G
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In my opinion it depends on the character and what pose best conveys his (or her - or its)attitude. I do a lot of walk cycles for shows (ususally unused by overseas) and generally I start with the up position. I find this best conveys a characters attitude. The squash tends to be a character reacting to impact and a stride tends to be just an action pose.
Now as far as any suggestions that Williams might make: I would take them with a grain of salt. First of all- I've seen his animation. Not too impressed - but I'm sure I'm in the minority, after all he is G_d! wait, or is that Bruce Timm? And I also understand that he told one of the best animators to never animate pose to pose, just staright ahead.

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http://stevenegordon.blogspot.com
http://stevenegordon.com

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Nodah
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For straight cycles, with no 'business' going on, I usually start with the stride, mainly because fit helps me start with correct proportions, and from there I like to squash the guy.
Sometimes, it all depends on whether I'm wearing pants while animating or not.

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silverthorn
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Since I believe 'El Pedo' is quoting me as 'A.B.', (& refers to me as an 'animator' of all things!), compelling me to enter in & pontificate. I agree with Steve G in that you start with whatever pose that gets across the character the most, but I find that it can be different poses for each character. If the pose you've drawn looks natural & like a snap-shot of your character in the middle of a walk, it's probably going to work & if it looks strange, the walk will look strange. A seasoned animator with a clear idea of the action can start animating from any point, & go straight ahead or pose to pose. When someone is just start out to animate, however, I think it's good advice to start with extreme poses & break the action down from there until you are completely familiar with the action. I've always found the squash position to be the best extreme for a walk, (just like in a bouncing ball) as the character is at it's lowest point & both feet tend to be on the ground, & therefore make it easier to figure out footslip or foot positions on a layout. The stride position in real life tends to be in the air, & I've often found it akward to force the foot to meet the ground, (especially in CG). When I've done the first ruff through, I find I'll usually go over the action again, treating the inbetweens as keys & vice verse, fixing any actions that look strange, & noodling over-lap & secondary action. Then again, what do I know, I usually crawl everywhere.
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closed
self exiled troll
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I start with a good belt of scotch (Glenfiddich), followed by a champagne chaser. I then feel ennerved to face the drawing table with some conviction. Once the right end of the pencil is facing the page I have a short slurp of sherry and envision myself running, running, running through a distillery. I shake it off with a couple of bottles of bitters and then get down to work. As my hand slowly slides down the page I regain my balance by grabbing onto the nearest bottle of brandy. I hit the floor with a thump but by now it doesn't matter. As the ceiling tiles go into a waltz I fade out, and awake about 5 hours later to find the scene has been finished by someone else...end of problem!
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Barks at Burglars
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Steve G is not impressed with the animation of Richard Williams?...Yowza! I think he is one of the best animators ever. But I do agree with your implication that Bruce Timm is overrated (at least I think that's what you meant).
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BobV
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Twedzel--- please, please give pose to pose some serious effort. It is the only way to animate characters in CG. I'm not trying to insult you, but I have never seen animation produced with the 'layering' method look anything but floaty, oily, sub-aquatic, robotic, semetrical, and generally dead. Again, no offense.
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jenner
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I'll agree with you on that Steve. I've never found Richard Williams animation to be all that impressive. So he put's everything on one's, that looks nice, but Michel Gagne did the same in his film and there is a stark difference in quality.

I read an article once about how Williams used to pull out scenes for his film that had been approved clean 10 years earlier, and started to rework them.

I also read that a tree could grow faster than Williams could draw it.

To me that's not a mark of a good animator.

But maybe this is all in my head.


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silverthorn
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Plonkboy, you see before you a shocked and deeply distressed man. After all this time you finally discuss the process of ANIMATION. Finally an indepth insight into your legendary methods - which I intend to steal to see if I can crank the crap out faster.
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ClosetAni1
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Jenner, where did you read that quote about the tree?

I thought I was the only one who felt that way about Williams. Puts me in a severe minority, I know. But all I can think about when I'm watching Roger Rabbit is "God, will that rabbit please stop fidgeting just for one #$!@^$ second?"

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www.scooterandferret.com


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Frenchie
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Actually the rabbit doesn't bother me half as much as his ears. I like Roger Rabbit, but those ears..........
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Twedzel
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BobV, the problem is I'm not doing alot of cartoony animation but effects animation, creatures that have to live in real space and time and react to live action actors (sluggish timing by nature compared to cartoony).... Pose to pose them and they look like a cartoon. So I don't get a chance to experiment with pose to pose enough to get a good work flow going. What I'd really love is to have a sit down with someone who does it regularily and pick his/her brain for a while to see the work flow they've got going. However, in defence of layering animation... Demo's I've seen of a Pixar walk cycle of Woody was layered. Looked great, I think it probably has more to do with the animator than the technique (It's really really easy to make things float on a computer). But don't get me wrong, I would love to get it going on.
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Barks at Burglars
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Roger Rabbit is not typical of Williams' animation because the live action camera was constantly moving, so they had to account for it. I think they did a good job at a very hard task. I wouldn't judge Richard Williams' animation skills too much by Roger Rabbit (plus I don't know how much actual animation he did himself, he was animation director). If you watch his short films, commercials, Thief, and Raggedy Ann, you'll see he is a genius!
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bronnie
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quote:
Originally posted by Frenchie:
Actually the rabbit doesn't bother me half as much as his ears. I like Roger Rabbit, but those ears..........

Yup--I once heard them aptly described as "underwater ears"....


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hamsterbite
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I think it was Ralph Bakshi that told of an animator he used to know who was animating a scene of a character walking along; the first thing he did was rough in the nose alone... nothing else 'til that was done.
Of course, I don't have any idea how the scene turned out.

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Mr. Fun
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Anybody see the Roger Rabbit animation test Williams did before starting production? They ran it for us over at "Taco Bell" on the Universal lot.
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Richard
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Hey Hamsterbite, that person is probably Jim Tyre you were thinking of that animated in bits and pieces like that.

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ClosetAni1
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Whoa. Watch Raggedy Ann and I'll see Williams is a genius? Did we see the same movie?

We must have, I have Raggedy Ann on tape. Now that I think about it, Raggedy Andy fidgets too.

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www.scooterandferret.com


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jenner
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I read that article in my binder full of notes I have from school. Acually I think you gave it to me ,Frenchie, just flippin through modelsheets and drawings when I came upon a photocopied article. I'm not sure where it came from.
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knowledge
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to be fair, the swimming ear scenes in 'Roger' are Simon Wells doing. He blamed the assistants for it later on though. Also, Dick could be very good going over someone elses animation (and sometimes not) for example the scene where Roger pops his head out of the desk drawer. And he could crank out the storyboards in real time as Zemeckis told him what he wanted, which was cool to watch.
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Barks at Burglars
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Raggedy rocks!
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tstevens
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Williams has never been one of my favorite animators and as far as Roger Rabbit goes I have always liked the shorts more than the theatrical!

Speaking of which I actually caught it the other day on TV and although it is technically nice (especially given the fact that it was done conventionally) it seems to exist more for technical reasons than because the story was decent! One thing about Williams is that I don't think I have ever heard anyone say anything nice about the guy after having worked with him.

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http://www.foogersnarts.blogspot.com


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