Walk Cycle Animation Tutorial in Maya

In this tutorial, we will see how to execute the entire workflow that Owen Fern uses when working in pre-production or creating walk cycles for character animations in video games. Owen will guide us through the blocking, pushing, and refining of details, and ultimately, he will show us a quick way to present it as a play blast.

The animation we see is applied to the 3D model of Spiderman (click here to download the free Spiderman model), starting by working on a basic pose. After creating the first three poses that form the main blocks of the walk cycle, we will move on to creating the passing positions.

Later on, details will be adjusted to add personality and fluidity to the animation, tweaking timings, adding overlapping actions, and positions for smoother movement.

Owen Fern, a feature animator at Jellyfish Pictures, publishes another article in his “complete guide” series covering character walk cycle animation. Owen demonstrates techniques using Maya and Animbot, but these animation principles are suitable for application in any 3D software such as Blender or Cinema 4D.

The tutorial covers everything you need to know about walk cycle animation. We recommend the quintessential guide that every 3D animator should have, ‘The Animator’s Survival Kit’ by R. Williams: https://amzn.to/3woxUHZ

The COMPLETE Guide to Walk Cycle Animation

  • The video offers a comprehensive walkthrough of the entire workflow for creating walk cycles, applicable to both pre-production and game animation.
  • Owen Fern uses Maya 2024 and often employs AnimBot for workflow efficiency, though it’s noted that alternatives are available.
  • Key steps include starting with a contact pose, mirroring poses for efficiency, creating passing positions, and refining animations with attention to detail.
  • Techniques for adding personality and polish to the animation are demonstrated, such as adjusting timing, adding overlapping actions, and refining poses for smoother motion.
  • Owen Fern also shares tips on camera setup and workflow optimization, alongside a brief mention of their website, Keyframe Coach, offering animation reviews.
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