Anybody have advice/ animating walk cycle???

2

Comments

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,411
    edited August 2012

    head wax said:
    don't know Joe :)

    Well then, I'll help you. I strongly suspect the answer is "yes". If your feet are sliding, then either your IK targets are moving, or the "attraction" of your IK rig to the target is not sufficient. In some applications you can change that attraction, but I recall in Carrara you can't. But it doesn't matter because the attraction is very high. Which is good in this case.

    So that leaves the only possibility being the IK goals moving when you don't want them to, which then slides the feet. So if you want the feet to stick, you need to make sure the goal is in exactly the same XYZ position in each frame.

    Also, you need to make sure that, between frames, the interpolated motion is flat or "linear". Otherwise, the program will throw a curve in there ("Bezier" or whatever), and make the goal move between frames, sliding the feet. If you want goals to stick, use linear interpolation. That's a pretty common technique across software applications, especially with feet. Check the Graph for the XYZ position of each goal and make sure there's a flat line between frames, and both keyframes are the exact same position.

    I suppose I could infuriate everyone once again by saying that these are the kinds of basic animation principles and techniques you read about in a book on basic computer animation principles, but probably won't see in any software-specific tutorials that folks here seem to love so much. But I won't.

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • head waxhead wax Posts: 2,873
    edited December 1969

    Well then, I’ll help you

    Thanks for your kindness Joe.
    Have a good weegend!

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    In addition to what Joe wrote - floating and foot slippage is also caused by using the traditional walk in place technique, then not matching length of stride and distance covered to the foot movement. Which is why I incorporate forward movement into the cycle.

    With so many excellent tools as mentioned before available, doing your own walk cycle is really just an exercise.

    For those who want to, Mark Bremmer has done an excellent Carrara-specific tutorial on a cycle for a spider, see http://www.markbremmer.com/3Bpages/DAS08spider.html

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,411
    edited December 1969

    Okay, I may have given Carrara a bit of a bad rap that isn't really deserved when I used an example of knee bending when you lower the hips. Turns out that's pretty easy to do, as well as maintaining the feet/toes planted flat on the ground throughout the motion.

    Below is an animation of H4 (the first time I've ever used the guy...anyone else think he's really weird looking?) doing a simple squat, then balancing on each leg. What's normally done automatically using expressions had to be done with FK (counter-rotating the spine to maintain balance), so since Carrara doesn't have expressions the other examples I gave are still legit. But knee bends and foot planting are do-able.

    The way I did it is to add an IK modifier to each shin and each toe, and then add three IK goals for each leg, and assign one each to the shin IK, the toe IK, and the foot IK. Took a bit of tweaking to figure out the best location for the goals, but once you've got that it works okay. Though I did have to remove rotation limits for the foot as I recall to keep the feet flat on the ground.

    http://youtu.be/IQNnuT02WPE

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,579
    edited December 1969

    Okay, I may have given Carrara a bit of a bad rap that isn't really deserved when I used an example of knee bending when you lower the hips. Turns out that's pretty easy to do, as well as maintaining the feet/toes planted flat on the ground throughout the motion.

    Below is an animation of H4 (the first time I've ever used the guy...anyone else think he's really weird looking?) doing a simple squat, then balancing on each leg. What's normally done automatically using expressions had to be done with FK (counter-rotating the spine to maintain balance), so since Carrara doesn't have expressions the other examples I gave are still legit. But knee bends and foot planting are do-able.

    The way I did it is to add an IK modifier to each shin and each toe, and then add three IK goals for each leg, and assign one each to the shin IK, the toe IK, and the foot IK. Took a bit of tweaking to figure out the best location for the goals, but once you've got that it works okay. Though I did have to remove rotation limits for the foot as I recall to keep the feet flat on the ground.

    http://youtu.be/IQNnuT02WPE


    Just to clarify, Joe, when you say IK goals, are you referring to target helper objects?

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 460
    edited August 2012

    I am of the opinion that, if you want to do animation (cartoon), the manual way is required. There are some principles that you have to go by, like: timing, squash and stretch, anticipation, overlapping motion, etc. It is an art, like drawing. But if you want to do realistic motion, then motion capture is peobably the best way. Sometimes, you have to mix both. Here I have roughly used the manual way with Gaba's IK "Genesis helpers" (see download link) for the feet, and for the upper part of her body I have used a Mixamo mocap. She's supposed to be arthritic.

    http://youtu.be/14OGwyaIALI
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/11970483/GenesisHelpers.zip


    Some people have mentioned the Poser walk designer, which is pretty good, although somewhat mechanical. I used it in the past. But lately, I found that iClone's animation tools are better than Poser. Although I don't use iClone for anything else, I found that it has some pretty sophisticated animation tools. I has Human IK. You can modify your character's walk better than in Poser. You can have your character's feet stick to the ground at all times. You can have your character walking up and down a hill on a motion path. Here is a woman walking down a hill. If you have 3dxchange pipeline, you can import AND export animation back and forth between iClone, Daz Studio, Carrara, 3dmax, etc...

    http://youtu.be/825IWk7snTk

    bp.jpg
    541 x 494 - 58K
    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    What route did the figure walking down the hill take to get into Carrara - I ask because the ankles cross through each other - typical of an anim made in Studio and imported to Carrara.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,411
    edited December 1969

    argus1000 said:
    I am of the opinion that, if you want to do animation (cartoon), the manual way is required. There are some principles that you have to go by, like: timing, squash and stretch, anticipation, overlapping motion, etc. It is an art, like drawing. But if you want to do realistic motion, then motion capture is peobably the best way. Sometimes, you have to mix both. Here I have roughly used the manual way with Gaba's IK "Genesis helpers" (see download link) for the feet, and for the upper part of her body I have used a Mixamo mocap.

    Argus1000, you mention timing and squash and stretch and anticipation and overlapping motion, but you don't use them. With all due respect, the video of the woman going upstairs shows no sense of weight or natural movement.

    One of the most common mistakes used by beginning animators is forgetting to move the hips, which are the center of human motion. And especially when going upstairs, there is a lot of hip motion. Arthritic or not, you must move your hips and exert effort when going upstairs. Which means the motion must have a sense of labor and effort, and the motion of the body would seem to be dragging. Especially if someone is feeling pain, the motion would be slow and labored.

    One technique you can use to get a feel for how to animate is to exaggerate. Think of an extreme version of a slow, labored walk up a steep flight of stairs, with a person who is very tired. Think of how your weight would shift, how you would maintain balance, how your hips move, how your spine counter-rotates with your hips to maintain balance.

    There is a lot going on when you move, and it is very complicated. It takes a lot of thought and practice. You can have software try to do it for you, but usually you're pretty limited in having to accept what the software provides.

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 460
    edited August 2012

    [Argus1000, you mention timing and squash and stretch and anticipation and overlapping motion, but you don't use them. With all due respect, the video of the woman going upstairs shows no sense of weight or natural movement. .

    I never said I was an animator. I am a realistic man. I always use motion capture. Yesterday, I couldn't find a realistic mocap of a woman going up the stairs. The feet were always off. So I decided to use Faba's Genesis helpers IK features to make my character go up the stairs in a precise fashion. I found it easy to use. So I decided to share my discovery.

    You seem to have something against that. I don't know why. Besides, I said: "Here I have ROUGHLY used the manual way".

    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 460
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    What route did the figure walking down the hill take to get into Carrara - I ask because the ankles cross through each other - typical of an anim made in Studio and imported to Carrara.

    Thank you for reminding me that her ankles go through each other. Very easy to correct. I could have corrected in Daz Studio or in Carrara in two minutes.You're right, because when I made the animation in iClone, the ankles didn't go through each other. It must've happened when imported in Daz Studio.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,411
    edited December 1969

    argus1000 said:
    So I decided to share my discovery.

    You seem to have something against that. I don't know why.

    Relax, I'm not trying to attack you. I'm trying to help you and others who might want to improve their skills. If you don't want to improve your skills then just ignore what I'm saying. If you do want to improve your skills with animating, then consider what I'm saying.

    I did a quick and sucky, and slightly exaggerated demonstration to show a single cycle of walking up some stairs. I slowed it so you can see the details. It isn't that difficult if you just understand a few simple concepts. And if you do it manually it might save you some money, and might actually be fun.

    What you need to consider is weight and balance. Notice in the video how she first moves all of her weight to her right leg as her right foot steps onto the lower step. Once her weight is over the right foot, her right leg then extends and lifts the body up, raising it for the first step. She then balances for a brief moment on her right leg as her left foot is up in the air, dragging behind, until it reaches the second step. Then the cycle repeats. And once you have that simple motion laid out, check it from the front and sides to make sure it looks natural. Often with animating it can look okay from the side, but something isn't quite right, then look at it from the front and it becomes obvious that the abdomen needs to rotate or something like that.

    Also notice how the hips move, and the abdomen and chest counter-rotate to maintain balance. With a little practice you can work out a draft motion like this in maybe 1/2 hour or so.

    http://youtu.be/n9gkNCX_8Hw

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,411
    edited December 1969

    And here's the same motion from the rear so you can see the exaggerated hip motion. Hip motion is extremely important in any character animation, as is the motion of the abdomen/chest/spine. If you aren't animating all of those things, you may be leaving out some very important stuff...

    http://youtu.be/j9lmia7jGvY

  • futubabfutubab Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Okay dokey it looks like i got enough info here to get me started. THANX to you all. My first love isnt character animation it is rather modeling and scene layout and stuff. Ill give it a try.....

  • MiloMilo Posts: 310
    edited December 1969

    Some good info in this thread. Just giving a link.. Mark Bremmer has a walk cycle tutorial for a multi leg walk cycle (spider). just FYI http://www.markbremmer.com/3Bpages/darkarts.html

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    Hi argus - I wasn't being critical, just very interested. Some time ago when I was trying to get some bvh working in Carrara, I tried taking them through DS. The walks would work perfectly in DS, but in Carrara that ankle-crossing would happen. Used BVHacker to fix, but that also had problems because the skeleton in BVHacker doesn't have flesh, so it is difficult to judge just how much to adjust the bones by.

    This doesn't seem to be a problem taking them through Poser, although I haven't done that many, so can' say for sure.

    Then the realisation hit me - why on earth do we amateurs try to get real looking humans acting and moving like real humans? Not even Pixar tries to do that. So for me anyway, humans are for stills and cartoon characters are for animation.

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 460
    edited August 2012

    Roygee said:
    The walks would work perfectly in DS, but in Carrara that ankle-crossing would happen.

    I found out that his ankle-crossing problem wasn't Daz Studio's fault. I just forgot one step, that's all. The export-import process of animation from iClone to Daz Studio works flawlessly, but you have to have limits set off in Daz Studio. I had them on. Hence the ankle-crossing.

    While importing the animation in Carrara 8.5, I found out that using DUF gives impeccable results. With PFE and the browser, there will be ankle-crossing . Funny, quirky, but that's how Carrara is. I just checked.

    Here is the revised Genesis walk imported from iClone first in Daz Studio, then in Carrara 8.5 with DUF. All I had to do was turn the limits off to make it right.

    http://youtu.be/825IWk7snTk

    EDIT: I just checked again. If you used PoserFormatExporter to transfer the animation from Daz Studio to carrara, there won't be any ankle-crossing either. It's perfect, in Carrara 8.5 anyway.

    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,411
    edited December 1969

    Well, I spent an hour or so cleaning up my anim of a walk cycle up stairs. It's still pretty bad, too robotic and unnatural, but cleaning up splines for keyframes is my least favorite job in the world, so it will have to do for now.

    And the limitations of Carrara's anim abilities become clearer with an exercise like this...IK becomes a huge pain because it's too much work to deal with the dreaded "IK twitch" that you pretty much just have to live with in Carrara, while other apps handle it much better. And like I said before, you're only working on, say, 8 channels, but have to scroll thru 800 channels. And anim previews are terrible, so you have to render if you really want to see anything, which takes forever. And IK solving isn't realtime so you have to move your target, see where everything ends up, tweak it again, check, tweak, etc.

    I may be off on some of those, since I'm pretty rusty with animating in Carrara. But it's a pain nonetheless.

    Here's V4 climbing stairs. I was gonna have her do a little dance, but Carrara wore me out:

    http://youtu.be/Rc5VhVMSyOw

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    Yes, Joe - character animation in Carrara has fallen way behind - even DS is a lot less hassle.

    @argus - interesting - I find the feet meeting the ground fascinating. Is there some special function in iClone that gives the feet radar to detect any floor or do you have to have the floor she's going to walk on in there?

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,373
    edited December 1969

    iClone has a foot contact option that either means the foot bone will not pass through zero vertically or a prop added to the terrain
    the legs will bend as you lower the figures.
    I have tried imitating it in Carrara using target helpers tracking a plane in the y axis with values zero or greater but the feet will not "let go" when raised.

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 460
    edited August 2012

    Roygee said:
    @argus - interesting - I find the feet meeting the ground fascinating. Is there some special function in iClone that gives the feet radar to detect any floor or do you have to have the floor she's going to walk on in there?

    Depends. If the character is walking on an even floor, there is no problem. It can walk anywhere.

    But if it's an uneven floor, you have to have the floor that you are going to render imported in iClone. In my example, I made a simple terrain in Carrara (Insert/Terrain), which I imported in iClone as an OBJ and used with the "import to terrain" function . Then I put my character on a path, which I used with the "project to terrain" function (very cool). I made my animation using the "puppet motion" tool in iClone, with "foot contact" checked and exported it back to Carrara with 3dxchange pipeline. There, I just aligned the character with my original terrain.

    There is also a "hand contact" function, for character has to put his hand on a table or something. Moreover, a "reach" function has been introduced lately, if a character has to grab an apple from a tree, for example, as well as constraints if a character has to hold a sword with both hands. It all done automatically. Reallusion says they got these functions from high-end apps like MotionBuilder.

    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,373
    edited December 1969

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuoNR5C5gGU my attempt in Carrara
    cannot find my thread on old forum

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the information - iClone is looking more and more attractive. Perhaps that's where my savings will go instead of a Carrara upgrade?

    Wendy, did you know you can switch tracking on and off along the timeline - that may help when you want to lift the foot off the ground?

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,373
    edited December 1969

    yes, knew that, but I was trying to work out a way to do it with preloaded animations and no extra keyframing on my behalf!
    like iClone does.
    have a feeling it is doable but still need a brainwave, it is simply a matter of limiting translation beyond a set point for a foot or hand bone and posibly the code masters like Fenric or f1oat could do a plugin using the SDK if there were a demand.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,411
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    Thanks for the information - iClone is looking more and more attractive. Perhaps that's where my savings will go instead of a Carrara upgrade?

    Or just save your savings...learn to do it manually.

    Be bold, be brave...step out of the software doldrums...blaze a new path...learn a new skill...don't rely on an app for this, and an app for that....

    It's good fun, and good for you, too. :)

    Sorry...nevermind....lost my head...

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    Oh, I learned to do it manually a long, long time ago. When I first started in 3D, I was on Anim8or. There were no bvh imports or anything like that. The forum we were on had a monthly 30-second animation challenge and everything in the scene had to be home-made, original, never seen before.

    So, we did the lot - modelling, texturing, animation, all in one app. We were allowed to UV map in Classic, because Anim8or doesn't have the ability.

    But just because I have feet, it doesn't mean I have to walk everywhere - I'll use my car, bicycle, train, whatever as the occasion demands. It's all about efficiency, making the best use of what is available.

    I do miss those days - be great if we had something like that here.

  • UVDanUVDan Posts: 98
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    In addition to what Joe wrote - floating and foot slippage is also caused by using the traditional walk in place technique, then not matching length of stride and distance covered to the foot movement. Which is why I incorporate forward movement into the cycle.

    With so many excellent tools as mentioned before available, doing your own walk cycle is really just an exercise.

    For those who want to, Mark Bremmer has done an excellent Carrara-specific tutorial on a cycle for a spider, see http://www.markbremmer.com/3Bpages/DAS08spider.html

    One of the right legs is not moving on that spider.

  • UVDanUVDan Posts: 98
    edited August 2012

    Roygee said:
    Oh, I learned to do it manually a long, long time ago. When I first started in 3D, I was on Anim8or. There were no bvh imports or anything like that. The forum we were on had a monthly 30-second animation challenge and everything in the scene had to be home-made, original, never seen before.

    So, we did the lot - modelling, texturing, animation, all in one app. We were allowed to UV map in Classic, because Anim8or doesn't have the ability.

    But just because I have feet, it doesn't mean I have to walk everywhere - I'll use my car, bicycle, train, whatever as the occasion demands. It's all about efficiency, making the best use of what is available.

    I do miss those days - be great if we had something like that here.

    Please no!!! I would never go back to uv mapping in uv mapper classic.

    Post edited by UVDan on
  • UVDanUVDan Posts: 98
    edited December 1969

    argus1000 said:
    Roygee said:
    The walks would work perfectly in DS, but in Carrara that ankle-crossing would happen.

    I found out that his ankle-crossing problem wasn't Daz Studio's fault. I just forgot one step, that's all. The export-import process of animation from iClone to Daz Studio works flawlessly, but you have to have limits set off in Daz Studio. I had them on. Hence the ankle-crossing.

    While importing the animation in Carrara 8.5, I found out that using DUF gives impeccable results. With PFE and the browser, there will be ankle-crossing . Funny, quirky, but that's how Carrara is. I just checked.

    Here is the revised Genesis walk imported from iClone first in Daz Studio, then in Carrara 8.5 with DUF. All I had to do was turn the limits off to make it right.

    http://youtu.be/825IWk7snTk

    EDIT: I just checked again. If you used PoserFormatExporter to transfer the animation from Daz Studio to carrara, there won't be any ankle-crossing either. It's perfect, in Carrara 8.5 anyway.


    8.5 is out of Beta?? Do I just reset my downloads to get it?

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,411
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    But just because I have feet, it doesn't mean I have to walk everywhere - I'll use my car, bicycle, train, whatever as the occasion demands. It's all about efficiency, making the best use of what is available.

    Really? Efficiency?

    Sorry, I just find it kinda funny when guys in a hobbyist community talk about "efficiency". Not talking about you, but in general...

    Guys who will spend months or years playing around with software, and instead of read a book about basics to figure out what they're doing and maybe save themselves a few months or years of trial and error, they keep banging their heads against the wall. They'll spend weeks trying to figure out the best way to make the software produce a crappy result with some whiz-bang feature like smoke or fire or fluids or whatever, instead of spending 5 minutes in Photoshop or wherever doing a much better job manually. They'll spend their money, and lots of time, buying and figuring out some crappy, drag 'n drop content, instead of realizing they could do a much better job themselves, as well as save themselves money, if they'd just spend a little time learning how.

    Let's be honest, nothing here is about efficiency. It's about playing with software. Nothing wrong with that, but let's be honest. Kind of like a kid telling you that playing video games is the most efficient use of his time :)

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    Yes, it is about efficiency, regardless of your over-generalisation.

    Who are these people who struggle for years to produce crap instead of doing some book-learning? You'll find folks come here, ask a few questions, get some advice - very seldom will you see the results of what they do, what they've learned, where they've learned it from and how well they execute what they have learned. So how do you judge that they are struggling for years?

    Then you continually make the assumption that everyone can afford and has Photoshop and knows how to use it. On what basis do you make that assumption?

    Then you constantly assume that everyone has access to erudite, expensive books on all manner of CG- related subjects and can afford to buy them. Don't know about the rest of the world, but this is simply not so in my country - and Amazon doesn't do business with Africa.

    The fact of the matter is that in large studios there are teams of specialists who each do their part - hobbyists have to do all of it - so if they find methods of doing it better by buying content, using different software to achieve what they want, that is efficient use of time.

    May I suggest that you actually do some research into how individual hobbyists go about learning what they learn, instead of judging all by the very few results we get to see here, before generalising and painting all with the same brush.

    All theory is ultimately judged by empirical observation - in other words, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. After a few years of coming to this forum, I have yet to see anything done by you that makes me think - "wow, this guy really knows what he's on about, maybe his advice is worth taking to heart".

    Show and tell, mate, earn some creds.

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