Anybody have advice/ animating walk cycle???

futubabfutubab Posts: 0
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

Ive been using carrara for many years and am not new to most features including bones and consstraints but have never been able to make a character walk cycle. My goal : takethe toon generations poser character and make a repeating walk cycle animation and have the character move on a motion path. Any ideas or tuts. Im blank. Carrara 8 PRO

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Comments

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,420
    edited December 1969

    Hmmm...and this is the part where you have to figure out what the OP really wants... :)

    Well, if you really want to animate a walk cycle from scratch, there's a ton of reference material I can direct you to.

    But in my experience in these forums, what people really want is some free, prepackaged, drag and drop solutions. Is that what you're asking for?

  • futubabfutubab Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Ya i dont think toon gnerations character comes with any animated poses. Ive seen itdone in a vid tut how the walk cycle pose was just Duplicated in the timeline. So i dont have that. Whats this refernce materiel all about. I like a challenge. Pardon my iphone keyboard spelling!!

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,420
    edited December 1969

    Are you really sure? 'Cuz you'd be like the first ever person in this forum to actually ask how to do a walk cycle from scratch. And I guarantee you'll get like 27 guys listing all of the free or cheap animations you can download and apply to your character. And it won't require any work whatsoever, while making a walk cycle requires quite a bit of work. And it can be kinda tedious.

    So are you really, really sure?

  • futubabfutubab Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    No im not sure. I thought there was some technique involving target helpers or something that i could easily figure out once someone gave some hints. Too bad carrara doesnt have a manual like other programs. But anyway i use the toon generations base charctr and dont know about any drag and drop walk cycles. Ya whatever bring on 27 ideas. I have no idea where to start other than i may purchase philW training dvd. I searched youtube and theres. Nothin proper there. ????

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,392
    edited December 1969

    well if you do not want JoeMomma's technically correct approach, and willing to settle for precanned, the Poser walk designer universal animations load fine in Carrara and you can create an nla (non-linear animation) clip from them and loop it.
    the character walks on the spot so you can transform it where you wish.
    you may need to tweak the pose for a non-standard character.
    which character is it?
    If it is from P7 or P8 debut, I would have it and can see what works.
    alternatively doing a side view with a video of someone walking in the backdrop and keyframing matched movements by moving limbs could work if you are really keen.
    26 more suggestions to go ;-P

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,420
    edited August 2012

    There is a TON of information and reference materials and videos if you want to make your own walk cycle. If you want an exaggerated "toon" walk cycle, or a regular human walk cycle, or any combination, you can find something. If you really want to do it that way, you'd import the video or individual images into Carrara as a background (or whatever it's called) and use that as a reference. There's also a trillion YouTube videos, etc., and music videos, etc., unrelated to walk cycles, but have people moving and walking, that you can download and use as reference, depending on what you want. All you have to do is search the internet for "walk cycle" and you'll get a bunch, I'm sure.

    Or you can download premade files, mostly in BVH format, that you may be able to apply to your character. Some are free, and some have a nominal fee. Just search for "BVH" and "motion capture". Or you can download (for a fee), some from the DAZ store or any other 3D store. Or if you're really enterprising you can take your cellphone or video camera and video yourself or others and use that as reference.

    Keep in mind that many/most of the prepackaged animations are done by people who think "heck, I know how to walk, so I can make an animation" and then proceed to forget how to walk naturally and overact to the point that it looks kinda silly. So if you want some natural looking stuff you may have to be a bit selective...

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,392
    edited August 2012

    I just tried Jimmy toon from 3DU, I do not know if that is the figure you have.
    Poser walks do not work, rigging wrong
    Paid!!!! Daz aniblocks do (but you need the aniblock importer or animate2 in Daz studio to bake to keyframes and export using PFE script)
    FREE!!!!!!! Daz friendly Carnigie Mellon mocaps also work in studio, again export from studio as Poser format using PFE as BVH file load crap on figures in Carrara

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    Post edited by JaguarElla on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,392
    edited December 1969

    yeah, the feet need ankle adjusting, that was an aniblock straight out the box!

  • futubabfutubab Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thanx t all for the input. Ah yes bvh mo cap. Now i remember i have some of them kicken around that i might try. I dont use daz studio so i wont try any of that. I use the character " toon generations" In case someone wants to know. Its from 3d universe on the daz store. I was hoping to animate him myself by usingtarget helpers and some keyframing. Well ill keep playin around.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,585
    edited August 2012

    Target helpers can help create a walk cycle, but with the method you're asking about, you could just as easily use the figure's own IK and do it.


    Here are some very basic suggested steps:

    1) Create one walk cycle.

    2) Select the character in the instances pane and select the NLA track.

    3) Choose Create Master Clip. A dialogue will open with various options. You want the Delete Keframes box checked. The Loop Offset usually works best using the hip. Any other options I tend to leave as-is.

    4) Once the clip is created it appears in the clips tab. From there you can name it and drag it to your Clips Browser for future use.
    5) Drag and drop your clip in the NLA track. repeat as many times as you'd like.

    6) For other options, such as smooth transitions between clips, select the clip and go to the general tab and adjust your options there.

    7) Create a motion path and draw your line. Move to the end of the timeline and advance the distance along path to the end. Adjust as needed to correct for foot slippage.


    You can create multiple NLA tracks for your figure and layer them.

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    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • futubabfutubab Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Evilproducer thats exactly what i want. And i am somewhat familiar to NLA tracks. However step one is what elludes me. To create the basic walk cycle.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,585
    edited December 1969

    futubab said:
    Evilproducer thats exactly what i want. And i am somewhat familiar to NLA tracks. However step one is what elludes me. To create the basic walk cycle.


    That's the part that takes work. Unfortunately, I can't help to much with that as I have had only middling success at creating a walk. Target helpers can be useful, but I was hoping that once I was done using them to animate my figure and save the clip I could delete them. Unfortunately, I still need them to use the clip. If I delete them the whole works goes screwy. I've tried it without the targets grouped with the figure and with them grouped. And I wouldn't even think about sticking a figure with Target helpers in replicator. All the replicated figures distort trying to track the original targets. Not the replicated targets.


    One thing I've had a little success with is I use the front view (with grid visible) to try and adjust the side to side movement of the hips and torso. I'll use a right or left view and use the grid to help with placement of feet, travel etc. I'll use the hip to translate the up and down of the figure through the walk, but I'll use the top level of the figure to translate forward movement and use that to avoid the dreaded foot slippage. Once I have the walk how I want it (HA!) I'll delete the keyframes for the forward translation of the figure from the top level, convert to an NLA clip and curse the crappy job I did.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,585
    edited August 2012

    Forgot to add that you can also use BVH and also convert those to NLAs. You'll probably have to do a lot adjustments.

    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,392
    edited December 1969

    those Daz friendly CMU BVH clips I linked to in my previous post work quite well in Daz studio though, Carrara imports BVH well as a seperate skeleton but does not do as good a job as studio matching bone movements to existing figures.
    hence the convert to pz2 using the Poser format exporter script ( free in the Daz store) suggestion.
    you can then delete translation keyframes in Carrara and create an nla clip that can be looped.
    since it worked on Billy who is a toon generations figure by 3du it should on the one you have too.

  • ps1borgps1borg Posts: 9,857
    edited December 1969

    futubab said:
    No im not sure. I thought there was some technique involving target helpers or something that i could easily figure out once someone gave some hints. Too bad carrara doesnt have a manual like other programs. But anyway i use the toon generations base charctr and dont know about any drag and drop walk cycles. Ya whatever bring on 27 ideas. I have no idea where to start other than i may purchase philW training dvd. I searched youtube and theres. Nothin proper there. ????


    NB: There are many paths to the one destination, mmv.

    A basic walk cycle - keyframes for one leg illustrated. If available, use inverse kinematics to pin each stationary foot in place on the "floor"" You make keyframes for both legs and hip, which will drag the torso and head along with it. After you finished making the keyframes you will have a basic walk cycle you can copy pasta across a timeline, changing the BODY position at the beginning of the cycle to suit. One walk cycle will be a cycle of ( (keyframes + inbetweens) -1), otherwise the animation will seem to stop as each cycle ends.

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  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,420
    edited December 1969

    If you really want to do a walk cycle from scratch (let me guess, he's gonna suggest you study the basics....) I suggest you do a tiny bit of research. There are a few concepts that are really, really important in understanding how people move. It's not just a matter of moving the legs, there's a lot more to it.

    Like I say, there's tons of info out there. I did a couple minutes of searching and found this link which at first glance seems to have the right approach to understanding what's involved. If nothing else at least spend a few minutes reading thru it, there's some interesting principles we follow when we move, and knowing them might make your production much nicer.

    http://www.fjasmin.net/walk_cycle_tutorial/index.html

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,585
    edited December 1969

    Joe, there's no one here suggesting not to do research, so there's no reason to act as the long suffering voice in the wilderness that no one listens to. For instance, my posts were more related to the mechanics of saving the cycle in Carrara once the OP achieved the cycle he wanted. Wendy suggested a BVH, which is also a legitimate route.


    Hell, I remember re-watching Disney's Snow White a couple years ago and was surprised to realize They used rotoscoping. There was a group scene and the characters were dancing. It was clearly a rotoscoped sequence, where the rotoscoping was used to help the animators with the movement of the characters. Clearly rotoscoping isn't motion capture, but it's an early cousin.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotoscope

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,420
    edited December 1969

    Dude, I was responding to ps1borg's very simplistic explanation of a walk cycle. My point was that with 2 minutes of internet searching you can come up with some very nice, very free, detailed explanations of how people walk and move, and if you really want to do it manually there's a lot more to it than just moving legs in 4 poses. There's weight, and balance, and emotion, etc.

    Why jump on me? I'm trying to help.

    How about this: "Cool, thanks for the link, it has some useful stuff that I hadn't considered". Y'know, common courtesy.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,585
    edited December 1969

    Dude, I was responding to ps1borg's very simplistic explanation of a walk cycle. My point was that with 2 minutes of internet searching you can come up with some very nice, very free, detailed explanations of how people walk and move, and if you really want to do it manually there's a lot more to it than just moving legs in 4 poses. There's weight, and balance, and emotion, etc.

    Why jump on me? I'm trying to help.

    How about this: "Cool, thanks for the link, it has some useful stuff that I hadn't considered". Y'know, common courtesy.


    My apologies then. BTW, I did study the linked page. Very good points. I found that some of them I already did, just executed poorly.

  • edited December 1969

    Have you tried puppeteer? If I was building from scratch this is what I would use in daz

  • foleyprofoleypro Posts: 264
    edited December 1969

    Well for me its always been useing BVH files in Poser and saveing the info out as a BVH and then applying to the same figure in DS...
    I love the Poser's Walk designer

    With the kinetic its a breeze....

    With Bvh its just a little tweaking in DS to get it right

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    I have a slightly different approach to the traditional walk in place then translate, which is very difficult to do without floating and foot slippage. I use the traditional four positions, but just as the back foot leaves the ground, I move the hips forward to be over the front foot. That makes an actual step, gives the impression of weight and pushing off on the back foot. Then it's easy to measure the length of the stride and match the distance to be walked.

    Fully agree that it is a lot easier to do in Studio using Puppeteer because you can match left and right side exactly. Can't imagine why they never implemented Puppeteer the same way in Carrara. Poser's walk designer is also great.

  • BC RiceBC Rice Posts: 479
    edited December 1969

    I think regular old Animate/Aniblocks w/ Carrara importer is the easiest way to go. I love 'em. They're not super customizable (I'd say just completely delete a limb's corresponding keyframes if you want to make adjustments to that limb) but the Mixamo website is pretty customizable. If I remember right you can just cue up and adjust the movement the way you want it, save it and then buy that movement.

    If you're really interested in doing it by hand, I 'd probably just focus on key poses. Get your key poses in, then put a keyframe at the 50% mark between those keys, make adjustments, then put another one at the 50% mark, make adjustments, and then another one and maje adjustments. So if you had, say, 8 key poses, you then multiply by two (16) and then multiply by two (32), then another two (64) easing you tweens along the way. Should get you started in the right direction.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,420
    edited August 2012

    My fuzzy recollection from the last time I tried to animate a character in Carrara using IK was that I finally threw up my hands in frustration, and decided to disconnect all the IK and just do it by hand. I recall that Carrara is missing some of the basic tools needed to automate and rig the character, and compensating (ie, fighting the IK) is more work than it's worth.

    For example, when you lower the hips on the Z axis you generally want the knees to bend, not lock. And during a walk you want to lock the toe on the floor and raise the heel as the hip goes forward. And you also might want the hips or other body parts to be positioned automatically to maintain balance (eg, halfway between the legs). And so on. BTW, those are probably bad examples, and I'm sure there are ways to get those to happen, but in a general sense, when you're talking about rigging an entire character's legs, feet, arms, etc., the rigging tools required become fairly complicated. But with Carrara I recall it was real difficult or impossible to rig that kind of stuff satisfactorily, and I spent too much time trying to fight the IK to make all that happen.

    In any case, doing it manually (FK) is too much of a pain with any significant animation IMO, so I tend to write Carrara off for any serious character animation, unless you use motion capture stuff I suppose.

    BTW, if anyone's interested, you can probably do a search for "character rigs" or something like that and find a video of what I'm referring to. There's quite a bit that goes into a complete rig for a professional animator for the arms and legs alone. Not to mention the facial rigs for eyes, mouth, etc.

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,392
    edited December 1969

    here's one! that I just got emailed about by papasmrfe who I follow on sharecg!

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 2,877
    edited December 1969

    maybe the hardest thing is stopping the foot slide -
    if you use a cube object as a target helper to mark where your foot is at each step it helps a lot

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,420
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    maybe the hardest thing is stopping the foot slide -
    if you use a cube object as a target helper to mark where your foot is at each step it helps a lot

    Is this not fixed by using a linear interpolation on those curves, and making sure the IK target isn't moving between frames?

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 2,877
    edited August 2012

    don't know Joe :)
    I admit i'm a crappy animator :)
    this is the last time I d id a walk cycle - in 2009 - with morph targets and a hand made mesh

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfo-DRglT9A

    Post edited by head wax on
  • BC RiceBC Rice Posts: 479
    edited December 1969

    I think it's also worth noting that it's probably a bad idea to actually try and incorporate forward movement of the character until you've completed your walk cycle. Like just worry about getting him walking in place effectively, then once you have that, you can move and resize your model however to create the illusion of movement. That's what I always do in Flash and traditional animation stuff.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    Joe is so right about using Carrara rigs in an animation - which is why I prefer to rig in DS. What he says about professional riggers is spot on - I saw a video of a professional rigging in Blender and it is very different to what we get with Poser/Daz content - lots more bones, especially in the feet -even bones outside the feet which are not allocated to mesh but control other bones. Also in the past there was a problem with those default target helpers attaching themselves to other objects in the scene, with really weird results.

    Something I picked up on walk cycles is when you make an IK chain, first thing to do is delete the default boxes it makes and replace them with target helper objects. There is less play and somehow they pin better.

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