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Animating a Run Cycle
Animating a Run Cycle
Theremina, updated 2006-11-23 22:18:56 UTC 216,475 views  Rating:
(11 ratings)
Page 3 of 4

Rotating the feet to the outside

This point is really simple, during the whole animation (unless you want other way), you have to rotate a little the feet towards the outside... it's the usual we do...

Moving out the feet in Passing

It's possible that we have to rotate the feet even more to the outside in Passing. It's usual to get ride of room to let the foot pass and that it goes through the ground.

You can avoid it in two ways:

- Lifting the leg to have more room.
- Rotating the foot even more.

More animation in the hips...

Right now the hip should only have the going up / down animation (the one that gives us the rythm).
To end with this part of the character we'll have to animate a little more .

Left to be done...

* Translation from left to right side (TranslateX in Max and Maya).

click for larger version

The TX curve should looks like that ...

* Rotation from left to right side - ( RotateZ in Max) � (

click for larger version

* Left and Right Rotation Vertically - (RotateY in Max) � (RotateZ in Maya).

click for larger version

The spine

The whole spine animation is done rotating controls. You have to animate the 3 axes (RX, RY, RZ).

Towards and backwrds rotation - (RotateX in Max and Maya).

click for larger version

RX curves with overlapping. I recommend you to overlap the curves after finishing the whole spine animation.

Initially the curved pose is the passing pose, while the less curved one is in the high pose.
Once you have done the overlapping, the more and less curved pose will be a bit delayed in time.

* The left and right rotation vertically - (RotateY in Max) � (RotateZ in Maya).


click for larger version

* The left and right rotation horizontally - (RotateZ in Max) � (RotateY in Maya).

Both this case and the previous one, the spine has to be adjusted "by parts". What I mean is that the chest zone rotates more than the lower part. So it's usual to have different values depending on which part you are animating (low-middle-high).

click for larger version

An important side note is that the rotation is always done towards the feet that is ahead.

The head

The head should be animated as a spine extension, and therefore animated almost the same way.

Generally the head has less movement than the spine. It's a common mistake to overanimate the head, and that will give a "crazy" look to the head... having too many movement.

Again we have to try to look the inertia and fit the head movement to the body movement.
In a simple run and walk cycles, (standard, without an actitude), the head usually looks ahead.

Just like in the spine, the head, we animate all the rotation axes (RX, RY, RZ).

* Up and down rotation- (RotateX in Max and Maya).

It's a better choice to begin posing the head straight, looking ahead, in the main frames (0-5-10-15-20).

click for larger version

* Left and right rotation - (RotateY in Max) � (RotateZ in Maya).

click for larger version

* Left and right rotation - (RotateZ in Max) � (RotateY in Maya).

click for larger version

In the previous steps we are trying to achieve that the head remains straight but not rigid.

The most simple, but also a very handy thing to do, is to key the frames at 0 � 10 � 20 (High Pose) so that the head looks ahead.
Ideally, with time and practice, it's a matter of playing with the head animation curves and seeing the different results you get with several values.


  • jawahar_3Dmaya

    jawahar_3Dmaya said over 7 years ago:

    good .. thank you..
  • michelpaul

    michelpaul said over 7 years ago:

    Thank you for this tutorial, easy to follow and interesting. If you 'd like to have a transcription in french, I could do that for you. Mp
  • alli.naresh112128

    alli.naresh112128 said about 7 years ago:

    very very interesting
  • bunmatoyota

    bunmatoyota said almost 7 years ago:

    very very interesting
  • JubbaTheHott

    JubbaTheHott said over 6 years ago:

    thanks - very helpful and interesting! the videos links are no longer valid, just FYI
  • jayson senatin

    jayson senatin said over 4 years ago:

    Nice tutorial thx I share this link aswell hope will help some others!!!

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