Here is some of the research that I’ve done into walk cycles and creating them for my character NomNom. Just a few of the animations I’ve looked at in terms of walk cycles and for a childs walk.
To start these short research clips off, is possibly one of the greatest animated films of all time for character animation. Here’s the making of The Jungle Book created in 1967, Part 1 of 5, the final Disney film that truly had Walt’s touch.
The main animation I’m looking at here of course is the walk cycle of Mowgli. The actual character animation though works on the same findings I had taken from looking into Pinocchio. It was all based on an understanding of the character and the personality that is then defined and expressed through the characters animation. This is something that they define and whole heartly display within the film.
John Lasseter & Disney
We all know what John Lassetter has created with his great team at Pixar Studios, but this one was of the first tests he had done with some people at Disney with the use of 3D and 2D animation.
Here’s the extremes broken down of the childs movement that was based off of the character from ‘Where the wild things are’. I love the way he moves within the environment and keeps true to the characters personality and design, although he moves in a completely different way to what I had imagined for NomNom. He almost moves as a four legged animal but this goes towards him being a ‘wild thing’ or monster of some sort.
Ed, Edd & Eddy
A bit of an odd one, but after talking to some peers about the walk cycle and ideas for NomNom Freddie reminded me of Ed, Edd & Eddy, specifically looking at Ed’s character movement. The arc back is greatly characterised whenever Ed moves, which goes along his ‘dopey’ and child like manner but adds a sense of animated reality. The idea is that when someone walks, it’s the act of falling but catching yourself, the fact the Ed leans backwards shows how he’s almost backwards in terms of the way he thinks… he’s a bit slow.
This is a really nice feature and although NomNom isn’t exactly slow, it’s a style that want to try and incorporate.
Here’s some reference footage I had taken to test the walk with that backward motion and weight in mind.
Something I realised that was also quite useful to look at is the walk cycle I noticed of Winnie The Pooh.
At 1:26 into the footage you see Pooh walk over to Piglette with this very stiff but fast walk where his body is almost staying at a 90 degree angle to floor all the time. The maint point to take from this walk though is the way in which they animate Pooh’s legs whilst walking along. They bend outwards to the left as he lifts them to the passing position.
At 13.08 in this episode you see Pooh walk some more with more movement than the episode above, however there isn’t as much emphasis on the actual bending and angle on the passing foot as it lifts. What you do notice more though is the swinging arc motion of Poohs body, however it stays true to Pooh’s character and he stays very stiff whilst moving. To add the weight to the walk, they add a lot more of a drop and throw his body into the forward foot.