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All animators must learn to walk before they can run. In 2D Character Animation, industry expert George Maestri teaches the basic principles every animator must know to build a foundation for more complex work. These principles are relevant regardless of software used or animation style. George explains how good animation depends on a firm knowledge of the laws of motion, which inform the principles of animation. He teaches the basics of creating characters, squash and stretch, pose-to-pose animation, walking and running, track reading, and dialogue animation. He also shows how to use After Effects and Flash to apply the tools learned in the course. Exercise files accompany this course.
So, now we have the walk pretty much animated. Now all we need to do is add a few final touches to really bring it to life. Let's take a look at what we have so far. Now, at this point we have a pretty good solid walk, but we can also add in little bit of squash and stretch, as well as one other little thing, which is how this line of this shirt is animated. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to go ahead and turn off the arms, so we can see this completely. Let's take a look at the line between the shirt and the pants.
So, as we scrub through it, you will see that well, it doesn't change. But what this line represents is really the angle that we are looking at this particular part of the body. So, as the hips rotate up, this line will change. So, by animating that edge, you're going to get a much better type of animation. So, what I'm going to do is just turn on a little bit of shape animation on that shirt. So, what it does is it now, instead of going from basically concave, it goes to convex and what this does, just by changing the animation of just this little line, it makes it look like his hips are moving.
It gives them a much more 3D effect and all I'm doing is really just animating that edge using a little bit of shape animation. So, just by doing that we have a much more realistic walk. In fact, let's go ahead and turn the arms back on and take a look at this. So, as you can see he has got a much better kind of a hip sway just by animating that. Now, we can add a little more fun to the animation just by giving it some more squash and stretch. We're just going to go ahead and start by squashing and stretching the body at the hips.
So, as he comes down into this recoil position, he is actually going to scale up just a little bit. Again, he is stretching and his mass wants to stretch down and then as he pushes up into the passing position, then we're going to have actually much more of a squash. So, now we have something like this. So, as he comes in he squashes up and then he straightens out again.
So, now let's go ahead and copy this to the second half of the cycle and let's go ahead and play this. So, you can see just by adding a little bit of scaling to the body, you get much better kind of a bounciness to the character. Now, there's one more little detail that I'd love to play with it and that's the character's hat. Because this hat is going to squash and stretch as well and actually because it's right there at the top of the head, it's a really good indication of how the character squashes and stretches. So, I'm going to go to this recoil position and I'm going to go ahead and stretch the hat.
So, I'm going to go ahead and squish it down this way and lengthen it this way and maybe even pull it up a little bit on his head. So, now as he is coming down, that hat is resisting the motion. Again, this is just secondary motion. It wants to stay in place and then as it pushes up, the hat squashes and again, I'm just going to go ahead and set it down on his head a little bit.
This is going to be pushed up into his head and then all we have to do is just finalize that for the cycle. So, now we've got the hat kind of coming off of his head, being pushed up and then coming back down. So, if we cycle this, we'd get something like this. So, there you have it. We have a complete walk cycle with a lot of squash and stretch, a little bit of realism and it looks pretty good.
So, as you animate your walk cycle, remember the general process is to make sure to pin down the hips and the feet. Then you can fill in with legs and then work your way up the body. And if your character is a little cartoony, you can add in some squash and stretch. So, be sure to take all of these bits of advice into consideration when animating your character's walking. Now, every character is going to be different, so you're going to have to pick and choose which bits of advice to use, but it all kind of comes together and you can see how a walk, it really is a whole system of body parts moving together.
And if you animate a character walking effectively, you should be able to animate just about anything else.
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