Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Animating a run cycle pt. 1: Basic leg motion

From: After Effects CS3: Animating Characters

Video: Animating a run cycle pt. 1: Basic leg motion

Once we have the composition set up, it's time to start animating and the animation on this is going to happen in a couple of different steps. First thing we are going to do is we are going to make the monster run or we are going to make Frank run and then we are going to make the girl scream and wave her arms and then we are going to join them together and animate them going through the scene. In fact let me show you the first step here. We are going to actually animate Frank running. So basically all this means is that his legs are going to move underneath him and this is essentially just a run cycle and when he actually comes into the scene here we are actually going to make him start here and just run through the scene.

Animating a run cycle pt. 1: Basic leg motion

Once we have the composition set up, it's time to start animating and the animation on this is going to happen in a couple of different steps. First thing we are going to do is we are going to make the monster run or we are going to make Frank run and then we are going to make the girl scream and wave her arms and then we are going to join them together and animate them going through the scene. In fact let me show you the first step here. We are going to actually animate Frank running. So basically all this means is that his legs are going to move underneath him and this is essentially just a run cycle and when he actually comes into the scene here we are actually going to make him start here and just run through the scene.

So in this cycle all that's really moving is the legs and the head. So let's go ahead to our project here. In fact let's go ahead all the way up to the top here. Go to our Desktop/Exercise Files/Monsterpiece/After Effects/Shot07_00A and this is just the blank scene. So it's basically a monster in the scene with the girl with no animation. Pretty much how we set it up in the last lesson.

So the first thing for animating a run is figure out how long is that cycle. In this case we have 16 frames per step or 32 frames for the cycle so right and left together equal 32 frames and 16 per foot so with a run let's choose some of the basics of how to animate that. We can start with one leg or the other. Now I have done a very nice thing for you in this. I have actually set up all the hierarchies and all the pivot points for this character.

We did that in the last lesson. We didn't really need to go over that again here so everything is pretty much ready to go, all the hierarchies and pivot points are set up so now it's just a matter of animating the feet and now here you can see I have broken the feet up into 3 parts. We have leg, shin and foot. Now I could animate these using the Puppet tool but one thing I can't animate is this motion here. That you really can't do.

The Puppet tool really can't make that legs slide underneath him like that. So I'm actually going to do this via just individual layers set up as a hierarchy because I think it's actually going to go faster for this particular animation so let's go ahead and start with the left foot or the left leg so what I'm going to do is just select those three layers and I'm going to expand them so I have a little bit more space and then first thing I'm going to do is just hit keys for Position and Rotation on all of these.

So that way I kind of just have that initial pose locked down but this really isn't going to be my initial pose. I want to actually extend it a little bit more so I'm going to go ahead and select the left leg, move it back a little bit and then I want to get that last push off. Basically what's the furthest that leg is going to go and that's going to be my extreme and that's where I'm going to start this animation. And I'm going to move up to the shin and I'm going to move up to the foot and just kind of get a nice extreme pose there.

Now I'm going to go through this to the right leg as well so I'm going to select all of these, expand them and while they are selected you can also just set keys for Position and Rotation and that will set them for everything. And now for this leg, again, I usually like working from the thigh down in this particular type of setup. So I'm going to go ahead and move this leg, rotate it maybe up a little bit more, then move down to the shin and just get a nice pose out of that.

That looks pretty good. So now this is a 16 frame cycle. So we can set another key at frame 16 which essentially just swaps these two, but instead of doing that I'm actually going to go to Frame 8, which is halfway through the cycle, and I'm going to do let's call the passing position. Now what the passing position is essentially where one leg passes the other. So let's go ahead and start with the left leg. I'm going to go ahead and move that forward just a little bit, rotate it down.

Now think about it. This leg is the leg that's moving forward so this is the leg that's actually off the ground. The right leg is moving back which means it's pushing the character forward so that one is going to be like what's planted on the ground. So the left leg, the free leg, is actually going to be off the ground so that means I need to bend that shin and position that and as this leg comes forward this foot is going to drag back almost like kind of it's along for the ride there and then we need to go back down to the right leg and make its position.

Now this is the planted leg. This is a leg that is planted on the ground so let's go ahead and make sure we have got a nice firm contact with the ground there and that looks pretty good. Now one of the things I'm doing here is I'm just doing Rotation keys. There maybe an occasion to do a Position key somewhere down the road so first thing I'm also going to just go through and copy and paste these Position keys to make sure that I have a key there in case I set a key later on and it's in between the wrong thing.

Alright let's go ahead and zoom that in a little bit. So there is my passing position but one of the things I'm noticing here is that I do need a position key here on the shin, the right shin, because there is a little bit of a gap there so let's just go ahead and push that up. There we go. So there is the beginning of that first step. Now let's go ahead and move over to the end of the step, so Frame 16. Now in Frame16 what's going to happen? This right leg is going to go back so let's go ahead and just start with the right leg.

That rotates back and it actually will move back up because his hip is actually going to rotate back. And go ahead and move that shin a little bit and let's go ahead and move that leg out. Again I'm trying to make the exact opposite. So what does that look like? Let's make that right leg look pretty close. I might have that bent a little too much there, go ahead and there we go. Kinda bring that leg down just a little bit. And now let's go to the left leg and that's going to be forward . In fact it's going to move forward because that right hip is going to come forward a little bit. And that foot is going to be- that's where the foot plants down so again I need to front of this left leg here. There we go.

OK so that's essentially that first step. Now there is a little bit of a problem here. If we look, this is just fine. But right there he's kind of off balance a little bit, right there on Frame 12. It looks like this right leg, that foot doesn't really look planted, so I'm going to go ahead and straighten out this leg as much as I can and I'm going to push that back so that way I have got a little bit more time where his foot is planted on the ground.

Now this is just rough. There is a little bit of problems here but we will tweak that as we go and then this left leg as it comes forward again this knee is going to be bent a little bit more so I'm going to add in another key here. Again we are at Frame 12. We are halfway between the passing position and that other extreme and also here, that foot is going to be dragging back as well. So now there we go. So it kind of pops out right there.

So that's the first step so let's go ahead from here and I'm going to break it here and then I'm going to show you how to make the second step and also how to cycle the animation.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS3: Animating Characters
After Effects CS3: Animating Characters

43 video lessons · 17738 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 26s
    1. Welcome
      1m 30s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      56s
  2. 24m 25s
    1. Project overview
      3m 12s
    2. Original storyboard
      2m 36s
    3. Organizing production directories
      3m 56s
    4. Using a rough soundtrack for shot timing
      1m 58s
    5. Creating a Leica reel in Premiere Pro
      7m 17s
    6. Tracking projects
      3m 1s
    7. Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects
      2m 25s
  3. 47m 12s
    1. Segmenting Photoshop characters
      7m 54s
    2. Importing Photoshop files into After Effects
      3m 55s
    3. Linking character parts
      5m 25s
    4. Animating blinks using Opacity
      8m 19s
    5. Animating the arm
      9m 57s
    6. Animating the needle and thread and the monster's hand
      11m 42s
  4. 54m 9s
    1. Introduction to subcompositions
      5m 32s
    2. Setting up nested compositions
      4m 29s
    3. Animating a run cycle pt. 1: Basic leg motion
      8m 45s
    4. Animating a run cycle pt. 2: Overlap and follow-through
      5m 4s
    5. Putting the girl in his arms
      8m 24s
    6. Animating a screaming girl pt. 1: The arms
      9m 49s
    7. Animating a screaming girl pt. 2: The head
      12m 6s
  5. 32m 5s
    1. The basics of the Puppet tool
      5m 37s
    2. Creating bounce with the Puppet tool
      5m 55s
    3. Dig cycles pt. 1: Introduction
      2m 9s
    4. Dig cycles pt. 2: Shovel
      4m 54s
    5. Dig cycles pt. 3: Arms and body
      11m 3s
    6. Dig cycles pt. 4: Finalizing
      2m 27s
  6. 47m 32s
    1. Creating a monster pt. 1: Introduction
      2m 35s
    2. Creating a monster pt. 2
      10m 42s
    3. Creating a monster pt. 3
      12m 34s
    4. Creating a monster pt. 4
      4m 39s
    5. Creating a monster pt. 5: Finalizing
      4m 22s
    6. Creating smoke and bubble cycles
      7m 34s
    7. Creating a dry brush effect
      5m 6s
  7. 23m 9s
    1. The basics of lip syncing
      3m 8s
    2. Setting up mouths for animation with time mapping
      7m 21s
    3. Animating the lips
      6m 23s
    4. Animating the head and body
      6m 17s
  8. 14m 54s
    1. Rendering with After Effects
      4m 4s
    2. Editing with Premiere Pro
      4m 9s
    3. Final output and audio
      6m 41s
  9. 10s
    1. Goodbye
      10s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects CS3: Animating Characters .

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.