# Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics

## Video: Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics

Now, it's time to make our character walk. Walk-cycles are very complex. There are lots of things going on. I'm just going to try to show you these essentials. Many people spend years studying animation, myself included, to try to come up with realistic ways to make your characters believable. First of all you can use a reference image. You can also use motion capture. That I have spent quite a bit of time studying as well. But for reference images make sure that you have your background image coming up here and this is an outside plate that was shot of me walking up to the building.

## Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics

Now, it's time to make our character walk. Walk-cycles are very complex. There are lots of things going on. I'm just going to try to show you these essentials. Many people spend years studying animation, myself included, to try to come up with realistic ways to make your characters believable. First of all you can use a reference image. You can also use motion capture. That I have spent quite a bit of time studying as well. But for reference images make sure that you have your background image coming up here and this is an outside plate that was shot of me walking up to the building.

There are 430 frames that we are going to animate. Make sure Auto Refresh is turned on and that it's a movie. This is 25% reduction; there is another movie in that same one that's the full HD version in case you want to work with that. Working in full HD just has a lot more detail. All right, so first we want to key the location of the IKs in the rest position. This is called the Reference Position and what you want to do is establish a repeatable position that the character can go back through, so that you always can kind of get your bearings and kind of reset.

So we are going to go ahead and press I and Loc, and that locks in an IPO for every Empty. Now that Empty is always at Frame 1, I can always go back to and copy these keys that are shown right here. All right, then we are also going to be moving the Armature, but we are not going to be moving the Armature object during the walk-cycle. During the walk-cycle we are going to be moving the whole body, and so that's the root. So what we want to do is create a new action called Walk, and we don't need these hand bones here.

So we can b and then left drag, click box, select all these channels and press X to erase those channels. What we do want to do is select the root bone and key its location and rotation, because your body sways and turns as it's moving through space. So now we are going Up Arrow a couple of times and we can see that I enter the frame right around, Frame 15 here, you can start to see me come into play, actually a little bit before that Frame 3.

So really are pretty much coming right away. The first foot to hit is my right foot that clicks right there at this frame. So what I want to do is I want to go ahead and move my character from the rest position into what I call the Step Out Position, which is the first major pose that your character will reach as he starts to walk. So this is kind of the first step, and that gets him into a moving kind of position. So we are going to move the IK target for the right foot out and key that location of that target, and then we are going to right-click on the root bone and move the guy out and a little bit to the right, because as you are walking now you start to put all your weight on the right foot.

So once he looks pretty good and we are going to drag him down a little bit because the weight is coming down on that right foot. And once he is in a pretty good position we are going to key that location and rotation. So now we have two keys for both the root bone as well as for the IK. Let me drag that over here, with a pretty smooth transition in between the two of them. So now if we play this motion, we can transition from the rest position and to apart where we have now made contact with the right foot.

Now let's just keep working on the right foot, we see that the right foot actually stays in place until right about this frame right here, and then starts to pick up from here. So right at this frame we want to right- click on this key and drag it over it to match on this frame. So now the IK stays in that position for this frame range. Once we have done that we see that the left foot now is starting to move. So we are going to select this right foot IK target and I'm just going to go ahead and flip to Layer 13 only and that reveals only my IKs around that layer.

So backing up, now what happens to the left foot? Well, as the right foot comes forward we have to assume the left foot now has launched off from this position. And it's starting and is moving through space and comes on the frame right here and right there at Frame 21 makes contact. So we are going to move this guy out there because we are already at Frame 21. We are going to move him out one stride length. Normally your stride length is half of your height, I'm going to guess that this is about 1, 2, 3 units or so for a six-foot person.

And we are using one Blender, using just one foot, and we key the location there. Meanwhile the skeleton has come forward, so if we Shift-click, now we are seeing the mesh and the skeleton, still being deforms. Now we'd right-click on the root bone and move this guy forward and you can see how the bones come into play. And he is going to rest a little bit. And now he is walking along. So we are going to key this location here as well, and now we have pretty much our first sliding or skating walk-cycle.

What we want to do next now is pick the feet up, we don't want to shuffle and wear out our shoes. So we are going to look at this IK and notice only the Y axis is changing. So now we have to make it into a step to where it's lifted up. So about half way through this cycle, we're just going to lift this IK up and key the location up there. If we want to get fancy we could key just the Z location and let the X, and the Y go.

That's kind of getting ahead of ourselves. And then we want to do the same then for the first opening frames for this motion, for the right foot. So the first we've framed it may look kind of silly, but we'll keep working at it. And that's what you do to key the locations of the IKs and the bones to match your reference footage. So let's come back when that's all done.

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#### This video is part of

Blender Essential Training

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1. ### Introduction

12m 5s
1. Welcome
1m 16s
2. Using the exercise files
58s
3. Using Blender's full capabilities
4m 16s
4. Getting and installing Blender
3m 8s
5. Mouse and keyboard differences on the Mac
2m 27s
2. ### 1. The Blender Interface

1h 6m
1. Blender oddities
7m 38s
2. Introducing the User Interface, Console, and Render windows
3m 8s
3. Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow
6m 27s
4. Using the mouse and tablet on a PC or a Mac
5m 7s
5. Acquiring keyboard skills
7m 38s
6. Window panes and types
7m 53s
7. Exploring the default scene
5m 53s
8. Setting themes, UI colors, and user preferences
4m 0s
9. Understanding how to safeguard your data with autosave and backups
6m 52s
7m 27s
11. Using the open-source movies and assets
4m 18s
3. ### 2. Modeling

2h 7m
1. Working with objects in 3D space
6m 24s
2. Navigating 3D views
4m 23s
3. Understanding Blender modes
1m 51s
4. Understanding meshes
2m 8s
5. Editing a mesh
3m 28s
6. Using the Mirror modifier
2m 55s
7. Working with Vertex groups
2m 35s
3m 52s
9. Working with text objects
5m 23s
10. Using reference images
3m 38s
11. Modeling boots by extruding circles and joining meshes
8m 59s
12. Applying the Mirror modifier to duplicate the boot and rotate
1m 58s
13. Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier
7m 14s
14. Modeling a belt and pants by making a compound object from multiple primitive objects
3m 51s
15. Modeling legs by using edge loops and the Knife tool
6m 9s
16. Modeling a chest and arms using edge loops
5m 30s
17. Stitching the shoulders and neck
5m 13s
18. Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool
9m 4s
19. Linking vertices to create knuckle joints
4m 7s
20. Reinforcing modeling basics to create the face, eyes, nose, and ears
13m 6s
3m 54s
22. Sculpting basics
3m 3s
23. Using the Subsurf modifier to smooth
2m 34s
24. Parenting
2m 7s
25. Working with groups
2m 1s
26. Understanding the endless possibilities for editing mesh with modifiers
2m 37s
27. Duplicating objects using the Array modifier
1m 54s
28. Modeling a set
7m 52s
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39m 41s
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4m 25s
2. Using the Omni lamp
4m 50s
3. Working with the Area lamp
2m 57s
4. Using the Spot lamp
4m 9s
5. Using the Sun, Sky, and Atmosphere lamps
4m 51s
6. Using the Hemisphere lamp
2m 3s
7. Working with Ambient and Radiosity lighting
7m 34s
8. Lighting with three-point and other multipoint lighting rigs
5m 30s
3m 22s

1h 21m
1. Realism overview
2m 56s
2. Creating a world in less than seven days
6m 36s
3. Applying ambient occlusion
3m 47s
4. Working with basic materials
3m 24s
5. Working with node materials
4m 27s
6. Applying Pipeline options
2m 51s
7. Painting vertices
3m 13s
7m 59s
9. Using mirrors
4m 41s
10. Working with transparency
4m 28s
11. Using halos
2m 40s
12. Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)
4m 26s
13. Applying textures
9m 34s
14. Mapping image textures to an object to create a decal
4m 19s
15. UV unwrapping
4m 54s
16. Applying multiple materials to a single object
3m 31s
17. Painting in 3D
4m 14s
18. Using bump maps
3m 14s
6. ### 5. Animation

1h 25m
1. Understanding animation
4m 14s
2. Keyframing objects
6m 15s
3. Keyframing materials
3m 14s
4. Creating Shape keys
2m 28s
5. Creating Facial Shape key animation using reference video
2m 12s
6. Animating by combining Shape keys
2m 53s
7. Working with lattices
3m 37s
8. Using hooks
1m 30s
9. Working with Vertex groups
2m 33s
10. Creating armature objects
3m 44s
11. Mirroring armatures for bilateral creatures
3m 43s
12. Attaching mesh to the armature by way of skinning
5m 7s
13. Posing a character
4m 43s
14. Using inverse kinematics
4m 29s
15. Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics
6m 34s
16. Completing the walk cycle
3m 49s
17. Limiting range of motion and degrees of freedom
3m 47s
18. Managing actions using the Action Editor
3m 52s
19. Blending actions together using the Non-Linear Animation Editor
4m 34s
20. Tracking
3m 2s
21. Following a path
2m 21s
22. Mimicking an existing animation
3m 47s
23. Using the grease pencil
2m 56s
7. ### 6. Simulation

50m 43s
1. Understanding particle systems
2m 20s
2. Working with game engine physics
3m 52s
3. Spewing particles
7m 25s
4. Guiding particles
3m 43s
5. Creating reactions and collisions with particle systems
3m 15s
6. Creating hair and fur
4m 25s
7. Grooming hair and fur
3m 26s
8. Jiggling and squishing soft bodies
3m 43s
9. Simulating cloth
6m 10s
10. Simulating fluids
5m 47s
11. Using boids to simulate swarms, schools, and flocks
6m 37s
8. ### 7. Rendering

21m 29s
1. Using Render controls
6m 18s
3m 31s
3. Stamping text on video
2m 32s
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4m 43s
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4m 25s
9. ### 8. Compositing

1h 5m
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1m 31s
2. Overview and integration
2m 12s
3. Render passes and layers
4m 27s
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6m 22s
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3m 54s
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4m 29s
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3m 27s
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7m 15s
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6m 46s
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8m 49s
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6m 7s
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6m 15s
13. Understanding node groups and reuse
4m 17s
10. ### 9. Sequencing

38m 43s
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11m 47s
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3m 31s
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5m 40s
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7m 50s
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6m 18s
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11. ### Conclusion

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