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Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics

From: Blender 2.48 Essential Training

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

Image for Blender 2.48 Essential Training
Blender 2.48 Essential Training

131 video lessons · 25882 viewers

Roger Wickes
Author

 
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  1. 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. 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
    10. Appending and linking assets
      7m 27s
    11. Using the open-source movies and assets
      4m 18s
  3. 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
    8. Using Bézier curves
      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
    21. Appending and linking assets
      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
  4. 39m 41s
    1. Lighting overview
      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
    9. Understanding shadows
      3m 22s
  5. 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
    8. Using shaders
      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. 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. 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. 21m 29s
    1. Using Render controls
      6m 18s
    2. Radiosity
      3m 31s
    3. Stamping text on video
      2m 32s
    4. Setting up test renders
      4m 43s
    5. Rendering image sequences
      4m 25s
  9. 1h 5m
    1. Viewing node thumbnail images on certain Macs
      1m 31s
    2. Overview and integration
      2m 12s
    3. Render passes and layers
      4m 27s
    4. Using Input nodes
      6m 22s
    5. Using Output nodes
      3m 54s
    6. Working with Color nodes
      4m 29s
    7. Color mixing and layering
      3m 27s
    8. Using Distort nodes individually and in combination
      7m 15s
    9. Using Vector nodes
      6m 46s
    10. Creating effects with Filter nodes
      8m 49s
    11. Using Converter nodes
      6m 7s
    12. Chroma keying with Matte nodes
      6m 15s
    13. Understanding node groups and reuse
      4m 17s
  10. 38m 43s
    1. The Video Sequence Editor (VSE)
      11m 47s
    2. Integrating audio
      3m 31s
    3. Using VSE Greenscreen and other plug-ins
      5m 40s
    4. Integrating the Compositor with the VSE
      7m 50s
    5. Layering and splicing video
      6m 18s
    6. Speeding up and slowing down sequences
      3m 37s
  11. 5m 26s
    1. Putting it all together: Captain Knowledge visits lynda.com
      5m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      14s

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