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Adding character to a walk: Contact position

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Adding character to a walk: Contact position

I've showed you a couple of strategies for affecting the character of a walk. Another way to affect the character of the walk is to be very specific about the poses. And so by doing that, you have a little bit more control over the whole walk. So, let's do a pose-by-pose walk as well. Now, I'm going to start with a walk that's a little bit faster than the one we've been working with. This is a 12-frame walk. In fact, let's go ahead and play this. And as you can see, it's also a little bit longer steps.

Adding character to a walk: Contact position

I've showed you a couple of strategies for affecting the character of a walk. Another way to affect the character of the walk is to be very specific about the poses. And so by doing that, you have a little bit more control over the whole walk. So, let's do a pose-by-pose walk as well. Now, I'm going to start with a walk that's a little bit faster than the one we've been working with. This is a 12-frame walk. In fact, let's go ahead and play this. And as you can see, it's also a little bit longer steps.

So he takes slightly longer steps and he's taking slightly faster steps, because it's only 12 frames per step rather than 16. So what we are going to do is take this walk and exaggerate it a bit, by going through the walk a pose at a time. So I'm going to start at the beginning of the walk. Let's just start at the contact position. As you can see, this character is pretty much straight up and down. Let's give him a little bit more determination about where he's walking.

So I'm going to push him forward a bit and kind of push him into that walk. Now, I am going to start doing this by going into my side view, so I have kind of an orthographic view of my character, and I am going to start with the hips. So I am going to select the hips, and then I'm going to rotate them forward, quite a bit, maybe about 12 degrees or so, and then, push that character forward. I want to get him really into that walk, almost to the point where I am kind of pulling up his heel.

So once I get that, then I can lift the heel to make it match those hips. I can even rotate those hips a little bit further forward. Now, when I rotate the hips forward, he kind of feels out of balance, so let's go ahead and straighten him out. I am going to hit the Q key just to do select. So I am going to select one, and then Shift+Select, two, three. So I have selected all three spine joints, and then I'm going to hit Rotate, so he's reasonably vertical.

Now I am going to exaggerate this a little bit more by giving him more determined arm swing as well. So I am going to go ahead and snag the left shoulder and push that back. His arms are really going to swing on this, and let me see if I can get the right shoulder. Yes, let's snag the right shoulder. Now, typically, I would have to jump out or maybe grab it in another viewport, but it seems like I got it here. And then I am going to push that arm forward as well. And again, I'm just playing with the standard walk. So now, I've got a really strong first pose.

So this is basically what I started with, and then I pushed that pose to give me a much stronger sense of action. Now, if we take a look at this, you can see that I've got a really strong line of action. I've kind of got this line going all the way down, and this makes for a much stronger visual, a much stronger silhouette. So I'm going to go to the opposite frame, to frame 13, and I want to make sure I duplicate that pose. So let's go ahead and use our little Drawing tool here. I'm going to just sketch out that torso.

I want to make sure I get the position of the hips as well, as the bend of the spine. I want to make sure I get my arms in approximately at the same position on both sides, and then I want to make sure I get that leg, and I always like to mark out the back of that heel and make sure that I get the angle about right. And I can always just mark this out as well. So now once I have that, I am going to go ahead and move this off here. Then all I have to do is match that on the other side, and you can see how much difference I've created just by pushing this one pose.

So let's go ahead and start by pushing the hips to where we want it to be. I am going to rotate those hips forward, and I'm going to rotate it so his chest is actually in front of that line, because I am going to rotate the spine back to meet that line. So I am going to go ahead and select one, Shift+Select, two, three spine joints, and then hit Rotate, and then I am going to arch that back. And again, see how easily that matches what I had before. Then I am going to go down to this heel and make sure I lift that up, and then let's go ahead and get the arms.

I am going to go ahead and move this arm up and out just a little bit, and then let me see if I can get this right shoulder. Let's go ahead into Wireframe mode. I might be able to get it in Wireframe. There it is, okay. So I have got that right shoulder, and I am going to go ahead and move that back, so that the hand is about the same position. And I've got it pretty much approximate there, so I am going to go ahead and erase my guidelines. So now, I have a pretty good starting position. So you can see here, even with just those two poses changed, I've already got a stronger walk. But we can go even further with this, so let's go ahead and add some more poses in the next lesson.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 10558 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 22m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
    3. Character rig overview: Simple character
      6m 19s
    4. Character rig overview: Full character
      7m 30s
    5. Using other rigs
      48s
    6. Using screen drawing tools for Windows
      3m 9s
    7. Using screen drawing tools for the Mac
      2m 14s
  2. 23m 47s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Creating custom MEL scripts to help pose characters
      4m 39s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 10s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 7s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 24s
  3. 25m 11s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding drag
      5m 51s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 33s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 21s
    5. Refining the animation
      7m 13s
  4. 39m 30s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      4m 21s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      7m 42s
    3. Moving holds
      5m 27s
    4. Animating weight shift
      4m 21s
    5. Animating pose to pose transitions
      7m 46s
    6. Animating a wave
      9m 53s
  5. 42m 15s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      5m 43s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 22s
    3. Animating a walk: The feet
      5m 55s
    4. Animating a walk: The lower body
      8m 23s
    5. Animating a walk: Making the cycle symmetrical
      3m 10s
    6. Animating a walk: Working with the spine
      5m 59s
    7. Animating a walk: Arm motion
      7m 28s
    8. Animating a walk: The head
      4m 15s
  6. 24m 15s
    1. The importance of the passing position
      4m 52s
    2. Working with foot placement
      3m 50s
    3. Adding character to a walk: Contact position
      5m 10s
    4. Adding character to a walk: Passing position
      3m 20s
    5. Adding character to a walk: Finalizing
      7m 3s
  7. 52m 27s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 39s
    2. Animating a run: The first pose
      4m 31s
    3. Animating a run: The second pose
      7m 17s
    4. Animating a run: Mirroring the basic poses
      10m 59s
    5. Animating a run: Hip and foot motion
      5m 12s
    6. Animating a run: The upper body
      5m 2s
    7. Animating a run: Left arm motion
      5m 31s
    8. Animating a run: Right arm motion
      4m 39s
    9. Animating a run: Cycling the animation
      6m 37s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Animating blinks
      7m 56s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      5m 6s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 35s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 38s
    5. Overview of mouth controls
      2m 44s
    6. Animating vowels
      15m 14s
    7. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      7m 2s
    8. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      8m 22s
    9. Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes
      10m 43s
    10. Animating lip sync: The head
      9m 44s
    11. Animating lip sync: The body
      5m 10s
  9. 55m 55s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 18s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      7m 1s
    3. In-between blocking pass
      3m 27s
    4. Animating moving holds
      5m 19s
    5. Creating weight
      6m 19s
    6. Adding secondary motion
      10m 0s
    7. Animating dialogue
      8m 12s
    8. Finalizing the animation
      11m 19s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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