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Animating a walk: The head

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Animating a walk: The head

So now let's take a quick look where we're at. I've got this character pretty much animating. He looks pretty good. Well, we've got one more thing to do and that's the head. So let's go ahead and scroll back to Frame 1 and I'm going to go ahead and turn on the head as well as the character's eyes. Now the control that I'm going to use is one called Head and basically it's going to be rotation. Let's go ahead and play this to see how it's working. As you can see, his head is kind of bobbing a little bit, kind of like a pigeon.

Animating a walk: The head

So now let's take a quick look where we're at. I've got this character pretty much animating. He looks pretty good. Well, we've got one more thing to do and that's the head. So let's go ahead and scroll back to Frame 1 and I'm going to go ahead and turn on the head as well as the character's eyes. Now the control that I'm going to use is one called Head and basically it's going to be rotation. Let's go ahead and play this to see how it's working. As you can see, his head is kind of bobbing a little bit, kind of like a pigeon.

It's very stiff from the shoulders up. So again, we need to create some sort of secondary motion for the head to give it a little bit more life. So right here at the front if you notice, he's kind of looking off to the side. He's kind of just moving with the shoulders. So when the shoulders are facing to the right, his eyes are facing to the right and to the left, and so on. So go ahead and select the head control and then use the Rotate tool to actually adjust the head.

So what we want to do is kind of just get him into a position where he is kind of looking where he is going. Now we could animate the head to, you know, he is looking at something else, but in this case let's just go ahead and animate him looking forward. So I'm going to go ahead and just rotate the head so that the eyes look like they're looking forward. I'm going to go ahead and set a keyframe. I'm going to go halfway in to Frame 17 and balance that out, so now we've got him kind of pretty much looking forward.

I'm going to go ahead and copy the keys on Frame 1 and paste them at Frame 33. So now we've got this. Now that looks pretty good, but from the side you still got that kind of stiffness, that pigeon head that you can really notice from the side here. So right here you can see that he didn't have much flexibility, but when that body mass goes down, his head is kind of wanting to stay where it is at, so that neck is going to bend back a little bit and he's still going to be looking forward.

So that gets a little bit more flexibility. Then as he goes up, it's going to go back in the opposite direction and we can do the same on the other side. So when he is down at this point, I'm going to go ahead and move the head up and then do the opposite on the other side. Again, just trying to straighten it out a little bit.

So this will give us a little bit more flexibility in the character. So let's take a look at those eyes. So those are fine, but right here we get a little bit of a bounce, so if you notice those eyes going down and then they are going back up again. So what I want to do is make sure that right there that he doesn't rotate too far forward. So I am going to kind of lift this head up a little bit. So this way and again I've got that a little bit more exaggerated version of that problem here.

So I want to make sure that his head is not to tipping too much. And that kind of smoothes it out just a little bit. It looks pretty good. So those are some of the basics of how to animate a simple walk. Now this is really just a very generic kind of boring walk, but it gives you the mechanics of how to animate a walk, as well as how to get the character moving. Now we're going to go ahead and look at some more exaggerated walks, but they are all kind of based on the principles that we've learned in the past few lessons.

So go ahead and practice animating a walk like this and then we'll go ahead and move on to stuff that's a little bit more exaggerated.

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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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