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Working with foot placement

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Working with foot placement

Another way to affect the character of the walk is to adjust the foot placement. So, in this walk, which is our standard 16-frame walk, if I make the character's feet touch down in different places relative to the hips, it will affect the way that the walk works mechanically. So let's go ahead and do a basic catwalk-- in other words, the type of walk that models do on the runway. So what they typically do is they walk with their feet right in front of each other.

Working with foot placement

Another way to affect the character of the walk is to adjust the foot placement. So, in this walk, which is our standard 16-frame walk, if I make the character's feet touch down in different places relative to the hips, it will affect the way that the walk works mechanically. So let's go ahead and do a basic catwalk-- in other words, the type of walk that models do on the runway. So what they typically do is they walk with their feet right in front of each other.

So in this case I'm going to use this centerline here on the grid, and I am going to use that as kind of my guide. And I'm just going to rough this in; I am not going to be exactly right on, but I am going to try and keep it as close as possible. So on this first step, I am going to select the left and right foot and just move them in, so that we have the feet right in front and behind each other. Then I'm going to keep this right foot selected. And one of things I am getting here is I am getting this kind of a little bit of a jump here because I have this keyframe here, so I am going right-click over this and delete this keyframe at frame 2, for the right foot.

So what happens now is with the feet in front of each other, if you notice, his foot is almost passing through the other foot, so in order for this to actually mechanically get around, it has to move out just a little bit. So it has to move on the outside of the other foot. So instead of moving straightforward, it has to swing around. So what that does is that creates an imbalance.

If you notice here, the character is slightly out of balance, so what we want to do is rebalance the character. So what I have to do is I have to push that weight to the right, so that it stays centered over both of the feet. So, as you can see, those hips move to the right before centering again. Now let's go ahead and do this second step the same way. So I am going to, again, grab the right foot and center it, grab that left foot and center it behind it. Then I am going to move one frame forward where I have a keyframe already set for this and delete that keyframe.

And now as that foot comes forward, again, I'm going to move it out to the side. In fact I am going to delete this keyframe as well. And when I do that, it puts the character out of balance. So in this case, I have to move a character in the opposite direction. I have to move him a little bit to his left to compensate.

And then--in fact, I am going to go ahead and extend this to 33 here, and then when I get to that last frame, again, I want to put those feet right in front of each other, and what this does is it creates a classic catwalk. So it goes 1, 2, and notice how his hips are just naturally swaying, and this is why models on the runway walk this way, so that their hips move and the clothes that they are wearing also move.

Now, just by changing this character's foot position, we've again changed the character of the walk. So what I'm showing you here are just different types of techniques to affect the character of your walk. Again, the mechanics are basically the same, just the foot place is different.

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This video is part of

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Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 9878 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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