In this video, learn that characters no longer have to stand still. Let them walk.
- Character Animator gives us the ability to automatically animate walk and run cycles with our characters. And we don't have to know how to draw the cycles ourselves. (Latin hip hop music) So to create your walking puppet, you need to make all the elements just standing straight up, and all of your limbs really straight. I happen to have two different head angles, frontal and right quarter, that's up to you. What's really important here is the body. So the body, you have the torso, turn that on and off.
And we'll leave that off for a second so you can see all the other limbs. You have the right arm here, and the left arm, which is back behind it, and I have them layered so everything hides what it's supposed to. You have the right leg, which is in front, and the left leg back behind, and notice it's a full leg, 'cause your going to need it, because the legs and arms are going to be swinging back and forth. Make sure that the limbs, not the torso, but the limbs have a plus in front, and name them "+Right arm, +Right leg, +Left leg, +Left arm".
The plus tells character animator that needs to be independent, that they can swing and move around without warping the shape of the body. I created this character in Adobe Fuse, and then I broke all the elements apart in Photoshop. And there's an earlier video that we did in chapter two called "Working With CG Character", as it describes how I got all the different elements and created this puppet. So let's go into Character Animator, and when you bring in the puppet, the first thing you're going to see is he's just kind of rotating around.
Now we do not want to pin his feet down. You know, you'd be tempted to, so he'd stop swinging like this, except if you do that he won't be able to walk. So let's go into our rig, and let's start setting up what it takes to create a walk cycle. Well the first thing we're going to do is we're going to select the puppet name up above the layers, and we're going to go over to behaviors, and we're going to add walk. Now we're going to start adding handles. We're going to select our body group, then we're going to open up our tags window, scroll down until we can see the body tags, and with body, I'm going to make sure I've got my handle tool selected, and I'm going to put a handle right there near the belly button, and I'm going to tag that, in the middle of the stomach.
Then right around where the legs connect to the hips, I'll put another handle there. And then I'll select my hip tag right there. And now I'm going to select the entire head group, and I'm going to make sure in body, I'm going to select the neck. Now we should be able to see some movements already. Let's go into record, let's see what we're seeing. Alright, so we're starting to see some up and down motion, so this is good, this is telling us that we're on our way. So now, let's go back and rig the rest of the elements. I'm going to select my right arm, and I need to put a handle for the elbow, and tag that.
Make sure you're doing the correct side, the character's right, and I'm going to grab the wrist and tag that. And turn off the torso so I can see the left arm, and do the same thing, elbow, and wrist. And then with my selection tool, I also want to make sure that we're going to have these rotate at the right point, so the left arm, I need this attachment up there on the shoulder, let's go to the right arm. And put that right up here.
Alright, so now let's do the legs. I'll hold down my space key so I can move it. My attachment should be up here. And then, let's grab our handle tool again, and we grab one for the knee, mark that. Right around the ankle, tag that. The heel, and then the toes. Now I don't like doing at the end, I like putting this in a little bit so it gives some room for the toes to flex in the walk cycle.
Okay, now it's blocking my other leg, so I'm going to turn that invisible for a moment. And grab my left leg, well, we got to fix a rotation point there too, so let's move that up. Go back to our handle tool, select knee, ankle, the heel, and right behind the toes. Make sure we turn on the elements that we had turned off. The torso and the leg, let's go into record and see how it's looking.
Well, we have a walk, so now we go in, and we need to start playing around with making sure this arm bends the right way. And that we have everything else set up the way we want. So we can scroll down here, open up our walk behavior, the arm swing, so if I move the arm swing down, he stops swinging his arms, if I move it up, they really move around a lot. So I like it kind of right around the middle somewhere. And let's get the elbow to bend a little bit more.
Wrong direction. And I want the toe bend a bit more. Yeah, like that, now the bend on the arm is still not looking very good, so let's go back to rig. So it's our right arm that's the issue. And they're also kind of flopping around, so I'll tell you what, let's put in some bones. Let's make this arm stiff, turn off the torso for a second, I'm going to do the same thing with the left arm because I don't want them flopping around.
But the right arm, 'cause we were having some issues, and it's because of our placement. So if we move, let's just offset the elbow and the wrist, and let's see what happens to the arm. A little bit better, I forgot to turn the torso back on. At least it's not distorting quite as much anymore. Turn torso back on, so where you place these handles makes a big difference on how your character moves.
So I can even change the arm angle, it makes him look like he's strutting a little bit more there. One of the other things to take a look at, let's go back to rig, sometimes you'll find that a limb might not be attached the way you want it to. Right now our attachment is on auto. If I want to attach the arm to his body, let's see what happens. Looks like the shoulder is not really attached to his body very well, so let's go back.
And it's auto, hinge often gives you the best attachment to the body so that it rotates in a way that looks good on a walk. Especially on the legs, let's make sure that everything is set to hinge. So hinge will often give you the best motion for the moving limbs. And Character Animator allows it to have many other types of walks as well. Let's take a look at another option. Right now we have this set to start immediately, and he just starts walking, what about if we do left and right arrow keys? Okay, so right now, there he is, he's just kind of hanging out.
Left arrow key, he walks backwards. Right arrow key, he walks forwards. Now we have body speed set at zero, so if we do body speed set at a hundred, and we use our right arrow key, he'll walk out of frame, and notice there is absolutely no slipping on the feet. It's absolutely perfect when it's set to 100%. And then when you let go, the character stops. Now if move my head around, the character's going to swing and sway. So another option that we have for walking is you could slump, or strut. (laughing) That's pretty funny.
And of course, there is running, and you can change, again, I can change the arm angles to where they run in front, I can change what the angle of his elbow, the amount of the toe bend, the strength of the run. So here's running if the strength is turned down really low, or at 100%, there it is. Of course, our favorite, no one knows why this is in here. We have head bang. (laughing) So, I really like the run cycle.
So now, with just one puppet, we have a huge amount of different types of running and walking that we can add to our animated projects. (Latin hip hop)
- Creating a list of production needs
- How the varied styles of animation impact production
- Creating usable digital puppets
- Working with drawn characters, objects, and CG characters
- Adding value to the look of your production
- Exploring various audio recording options
- Organizing files for production, backup, and transport
- Using animation cycles
- Building and editing a scene
- Troubleshooting issues
- Tricks for enhancing your production
- Post-production and delivery