Overcoming the Fear of Walking

I haven’t updated this blog in a while…  it’s shameful!  Even more shameful is that I’ve fallen behind on the film.  Today is a happy day though, so I had to announce it — that I’m well on my way to overcoming my fear of the Walk Cycle.

I can’t believe I have been so hung up on this one shot.  This is probably the only shot in the film that has a walk cycle.  Not only does it have a walk cycle, but it also has many things animating on the stage behind this walk cycle.  So if there is a mistake in the walk, then there is a lot of animation lost.

This shot has been lit for a few weeks.  I’ve had to prep some other things — which is a whole other post that I will get to once the shot’s done — but since the lighting has been finished I’ve also taken a vacation, done some paid gigs, done some work on the house, socialized, and generally done whatever I can to stay away from this dreaded walk cycle shot.

But now the fear is pretty much gone!  I’ve done it!  It’s far from perfect — the stand-in puppet does some moonwalking and stumbling but there’s something about it that is kinda not too bad.  I plan on practicing this a few more times before bringing the real Sabela into the set and animating it for real.  Gulp.

Sadly my magnetic-feet idea did not work for the walking.  At the end of the walk I tried to balance her in a couple of poses with just the magnets, and that turned out OK…  but it was very tricky to get her to walk, with her feet being so tiny and all.  I will have to animate this scene twice — one pass for just the background elements (there will be elements of the set rolling onstage behind her), and one pass with the set elements, Sabela, and her rigging.  I’ll then have to paint out the rigging in After Effects.

So here it is — my First Ever (EVER!) walk cycle.  I did it!  Baby steps…

9 thoughts on “Overcoming the Fear of Walking

  1. Shelley Noble

    I knew you could do it! Congratulations on getting over this bump in the road. It’s the obstacles in our imagination that require the most grit to overcome. Like Justin Rasch says, “Hard work is the easy part”. So true.

    The clip is beautiful.

    Reply
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  3. Rich

    Wooohoo!! Congrats! I dread this too. I managed to take out all the scarry things out of my first animated puppet ( barry ), no legs and no mouth. ha! You are brave!

    Reply
  4. Yaz

    Very good walk!!! I totally undertstand you as I have not made any real walk tests yet. Yep, fear I guess 🙂 Great to see you overcome successfully. I have been following your blog for a while now and want to say I really LOVE your puppets. They have their own “spirits” those can be seen on their faces. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  5. Mark Fullerton

    Congrad’s on getting it done.

    If you want more help on walk cycles check out Richard Williams book “The Animators Survival Kit”. It’s the best I have seen for making walks easy. He breaks it down and simplifies it.

    Fear driving procrastination is a powerful combo.
    Glad you overcame it – Bravo!

    Reply
  6. justin rasch

    Well done!

    thats an excellent first walk cycle.

    MORE…jump in the pool and SWIM!!

    jriggity

    Reply
  7. justin rasch

    Well done!

    thats an excellent first walk cycle.

    MORE…jump in the pool and SWIM!!

    jriggity

    Reply
  8. stephanie dudley

    Thanks guys! I appreciate the encouragement.

    I went for it, and completed the shot a few days ago. I’ll post it soon!

    Rich, your Barry film is so cute! I love it!

    Yaz — glad you like the puppets! They were a challenge.

    Mark, that book is a classic… I’ve seen it but should study it further. I think I could use the help in animation.

    Reply

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