Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Gaits of Hell

Thank you to Mark Grossi for today's post title. Something the whole class is sharing at this moment is a slight hatred for the damnable walk cycle. We are all, however, slowly but surely learning to do them thanks to the endless amounts of trial and error and hundreds of thousands of used, crumpled up sheets of paper.

I have mastered my skeleton walk cycle! Or at least I like to think I have. It comes to a point when you have spent so long doing something that you become too scared to change or redo anything in case it ruins what you already have. The idea of starting again makes you want to cry a little and you accept what you have is as good as it can be.

I decided to concentrate solely on the arms and shoulders after my mini-crit on Thursday morning. The main problem it seemed to have was that the arms were too symmetrical. Arms aren't symmetrical. When the arm moves backwards it is pushing the body forward so it moves with power and speed. When the arm moves forward it is simply recoiling and balancing the body. The arm, therefore, slows when it is in front of the body but speeds up and "snaps" back when it is behind the body. My arms were speeding up when going past the body and slowing down when they reached their furthest apart. This was wrong. I also had to work out the shoulder movement I had missed out in the first walk (the one at the end of my last post) and in the end came up with two very different choices:


Both tests are still only keyframes but you can see the first has still a more evenly spaced arm movement, while the second has more frames on the front half of the body and less at the back, so his arm speeds up when it's behind him but slows when it's in front of him.

I had about 3 different people look at it with me, because by this point I wasn't even sure what an arm did anymore. They all agreed that they thought the first was more appropriate for a neutral walk cycle, so I went with it. I inbetweened and FINALLY came up with this:


I am glad we went for it because, when I inbetweened, I found I had spaced the keyframes better than I thought with more frames of the arms at the front of the body rather than at the back, giving me the speed-up and slow-down I was looking for. Inbetweening the second choice, I think, would have just over-exaggerated the movement even more that I already had.

Skeleton complete! YEY!

Unfortunately though, after the skeleton comes the mannequin... and good gracious do I dislike the mannequin. Let's introduce him:

Again this drawing was provided by our tutor, Sharon White, as a basis on what he should look like. With the mannequin we learn how to do a walk cycle with volume. I'm not going to lie, it has been a torment but I am slowly (very slowly) getting closer to finishing him. This is where we are after two days of trying:


Perched on my light box to my right are the keyframes and a pile of fresh paper waiting to help me inbetween. I must have him perfect AND drawn in front view by Thursday so I am away to get a move on.

Wish me luck.

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