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Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: 8-Frame Basic Walk Cycle

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Animating the Legs
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: 8-Frame Basic Walk Cycle
Now we're going to move on to start adding limbs to our bodies. One thing that makes a walk cycle so difficult is that it's harder to pick keyframes, especially in a simplified 8-frame cycle; almost all of the frames are keys, and you can't interpolate half-distances between key points in exactly the same was as we did in the lesson on basic keyframing and in-betweening. A lot of it is just a matter of estimation, and familiarity with the way the form moves in a walk.

I picked my fourth frame to start with, however, because it's different enough from my first frame to be a good point of progress, but not so advanced that I can't eyeball the two in between to estimate just how far each segment of limb should have moved between first and second, and third and fourth.

Again, I used the Preston-Blair demonstration as a reference, and on my fourth frame (Legs layer) I drew my legs--with the supporting leg almost fully straight, and the traveling leg slightly upraised. I didn't completely straighten the supporting leg, although some choose to; this is just a personal preference, as I don't know about you but I can't completely thrust my leg out in a straight piston while walking without locking my knees rather painfully. For exaggerated marches and other flamboyant walk cycles, however, emphasizing a straightened leg can add to the effect.

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