May 22, 2011

Character Animation Turning Back Tutorial

This is for colleague who asked me how to make character turning back in the fastest and simplest way. I did it in 11 minute, hope that's fast enough. For your watching and learning convenience, I speed up the video into 200% of the real duration.

The concept are first, make the key poses. Don't do the steps yet, just make her facing each potition she needs to make the movement.

Now, to make a steps, it sounds complex and you would get dizzy in no time if you make it one by one. Because actually, those steps goes only to the facing position. It doesn't look like stepping because it move the same time with body. To turn it into steps, you just need to adjust the timing. Any adjusting on the basic pose would usually be needed but it would be easier to do it later.
So, make her steps only by moving, copying [and eliminating if needed] the keyframes on the time bar. Here you can start to adjust the foot position for her convenience, make her turns back smoothly, and less like a drunken person with those ugly feet movements.

After feet look nice, go for the hip. Basically just make the pelvis move to counters the weight of her body when stepping. One basic concept: Hip goes to create weight that pulls the foot of the ground, so it moves first. And because foot is lighter, it lands faster than pelvis - which now moves later, creating the save landing for body [and pelvis] and prevents them from falling on the ground.

Now the stepping is done and look nice, you can start to put some delay and secondary motion on body, head and arms. Which one will start turning? Head or shoulder? That's of course depends on the case. (arm will move last, except she wants to punch or hit something).


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