Saturday, 17 August 2013

Dog Walk Cycle

Wow I haven't made a post in aaaaages! So to make up for it here's a fairly long one :)

I've just finished a walk cycle which is loosely based on my dog. So first of all I videoed my dog walking for reference:

I then tried to figure out the key poses and other useful things using my video as a guide as well as consulting Richard William's quadruped walk cycle. My findings are shown in the image of my sketchbook as I'm too lazy to type them out...

I sketched my dog for a bit as I wanted my design to be based on her and then I took a look at a dog's skeleton to give a better idea of how the bones are all connected. And as you can see from my diagram they have an extra joint in their legs compared to humans.

I then took a look at some dog designs that were roughly the same build as the dog I wanted to create (basically a more athletic looking version of my dog) to use as inspiration. I was also looking at how the dog's forms have been simplified, for example how a few tufts of fur are drawn rather than covering them in it, which still suggests to us that they are furry.

I mocked up a quick keyframes only cycle on Flash to make sure I'd got the basics of the walk down. The secondary action for the ears was easy enough to judge time wise but the tail took a few attempts to get right, as it follows the movement of the hindlegs but is just a little delayed.

I then set out drawing my final walk cycle. The fur on the stomach took a couple of attempts as I exaggerated it too much and it looked pretty weird, so I had to tone it down. Here's the pencil version before I cleaned it all up, I'm showing you it because in some ways I prefer it to my final version, as I think it has more of a flowing quality and looks looser, with the fur having a good swish motion going on.

So after all that here's my final version:

I'm really happy with this as I think you can see the weight moving through the body and I've got a nice squash effect going on when the paws hit the ground. 

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