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Messages - Xolotl
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Pixel Art / Re: [CC] - 8-Frame Walk Cycle
« on: October 10, 2018, 03:15:36 pm »
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. It's really helpful. Here's the latest:

I don't want to create a world populated by muscle men, so I've made a character with (hopefully) more average proportions on the left.

Regarding "drag" of the feet -- I really meant let the toes lag behind the foot more in the passing positions.

I've made the toes point backwards more on the passing frames. Hopefully that seems a bit better?

The elbow could use a bit more bend, but yeah, it's tough at this scale. On the movement back, try pushing the elbow back one pixel and adjusting the rest of the arm around that to see how that works.

Here are the characters with the elbow pushed back further, and a more pronounced arm bend:

Now my concern is that perhaps the bend on the forward swing isn't pronounced enough to match the bend on the back swing - or am I just imagining that?

Regarding the "robot" feel and the shoulder [...] the number of pixels it moves is actually fine -- it's just how quickly (or gradually) you allow it to transition between those 3 pixels that defines the subtle way it comes across to the viewer [...] The major point of pain from my perspective is how the shoulders move (and how they make the hand have to "flop" forward to keep the inertia correct.) [...] I think the (ease-in and ease-out) speeds of the shoulders' movements are more to blame than the movement of the arms and elbows themselves.

I think I've cleared this up - it no longer reads to me like he's thrusting his shoulder forward. This was a tricky one because I read that the shoulder moves first, then the upper arm, lower arm, and hand. But if the shoulder is only moving one pixel, it moves the whole way immediately.

Regarding the "lean" forward -- I think it's actually fine as-is if he's walking fairly slow like an average person might walk to get something to drink or go to do some other basic task.

Yeah, I can see how there's no need to make the character on the right lean forward. I'm not so sure about the character on the left though. His head is one pixel further back relative to the shoulder than the head of the character on the right, and it reads to me like his posture is unusually straight. I've tried pushing his head forward slightly as he walks. Do you think this looks more natural?

This reference has helped me a lot in understanding what actually happens on walking and jogging, and you can vary lots of parameters.

This is great. What I notice immediately is that the default walk seems pretty unpronounced compared to walk cycle references and guides. If anyone is interested, I converted the side view into a (very poor) 4-frame gif:

I particularly like the way you have the hands lagging behind the forearm, looks very natural and relaxed.

Thanks. Unfortunately I've found that too difficult to include in just 8 frames now that I've extended the reach of the arms, because the arm would have to dwell at full extension for 3 frames while the hand moved out and in. For this character I want it to be as neutral as I can make it anyway, so perhaps that hand movement is too relaxed for my purposes.

We should probably see some minor changes to the silhouette of the torso as it turns. Right now it feels like the shoulders are moving but the chest isn't.

I'm not totally sure where to start with torso movement. I feel like the torso in the 1st and 5th frames would have to be different because those are the frames where the arm and legs are fully extended. I've tried modifying the thickness of the torso by one, but it just feels like it's popping in and out sporadically; it doesn't feel like movement. If I want to communicate movement rather than a binary appearance and disappearance, I feel like I'll have to move the torso by three pixels rather than two, but I'm not sure. Any suggestions on how the torso should move for these characters?

Pixel Art / Re: [CC] - 8-Frame Walk Cycle
« on: October 03, 2018, 04:07:01 pm »
He's been hitting the gym, so now the anatomy and animation should be somewhat clearer. Defining each body part has helped me get a better idea of exactly what's going on.

The new vertical motion feels more natural for this sort of stride. Personally though, I think I would've made the stride a little larger instead - the character lifts their knees a lot and it seems like a rather brisk walk, so the small stride isn't the most intuitive match for it.

In the latest version, I've made the full extent of each arm reach about halfway across the thigh at its furthest reach on the 5th frame, and halfway across the lower leg at its furthest reach back on the 1st frame. I'm starting to think it looks a little weird how his hand flicks forward by a pixel between the fourth and fifth frames. Anyway, here's an image with red dashes to indicate how far the arm is swinging - do let me know if you'd suggest increasing it by a pixel or so on each side to match the stride better:

I'm afraid I don't see the bending of the feet.

Yeah, it was very minimal. Hopefully it's more visible in the newest version.

The elbow doesn't bend enough still.

I suspect that's still the case. I'm having a surprising amount of difficulty drawing a more pronounced bend. I'll see what I can do though.

The swing feels too fast when moving backwards. I think the problem is that you're animating the arm as forceful intentional motion rather than as a pendulum swing that slows down as it reaches the extremes and is at its fastest in the middle.

I've made the swing move fastest in the middle both ways, and only by a pixel at each end of the arc. I can't currently detect any unnecessary speed in the back swing, so hopefully that seems fixed.

(Also, I think the arm might be a little too short?)

Yes, I think the arm was a little too short - I'm fairly confident the new proportions are more suitable. To be honest, I think the head on the most recent version looks a little large, but it seems to match up with references.

The legs move forward very quickly, perhaps slowing that down might help? Rather than move the existing frames though, consider adding some extra frames, to slow the walk down overall. That should help with the small strides not matching the fast movement speed.

I'm determined to do this on just 8 frames, particularly with regard to future efficiency. When I get something I'm happy with, I'd like to use it as a template for other characters. I have tried slowing the frame rate by 25%, however. It's interesting to see it at this speed - the legs still look okay to me, but there might be something I can't quite identify going on as his arm moves back, over frames 7, 8, and 1:

The arcs aren't bad, but they could be a bit more exaggerated on the arms and the feet could "drag" a little as they're coming forward.

I'm trying to avoid an exaggerated, cartoony look, but I'll give this a go. Do you think it would suffice to move the arms about a pixel further forward and back both ways?

The feet could "drag" a little as they're coming forward.

What would it mean to make the feet drag as they move forward? Would I slow down the rate at which they move forward slightly for the first few frames, then allow it to speed up for the last ones?

To reduce the "robot" feel, you might want to bring the shoulder back a bit more as it moves back and emphasize a little more "twist" in the hips and shoulders. Right now (leg-wise) it's like he's walking on stilts (i.e. waaay too "vertical" of an action-line), which feeds into the "brisk robot walk" problem.

The shoulder has a horizontal range of just three pixels in this version (i.e. it moves back just one from its starting position, and forward just one). How many pixels would you suggest increasing it to? His hips don't move much at all either. They move forward one pixel, then back again. About how far would you suggest they move?

Also, would it also make sense to have him leaning forward slightly, or does that not happen noticeably at this resolution when someone is walking casually?

Once you figure out the side-view, only then should you really aim at the back view. However, at least the back view doesn't read too poorly except for the (our left) arm, and some strange "popping" of the shadow of the (our) right elbow from the back view.

Yes, I'll just focus on the side view for now.

Pixel Art / Re: [CC] - 8-Frame Walk Cycle
« on: September 26, 2018, 10:15:41 am »
Thanks for the comments Eishiya. Here's another attempt:

The walk feels rather stiff, I think it's because the stride is very small but the vertical motion is very large, and the mismatch looks unnatural.

I've reduced the vertical motion a lot - too much?

Other contributing issues:
The feet to remain at a 90 degree angle with the legs at all times, instead of moving as they normally would.

I've made the feet bend slightly more.

The arms swing very little compared to the motion of the body, and a relaxed stroll tends to have more arm movement. In addition, the arms barely bend, but relaxed arms bend very readily. The forearm has its own pendulum movement from the elbow, in addition to the whole arm's pendulum swing, and it will tend to lag slightly.

I've made the arms swing more, and I've tried to accentuate the bending of the elbow. Though honestly I don't know if it's bent enough - I had some trouble making the definition of the bent elbow pronounced enough.

Lastly, I feel as if the arm may be swinging back too quickly, or perhaps forward too slowly - is that the case?

I've reduced the forward motion of the arm by one pixel.

Pixel Art / [CC] - 8-Frame Walk Cycle
« on: September 25, 2018, 02:53:34 pm »
Hi all,

I'm working on a horizontal walk cycle, and I'm trying to make it look as neutral as possible. I'm aiming for something relaxed, with a short stride, and little in the way of exaggerated movement - more of a stroll.

I'm fairly happy with the legs at the moment, but the arms definitely need some work. It feels as if perhaps the arm doesn't go back far enough, or maybe it snaps back to the right too quickly, rather than lingering to the left. I'm not sure though - any suggestions?

I'd also appreciate any useful reference animations or videos - I've found it surprisingly hard to find generic, non-stylised clips of people walking horizontally.

Here's a slightly cleaned up version:

Pixel Art / Re: Looking for advice on a naturalistic walk cycle [C+C]
« on: June 10, 2017, 05:22:59 pm »
Latest version, with dots for key points:

I think his legs look pretty good, only his arms are really weird. people usually bend their elbows and stuff. Im pretty sure you can find tons of ref material for this animation online.

Thanks for the feedback. You're absolutely right - the arms are an issue. There isn't enough motion. I've taken it back to basics. I'm trying to get the forms down before I shade it again. Here's attempt 2, with more motion and bend in the arm:

I've reversed the direction so it conforms more with reference materials, which tend to face right. I've also decided to try and get one arm down before I work on the other.

It's hard to have perspective on my own work, but am I right in that his hand looks a bit too small or oddly shaped when it reaches forward? And maybe the thighs get too thick at the top on the forward step? Perhaps I could also change the hand in the down frame when it pulls fully back so it looks like it's flicking out just a tiny bit? I've experimented with that and it always looks unnatural, but there must be some way to make the arm / hand look less robotic or stilted when it's flinging out to the left. Also when it moves out to the front, in the two frames where it's most extended, I feel like the clean row of pixel on his forearm might be too noticeable. I'm not sure if that's an issue or not though.

Pixel Art / Looking for advice on a naturalistic walk cycle [C+C]
« on: June 09, 2017, 12:56:11 pm »
At least naturalism is my goal. Any suggestions?

Thanks everyone! Here's the most recent version:

Iím experimenting with his proportions a bit and I've thinned him out from the side, but now he looks too wide from the front and if I try to thin that out I'm not sure how to draw his face (his eyes become either one or three pixels apart which looks stupid). It feels to me like heís a bit too wide from every angle. Heís not meant to be as buff as maybe Iíve depicted him. In fact, heís supposed to be a generic young white male; not too tall, not too short; not too buff, not too weedy; not fat, but not malnourished either. I want him to be fairly nondescript so I can use him as a template for other characters with stronger visual identities, if I ever get him to a good-enough standard.

Also, I have a general question about walking. Do arms move significantly quicker on either the upswing or the downswing? I've tried working it out from reference videos but I can't see any clear difference in speed, though I could definitely be wrong. I did have it so his arms moved at more or less the same rate on the upswing and the downswing from the side, and at exactly the same rate from the front. That looked odd to me, so I made his arms as seen from the front move back slightly quicker than they move forward. I think it looks better but I could be imagining it, and if it does actually look better Iím not sure why.

Nice and smooth, but his stride is very short (both his arms and legs don't really swing that much). Also leg movement should happen at the hip rather than just below it. Also, his feet plod on the ground perfectly level, natural movement would be more like Heel -> toe. Nice drawings though, good start.

I intend for his stride to be short, but I do agree that it could still be lengthened a bit. How do I do that with the arms? Should I make his arms move up and out a few more pixels from the side? Also, I've tried to make his hips move back and forward slightly as he walks so his body doesnít seem sort of detached from the movement of his legs. I've also made his feet hit the ground heel to toe, though I'm not sure if it works. It looks sort of like his foot becomes fatter in the heel-down frame before it hits the ground. Maybe.

I think the walk - as well as the stance - is rather stiff. It looks kinda like a robot walk. The front view feels like stomping rather than walking because the "backward slide" of the foot on the ground is missing.

I would consider giving the guy a more leasure pose if he is not an android or a soldier on parade...

I agree on all points. I've added a backward slide to the front walk as suggested and I think it's a significant improvement; it no longer seems like he's stomping. I'm not sure what to do about the stiff stance though; how can I make his torso seem more relaxed? He looks stiff, almost as if he's on parade as you said. I've considered making him lead forward slightly as he walks, but I'm not sure how to do that without making him look like he's hunching over or something.

Thanks for the link. It was a good way to get a better general idea of what happens when someone walks, though the walk in the video is much more pronounced than the one I'm trying to make. I intend for the character to be strolling, with a casually short stride. The first walk in this video is considerably closer to what I'm going for:

I've given the banding a rough go, but I'm more interested in getting the motion OK and then I'll work on shading. I'm thinking of reducing the number of colours once I've got the motion working.

Thoughts on the motion?

Hey, proportions looks kinda ok, but the shading seems overkill for animation purpose.
I would advise to work with colored members to help animate, then shade each frames.
having a solid color on head, torso, hips left/right legs , left/right arms will help a a lots creating a natural walk cycle.

Good luck ans have fun=)

Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely take that approach. I think I'll try with a different layer and different block colour for each limb until I get the motion looking OK then shade each frame. Because you're absolutely right; I can see it being very difficult animating this from the somewhat detailed shading I already have. That said, I'd like to finish these standing images first if only because it's good practice.

I've made quite a few changes, and here's the most recent version of the character:

I'm wondering how to make his hair look more normal at the back. It just looks wrong and I'm not even sure why. Also, I'm having difficulty with the shading on his front when seen from the side. I'm not sure what to light up to prevent that whole side of him being in shadow so I've lit up his stomach but that looks kind of weird. I'm also unsure if the belly button should be visible from that angle or not. Any suggestions?

I'm trying to create a nude human male for a video game as seen from the front, back and side.

This is what I have so far:

The entire image is 128x64, comprised of four 32x64 panels each containing the character from a different direction. I've drawn it using the Pencil, Eyedropper and Eraser tools in Adobe Fireworks.

When I've made these still images as good as I can, I intend to create a simple walk animation. But before I do so, I'm looking for criticism and feedback. I hope for it to be more or less realistically proportioned and coloured.

Thank you!

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