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In animation, a walk cycle is a series of frames or illustrations drawn in sequence that loop to create an animation of a walking character. The walk cycle is looped over and over, thus having to avoid animating each step again.
Creating a walk cycle
Walk cycles can be broken up into 4 key frames, namely Forward Contact Point, Passing Pose1, Back Contact Point and Passing Pose 2. Frames that are drawn between these key poses (traditionally known as in-betweens/Inbetweening) are either hand-drawn or using computer software to interpolate them.
Besides the apparent move of the legs, many more details are necessary for a convincing walk cycle, like animation timing, movement of the arms, head and torsion of the whole body. (For example, in ).
There exist many techniques to create walk cycles. Traditionally walk-cycles are hand drawn but over time with the introduction of new technologies for new mediums, walk cycles can be made in pixel art, 2D computer graphics, 3D computer graphics, stop motion method, cut-out animation or using techniques like rotoscoping.
- The Walk and the Whip(archived) sample animation with video (awn.com)
- Walk Cycle Tutorial on how to create a walks using Adobe's Flash (download source file) with illustrations and video)
- Walk Cycle Tutorial on how to create a 2 frame walk.
- How to Create Walk Cycle (Video Tutorial)
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