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Animating Creature Walk Cycles in Maya

Understanding Quadrupeds With Stephen Cunnane


There are basic principles involved in creating a solid walk cycle for production that every animator should learn. This 3-hour workshop by Stephen Cunnane, an animator for the film industry, reveals the subtle yet complex process when it comes to animating a convincing walk cycle for four-legged animals or fantasy creatures. From covering the basics in anatomy and explaining how it plays into building the complex motions needed for detailed animation, to discussing and demonstrating the tools within Maya that can help you to stay organized, Stephen’s workshop enables animators to create fast and efficient workflows.

Throughout this workshop, you’ll learn the importance of importing a rig as a proxy and discover all the benefits of using the Reference Editor to keep your scene well organized. Stephen also covers the topics of baking, motion tracking, and animation layers to add all the other secondary levels of animation. The second portion of the workshop focuses on animating the walk cycle before the final chapter, which explains how to add the wings, neck, and head, for a convincing creature animation.

Stephen also provides breakdowns of feet and body movement and details how to take a final walk cycle and build a new animation for a project — or for production.

The rig used in this workshop was created by Truong CG Artist and is available to download for free here.

Duration: 190 Minutes

Format: HD 1920x1080

Stephen Cunnane

Previs Artist at Framestore

Stephen Cunnane is an animator and alumni from Gnomon School of Visual Effects.  He has worked on shows such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead for Rhythm and Hues and the films Maleficent 2 and The One and Only Ivan for MPC.  He has three years’ experience in vfx animation and two years in previs.