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How Does One Create A Walk Cycle?

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So I've made a pretty good looking pixel art character for my game, but cannot make a good walk cycle. How do you guys do this? I made an idle animation, but that was really easy. Any tutorials/guides for my art style would be good.

 

I really like this walk cycle:

[attachment=30083:walk_fish.png]

 

Here's my sprite:

[attachment=30084:Torch_Still.png]

 

Here's the simple idle animation for him:

[attachment=30085:Torch_Idle.png]

 

I'm grateful for any help you can offer.

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Use some reference frames and put them behind your character while drawing.

When you have done that a few times it will beome very easy to do it without any reference.

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Is there a design behind your character?
If you take Mario, he has a "box cover" design that can be done in any resolution you want:


Super_Mario_World_mario_and_luigi_936419

...and then the pixel art version is a simplification or adaptation of that:


Mario_Sprites_zps77980193.png

If you don't have a "box cover" design for that torch character and it only exists directly in pixel art mode, you'll have trouble understanding its anatomy, like where are its limbs, joints etc.
To be able to animate that character doing a walk cycle you need to have a thorough understanding of its anatomy so you know how to define each pose of the walk cycle -- whatever that walk cycle might look like, not necessarily bipedal.

With that being said, there's some general pixel art and animation theory in this free e-book:
http://www.widgetworx.com/book/

EDIT: Some more resources.
- http://www.angryanimator.com/word/2010/11/26/tutorial-2-walk-cycle/
- http://www.awn.com/tooninstitute/lessonplan/lesson.htm

From reading about animation in general, a walk cycle is like an advanced task. In order to produce a convincing walk cycle the animator has already gone through several exercises, from the bouncing ball to the flour sack. If you want an excellent result then you'll have to practice and be patient. There won't be a shortcut here, it's about experience. Edited by Kryzon

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Is there a design behind your character?
If you take Mario, he has a "box cover" design that can be done in any resolution you want:

 

Super_Mario_World_mario_and_luigi_936419

...and then the pixel art version is a simplification or adaptation of that:


Mario_Sprites_zps77980193.png

If you don't have a "box cover" design for that torch character and it only exists directly in pixel art mode, you'll have trouble understanding its anatomy, like where are its limbs, joints etc.
To be able to animate that character doing a walk cycle you need to have a thorough understanding of its anatomy so you know how to define each pose of the walk cycle -- whatever that walk cycle might look like, not necessarily bipedal.

With that being said, there's some general pixel art and animation theory in this free e-book:
http://www.widgetworx.com/book/

EDIT: Some more resources.
- http://www.angryanimator.com/word/2010/11/26/tutorial-2-walk-cycle/
- http://www.awn.com/tooninstitute/lessonplan/lesson.htm

From reading about animation in general, a walk cycle is like an advanced task. In order to produce a convincing walk cycle the animator has already gone through several exercises, from the bouncing ball to the flour sack. If you want an excellent result then you'll have to practice and be patient. There won't be a shortcut here, it's about experience.

 

Thanks! I'll work on it :)

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Design, then a simplification (up scaled and in original size):

walk_Cycle_Example.png

EDIT: I should point out that I am no authority in pixel art and the above is just an example, if it's helpful in any way.

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Design, then a simplification (up scaled and in original size):walk_Cycle_Example.pngEDIT: I should point out that I am no authority in pixel art and the above is just an example, if it's helpful in any way.

:O
That's cool!
Thanks :D

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I'm not sure it's really necessary to understand anatomy with the simplicity of the sprite you're using. Of course that would be important to improve overall as an artist, but if your goal is just to animate this little pixel guy, studying art fundamentals won't help for a very long time. 

 

You gave a great example with the nuclear throne fish. I recommend focusing on that. You can see that a decent walk/run cycle for a video game only needs a few frames. Look at how the left and right leg move. When one is back and up, the other is forward. In between the legs are bent. The characters head also moves up or down a pixel during different parts of the run. If you want you can compare it to a real runner. Last time I did a run cycle I watched this slow motion video of usain bolt several times. 

 

Also, just make something. You can post your progress here or wherever to get feedback on the run cycle you've made.

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If you don't have a "box cover" design for that torch character and it only exists directly in pixel art mode, you'll have trouble understanding its anatomy, like where are its limbs, joints etc.
I hadn't thought of imagining pixel characters at varying levels of detail before but that makes so much sense!

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